The Bottom Line

Written by Jed McKenna

The Bottom Line

By Jed McKenna

Whadda ya know?

Seriously. With absolute certainty, what do you know? Put aside all opinions, beliefs and theories for a moment and address this one straight question: What do you know for sure? Or, as Thoreau put it:

"Let us settle ourselves, and work and wedge our feet downward throughrepparttar mud and slush of opinion, and prejudice, and tradition, and delusion, and appearance, that alluvion which coversrepparttar 122162 globe... through church and state, through poetry and philosophy and religion, till we come to a hard bottom and rocks in place, which we can call reality, and say, This is, and no mistake; and then begin..."

In other words, let's cutrepparttar 122163 crap and figure out what's real. The cogito does exactly that, and it's very simple. The question is: What do you know?

The answer is: I Am.

All other so-called facts are really non-facts and belong inrepparttar 122164 category of consensual reality and relative truth, i.e., unreal reality and untrue truth.

::: Cogito Ergo Sum

Cogito ergo sum isrepparttar 122165 equation that provesrepparttar 122166 fact. But first, before we go on, let's ask what else we know. What else can be said for certain?

Nothing. We don't know anything else. And that'srepparttar 122167 real point ofrepparttar 122168 cogito. The importance of I Am isn't that it's a fact, but that it'srepparttar 122169 only fact.

I Am isrepparttar 122170 only thing anyone has ever known or will ever know. Everything else, all religion and philosophy, is nothing more than dream interpretation. There is no other fact than I Am. The cogito isrepparttar 122171 seed ofrepparttar 122172 thought that destroysrepparttar 122173 universe. Beyondrepparttar 122174 cogito, nothing is known. Beyondrepparttar 122175 cogito, nothing can be known. Except I Am, no one knows anything. No man or god can claim to know more. No God or array of gods can exist or be imagined that know more than this one thing: I Am.

We can't avoid letting this topic drift briefly intorepparttar 122176 Christian realm. When Moses asked God His name, God answered, "I am that I am." The name God gives for Himself is I Am.

Note that I Am is unconjugatable. It allows of no variation. God doesn't say, "My name is I Am, but you can call me You Are, or He Is." The cogito,repparttar 122177 I Am equation, does not extend beyond one's own subjective knowing. I can say I Am and know it as truth, but I can't say you are, he is, she is, we are, they are, it is, etc. I know I exist and nothing else. Understood thusly, I Am, aka God, truly isrepparttar 122178 Alpha andrepparttar 122179 Omega;repparttar 122180 entirety of being, of knowledge, of you.

Enlightening Cinema

Written by Jed McKenna

Enlightening Cinema

By Jed McKenna

"Let me tell you why you're here. You're here because you know something. What you know, you can't explain. But you feel it. You felt it your entire life. That there's something wrong withrepparttar world. You don't know what it is, but it's there. Like a splinter in your mind driving you mad." -Morpheus, The Matrix

This isn't a movie review list and it's not comprehensive. It's just some notes about a few movies I think are useful forrepparttar 122161 purposes of awakening and why, or that aren't and why not. With tools of understanding, bad is often better than good.

Major themes represented on this list seem to be these:

- Heresy - Captive/Captor - Teacher/Student - Nature of self/man. - Death/rebirth. Cataclysm/epiphany. - Untrustworthiness of mind/memories.

The only thing I might advise with regard to movies and books is to raiserepparttar 122162 material up torepparttar 122163 level where it becomes of value to you. Orwell might have been writing an anti-communist manifesto, but Nineteen Eighty-Four is much more interesting viewed asrepparttar 122164 struggle between man and his confinement. Apocalypse Now is about something more than Viet Nam, How to Get Ahead In Advertising is about something more than rampant commercialism, etc.

::: American Beauty

"I feel like I've been in a coma forrepparttar 122165 past twenty years. And I'm just now waking up."

I've included American Beauty mainly for what's wrong with it. Lester's major death/rebirth transition shows promise, but what does he transition to? Backward to teenage crap, not forward in any sense. A fear-based regression. Stupid car, stupid drugs, stupid vanity, stupid skirt chasing. Not at all redeemed when Lester sees his own folly nearrepparttar 122166 end or by sappy/smarmy dead guy voice-over.

The movie is slightly redeemed byrepparttar 122167 presence ofrepparttar 122168 quasi-mystical neighbor kid and his video footage of a windblown bag:

"That'srepparttar 122169 day I realized that there was this entire life behind things, and this incredibly benevolent force that wanted me to know there was no reason to be afraid, ever."

::: Apocalypse Now

"In a war there are many moments for compassion and tender action. There are many moments for ruthless action what is often called ruthless what may in many circumstances be only clarity, seeing clearly what there is to be done and doing it, directly, quickly, awake, looking at it."

You'd think that Apocalypse Now Redux,repparttar 122170 director's cut, would berepparttar 122171 version to watch, but allrepparttar 122172 stuff that was rightly cut fromrepparttar 122173 original has been wrongly replaced. (Raisingrepparttar 122174 interesting point that directors and authors often don't understandrepparttar 122175 higher applications ofrepparttar 122176 stories they're telling.) Stick withrepparttar 122177 original over both Redux and Conrad's Heart of Darkness.

Apocalypse Now is all aboutrepparttar 122178 Horror. A journey of discovery, intorepparttar 122179 heart of darkness, arriving at this horror. What'srepparttar 122180 horror? How do you get there? Why would anyone make such a journey? Should you make such a journey? Why or why not?

Noterepparttar 122181 powerful epiphanies that driverepparttar 122182 film. The first assassin's letter home, ("Sellrepparttar 122183 house, sellrepparttar 122184 car, sellrepparttar 122185 kids..."), Dennis Hopper's youthful exuberance, Kurtz's diamond bullet, Willard's "...I wasn't even in their army any more."

::: Being There

"Spring, summer, autumn, winter... then spring again."

A lovely film ruined by a foolish walking-on-water stunt tacked on torepparttar 122186 end. Without that nonsenserepparttar 122187 viewer would be free to think, to decide, to wonder. Instead,repparttar 122188 movie zips itself up tight with its clever little dumb-it-down twist. Hitrepparttar 122189 stop button when Chauncey is straighteningrepparttar 122190 sapling, beforerepparttar 122191 ruinous denouement, and it's a fun, lovely film.

::: Blade Runner

"I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire offrepparttar 122192 shoulder of Orion. I've watched c-beams glitter inrepparttar 122193 dark nearrepparttar 122194 Tannhauser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time like tears in rain. Time to die."

Were you born five minutes ago? Of course not, and you haverepparttar 122195 memories to prove it. You'd know if they were artificial implants, because, uh...

::: Cast Away

"I couldn't even kill myselfrepparttar 122196 way I wanted to. I had power over nothing."

If a man screams on a deserted island and there's no one to hear him, does he make a sound? Is it enough that he hears it himself? What if not? What's left when you take away everything?

Self stripped bare.

This movie raises many intriguing questions aboutrepparttar 122197 substance of self, or lack thereof, and includes a very Zen eulogy.

::: Dead Poets Society


::: Harold and Maude

"Vice, virtue. It's best not to be too moral... Aim above morality."

American Zen, master and disciple.

::: Harvey

"For years I was smart... I recommend pleasant."

Elwood P. Dowd, wisefool. A sweet depiction of a higher order of being misinterpreted as a lower order of being. Would we knowrepparttar 122198 Superior Man when we saw him?

Cont'd on page 2 ==> © 2005
Terms of Use