What do you believe in? Well the great majority in Asian countries still believe in God, but sadly (for me at least) many Western countries have abandoned traditional religions and tried to replace them with a huge variety of spiritual and non-spiritual beliefs and practices to satisfy the human need to explain our existence (meditation, “The Power of Yes”, Scientology, etc., etc.). Now it’s hard to argue against the migration from traditional churches when some have been involved in astonishing evil practices and others just have not changed with the times and have become boring for modern youth.

But here in Bali, the people may be surrounded by western and decadent ways in the whole tourism belt, but when the time comes to don sarong and udeng and head to the temple to pray, they do. They follow the Balinese calendar rigorously, taking days off for ceremonies, processions, prayers, funerals and rituals on a regular basis to fulfil their spiritual obligations.

The Balinese believe that our lives must be balanced between God, Nature and Man and everything we are now doing in the whole “sustainability” field could do well to learn from this system. The one element missing in most western cultures now is God. Maybe here on holiday in Bali it’s time to reassess and reconnect?

Alistair G. Speirs

Alistair G. Speirs

Alistair G Speirs, OBE, is the Publisher of NOW! Magazines. He has been in the publishing, advertising and PR business for the last 25 years. He started both NOW! Bali and NOW! Jakarta as each region's preferred community magazine.