Inception - Buddhist Interpretation of the Film

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  • 8/13/2019 Inception - Buddhist Interpretation of the Film


    Inception - Buddhist interpretation of the film

    The inceptionof an idea:

    "An idea is like a virus. Resilient. Highly contagious. And even the smallest seed of an idea can grow. It can

    grow to define or destroy you.""Now in a dream our mind continuously does this. !e create and perceive our world simultaneously and ourmind does this so well that we dont even know its happening. That allows us to get right in the middle of thatprocess."

    #If youre going to perform inception you need imagination. $ou need the simplest version of the idea %the one that will grow naturally in the su&'ects mind. (u&tle art.)

    *ompare the +uddhas description:

    "I say that even the inception of a thought ,cittuppado- concerned with wholesome things is of greatimportance not to speak of &odily acts and words following it. Therefore the thought should &eproduced...)


    #!hatever a monk fre1uently thinks and ponders upon that will &ecome the inclination of hismind.)http:www.accesstoinsight.orgtipitakamnmn./23.than.html

    Ariadnes dou&le mirrors 4 showing infinite regress going in &oth directions ,layers upon layers ofconsciousness and of deception avijja-:

    "$ou never really remem&er the &eginning of a dream do you5 $ou always wind up right in the middle ofwhats going on."

    Remem&ering how one came into a dream 6 sati,recollection- which &rings us &ack to reality.

    7ro'ections 4 compare 8adhupindika (utta ,categories of proliferated perception attack the person whostarted the process-:

    Dependent on eye & forms, eye-consciousness arises [similarly with the rest of the six senses].

    The meeting of the three is contact. With contact as a requisite condition, there is feeling.

    tarting with feeling, the notion of an !agent! " in this case, the feeler " acting on !o#$ects,! is


    What one feels, one perceies 'la#els in the mind(. What one perceies, one thin)s a#out. What

    one thin)s a#out, one !papa*ci+es.!

    Through the process of papa*ca, the agent then #ecomes a ictim of hisher own patterns of


    ased on what a person papa*ci+es, the perceptions & categories of papa*ca assail himher

    with regard to past, present, & future forms cogni+a#le ia the eye [as with the remaining

    senses].What are these perceptions & categories that assail the person who papa*ci+es Sn 4.14states

    that the root of the categories of papa*ca is the perception, !/ am the thin)er.! 0rom this self-

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    reflexie thought " in which one conceies a !self,! a thing corresponding to the concept of !/!

    " a num#er of categories can #e deried% #eingnot-#eing, menot-me, minenot-mine,

    doerdone-to, signifiersignified. 1nce one2s self #ecomes a thing under the ru#ric of these

    categories, it2s impossi#le not to #e assailed #y the perceptions & categories deried from these

    #asic distinctions. When there2s the sense of identification with something that experiences,

    then #ased on the feelings arising from sensory contact, some feelings will seem appealing "

    worth getting for the self " and others will seem unappealing " worth pushing away. 0rom thisthere grows desire, which comes into conflict with the desires of others who are also engaging

    in papa*ca. This is how inner o#$ectifications #reed external contention.


    *o&&s effort to escape from *o&ol agents and to get himself ac1uitted from the crime which he isaccused of % compare Nanaviras analysis of 9afkas Trial which is almost identical:http:www.scri&d.comdoc/;/A%+uddhist%Interpretation%of%9afka%s%?@istential%!ritings

    im&o 4 the sphere of non%percipient &eings ,asai- or prolonged bhavangastate.

    Cobb: !e drop into im&o.

    Arthur: [angry]Are you serious5B

    Ariadne: im&o5

    Arthur: Cnconstructed dream space.

    Ariadne: !ell what the hell is down there5

    Arthur: Dust raw infinite su&conscious. Nothingis down there. ?@cept for whatever that might have

    &een left &ehind &y whoevers sharing the dream who was trapped down there &efore. !hich in ourcase is 'ust you.

    Ariadne: +ut how long could we &e stuck there5

    Yusef: Not even think a&out waking up until 4

    Eames: How long5B

    Yusef: EecadesB It could &e infiniteB I dont knowB Ask him hes the one whos &een thereB

    #+ut I donFt want to go among mad people" Alice remarked.

    "Gh you canFt help that" said the *at: "weFre all mad here. IFm mad. $ouFre mad.""How do you know IFm mad5" said Alice."$ou must &e" said the *at or you wouldnFt have come here.)

    #How puling all these changes areB Im never sure what Im going to &e from one minute toanother.)

