December 20, 2023 at 2:48 pm #47259Sammasambodhi GamiParticipant
Generally, I don’t watch movies, neither do I recommend any movie. But due to these recent mind boggling series of posts on “distorted sanna“, it led me to watch one based on this similar concept.
The movie is “The Matrix” released in 1999 (actually its a series of 4 movies but only the first one is the most relevant and has very profound message).
Some of the forum members may already be familiar with it. But I sincerely recommend watching this movie as you will get a whole lot of insights and a deeper connections with Dhamma learned from this site.
- Watch with subtitles.
- Watch using earphones/headphones.
- Don’t see the trailer of the movie as it will reveal the theme. Just directly watch the movie.
When I first saw it, I was overwhelmed by the deeper meanings in this movie and the correlation with Buddha Dhamma.
Its hard to believe but we all are living in our own mental worlds created by our minds! That’s why in the Phenapindupama Sutta (SN 22.95), Lord Buddha compares rupa with a lump of foam… vedana with a bubble… sanna with a mirage… sankhara with banana trunk… vinnana with illusion.
I express my gratitude to Ven. Ariyaratane Sir for bringing out this series of posts on distorted sanna.
December 20, 2023 at 8:10 pm #47265LalKeymaster
1. If I remember correctly, the movie describes a world where humans live in a “virtual reality” created by AI (Artificial Intelligence.)
- There is also a philosophical hypothesis that humans live in a “simulation.” Many people, including Elon Musk and Scott Adams, believe that we live in a simulation. See, for example, “Confirmed! We Live in a Simulation.”
- Then, the question comes up: “Who created that simulation?” If it is a computer-generated simulation,” someone must have written the program!
2. The correct explanation is that we live in a “world” created by our minds. It is not a simulation. That is how the world works, and that is how it has been from an “untraceable beginning.” There cannot be a “beginning” to a process based on the principle of causality.
- However, there can be an end to that process (not for the whole world, but for each person). When the root causes are eliminated, the existence (and perpetual suffering) ends.
- When the Buddha talked about “ending the world,” he meant the ending of the existence of a given person in this world. Why would one want to “end the existence in the world”? Because in the long run, there is MUCH more suffering than short bouts of “happiness” or “pleasure.”
3. It is true that the Buddha called vinnana a “magician” and sanna a “mirage” in the sutta that Sacket referenced (and I have discussed: “Sotapanna Stage and Distorted/Defiled Saññā.”).
- However, no one created that scheme. That is how the world has operated from a time going back to infinity.
- We create the illusion in our minds. We cultivate specific “gati” with our actions rooted in rage, dosa, moha. Then Paticca Samuppada (Principle of Causality) guarantees that we will born into a world matching those gati, and corresponding illusions about reality.
- Once one understands the complete picture, there will be no doubts. Reality is not created by anyone (a Creator), nor is it a “simulation.” Both those hypotheses are incompatible with the Principle of Causality. Modern science is based on the Principle of Causality, but it cannot find the complete solution until mental phenomena are taken into account. Scientists are only focused on material phenomena, a byproduct of mental phenomena!
December 21, 2023 at 12:45 am #47268Sammasambodhi GamiParticipant
I recommended this movie not because to focus on AI or simulation. Please understand my intentions. The message is what is important not the words.
The Matrix (or a mental reality/ mental projection of the outside world) should be wisely reflected and compared to the Dhamma that we have learned. Just as Lord Buddha gave a simile of “lump of foam” for “rupa”… a simile of “bubble” for “vedana”… “mirage” for “sanna”… “banana trunk” for “sankhara”… “illusion” for “vinnana”. These should be compared and contemplated like this.
So “The Matrix” is like a mind-made world in which we all are living (each one of us has their own version of reality). We think that the “outside world” we see, hear, smell, taste and touch is “real” and has inherent pleasures and displeasures (just like in a dream).
The Artificial Intelligence (AI) shown in this movie can be compared to our own defilements which we have created in the past and present lives (anusaya/asava/gati/kiles, etc).
The Matrix can be compared to our pancupadanakkhanda (all five of them are mental and fabricates our own versions of reality). But the kammic energy we create is REAL and that’s what come back to us as vipaka. In the long run, most sentient beings mostly create negative kammic energies as compared to positive ones which lead them to the apayas most of the time and that suffering is REAL (although it is also prepared by our mind… “kamma-vipaka”).
The Agents shown in this movie can be compared to Mara (both internal and external) which wants us to keep enjoying these mind made kama pleasures and don’t want us to awaken or escape from The Matrix.
Morpheous and his crew can be compared to Kalyana Mittas who are guiding us to see the TRUTH and escape from this Matrix. But we ourselves have to make the choice of taking the blue pill or the red pill (those who have seen the movie can relate!).
The critical point is that when we see an image, hear a sound, smell a fragrance, taste a food or touch any tangible objects, we think or perceive that we are sensing the “outside world” but in reality our mind is just experiencing the “mind-made rupas” which is actually a mental projection (mental version) of the outside world. This is the Matrix!
And based on this virtual reality we attach ourselves to these “mind-made rupas” and generate kammic energies. These all are internal processes (just like we see a dream, our own self image as well as the images of others and all the experiences in our dream are created by our own mind!). And to awake from this dream is what is Dharmavabodhaya (realisation of Dhamma).
I hope this is making sense. Its difficult to express our thoughts in words or writings.
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December 21, 2023 at 8:37 am #47274LalKeymaster
Yes. I did understand your intention, Saket. Thank you for pointing out the movie.
- I just wanted to make some relevant Dhamma points.
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