From the perspective of I Ketut Gundul Windhia, a 24-year-old from Klungkung
What are we here for?
I don’t know, but I think we should just live a good and happy life.
Do you believe in the Big Bang theory that the circa-13.7-billion-year-old universe and all that’s in it was created by a massive explosion of enormously dense matter at what may have been the beginning of time?
No. I believe that God created the universe we live in.
If there is a God, where is this entity?
Yes, there is a God. He’s not in one place. God is in all things. When a baby laughs, that is God laughing. We can hear him in the world around us if we only stop to listen.
Is there a mystery to life?
There is no mystery. We have a life and we need to live it to the maximum.
Do you think we’re alone in the universe?
I think we are alone, but sometimes I like to imagine that a race of aliens will come to Earth and show us some really cool stuff.
There is a theory that there may be parallel universes with exact copies of us – doppelgangers – doing exactly the same thing as us right now. What do you think about that?
I say good luck to them. I hope they make better decisions than me!
What do you think happens to people when they die?
I think souls are reborn into other things.
Where is your soul and what is it?
My soul is who I am and how I feel and all my memories and experiences. It’s in my heart. Every time I feel it beat I know who I am.
Science says that all matter and energy cannot be created or destroyed. Therefore, will our energy, in the form of our soul, live on for infinity?
Yes, I think so. You cannot destroy a soul, so I guess they must exist for infinity. I wonder whether souls get bored?
Do you know your place in the universe?
No, and I don’t want to know my place. I want to live my life and be happy. Life is too short to worry about the whole universe.
Some people believe that because we are made of the same matter as the universe – carbon, and other elements, like nitrogen – anything we ask it will be attracted to us, popularized recently in the movie The Secret. What’s your view?
I don’t think I agree with that. I think that if I ask for something, I ask God and he will decide whether I deserve to have it.
Are we being observed?
What, like through a two-way mirror? Yes, God is observing us all the time, but he’s seen it all before.
If there is a God, why does he allow such colossal suffering of people on earth, either through war, disease or natural disasters?
God has given people the gift of free will, which means they can decide to do the right thing or the wrong thing. So wars are created by people, not God. Without free will we would not be able to learn right from wrong. So we learn from our mistakes, but unfortunately some people’s mistakes cause suffering. Some people look at suffering on a very short-term view; God is very patient.