Jeff Jawer: Astrology in Bali

  • This is a re-posting of Jeff Jawer's blog post from October 9, 2008

    Astrology in Bali

    The world looks very different and yet very much the same from the rice fields of Bali, Indonesia where Rick Levine and I are teaching a 9-day Initiation into Astrology seminar. One of the attendees is our good friend and founder Paul O’Brien who was recently blogging from the same sofa upon which I’m seated right now.

    Bali is over 90% Hindu and a significant part of daily life is spent making offerings to the gods. It is beautiful beyond belief with stone carvings, lotus-filled ponds, and the lush growth of a tropical island blessed with an abundance of sun and rain. The people are equally beautiful in their appearance and manner. Thus, the sights and smells seem a world away from my cool and cloudy Redmond, Washington home. Yet while many of the Balinese cling to their traditional ways, others are joining the Internet revolution that makes it possible for me to communicate with you from here.

    The seminar attendees fire up their laptops and smart phones whenever they’re near a Wi-Fi oasis, keeping up with emails and online news. Whenever I’ve traveled out of the U.S. in the past, and when I lived in France for two years, The International Herald Tribune was my lifeline to news from home. But now I decline to buy the copies regularly thrust at me when I walk through the nearby town of Ubud as it is so far out of date compared to the instant information the Internet has to offer.

    It’s quite something to be teaching Astrology in a beautiful open-walled meeting space in the midst of the rice fields. With Rick at the helm of his computer projecting charts on a screen we hear the sounds of frogs and lizards and birds singing their ancient chorus of cheeps, croaks and cackles. That we accept the contrast of old and new so easily speaks well of humans’ ability to adapt. In the midst of our present financial turmoil, as we approach the epochal Saturn-Uranus opposition on Election Day in the U.S., this experience makes me more hopeful about our potential to merge opposites and create a sustainable future for all of us.

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