My intention now, leading a life of simplicity

The 2011 Ubud Writers and Readers festival’s theme is Cultivate the Land Within. A line from Bali’s priest and prominent poet Ida Pedanda Made Sidemen.

I went to the Tribute Night, was so glad that I made the decision to go. I copied his Salampah Laku form the committee’s files. I madly respect this man, especially after (because I did not have any idea who he was before the festival) knowing what he has done and his thoughts.

Here I share with you, enjoy!

Ida Pedanda Made by 2011 UWRF Committee

Ida Pedande Made Sidemen held by one of his students. Photo’s taken from 2011 UWRF Committee

SALAMPAH LAKU

Ida Pedanda Made Sidemen

Behold,
A world swarmed with men
Useless men, indolent men
Who like the birds
Chirping continuously
About things above their heads

Behold,
How in the season of sadness
All take to the air
Abandoning  worldly miseries
Into sunya
Aspiring to be wiser

Back from my  journey
I know nothing
Without knowledge, without words
Ignorant of the divine
Darkness descends on my heart
Obscuring North and South
Lustful thoughts, vain words, injuring actions
Embrace me
I flee to the villages, begging for foods
Beseech for sanctuary
To be a cloud, completely

Continue reading

On Capitalism and why Occupying it is important

LET ME REITERATE IT, I don’t despise capitalism, but I do have some issues with it — although I must admit, the system has yet to affect me directly, and other Middle Class people I suppose.

I am not a fan of free market or privatization. I have never been. And I don’t think we should encourage those practices. Why? Because they simply won’t bring betterment. Not for the underdeveloped countries, at least. But you see, these kinda talks have always seen as “high” or “sophisticated” topics that everyone raising the very issues must be some “socialist” or “commie” or “playing-smart” or “boring!” dudes.

Thus, when Occupy Wall Street started to merge last month in the city that never sleeps, the New York, I was so happy. Finally, I got to see a bunch of people, the laymen, talking and cursing capitalism.

And I did not have to wait for long for the movement to inspire people around the globe, including people here in Jakarta. Starting last week, Jakarta has its own movement: Occupy Jakarta.

I haven’t again checked it, but if they still manage to stay, everyone passes the Indonesia Stock Exchange (BEI) building in South Jakarta in the morning till afternoon now might see a group of [now still small] people gathering, ranting about how capitalism is entering its end.

God knows I couldn’t be happier seeing those people coming from various backgrounds telling each other their opinions about capitalism. I remember one protestor brought a poster says: “The 1% is making history, but the 99% is trying to change it.”

Surely, not everyone in the city supports the movement. Many said the movement won’t gather steam if they stuck on the abstract capitalism issues. Another said Occupy Jakarta supporters are childish followers, because why bother Indonesia’s economy, when now it is in its best shape since 1997? They suggest these childish people to fight for more concrete problems such as religious intolerance and violence, or corruption.

I am not saying these notions are wrong, or think that they are not significant matters worth struggle for. But I always believe economy, or prosperity to be exact, is the core of all problems. Even I believe the intolerance issues got to do with it.

Basically, if you have enough money and can send your children to good schools they will get good education, no? They’ll learn many things, including respecting others, no? And when you are content and happy, you surely will say no to an offer of joining a religious rally or attack for $3, no?

Certainly, our economy is blooming and might be in its best shape since the last crisis, based on statistic. Based on new BPS stats released on July, the poor now constitute 12.5 percent (30.02 million) of Indonesia’s population, down from 13.3 percent (31.02) last year (poverty line = Rp 233,740 ($27.35) per capita per month). And the government sees an accumulated $94.7 billion in foreign exchange reserves — the largest amount in Indonesian history. Further, the country is also targeting 6.4 percent of economic growth this year. What a compelling data!

Continue reading