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WORLD PEACE – IT’S A NUMBERS GAME

world peace picture

 

The solution to world peace and harmony was revealed to us recently as we sipped on coconut water at a pool bar in Bali.

We were presented with a wide smile with bright white teeth and deep dimples as Marvellous Made’s Mathematical Solution was explained.

This amazing man spoke with great passion as he scribbled the Solution onto a serviette.

 

Then suddenly he would break the build-up and burst into peels of the most delicious laughter leaving you to wonder if the whole thing was some inside joke, despite the initial intensity of his words.

Then his conviction would shine through once again as more parts to the Solution were revealed.

While the whole encounter was enchanting and entertaining, Made has a serious message he intends to impart to the world – one person or couple at a time.

WORLD PEACE WITH JUST ONE WORD

The first part of his message is that world peace can be achieved with just one word – acceptance.

He explained how the majority of Balinese were both Hindus and Buddhists but shared a respect and admiration for all religions.

This pairing of philosophies was very evident when we visited the Elephant Cave – Goa Gajah – a wondrous temple that had been buried for so long the locals didn’t even know of its existence before Dutch archaeologists discovered it in the 1920s.

world peace picture

The Elephant Cave – Goa Gajah

The Hindu temple was built in the 9th century and includes giant statues, an intricate entrance gate (now lying in pieces after being shattered by a huge earthquake) and three baths for blessing and bathing.

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The baths at Goa Gajah

A little further along is the Elephant Cave, a beautifully carved sanctuary with meditation holes and a shrine of the elephant Hindu god Ganesha.

From here a path takes you down toward a river and the Buddhist temple and lotus pond – the two philosophies seamlessly joined in this ancient place of worship.

world peace picture

Rock carving of a pagoda at Buddhist temple- Goa Gajah. The rocks slid down from the temple during an earthquake.

The Balinese are quite devout and dedicated to the rituals of honouring the spirits with beautiful offerings they place in doorways, on boats, in cars, on the footpaths and on statues, temples, and shrines each day.

The little baskets – ‘canangs’ – are made by weaving the leaves of coconut trees and decorated with food and flowers and are the foundation of Bali Hindu worship.

 

world peace picture

Bali offerings – canangs

 

It is not unusual to see, shortly after the offering has been made, a local dog or bird feast upon the gift. Or a careless pedestrian step on those left on footpaths.

As all creatures are considered sacred, the Balinese take no offence that their carefully crafted offering is destroyed so soon after being ceremoniously placed.

They celebrate many different religious festivals each year, keeping their philosophy at the forefront of their minds and deeds.

Their quest to reach the state of moksa – where the individual melds with the Cosmos and God – is reflected in their rituals and their lifestyle.

They believe everyone has their own path to travel towards moksa which makes them more about acceptance than the conversion so many religions favour.

“All these wars for religion are crazy,” said our happy philosopher Made.

“They all lead to one God and the same message so people should just do what they do and accept everyone else’s choices.” And then that delicious laugh.

Made told us he believes it is the acceptance the Balinese have that makes it such a popular tourist destination for people from all around the world.

In fact, we met a woman on the plane trip over who had made the 14-hour air trip to Sydney and endured a 15-hour layover (not realizing Sydney airport closes down from 11 pm to 3 am and offers only minimal comfort to weary travellers during that time). She had travelled from her home in Hawaii – another beautiful island full of sunshine and smiles.
This was her 15th year in a row of holidaying in Bali. When I asked her what the attraction was she said it was just “the feeling” in Bali.

“I don’t even both sightseeing anymore,” she said.

“I’ve already been to all the places.

“Bali just calls to me.”

She said she had even considered retiring there but health issues had stopped her.

“People from all over the world come to Bali to find peace,” Made told us.

Their blending of two philosophies, and acceptance of all others puts them in a unique position to lead the world in peace, he said.

THE SOLUTION

And then he followed it up with the Solution.

world peace picture

The Solution

At this point, I have to tell you maths isn’t my strong suit and I did get quite confused with his numbers, clarity never quite being reached though I asked him to explain the Solution many times.

It goes something like this; you attribute specific numbers to the direction points on a compass. North = 9, South = 4, West = 5 and E = 7. Made didn’t make it clear why those numbers went with those directions, but I believe the 5 represents the earth’s elements, and 7, the number of weekdays. West and East are significant because if you multiply their numbers (5 x 7) you get 35, which is the number of days per month in Bali’s ancient Pawukon calendar – still used to determine the celebration dates for many festivals and personal anniversaries.

This calendar is very confusing to the uninitiated, which could be why Made’s Solution was so hard to understand.

The calendar is made up of six months each containing 35 days. Weeks are from one to 10 days long, so days have a different name, depending what week they fall in. Each day has 10 different names. With this calendar Wednesday does not always follow Tuesday, it depends on which of the 10-week cycles is being used.

