Thursday, June 2, 2011

The Mind and the Movie Theater analogy.

I'm taking a bit of time off, its too damn hot in Bombay to work, anyways.

I grew up with immigrants for parents whose work ethic made drone worker bees look like Jeff Spicoli. Its difficult for me to engage in relaxing sometimes because I tend to feel like I need to be constantly doing/creating/building something. That's been a great thing when it comes to my career, but not a great thing for the deeper pursuit of spiritual expansion.

Here's a related analogy I love. Its called the movie theatre analogy:

Let's say you're sitting inside a move theatre, totally engrossed, watching Tom Cruise jump off the 200 hundred storey Burj Khalifa. What you're not realizing is that for half the time you're in the theatre you're sitting in complete darkness.

A strip of Film moves through a projector at 24 frames per second. As each frame snaps into place, the shutter opens and a bright light shines through the celluloid and an image is projected onto the silver screen.

What happens next is the shutter closes, blocking all light from touching the film. a small metal claw then reaches out into the sprocket hole, grabs the film and pulls the next frame down into the shutter gate. The shutter opens and the next frame is illuminated.

The image on the next frame to appear is only slightly different that the image before. Perhaps a slight movement of the hand or leg of the actor, or a car, or an explosion. Twenty four of these frame move through the gate in one second.

So if there is complete darkness between frames, why does a movie appear to be so fluid and seamless before our eyes?

The answer is Persistence of Vision. Basically, the the light of the image is retained in our retinas and in our minds long enough for that gate to close and the next frame to be pulled down. Its the persistence of the light that gives the impression, the illusion, that what we are watching is seamless.

But really its a big fat ass lie. We are watching a bunch of still images with a lot of darkness in between. Our eyes have deceived us horribly. Really really horribly if you're not a Tom Cruise fan.

Here's the kicker. Your mind is like that movie theatre.

Our everyday 'reality' is the movie. The darkness between the 'frames' is the infinite creative potential of our deepest being. Its the genius within us all; the intuitive, soulful and mysterious heart of life itself.

Most of us don't know about this infinite potential because we're so engrossed in the 'movie:' the bills, the work, the relationships, the friends, the gossip, the politics, the ego..its all a big ass lie, just like the film you watch.

And just as the movie theatre is pitch black half the movie, that infinite creative potential is always with us; waiting patiently for the 'movie' to be turned off, or at least slowed down.

Once we explore the gaps between the film frames of our lives, we begin to uncover the magic and power of pure potential that the Buddha and Christ were tapped into and that has been experienced by many of humanity's great souls.

Probably the most effective way to start slowing the movie down is through meditation; the practice of sitting quietly and observing the frenetic nature of the mind. Its through this observation that we witness the 'Gap' and experience our true nature.

Its a beautiful thing because our movies get tiring; the insane thing being, its usually the same movie day in and day out. The same reactive mind is reacting to similar stimulus creating deeper and deeper unconscious patterning. Who the hell would want to watch the same movie over and over and over again? Yet thats what so many of us do...myself included.

So thats what i'm going to do. I'm going away to slow the movie down. I'm going to explore that creative space between the frames and who knows...maybe i'll meet Tom Cruise.

Delhi. still working, but poolside at least.


Mommsen said...

Great post again, thanks. And good luck with meeting the TOM.

Anonymous said...

That was really nice to read Martin.
As an individual traveling around at the moment, I've felt times of irregularity, where I am just stuck this cycle of completion that seems to be popular back home. It's great to sit back and enjoy life for what it's really worth!

Unknown said...

Martin, you are so right. We need to slow down and realize what is really important to us. Great analogy.

Cruz said...

I've never read something like this. What an amazing yet simple comparison Martin! Simply blew me away. I dont think I can forget something like this till death. For some reason lately I've been getting caught in that empty space but everytime come out with what I went in. Maybe I should look for something. I just now booked for your session in Vancouver.