From the perspective of Astri Azas, 24, a receptionist from Sempidi, Badung
What are we here for?
To do good things, and live our lives the best way we can.
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?
I know about it and I respect it but I don’t know if I believe in it completely.
If there is a God, where is he?
We can’t see him but I believe he is watching us.
Is there a mystery to life?
Life itself is a mystery.
Do you think we’re alone in the universe?
I don’t really know. I don’t think much about it.
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 don’t think it’s true.
What do you think happens to people when they die?
As I’m Hindu, I believe in reincarnation. You don’t go anywhere really; your soul just returns in a new form.
Where is your soul and what is it?
It’s my energy and it’s not solid, so it can’t be quantified or placed.
Science says that all matter and energy can neither be created nor destroyed. Therefore, will our energy, in the form of our soul, live on for infinity?
Yes, like I said before, it will be reincarnated into a new form.
Do you know your place in the universe?
I believe I was born into this world for a reason, and right now that reason is to be doing the job I’m doing and to be with the people I’m with.
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?
Karma dictates the things we receive. If we have bad karma, we won’t end up with the things we ask for.
Are we being observed?
Yes. God is watching and doling out good and bad karma.
If there is a God, why does he allow such colossal suffering of people on Earth, either through war, disease or natural disasters?
Again, it’s all to do with karma. God watches and we get what we deserve, whether bad or good.