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I am very surprised with this audiovisual material.
It handles well founded and solidly exposed concepts.
Obviously it does not go in depth, but it is very interesting the way it presents the teachings.
I watched the first movie, it is quite a collection of ideas and quotes. It gave me an impression that it was just throwing stuff at me gathered from a few different places. Still I liked the focus on the mechanical nature of man.
It is long, sometimes tedious, but it goes through concepts common to several traditions and as it obviously does not go into every aspect in depth, it just passes by and the one who knows something recognises it... and moves on to another related topic.
My learning has been vast and is far from over, and what I cannot do is to imprison it in categories.
What is suffocating today is the popular Buddhism vs. the Buddhadharma.
The second movie was better, I thought. I will watch the third as well.
As far as popular Buddhism vs the Buddhadharma is concerned, I try not to bring too many judgments, I think a little buddhism is better than no buddhism at all.
The access to this kind of content can be a blessing and / or a curse. It can be very insightful, opening the path for someone, and at the same time very confusing.
Good dharma friends, enough research and a qualified teacher can cure it all, most of the times. There is also certain safety behind this. I recall that before, learning from centres or groups can sometimes be a bit restraining in the sense of getting scolded for "following the wrong teachings".
I think movies like this very much serve the purpose of providing a swift eagle’s eye view of a lot of territory, useful for beginners to stir up some enthusiasm. Of course there are some dangers as well — having been introduced to the big picture, people new to this material may think “when does it happen to me?” And as @Kotishka says, not every tradition likes new members to be introduced like this.
Watched the third movie. Not as clear as the second, but it was ok. The thing is, the mingling of the various teachings mean there is very little prescriptive that can be said, because as soon as you say “do this” you are moving along the path of a specific teacher.
The first movie talked a little about the perennial philosophy, and that is a good starting point, but to find a unified way that the various paths would like you to proceed is not easy.
I think they have hit the nail on the head.
The person who has had the good fortune to have had adequate instruction and a good teacher with direct experience can find in these films references to things he has already seen and recognise them.
The person who has not, will fall hopelessly into the seduction of the images and the music and the text will be for him a mental jumble.
I preferred to listen to the mp3 first, rather than watch the films.
So you would say the text and the spoken words are not helpful for beginners? I would hope that beginners would get quite a lot from the movie, because it is a vaguely hypnotic set of high-impact teachings and pop-culture references.
This reminds me of my first "great discovery". A song called " A story of time" by Kazam -lo fi beat- which contained excerpts of a lecture by Alan Watts.
This topic brings up questions and concerns for me which have been building for some time but I struggle to form into coherent questions. I feel compelled to get it out so I will try to voice my opinion carefully. Maybe some here have witnessed similar or can help me see more clearly?
What happens when a culture develops Samatha without Vipassana? What happens when individuals discovering present moment awareness and concentration do not understand deeply what it is they experience and fail to turn that awareness on their human condition, et al? I see individuals becoming frightened something is wrong with them as a result of discovering Samatha without understanding. I think sometimes the budding Samatha-mind may be referred to as Bipolar and pharma-teachers may prescribe drugs at this stage.
I see individuals lacking the "why" behind the tools which leaves room for any charming external element to walk in and provide a why. Nihilism comes to mind as a missing or unbalanced "why" when present moment awareness/concentration out-weighs or is not balanced with understanding and insight.
Digital and A.I. is likely to continue to grow exponentially. More optimized/faster/accurate ways of embodying information will reveal to the public over time. We may see more Drive-Thru Samatha clinics.
I see a popular game like Elden Ring teaching Samatha. There is no way to beat that game without full investment of energy into present-minded calm concentrated awareness. I see a culture of young people learning this skill but with narrow-scope Vipassana. Focused on the "why" behind beating Elden Ring vs the "why" behind the human condition.
