Have you ever had a particular moment in an extraordinary location where space and time were forgotten? Or are you seeking such a thing for the first time? In any case, the concept of a paradise is an elusive one, and here in Bali the word gets thrown around quite a bit. So let’s investigate.
When you first learn of Bali you may have read or heard of it as an Island of the Gods. Indeed, there are Balinese temples not just in every village, but in every home too. There are even micro-temples in Balinese shops and warungs (cafes). In addition there are daily offerings to the gods that inhabit each and every corner of this sometimes other-worldly island. Why? Because these gods are very powerful! They need paying attention to, requiring ongoing devotion.
But can an Island of the Gods be a paradise? Is it relevant if the gods aren’t your gods? Or if you don’t believe in any gods?
I think the relevance is this: when you visit Bali you can interact with people who have embraced other values than material goods. The ceremonies and offerings are constant reminders of the limits of the material world.
Like the old saying goes, “You can’t take it with you.”
And so if Bali doesn’t quite live up to your vision of paradise, at least you can be in a place where most if not all of the people aren’t taking advantage of your tourist status in order to rip you off.
So, so you think you can tell
Heaven from hell
Blue skies from pain
Can you tell a green field
From a cold steel rail?
A smile from a veil?
Do you think you can tell?
— “Wish You Were Here” – Pink Floyd
Thanks to NOW! Bali for the photos. Follow their Instagram here