26 February 2008

Dreaming I AM


kathrine ærtebjerg

The film What Dreams May Come has always been a favourite. What? As a film it is garish and the theme of death and reincarnation watered-down for mainstream, and for some, barely recognizable. But still it sticks, like a tick latches on to food.

It has often been discussed as a film about Heaven and Hell.

Or, Samsara and Nirvana.
Buddhism locates our realities as constructs of the mind. As on a canvas where swirls and loops appear with meaning, our perceptions and beliefs are painted in our minds, and come to possess us in a universe where there exists nothing beyond.

"The Buddha, well before Aquinas or Heisenberg, stressed the primacy of the mind in the perception and even "creation" of reality. A central concept of Buddhism is the idea that "everything is made from the mind."

Any distinction between subject and object is false, imagined, at best an expedient nod to demands of conventional language.

In the Avatamsaka Sutra, the Buddha uses metaphor to elucidate:

"The mind is like an artist/It can paint an entire world. . . If a person knows the workings of the mind/As it universally creates the world/This person then sees the Buddha/And understands the Buddha's true and actual nature." (Chap. 20)

We think we are observing nature, but what we are observing is our own mind at work. We are the subject and object of our own methodology. Moreover, this mind encompasses the entirety of the universe; there is nothing outside of it, nothing it does not contain ... "


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