A good friend popped around in the week and astrally projected from my balcony. She met a twelve-foot tall blue alien in another dimension. I wanted to know if he looked like Sam Worthington but she couldn’t say. Footnote: there were no drugs involved in this.
But really, only in Ubud right? Where else would that sentence make sense?
And I was sort of jealous that I lacked the switch in my brain to turn off my cynicism and join in. I mean astrally projecting sounds fun, don’t you think? I even have a character in one of my books who can do it. Though he never meets a 12 foot alien or visits other planes of existence. Clearly I need to work on my imagination.
The funny thing is that a year ago if you’d have told me I’d have been taking part in a ceremony on my balcony whereby someone astrally projected I’d have snorted with laughter. Same too for going to Kirtan and ecstatic dance. But somehow living in Ubud does open you up to the esoteric. Even if I can’t quite quit the eyeball rolling, I find I’m snorting less and less and thinking ‘well, why not?’ a lot more. The cynic in me might be dying hard, but it’s dying. And maybe that’s got a lot to do with not living in London anymore where cynicism was hardwired into my DNA.
I guess it is no surprise though really that moving to Bali would involve some kind of re-evaluation of beliefs, given that Bali is called the island of the Gods and has always been regarded as a magical, spiritual place. There is a deep mystical connection between the people and the land, the people and the gods. It is why so many ex-pats choose to live here.
It is not why we did – I believe ‘somewhere hot,’ ‘somewhere I can lie by the pool all day and write’ and ‘sunshine’ were the pre-requisites on choosing a new place to live. Yet, here I am patting my Buddha statue and laying flowers on Ganesha every morning, choosing a card from a psychic tarot deck, putting on my saraswati necklace (goddess of creativity) and thanking the universe for my russian rights deal and please could the universe see fit to send more foreign rights deals my way? (The cynic in me suggests I am covering all bases).
When we meet up with people who are just visiting here from London or LA and tell them all the alternative viewpoints and beliefs you’re likely to find in Ubud – from raw food (which once to be seemed whackjob crazy and now just seems normal) to Pleidian technology, chakra meditation and breatharianism, their jaws drop open. John and I just shrug. We’ve become used to alternative ways of living I guess.
Don’t worry though people there is no need to stage an intervention just yet. I’m not about to sit naked on my balcony and entreat the Pleidian mothership to beam me up. Nor am I going to ever attempt to live on air alone and give up food or drink.
I can’t even manage to meditate or do yoga after all. I think enlightenment and 12 foot blue aliens will continue somehow to elude me.