    #I wonder if Ive &een changed in the night. et me think. !as I the same when I got up thismorning5 I almost think I can remem&er feeling a little different. +ut if Im not the same thene@t 1uestion is !ho in the world am I5 Ah thats the great puleB)

    #Im afraid I cant e@plain myself sir. +ecause I am not myself you see5)

    #I cant go &ack to yesterday &ecause I was a different person then. )

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    #It was much pleasanter at home" thought poor Alice "when one wasnt always growinglarger and smaller and &eing ordered a&out &y mice and ra&&its. I almost wish I hadnt gonedown the ra&&it%hole%%and yet%%and yet%%...)

    ewis *arroll Alice in !onderland

    *f. Jaddula (utta simile of the painter and the "motion picture" which is fashioned &y the citta even morevariegateddiversified:

    We read in the 'Atthasalini' (a commentary to the Dhammasangani, which is the first book ofthe Abhidhamma !ook ", #art "", Analysis of $erms, %4&

    ow is consciosness (i.e.mind ca)able of )rodcing a *ariety or di*ersity of effects in


    $here is no art in the world more *ariegated than the art of )ainting. "n )ainting, the )ainter'smaster)iece is more artistic than the rest of his )ictres. An artistic design occrs to the

    )ainters of master)ieces that sch and sch )ictres shold be drawn in sch and sch a way.$hrogh this artistic design there arise o)erations of the mind (or artistic o)erations

    accom)lishing sch things as sketching the otline, )tting on the )aint, toching ), andembellishing... $hs all classes of arts in the world, s)ecific or generic, are achie*ed by the

    mind. And owing to its ca)acity ths to )rodce a *ariety or di*ersity of effects in action, the

    mind, which achie*es all these arts, is itself artistic like the arts themsel*es. ay, it is e*en

    more artistic than the art itself, becase the latter cannot e-ecte e*ery design )erfectly. or

    that reason the !lessed /ne has said, '0onks, ha*e yo seen a master)iece of )ainting+' 'es,

    ord.' '0onks, that master)iece of art is designed by the mind. "ndeed, monks, the mind ise*en more artistic than that master)iece.'

    SN 22.100 Gaddula Sutta

    "Unimaginable, bhikkhus, is a beginning to the round of births [and deaths]. For beings obstructed byignorance and fettered by craving, migrating and going the round of births, a starting point is not evident.

    "Just as a dog, bhikkhus, tied with a leash to a strong stake or post if he moves, he moves towards thatstake or post if he stands still, he stands close to that stake or post if he sits down, he sits close to that

    stake or post if he lies down, he lies close to that stake or post.

    "!imilarly, bhikkhus, the uninstructed ordinary person looks upon the body as, #his is mine, $ am this, #hisis myself,... %e looks upon feeling... perception... mental activities... consciousness as, #his is mine, $ amthis, #his is myself. $f he moves, he moves towards these five aggregates of grasping if he stands still, hestands close to these five aggregates of grasping if he sits down, he sits close to these five aggregates ofgrasping if he lies down, he lies close to these five aggregates of grasping.

    "%ence, bhikkhus, $ say one should constantly reflect upon ones own mind thus& For a long time this mindhas been corrupted by greed, aversion and delusion. #hrough a corrupt mind, bhikkhus, beings arecorrupted from purity of mind beings become pure. %ave you seen, bhikkhus, an elaborate painting'"

    "(es, !ir."

    ")ow that elaborate painting, bhikkhus, was devised by mind. #herefore mind is even more intricate thanthat elaborate painting. %ence, bhikkhus, $ say one should constantly reflect upon ones own mind thus& For


  • 8/13/2019 Inception - Buddhist Interpretation of the Film


    a long time this mind has been corrupted by greed, aversion and delusion. #hrough a corrupt mind,bhikkhus, beings are corrupted from purity of mind beings become pure.

    "$ perceive no other single group, bhikkhus, so diverse as the creatures of the animal world. #hese creaturesof the animal world are diversified by mind.[*+] #herefore mind is even more diverse than the creatures ofthe animal world.

    "%ence, bhikkhus, $ say a bhikkhu should constantly reflect upon his own mind thus& For a long time this

    mind has been corrupted by greed, aversion and delusion. #hrough a corrupt mind, bhikkhus, beings arecorrupted from purity of mind beings become pure.

