With my "trip" to Bali yesterday I have now reached the two-thirds mark of my journey. I have enjoyed this series of programs and think you would too, if you bear in mind that these are mere introductions and sometimes one-sided in what they present. The scenes, however, are mostly breathtaking.
That was especially true for the Bali program, which more than made up for the comparative drabness of last week's "trip" to Australia. The greenery of the lush vegetation was stunning as was the craftwork of the many temples visited along the way.
This program dealt with the practices of Balinese Hindus. In Bali, we are told, religion "is an inescapable as gravity, as regular and unrelenting as a heartbeat." Balinese Hinduism is built strongly on ancestor worship and animism. They consider they everything has a soul. They believe in reincarnation and as this program includes the cremation of an older woman, it seems typical of what was learned in the previous program about Hinduism.
The program tells that belief in sorcery is accepted as reality, and thus witchcraft is a thing much feared in Bali.
There is no way I could even scratch the surface of the depth of rituals, mythology, and legends of Balinese Hinduism which are covered in this program. And having said that, even what is covered is superficial.
Hindus believe in many gods, and the Balinese mythology includes the belief that the gods express pleasure and displeasure through the elements, notably volcanoes, as we are told.
As I've watched these programs it has been reimpressed upon me that the primitive form of spirituality was most probably animism. Humans from the beginning seem to have developed views of the sacredness of nature, and that back of it all there is a sensed purpose. We have fine-tuned these notions along the way, but it seems clear that natural theology preceded revealed religion.