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Thursday, April 27, 2006

Two Things: The Dalai Lama and I Heart Huckabees

This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness.

-His Holiness the Dalai Lama

James: And these following quotes come from the movie I Heart Huckabees. It's a great movie but there is a little rough language in it. Anyway:

Viviane: I need facts, Bernard, to piece together a theory.

Bernard: No time for infinity? Gotta piece together a theory?

James: Later on:

Bernard: Albert, the universe is an infinite sphere whose center is everywhere and whose circumference is nowhere.

James: Still later on:

Bernard: Say this blanket represents all the matter and energy in the universe, okay? You, me, everything. Nothing has been left out, all right? All the particles, everything.

Albert: What's outside this blanket?

Bernard: More blankets. That's the point.

Albert: Blanket's everything.

Bernard: Exactly. This is everything.

Bernard: (pushes hand up in different places under the blanket) Let's just say that this is me, all right? And I'm, what, 60-odd years old and I'm wearing a gray suit. Blah, blah, blah. And let's say over here, this is you. And, you're... I don't know, you're 21. You got dark hair, etc. And over here, this is Vivian, my wife and colleague. Then over here, this is the Eiffel tower, right? It's Paris. And this is a war. And this is, uh, a museum. And this is a disease. And this is an orgasm. And this is a hamburger.

Albert: Everything is the same even if it's different.

Bernard: Exactly. But our everyday mind forgets this. We think everything is separate. Limited. I'm over here. You're over there. Which is true. But it's not the whole truth because we're all connected. Because we... are connected.

Albert: Sure. Sure. Sure. Sure.

Bernard: Okay?

Albert: Yeah.

Bernard: All right, now, we need to to see the blanket truth all the time. Right in the everyday stuff. And that's what this is for.

Albert: Why?

Bernard: Why what?

Albert: Why do I need to learn how to see the blanket thing all the time in the everyday stuff?

Bernard: You wouldn't want to miss out on the big picture, would you?

Albert: Uh-uh.

Bernard: That's partly why you're here, right? And this is it. I'm talking about it right now. It will take a while for you to get it, you know? But... it will help you.

Albert: How?

Bernard: When you get the blanket thing you can relax...because everything you could ever want or be, you already have and are. That sound pretty good?

Albert: That sounds very good.

James: Later on:

Bernard: Tommy, Tommy everything is connected and everything matters. There's not an atom in our bodies that has not been forged in the furnace of the sun. Now, isn't that cool? Huh?

Tommy: Yes.

James: Again later:

Bernard: Okay, Albert. I can let youin on a couple of secrets. One, your mind is always occupied on something. Two, there is no such thing as you and me.

Albert: So then there's just nothing?

Bernard: Three, there's no such thing as nothing. There is no remainder in the mathematics of infinity. There's only the blanket.

James: Good stuff. Check the movie out if you havne't already. Like I said there is some rough language but not much and if you like funny, existential stuff then you'll love it. :)

-Peace to all beings-

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quicksilver said...

So is that the whole movie? I actually haven't seen this movie. It struck me as one of those random, artsy, and pretentious movies so I never bothered.

I actually haven't heard much in the way of others seeing it, either.

I liked that "big picture" quote; it's not always true, some people don't want to be bothered with the "big picture." It's certainly worth thinking more about though. Like why IS the big picture so important?

"James" said...


Yeah the big picture is where its at. So many people just walk about in a trance. It's sad.

Trev Diesel said...

My God, that's a great movie.

dragonflyfilly said...

Dear Other,
your post made me chuckle, and the Blanket reference made me think about a really weird thing that happened to me when i was meditating [i will try to write about it one day] ...anyway, i thought of you when i was at the Eagle Cam thingie, and a reference to the eggs hatching...have you read Crack in the Cosmic Egg ?? - anyway...that thought process led to another...and i ramble on in my have something else to blog about! -- and later, my "heart opening" experience in ' much to blog about, so little time...but is it all just my ego???

luv and light to you "other",(that's what i will call you today, not sure why...)


p.s. inspired to see the movie now

Darius said...

I love the Dalai Lama. I've only caught snippets of quotations and parts of interviews, but every time I find myself going: Exactly.

Everything is connected and One on one level, but clearly at another, things are separate and disconnected. We end up having things like conversations, wars, having to "connect the dots," (well, supposedly) etc.

From what I've read of Buddhism, a big attraction is it doesn't emphasize the theological, metaphysical - the at best speculative. It's not this big involved belief system, at least not from what I've read.

Maybe ages and ages hence (I forget what poem that's from), Christianity will take that direction. It's sure what I'd like to see happen.

"James" said...


"Other," I like that. :)

Haven't read that book...what's it about?



Yes, in Buddhism we say, "Form is emptyness and emptyness is form." In other words as you say, everything is apart of the One yet different.

I like to compare it the body. The heart is seperate from the brain but without the heart there would be no brain or body.

I also like to say that we are the Infinite Divine experiencing itself in infinite variations.

You're right that Buddhism doesn't have a big, complicated belief system. There isn't much dogma involved and it emphasizes personal experience and practice through simple meditation.

There is also no proselytizing involved in Buddhism. It is up to the individual to come to the religion. No one is going to push you to do anything.

I think Christianity is slowly moving toward the open and relaxed style of religion that Buddhism represents. I think of churches such as the "United Church of Christ" who doesn't discriminate against "different people." As they say, "God doesn't reject people and neither do we."

Visual-Voice said...

Did you happen to watch the special features on the dvd? The infomercial/interview conducted by Tomlin and Hoffman with Robert Thurman is beyond wonderful.

"James" said...

Vis Voice:

I haven't seen that yet and I even own the DVD!! I'mma check it out this weekend. Thanks for the suggestion. :)

Zen Unbound said...

Manual Trackback. This post is cited in Blogmandu, Roundup for Apr 23 - 29, 2006.

James of The Buddhist Blog takes the Dalai Lama’s philosophy of kindness and finds it under the blanket in the script of I Heart Huckabees....

dragonflyfilly said...

the book is about, in Joe's own words "challenging constructs of mind and reality" . it's an old one, published in 1971, i read it in 1977...the opening paragraph reads:
"There is a relationship between what we think is out there in the world and what we experience as being out there. There is a way in which the energy of thought and the energy of matter modify each other and interrelate. A kind of rough mirroring takes place between our mind and our reality.

We cannot stand outside this mirroring process and examine it, though, for we are the process, to an unknowable extent. Any technique we might use to 'look objectively' at our reality becomes a part of the event in question." hmmmm...makes you think eh, specially when it comes to meditation and practicing non-attachment...curiouser and curiouser, i think Alice said, when she stepped through the Looking Glass...(funny Alice in Wonderland is one book i have not read yet, now me thinks perhaps it is time!

"...William Blaked claimed...'that perception was the universal, the perceived object was the particular. What is discovered by man is never the "universal" or cosmic "truth". Rather, the process by which the mind brings about a "discovery" is itself the "universal".

"Nameste", she whispered, bobbing her head up and down,

p.s. i don't really understand what you are saying Zen Unbound, about the blanket????

"James" said...


Sounds like good stuff. It's the idea of impermance as well. Every moment is constantly changing so nothing is really "there." Yet everything is "there" at the same time.

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