I finally understand what a primal existence is: it is a life that possesses very little and that has a wanting for nothing at all but the freedom of the spirit. I found it in the Balinese people… just a couple of weeks ago. The Balinese are generally really happy people, and they do not need much to be in that blissful type of existence: it is simply in their nature, in who they are. Their spirits are always high, and they possess this inner glow for life in whatever actions they are carrying out. They are not people of many words, but instead they bow…. a courtesy, a small bow, with their two hands in a prayer like manner. I found myself doing the same when I was there, it is a sort of hello and a thank you all rolled into one. I did not see one ounce of cruelty, rudeness, bitterness or eagerness in any of the Balinese people I interacted with; if it just so happens that they do anything wrong, it seemed to be only because they don’t know any better. In every moment, wherever I was at, I found myself surrounded by people who were trying to accommodate me in any way shape or form. They are innocent, sweet, caring, and… always honest: as I heard many Balinese say: ‘The Balinese never lie…’ . They take great care in making offerings to the Gods, about twice a day, and placing these offerings in front of entrances to houses or shops, on cars, or on the sides of the roads. So… not only are they incredibly happy all the time, they are spiritual in their cores, and possess a spirit that is focused on being grateful for life itself. It is a primal sort of existence in the sense that life is stripped down to the very core of our being: it is about the soul and living a grateful and full life. On one of those days I stopped and watched some children play at the Pura Uluwatu Temple; they were happily playing with each other, and had no toys at all… Just their imaginations and a happiness within them. They were there to pray, but before they did, they ran around the white courtyards, in flowing colourful dresses that shifted in the wind… I observed them, took pictures and smiled.
The Balinese people and their outlook on life inspired me. And, today, I as sit here, in the opposite side of the world, I think about those smiles and their happiness. It’s not only those smiles, because generally we can relate to happiness… it’s more than that: it’s that hidden inner glow, that primal spirit that shines through and that is above everything that is worldly.
If only I could learn to be happy with so little, if only I could learn to just let my primal spirit take the lead in life… Here in the West, we have lives that are full of things, and still, we find nothing to be grateful about; we are run not by our spirits and by our cores but by money and by external powers. We live our lives with worry and concern, and forget that inside all of us, is indeed something primal and happy, that needs nothing other than itself. So today… I find myself just stopping and being grateful: for everything life gives that we don’t take the time to see or listen, for everything that I have inside me that is primal, soulful, happy and true, for everything that has been and for everything that is yet to come.
Will you join me there?