Posts Tagged ‘Bali Dark Side’

The Light and the Dark of Bali

July 17, 2011

While Bali is famous for her beauty, which has been well documented and portrayed in movies, travel documentaries, and on television, there is another side to Bali that is less well known, its Dark Side. The Barong play, as portrayed in the photograph, is the story of a battle between good and evil spirits. It is the same internal struggle which each of us confronts in our daily lives. Should we do the ethical thing which may be difficult, or should we take the easy way out even though we are compromising our integrity? The battle between right and wrong, good and bad, dark and light, is eternally ongoing and challenging.

Because the beauty of Bali is so overwhelming and enchanting, when her Dark Side arises it can be devastating. Bali has literally kicked my butt this trip. Having to put two new hard drives on my computer was hard enough, but in the second week of my trip I had an attack of “Bali belly” … which I assure you was no fun. I was sick with that for a couple of days but it was nothing like the ten-day sickness I just got over. I had a really bad cough which culminated in my going to the doctor five days into being sick and being put on antibiotics and cough medicine and basically taking to my bed for the next five days. I had no appetite and all I wanted to do was sleep, sleep, sleep. And when I opened my eyes, I looked out my window onto the most beautiful orchid-filled gardens of Oka Kartini. I will talk about Oka and her gardens in a later post

I was very blessed to have my friend Marcia from California here with me. She is a retired nurse and she took excellent care of me, checking my meds, making sure I drank enough, rested enough … and basically giving me the tender care which I have missed so much in life, never having had a mother. So, in that way, my sickness was a gift. I was actually being mothered by Marcia. What an incredible experience that was for me. I am so fiercely independent, feeling like I have to do everything myself … but this time I couldn’t … and there was Marcia, so willing to be my personal nurse and in her nurturing and mothering way, making sure I was well before she got on the plane to go back to California.

Bali was saying, okay, Lakshmi, you say you want to live here. Well, we’ll just see how badly you want it. I survived Bali’s tests and I’m now halfway through my three-month holiday here. I am open and anticipating what the second half has in store for  me.

I am not going to analyze the Black Magic and White Magic which is practiced in Bali other than to say these magic spells can be used for good or bad purposes. I have personally been present to an exorcism … removing a Black Magic spell from a person’s body … and I must say it was one of the most intimate, powerful, and loving things I’ve ever experienced.

Bali, Bali, Bali … what a trip it is being here! This island has a heart and soul all its own. And the deeper I’m able to delve into the spirit of Bali, the more I love her.

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