In this episode, The Bearded Mystic Podcast discusses 3 Hollywood movies that have incredible depth in spiritual content, especially of the dharmic traditions. The movies explored are Interstellar, Inception and The Matrix.
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Hello and welcome to the latest episode of The Bearded Mystic Podcast and I'm your host Rahul N Singh. Thank you for taking out the time today to either listen or watch this podcast episode. So before we get into the episode today, I just want to give a massive thank you to everyone who listened to their last episode. Which was about COVID-19 and common sense spirituality. I really have appreciated your comments, your shares on Instagram, on Facebook, on TikTok. It has been really engaging and I want you to know that if you are speaking on the behalf of science and spirituality. Just know that I'm always there to help you. The one thing that I have noted, and I do want to address is that I wanted to discuss more about the future spirituality or the spiritual circle or the community. If this misinformation continues to grow and spread and what the future will hold for spiritual seekers and spiritual guides and teachers and just the community overall. So maybe next month I will dwell on that topic. Let me know on social media, if you are interested in knowing what I think the future holds for spiritual seekers and the community at large. Today we're going to talk about three Hollywood movies that I have been greatly inspired by, and I've really enjoyed watching them. And I want to discuss how they hold deep spiritual truths. Now, each one of those movies has something connected between all of them. And it's all about knowing reality from the absolute perspective or in Advaita Vedanta, which we refer to as Brahman or is it the reality that is transactional, which is termed as Maya. The first movie we will be discussing is interstellar. This is directed by Christopher Nolan and he is one of my favorite directors. I love his movies. I think they make you think. There's everything that you need in order to get your mind stimulated. I love movies that make us introspect and they add more to your life. But getting to interstellar, if you notice in the movie, there's always a reference to 'they'. And I really liked this because during the movie, when you watch it for the first time, you kind of think, well, who is 'they'? Are they aliens? Is it a specific God? Or are they deities? Who is this 'they'? it brings across like an otherworldly presence across the movie. Later on we realize that when the character is referring 'they', he's actually talking about us and the spiritual truth is it gets rid of the illusory aspect of separation. That in fact, you're all interconnected beyond dimensions, beyond time and place and space. We're all interconnected. We're all made from the same star dust. This interconnectedness is what makes us one. in this movie, it's hinting towards our oneness and getting rid of the false sense of separation. For example, when we look at other people as different to us and therefore, instead of embracing those differences and that diversity, we see it as a point to separate ourselves, but actually that's not what we should be doing in spirituality. It's all about embracing other people's differences and diverse aspects and seeing the unity that's underlying everything. I really loved the reference today, when really it's about us. There is also the scene of infinite dimensions. If you remember there's that scene towards the end, where there's a repetition of the image that we can see in multiple ways. It's just seems endless. This is like in, in Hindu philosophy of Indra's net, or we can say that everything that is happening now, is happening in the future and has happened in the past. So this, this aspect of time is discussed here and timing itself again is our manmade concept, right? We have created time in terms of how long it takes the earth to go around the sun. It's our concept. Time is always being about being in the present moment. With that we should look at the world in a non-dual way. When we look at duality, there is a difference between the time of the past and time of the future, and the time that is right now. But in reality, if you look at it, there is only now. The time that was in the past has gone, or it's not even present now. And the time in the future is not present now. What I'm trying to say is time in itself is only in the now .The experience of time is only in the now. And again, according to how we understand time, but for the mind is there really time or have we created that veil of illusion of time within our mind. But again, this whole thing about infinite dimensions that is in this movie is making us question our understanding of time. When we see the bookshelf being knocked, when we're watching the movie in a linear way, we see it as something happening in the future, but actually it was happening in what would be the past, but at the time it was happening in the present. If you really understood what I mean by this is time is all in the now and this is something that I believe interstellar was showing us. The fourth or the infinite dimension that is mentioned, there's a very beautiful quote in the movie. 'Love is the one thing that we are capable of perceiving that transcends dimensions of time and space.' And that is really true. When you think about it, when you're in love with something or someone, there's that thing where time doesn't exist. You wonder where did time disappear? Our experience of time changes. For example, if you're really bored, you literally can see every second going by and you're absolutely not enjoying yourself while when you really enjoying yourself time just goes by, hours go by. And you're like, where did the hour go by? You are really enjoying yourself. Our perspective of time is also illusory according to how we enjoy ourselves and here it's because we love something or in love with someone, or we loving an activity that we're doing and time goes by very fast. So again, we've got to understand that is that love is that one thing that can transcend dimensions of time and space. Love is the closest thing we can refer to as God or Brahman. Without that unconditional love how can we see the infinite number of dimensions that are available to us? I don't mean it