So many people are asking "why" right now. I am in the USA so my work experience may be different but when I was in retail, the boss always complained about "Millennials always needing a reason...always needing a why. "Back in my day, we just worked hard and made a living. We didn't ask why!" What if I let my business or boss determine my why? More a rhetorical question. Business is already working on sculpting work culture so they can claim to be your "why". An altruistic attempt if it wasn't so money and power based.
A teacher may struggle to pass on a message even beyond current difficulties if they do not adapt to the climate. Maybe they already have? Someone has. Maybe the company that made Elden Ring. I hope it isn't my boss. That guy just wants more power over me.
We are in a sense never quite sure what we are asking. Just as an answer may seem tangental. Dharma is a template or alignment that covers or rather uncovers what we need to understand.
… so for instance an answer on developing patience may be delayed, the longer the better.
related specifically to insight and equanimity is a whole range of potential helpful endeavours:
As I understand it, Samatha is supposed to lead automatically to greater awareness and vipassana. All elements of the teaching build on each other and lead to the next.
The danger is that a game like Elden Ring provides so much in the way of lore and immersion in the virtual environment that you end up accepting that as your world. Its not a clear commitment to finding truth in this, real world.
Yet more little environment bubbles which are mostly isolated from the real, where you are persuaded to lend your time and energy to other people’s endeavours.
I'm sure it's not uncommon but sometimes I spend hours on my responses just to realize you've already pointed out something I already know intuitively but just forgot until you said something. Then I delete everything I wrote. I just wanted to know what you did!
That's how I understand it as well. I suppose as we grow into a more digital world, we all see together what that means.
Oooh! Environment bubbles is a fascinating concept I hadn't given much thought in a while. Reminds me of the horror movie The Endless.
I also find Alan Watts inspired electronica quite beautiful, @Kotishka.
That’s got to be worth a chuckle @FleaMarket
I find if I intentionally try and write wise things, i get caught revising again and again. It’s difficult to be wise, especially when surrounded by witty characters such as @lobster and deep characters such as @how
Which is why these days I just try to shoot for expressing my truth. It’s a lot more natural than trying to arrive at a summary of all these wisdoms which I have attempted to absorb, but haven’t wholly made my own.
It just all comes out as word vomit if I don't revise and reflect:
I think I do express my truth through expression of summary of my understanding of wisdoms I'm attempting to make my own. The hope is I make an attempt to understand publicly and fallacy is pointed out by those that see a different view so I may examine and adjust.
I suppose I see this place as a learning ground and you all as my teachers. I want to confirm with you all what I am understanding so I want to be accurate in my description. Refining also helps me solidify the building blocks of further knowledge while discarding that which is not useful. What is my truth but that which is true? Why express individual personality when it is already understood to be a construct or shade of lens or flavor of personality? Do I voice my words as macho, weak, unknowing, knowing, or simply as myself? What is myself? I think myself is currently identified with refining my understanding. I am not yet wise enough to play many particular hats like some, yet my person's expressions change with the wind. In search of unchanging, I stumble upon hints of truth. Expressing my truth without refinement feels like reflecting one facet of a multifaceted gem or showing off a gem caked in mud. Not that my words refined are in any way of value, simply more convoluted even to myself before revisiting and re-examining. My first draft often hurts feelings, intended or not.
After revising the above, I almost deleted it all to post the below:
Every one of these people is me if I don't reflect before posting my truth.
Though now that I stop trying to revise, I realize even the revision is meaningless. I'm over here trying to build beautiful fruit from the nutrients provided when the fruit's use after growth is not up to me. Refined or not, words have impact. Some words are for us to speak, others are not for us to speak but for others to speak. I just try to be as skilzful as possible while I do it in whatever way that takes form.
^ See, gross semi-refined word vom.
@FleaMarket we can talk about expansion and contraction. We absorb and discard. So for example we may hear a variety of potentially useful/skilful ideas but focus on the ones that resonate, for whatever reason. So there is a limited personal expression and an absolute. However refined, if the expression can be contradicted as not self evident, then it is in Buddhist terminology - ego.
Truth is empty when expressed but has a form when not. In other words, what we say is our sense but what we convey is open to betterment.