Wednesday, 8 July 2015

What Dreams May Come!


Crow with No Mouth1Speaking of empty illusion, it is illusion when created and illusion when experienced too; it is illusion when you are knowing and aware and illusion when your are lost in delusion too! Past, present and future are all illusions. (…) In the daily activities of a student of the Path, to empty objects is easy, but to empty mind is hard. If objects are empty but mind is not empty, mind will be overcome by objects. Just empty the mind and objects will be empty of themselves! Once this mind is empty, then what is there outside of mind that can be emptied?
Think again! The above are quotes from the lectures and letters of ZEN master Ta Hui as compiled in the book Swampland Flowers, translated by J.C. Cleary. Posted here today in support of my review of yet another great movie advancing Buddhist notions. This one has been sitting in my DVD collection for some years, only to be re-discovered the other day: What Dreams May Come directed by Vincent Ward with Robin Williams and Cuba Gooding Junior.
The understanding that all of reality is mind constructed and even the experience of birth and death or heaven and hell is nothing but a mind powered illusion, is perfectly illustrated in this movie which won acclaim for its visual power. Here some of the more interesting conversations between Cuba Gooding Junior and Robin Williams plus a few visuals from this mind adventure.
What Dreams May Come 01
After dying in a car accident, Chris alias Robin Williams finds himself on a journey that is limited only by his own imagination and personal views of reality…
What Dreams May Come 02
What Dreams May Come 04
What Dreams May Come 03
RW: Oh, am I really here?
CGJ: What do you mean by you anyway?
Are you your arm or your leg?
If you lost all your limbs, wouldn’t it still be you?
RW: Yeah, I’d still be me.
CGJ: So, what is the me?
RW: My brain I suppose.
CGJ: Your brain is a body part, like your fingernail or your heart. Which part is that you think is you?
RW: Because I have that sort of voice in my head, that part of me that thinks and feels. That is aware that I exist at all.
CGJ: So, if you are aware you exist, then you do. That’s why you are still here. Look, your brain is meat, it rots and disappears. Did you really think that’s all there is to you?
RW: But it looks like I rebuilt myself, huh?
CGJ: You see a body because you like seeing one. We are seeing what we choose to see.
This is your world!
Thought is real!
Physical is the illusion!
What Dreams May Come 05
Even the old Greeks already had a term for the notion that mind only sees and accepts as reality what it wants or expects to see. They called it Scotoma (see Wikipedia for details).
CGJ: Here is big enough for everyone to have their own private universe!
RW: And what does that mean Buddha?
I want to see my children (who died previously)!
CGJ: And when you really do, you will.
What Dreams May Come 07
What Dreams May Come 08
The movie also ventures into the Buddhist notion that we do not always re-create ourselves exactly as we appeared in our last life. Sometimes we change gender and race during the rebirth process. And sometimes we are not even lucky enough to be born as a human being to begin with and may appear as a tree or a butterfly or an elephant… Not the best possible choice as the animal kingdom is defined by delusion, with close to no understanding of how any of this really works.
Ultimately, there are neither humans nor Buddhas! The universe is like a bubble in the ocean and all phenomena are like flashes of lightening. And anything else we might perceive as physical reality is created by The One Mind as an illusion, a mirage, as the moon reflected in a pool of water, based strictly on our own State of Mind so that we may feel secure and protected in our little comfort zones. So that we may convince ourselves there is meaning and substance to life as we know it.
But that isn’t even close to what is possible, or real!
What Dreams May Come 09
What Dreams May Come 10
Good people create their very own hell because they are unable to come to terms with their own reality. Because they can’t forgive themselves – or anybody else – for their actions and thoughts. Good people create their own heaven because they are able to live without lying, cheating, flattering and deceiving anybody for any reason. By pursuing a life that contains no discrimination of judgement or judged, good or evil, based on any given superficial man-made perception of right or wrong.
What Dreams May Come 11
What’s true in our mind is true!
What we believe to be real is reality!
Mind is real!
Physical reality is the illusion!
Welcome to the Real World!

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