Having spent time on Bali Island, Indonesia, I must say that I am profoundly sad and frightened. The reward for time spent was a glimpse around the edges of a most fascinating way of living.
Bali is located on Earths Goldilocks Region. Not too hot and not too cold, to kill, you. Throw on jungles, Volcanoes, beaches and a culture that is unique in a world of dwindling unique.
Suffice to say without even beginning to understand the depth of Balinese culture/religion/beliefs/way of being/life etc, a Balinese version of Hinduism is practiced each moment.
A Tropical Paradise has a history of becoming raped and used for its natural beauty and ease of corruptibility when exploiting its many marketable resources.
Bali Island resides in the greater Indonesian Archipelago. Teeming with Islands, numbering in multiple thousands, it is the planets most seismically violent and eruptive region. It really is ground zero where Earth Quakes and Volcanoes Rumble along the Circle of Fire. Its where Balinese sit and pray and perform rituals and ceremonies to appease those most powerful Gods.
That is really all you need to know at this point. To become immersed in Balinese Traditions and Way of Life is indeed a privilege and honour. But to explain and be allowed to completely experience and see such an ancient culture? You must be Balinese.
I truly thank those who taught as far as they let me go. This is a most testing time for your lives.
Gunung Agung is regarded as Mother Mountain. She is powerful. The highest point on the highest Volcano on Bali. She is imposing, forceful, kind, thoughtful. But she is not vengeful. She and the other Volcanoes have erupted over billions of years providing Bali with its rich Volcanic soil. If Agung speaks everybody stops and all listen.
Agung has erupted violently in recent and distant eons. She is a Stratovolcano, the most spectacular and disruptive. Earths innards flung from her and others like her have the ability and reach to drop the Earths global temperature.
To see her unclouded and from the highland location of Kintamani is a humbling experience. From Kintamani township on a good clear day you can see her and her siblings, Gunung Abang, a parasitic inactive Volcano and Gunung Batur, active and more popular for visibility and climbing. From the villages surrounding Lake Batur the energy and enormity at ground level is astounding.
Gunung Agung awakened recently and began to roar. Agung has been responsible for thousands of human deaths at its full force. There was palpable fear when she made her presence felt again.
Agung belched and coughed through 2017-2019 and apart from being witness and in awe to her explosive discomfort, fear for what would happen if she let loose was immediately and inescapably present.
The last time Gunung Agung went Richter Scale level explosive, Bali was a vastly different Island. Bali had undergone an experiment in globalization fueled by consumption. The test for Balinese was to maintain and adapt their way of life while maintaining and balancing their Hindu practices and faith. Life in rural Bali was still essentially farm driven but encrusted with modern technology. In many families and communities, a dependence on the tourist mega thrust machine was/is unavoidable.
There were whispers during the mighty majestic intermittent eruptions that it was unlikely she would retreat and go back to slumber. Everything known about her Volcanic call sign indicated she was building to Island lock-down eruption. She had during this period closed flights in and out of Bali’ only airport ‘Nugurah Rai International.' The chaos and disruption caused for a short period of time was for all, in their own way, concerning in the extreme. Closing Bali for any amount of time was unthinkable. Its major income being curtailed was terrifying. Stopping the Island, locking it down, shuttering the product. Unthinkable.
Gunung Agung retreated and is presently in a fitful slumber. She had sent her message. Mindfulness, introspection, self-examination.
Bali sighed a collective appreciation to Mother Mountain and took the sign to be a call to break and balance the cycle of consumption. But when any system has gone as far as our human world has pushed, change does not come fast or immediate. Unless the force is extreme.
It was generally agreed that if Agung had gone off then Bali Island and the world would be affected. On Bali that would mean a shut down Island for up to at least 1 year. The thought about that reality was too much to even consider. It would, if not finish the Island, damage its main source of income to such a degree that recovery would take a very heavy toll. Many would starve. Many would die in the initial eruption and many would die in the aftermath.
I fear for those I know and love on that small Island on the Ring of Fire. COVID-19 is a Volcano in microscopic form. It is not going away soon and when it does, life everywhere will have changed in ways that we can only imagine and fear.
Gunung Agung is not a cruel Mother.
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Observing whats real is becoming increasingly difficult. This site is my view, my perception and my commentary on what I believe to be real, from my own unique position.