Day 81- sci-fi meditations and the commercialisation of god

I can pretend to be the kind of literary snob that reads Victorian literature or Hemmingway but I have an undeniable weakness for science fiction. It is true that my secret shame is my addiction to Post-Apocalyptic novels and movies. I especially love a good zombie thriller. Never mind the fact that they scare me into quietly believing that a global pandemic could actually wipe out half the human race and leave the rest of us feeding off each other. I can’t help it.

Last night we sat up watching the new Transformers movie. Yes among the Terminator series, Jurassic Park and X-Men, I also love the metamorphous car/robot/aliens and secretly wish my car, Lola the Corolla, would one day stand up and save the world.

Anyway my point is that Sci-Fi movies have some seriously fantastic one-liners. Yoda (Star Wars) explains prana in the simplest way when he speaks of “the force” and I am guilty of quoting him when teaching. I don’t think it is a coincidence that if you flipped the ‘d’ upside down his name would be yoga.

Today, as we drive to the Gedong Gandhi Ashram in Candidasa, the hum of the bike engine is vibrating through my feet and driving me insane. I can’t handle that feeling. It makes my feet feel like they are going to rattle straight off my legs. I am silently cursing the bike for this irritating feeling when I remember one of my favourite lines from Terminator 4: Salvation.

“What is it that makes us human… It’s not something that you can program. It’s the strength of the human heart. The difference between us and the machines.”

It may not be a genuine buddhist quote or a meditative experience but it does remind me that this machine will continue to buzz through my feet whether I like it or not and I can’t change that. The only thing I can change is my own reaction. I can either sit here and grumble about it or I can get over it and enjoy the beautiful green Bali countryside.

We pass another motorbike that is packed with toys, mostly plastic balls and blown up figurines. I notice a small blow-up Krishna in his childlike form. Wow. The commercialisation of god. Later I notice him again spray painted on the side of a truck. Actually many of the trucks are painted with different gods and scenes from Hindu culture. Shiva, Ganesha, they are all there transporting earth around Bali, the island of the Gods.

When we arrive at the ashram I fall asleep and pretty soon it is dinner. After dinner I find meditation through the evening puja. I sit in the dark listening to the chants in Sanskrit, English and Bahasa Indonesia. Hearing Krishna’s name I remember the plastic effigy and the trucking deities. Really, whatever form god takes is irrelevant. In its simplicity, commercialisation or in the darkness of the night, faith is faith is faith. As long as you have it then isn’t that all that matters?

Speaking as a form of deity to the human race, Optimus Prime says:
“You may have lost faith in us but don’t ever lose faith in yourselves.”

Yep, I’m a nerd at heart.

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