    "Just as a dyer or a painter, with dye or lac or turmeric or indigo or madder, and a wellsmoothed woodenpanel or wall or piece of cloth, can reproduce the form -ruupa of a woman or a man complete in everydetail / similarly, bhikkhus, the uninstructed ordinary person brings body into e0istence too... bringsfeeling... perception... mental activities... brings consciousness into e0istence too."[*1]


    [*+] #hey are diversified by the results of kamma, volitional acts of mind.[*1] #he five aggregates are produced -and reproduced by kamma.


    *omment &y Men. 9. anananda:

    $n a number of sermons we had to bring up the simile of themotion picture. #he simile is not our own, but only a moderni2ation of a canonical simile used by the 3uddha himself. #hepoint of divergence was the 4uestion the 3uddha had addressedto the monks in the 5addula !utta.

    Di ha vo, bhikkhave, cara a nma citta ? "6onks,have you seen a picture called a movie'" #he monks answer in

    the affirmative, and so the 3uddha proceeds&

    Tampi kho, bhikkhave, cara a nma citta citteneva cin- tita . Tena pi kho, bhikkhave, cara ena cittena cittaeva cittatara . "6onks, that picture called a movie is somethingthought out by the mind. 3ut the thought itself, monks, is evenmore pictures4ue than that picture."

    #o say that it is more pictures4ue is to suggest its variegatedcharacter. #hought is intrinsically variegated. 7e have no ideawhat sort of a motion picture was there at that time, but themodern day movie has a way of concealing impermanence bythe rapidity of pro8ections of the series of pictures on the screen.#he rapidity itself gives an impression of permanence, which is

    a perversion, vipallsa.http&99www.beyondthenet.net9calm9nibbana:;.htm

    Moving Between Thought Worlds - Ven. Thanissaro

    !eve all had the e@perience when were asleep of finding ourselves in a dream and for a while&elieving that whats happening in the dream is real. Then something alerts us that something is wrongwith the dream and finally to the fact that were dreaming. Csually thats enough for us to wake up to pullout of the dream.

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    That process is very similar to the way we create mental worlds and emotional states during our wakinglife &ecause our picture of the world around us is always partial. Its always stitched together out of &itsand pieces of what weve encountered through the senses. !e have a notion of what makes sense andas long as it makes sense and seems to &e real we can stay stuck in that state of mind. Then somethingstrikes us as incongruous as not fitting in. !e realie "Gh that was an imaginary world." Thats when wepull out. +ut then we find ourselves in another world which may &e &etter and may not.The a&ility to recognie whats incongruous whats wrong with a world: Thats an important skill. !ithoutit we get stuck in states of mind what the +uddha called &hava or &ecoming where we can suffervery intensely. !e focus on certain things in the world around us certain ideas a&out who we are in thatworld and everything else gets filtered through that particular picture. Gther peoples actions fore@ample get filtered in this way so that someone acting with perfectly good intentions may seem to &eevil sneaky unrelia&le. Gr vice versa. They actually may &e evil sneaky and unrelia&le yet we seethem as &eing perfectly reasona&le perfectly trustworthy. +ut &ecause the mental world we inha&it hasits own inner coherence we think its accurate and real. ...8indfulness is what creates the &ridges &etween these different states. $ou remem&er that you were inone state and now youre in another. And the possi&ility of slipping &ack into another distracted state isalways there so youve got to keep on top of things to &e alert for any signs of the mind preparing to slipaway. It has its tricks. It has its slight moment of &lanking out after which you wake up in another world.+ut if you can use mindfulness as a &ridge across that &lanking out its a lot easier to direct the mind

    from one state of &ecoming into another when you want to. And its a lot easier to stay in a state of&ecoming when you want to stay.In this way you dont need an outside power. All you need is your own a&ility to recognie "Theressomething wrong here and I can get out." This "something wrong" is the fact something is creating a&urden on the mind that doesnt have to &e there. To get out you dont need an outside power. $ou 'ustneed to remem&er that you have the a&ility to create a different sense of who you are and to create adifferent world to inha&it one thats healthier.

    The ultimate goal of the practice of course is to &e a&le to get out of all these worlds entirely. Thatswhat it really means to wake up. +ut in the meantime you can have your little awakening when you wakeup in the middle of one of your created worlds and say "Gh this is suffering. It doesnt have to &e here."And you look in the right place instead of placing the &lame on other people in the past or in the present.

    The suffering doesnt come from them. The suffering comes from the way the mind thinks a&out things. Itcreates impossi&le situations and then &urdens itself with them. It doesnt have to do that. 8indfulnessconcentration and discernment form the way out.http:www.accesstoinsight.orgli&authors...