There is much talk and hand wringing these days about the preservation of ‘culture’, which includes the bandwagon of rituals, traditions and religion, the more organised the better for it offers a comforting familiarity of habit: A habit that has now digressed into swamp-like mentality, fetid and yet blooming with lotuses.
If we are to grow in enlightenment then we must accept the evolution of change, to embrace it and not be fearful of the unknown for it is the unknown that will open doors to a new perception of all that is bright and beautiful.
Preservation of traditions is self-immolation of all that we have gathered from our ancestors. For in this very act we are attempting to prevent the natural evolution of our society, in more ways than one. We do this because we are told to do so by gendarmes of polity and faith. To add to our blight is superstition, which is the final ingredient in the elixir that we drink every day to confuse and confound our natural ability to evolve.
There is much discussion for the need to preserve culture in Bali. The breathlessness with which this is propounded further illustrates how far we have digressed from reality.
A hundred years ago Balinese culture, which includes all the attendant appendages, was very different from today. If we had attempted to preserve Bali at that time it would have been lost to history a long time ago. Fortunately, the rich interchange between the isle and the rest of this great country Indonesia, and to an extent the world, has kept it from becoming a foot note.
However, evolution has been lopsided. The material world has come to stay, overshadowing the spiritual to such an extent that we falsely assume that if we follow ‘the rituals’ in this overwhelming world we will find our peace, in other words, our God. But is this so?
Preservation of culture is not putting it in a ‘reservation’ but letting it breath and grow naturally without our deliberate intervention.
Perhaps the time has come to redress this imbalance of forces: To ingratiate ourselves with the Divine, to evolve into more loving sentient beings not through the process of genuflections and offerings but simply by caring for one another, selflessly.
This is called Love, which eludes many of us.
Om Shanti Shanti Shanti Om
© Mark Ulyseas