I could leave it here and say the answer is obvious. West and East meet to add up to Bali’s ancient calendar month, making Bali the glue that holds the world together.

However, Made’s Solution included more numbers that all had significance, we are just not sure why.

Despite this, his message was clear, if the rest of the world followed Bali’s example of acceptance while remaining true to the individual’s belief system, there would be world peace.

The other part of Made’s message was the importance of keeping the Balinese culture and language alive.

Bali is renowned for its rich cultural heritage and sophisticated art forms including painting, sculpture, woodcarving, and the performing arts.

The traditional tales of the struggle between good and evil are depicted with bold and colourful characters in their stories, which each has a moral to impart, much like Aesop’s fables.

These are passed on to younger generations through painting and sculpture and their wonderfully entertaining dance performances, such as the Barong Dance.

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Barong Dance performer

As the younger generations become distracted with modern technology, there is a fear the culture and tradition will be left behind.

Made is involved in several groups dedicated to teaching young people about Bali’s culture and language.

The predominant language spoken in Bali is Indonesian.

We had an interesting moment when a hotel front desk employee was trying to help us with a banking problem and said, “I’ll get this woman to help you as I only speak Balinese.”

We were left wondering what other languages he would need in his own country until it was explained to us that most business transactions in tourist areas are done in Indonesian and that is the language young Balinese people now learned.

However, many Balinese people, particularly in tourist areas, are bilingual – speaking Indonesian and Balinese – and even trilingual, English being the next most spoken language.

The traditional Balinese language has many dialects depending on caste and clan and there is a genuine concern these languages will disappear as Bali becomes more westernised.

Wishing you acceptance and a gleeful week, Tamuria.

 

 

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34 Comments

  1. Tamara – Isn’t it interesting what different people believe and promote? I agree that we should be open minded and accepting as much as possible (not “accepting” when others are getting hurt in the name of religion, of course). I absolutely agree with Made’s assertion that “All these wars for religion are crazy.” I guess my religion could be summarized as: “Be kind to each other.”
    joan potter recently posted…My Diet DiaryMy Profile

  2. What an enjoyable, fascinating read! I’ve never traveled to Bali, but I’ve heard wonderful things about the region, people, and culture. Could the solution to all conflict be as simple as acceptance? Possibly. But history has shown us that humans lust after power & money, so something tells me we’ll never achieve peace in a global sense. However, acceptance on a personal level is attainable and desirable, leading us to happier existences I imagine. 🙂
    Meghan Monaghan recently posted…How to Know if Social Media is the Right Marketing ToolMy Profile

    • All big change starts from within Meghan, so who knows? Maybe if each individual practices acceptance we CAN achieve world peace. If not, we will at least have inner peace and,as you said, happier existences.

  3. I do understand this word ‘acceptance’. I belong to a group of 5 wonderful friends & we created ourselves as a writing community 18 years ago. We meet monthly & read our writing which often takes us down fascinating paths, great conversations and sometimes wisdom. One writes poetry, one his dreams, one humor, one travel & I vary.
    We just met and talked for 2 hours about acceptance, what it means, how you do it when disappointed in paths your adult child takes, etc. It was profound, emotional and we all saw something, ways we can practice acceptance. Timing is uncany.

    • Your writing community sounds like a great place for self-growth, Roz. It sounds easy, one little word, but it’s sometimes hard to put into practice. It’s that Balinese belief that everyone has their own path to travel that makes it easier for them to accept what others do.

  4. Wow.. what an amazing story. I guess acceptance is like forgiveness… or it could technically be different for everyone, whatever that is.
    Kristen Wilson recently posted…Create & CRUSH it on Facebook DIY StyleMy Profile

    • Made really was a fun person to meet, Kristen, and I loved sharing his story. I think that was his whole point, it’s different for everyone and we should accept that.

  5. Thank you for this lovely blog and for taking us along to Bali with you. How lovely. Ah acceptance. I think Made and the balinese people are on to something. I can’t wait to go and experience Bali myself. Thanks again!

  6. Bali sounds lovely… I have never been, but it sounds like it may be a good one to put on the list.
    Acceptance is nice to hear about, since we are in the throes of the opposite it seems most days lately… They need to meet Made!
    Kimberly recently posted…Your BeautifulMy Profile

  7. I went down memory lane reading your post about Bali and the Balinese philosophy, Tamuria. Hinduism and Buddhism were brought to Indonesia by Hindu Indian Rulers way back in the period known as Ancient India and the country became Islamic much later when invaded by Muslims. In the olden days, very much like the way Christianity was spread. Having said that, the Islamic philosophy in this country is more tolerant than what we are seeing in the news nowadays.

    But I digress! We lived in Indonesia for 3 years and our home is filled with Indonesian statues and a temple gong which I love to sound every now and then for space clearing. I’m thinking about my memories and the gentleness of life and acceptance.

