From the perspective of I Nyoman Susila, a 45-year-old security guard from Gianyar City

What are we here for?
To work and help others – our families and fellow villagers.

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, my religion tells me that is not possible.

If there is a God, where is he?
He’s everywhere.

Is there a mystery to life?
No, there are strange happenings but I don’t believe there is a mystery to life.

Do you think we’re alone in the universe?
No, I believe it’s possible there are others out there somewhere.

There’s 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’ve never really thought about it, but it’s not impossible. I guess we’ll never know.

What do you think happens to people when they die?
My religion tells me that we will go to either heaven or hell and then be reincarnated into a higher or lower form depending on how we lived our previous life.

Where is your soul and what is it?
It’s inside my body and it’s what makes my heart continue to beat.

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, after cremation the body is burned but the soul is released into the air and will continue on in another form.

Do you know your place in the universe?
My place is on this Earth, doing what I’m doing.

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 know The Secret but I think it’s possible. We create good karma to receive good things in return.

Are we being observed?
Yes, by God.

If there is a God, why does he allow such colossal suffering of people on Earth, either through war, disease or natural disasters?
God does not make the suffering; we have created suffering ourselves.

Filed under: The Big Questions

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