Last night, me and my friend Brie sat in a favourite little spot called Clear Café listening to a girl waxing lyrical about her own wondrous divinity for at least an hour. This happened after an innocent Aussie couple made the dire mistake of asking her if she did yoga here. NEVER ask a single white female if they do yoga in Ubud. You will never get away.
“Oh yes, I am in love with Kundalini yoga,” the girl enthused, turning to face them in her leggins. “In LOVE with it! And you will be too! The more you awaken and come into your truth, the more your relationship will flower. It will be beautiful. I mean, I’m sure it’s beautiful already…”
Brie and I were trying to eat dinner next to this. Now, I don’t mind people looking to find themselves… god knows we all are… go for it, good luck… but what I DO mind is people talking loudly in sanctimonious fashion about what is essentially their own little esoteric wonderland, thinking they’ve found the key to some hidden world of enlightenment just because they’re here and they do yoga.
“I play the ukulele and I sing. Sometimes I sing to my divine,” she continued with a radiant grin, as the Aussie couple nodded in awkward approval. “When the miracles start to happen in your life, that’s when you start to have faith, that’s when you realise that nothing is a coincidence and more miracles happen!!! Everything is a divine miracle. It’s a miracle that we’re sitting here right now having this conversation, it’s a miracle that we are breathing air, and eating this food, and that we have abundance. The divine has brought us together, here and now!”
The couple smiled politely through this tirade and eventually fucked off, made their excuses and said they had to go, even though it was pissing down with rain outside and it was obvious they didn’t have to go at all. It was a miracle they put up with her as long as they did.
This led Brie and I to ask ourselves, should we be putting a limit on ourselves, on our quest for spirituality? How far is going too far and how do you know if you’ve gone too far? I mean, surely by the time you’re sitting in cafes alone, talking to anyone who’ll listen about kundalini and the divine, and your ukulele, you’re too far gone to know exactly how far you’ve gone. It’s a quandary.
I’d just like to say I do get what this girl was saying about the divine, and miracles, and being abundant. I understand all of it. But I don’t feel the urge to vocally express such things to everyone I meet because I appreciate that everyone is on their own journey and the results are unique for each of us. It’s taken me a long time to learn what I now know, and that’s hardly anything to be honest. There’s a lot more to learn. You can never learn everything, surely?
Somehow, hearing people say things like this in cafes and exercise studios and putting it down to a specific practice like yoga, or singing to their divine as though it’s some physical entity they’ve conjured up just by being in Bali, cheapens the experience of discovering it all as I go… as though there’s a point I’ll reach when I’ll just go, “OH YEAH!! I know everything now! It all came to me when I was playing my ukulele, straddling my kundalini teacher and working through the karma sutra! I’m so glad I quit my high-paying job in Hollywood four weeks ago and came here!”
Maybe I’m wrong, but isn’t being enlightened finding a quiet truth inside you, one that you can sit and be still with, and use to feel empowered and positive and real, whenever you like? It’s a personal feeling that grows and evolves along with you, and it’s different for everyone. Preaching to all who cross your path will not open their eyes to your wonderful new way of thinking; not because it’s bad or wrong or stupid, but because it’s YOUR way of thinking.
Now take your ukulele (somewhere private) and think about that. Oh, and please shave your armpits, too. I’m trying to eat.