    Made is correct and I love the way he is trying to spread the message of Acceptance which is at the core of basic human values which I sometimes feel the world has forgotten and needs to be reminded.

    With acceptance comes respect while we individually travel this life with the intention to join the Divine when this journey is over.
    Vatsala Shukla recently posted…How to soothe your mind with nature walking meditationMy Profile

    • I think I would love your home, Vatsala, with all the Indonesian statues and the gong. Yes, Made is a bit of a hero for promoting acceptance.

  8. This is wonderful, Tami! You are introducing us all to the incredible culture if Bali. I know it must be so enriching and enlivening to visit there. Each time experiencing and learning something new for yourself. I LOVE the idea of “acceptance” being the one “word” that could lead to peace. I really feel that as a possibility and yet often feel we are so far away from that happening. What if…we all accepted each other for who we were as human beings without any conditions that the modern world seems to segregate people by. Where religion and gender and colour and creed, weren’t divisive, but were uniting. That is a wonderful vision of a future world I would love to see. Beautiful post! xo
    Beverley Golden recently posted…Lessons My Father Taught MeMy Profile

    • I share that wonderful vision of a future world Beverly – it would be truly amazing. Maybe one day…..

  9. Hi Tamuria,
    I always thought that creating and expanding peace was actually an inside job.
    There are many solutions, or paths, to attaining peace and perhaps each person should find inner peace in whatever method works best for them. I believe that the peace and ease we experience within is our greatest hope for peace without. My two cents 😉
    Rachel Lavern recently posted…Create a Toleration-Free ZoneMy Profile

    • Hi Rachel, I love your two cents. My mother always told me the world may not be safe but I could make my world safe, which is kind of the same thing. I absolutely believe if we gain inner peace and it will spread outwards.

  10. Acceptance is such a beautiful concept, and one so hard for folks to put into practice. This reminded me of the Dalia Lama’s answer when asked the differences in religions: “Same god, different walking stick.”
    I just love this, Tamuria! Moving to Bali. 🙂
    Susan Mary Malone recently posted…Inspiration from a Novelist: What Drives You?My Profile

    • I bet you can guess by now how much I’d like to move there, Susan. 🙂 I’ll just have to make due with keeping acceptance in my heart.

  11. Bali sounds wonderful! Thank you so much for visiting my blog and participating in #blogsharelearn. Do you have a twitter account?

    • Elena, I was so happy I finally made it to #blogsharelearn link up. I don’t have a Twitter account. I know it would be good but I don’t have the time just now to do it justice.

  12. The Dalai Lama says that if we teach every 8 year old to meditate that we would eliminate violence in one generation. Not sure if that’s true or not, but wouldn’t it be a wonderful experiment?

    • Wow, wouldn’t that be something, Jennifer? Even if we didn’t succeed in eliminating violence, we’d have happier people.

  13. To me rather than acceptance the word is respect. We don’t have to accept something as true or right to show it the respect that it deserves. Thanks for sharing about the Balinese. Wonderful to learn about their traditions and beliefs.
    Karen Grosz recently posted…Savvy Health Round Up #7My Profile

  14. Really enjoyed reading your post this week, Tamuria as it gave me so much insight as to what it will really take to find world peace and it absolutely comes down to one word “acceptance” 🙂 Bali is right and it was so fascinating learning about their culture and their beliefs.

    Thanks so much for sharing!!
    Joan M Harrington recently posted…Powerful Content Ideas For Your Facebook Live Streams To Boost Your BusinessMy Profile

  15. I’m not big on math either, but I think acceptance is a wonderful path to world peace. Once we learn to accept other people’s differences, we are less judgmental and, as a result, happier and more at peace. I’ll buy that!

    • Being less judgmental certainly does make us happier and more at peace, Jackie. As they say, all major changes must start from within.

  16. So beautiful. Thank you for sharing. And, oh so true. Acceptance is key. If we could be more accepting and respectful of each others religions, we would have such a more peaceful world. Great wisdom.

    • I agree, Staci, it is a very wise philosophy and makes perfect sense to me that acceptance is key to peace. Thanks for the lovely comment. 🙂

  17. This was such an awesome post! You really brought forth the peaceful ideal of a community dedicated to one goal. I once visited Peace Park in Hiroshima, Japan. Right outside is the largest Buddha temple in the world. While I did not get a formula as intricate as you, I did get some genuine explanations of peace, and forgiveness, and love. I think it’s great that you can take the message from around the world and share it with us here. Seeds are being planted, Tamara, and I hope we see them to fruition! <3
    Liz Benoit Cozby recently posted…How to Survive the Cupcake–no, the ZOMBIE–APOCALYPSEMy Profile

    • Liz, thank you so much. Seeds ARE being planted and we just need to nourish and protect them.Peace Park sounds amazing. It’s on the list.:)

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