like in astral projection. I just mean it in terms of the layers of reality is seen and perceived. One of the important lessons I feel that is in Interstellar is the misuse of land, the misuse of earth and the dire warning that it is showing. Now it's very easy. A lot of people now are thinking of going to Mars or wherever in the future, they're looking at time-traveling or space travel so they can escape the earth in its impending doom. But I think it's more important to solve the issues we have now. Now in the moment. There's no point in having targets for the future, because think about the amount of damage that is going to happen in those years. And right now we know there have been reports of just commit literally last week, about how we are totally misusing the planet and how we are running out of resources and we don't know what the future's going to hold for us. It could be disaster for us. As a planet, Interstellar also shows us in the movie how we need to appreciate the earth and see its sacredness. And by seeing its sacredness, we can enhance its beauty. The second film that I want to talk about is Inception. Inception is a very interesting movie. One that I've probably watched 10, 15 times. Massive fan of the movie. Again by Christopher Nolan. There it shows that life is a blur between the waking state of reality and the dream. As human beings, the question is whether we recognize the dream, the illusion or do we wake up to reality. How this is emphasized is basically by the main character Cobb. Now, Cobb is someone who is invested in going back into the dream to meet his dead wife, there is this connection that he has, and she's always interfering in his subconscious reality, which makes the life of his own and others in danger because of that. And because of those memories that he's fixated upon, his memory of his dead wife, it leads to attachment. And this attachment leads him to the detachment of reality. It's really interesting because underlying that is also showing that our individual reality cannot be trusted. The individuality cannot be trusted because of our sense projections, our projection of memory and how memory can interfere in the reality of right now. This is really great, how the movie just shows that really in the present reality that we're in, a lot of inference is going on. A lot of things are stimulating our reality right now, which may not be occurring. It's interesting because even in memory, we can create memories. Sometimes it's happened to me where someone says, oh yeah, you were there. And they were testing me. And I was like, oh yeah, yeah that happened. I created a memory out of what they were saying. So this is was a sign for me, where I was like, actually I cannot trust my mind because it's going to create that memory. One of the beautiful aspects in this movie is how it emphasizes how the dream is neither real nor unreal, meaning our reality. The best way to describe this is when you're in a dream. There is a pride of lions chasing you. You're running fast. You can feel your heartbeat and you're sweating because you're running and running. And then suddenly you look behind you and you see that a lion is pouncing on to you, but then you wake up from your dream and as you wake up, you're in your bed. You're in the comfort of your room. But you're sweating. You can feel your heart beating really fast, but as you wake up, you realize actually your dream was just a dream. It wasn't real, but it felt real when you were in the dream. What's interesting is because of that, we realize that the dream wasn't real, but while we were in it, it was real. Same thing with our reality right now. Right now in the transactional reality, everything seems real. But when we connect to the Ultimate Reality, which is Brahman, which is a reality that is beyond time and space, beyond memory, beyond our sense projections. That state, which is our real reality. When we live in that state of reality, and this is mainly experienced in meditation, we understand that our mind and the reality that it projects is not real. But that is only seen from that objective state of reality, which is Brahman, which is formless reality. There's a line in the movie, which is again really interesting how it talks about how you land yourself in the middle of a dream and that you never know it's beginning. And isn't that true with life itself? When you think about it, we don't know when our beginning really was. We don't know when at beginning started. Can you tell me when you began? Can I tell you where Rahul began? I really can't. I can only tell you from my first memory of myself, where I became conscious of myself, but I must have been conscious before, because there were other people around me that remembered things of my past, that I can't remember., This movie just shows us how we land ourselves in the middle of life and that we don't know what's going to happen in the future. Our reality is beyond the past and the future. Another thing about the movie, there's a concept in there, we see about the dream within a dream, within a dream. And this is actually discussed in Yog Vasistha that you can actually do that, where you're in a dream and you can be dreaming that you're in a dream and the text does go into that. And that there's layers to reality, the waking state, the dream state, and the deep sleep state. There is something that is aware within us in all those three states. And that awareness is the fourth state, which is the Turiya state. The next movie that I want to discuss is The Matrix. The Matrix is an epic movie. And if you want to really understand Vedanta the matrix is a good starting point in itself. It could be a text of understanding Maya and Brahman. It really is. In fact, in the last film, there is a song called Neodammerung. I hope I'm pronouncing it correctly. But according to the Wachowski siblings, it describes the movie, the whole, the whole trilogy. It's basically lines from The Upanishads and I suggest that you take your time to go and listen to that song and experience what it is. And I'm sure online, there'd be translations to what the mantras are. This movie is just full of amazing quotes. Morpheus in the matrix, he says 'something is wrong with this world. You've known it all your life. You don't know what it is. It's like a splinter in your mind... driving you mad.' Basically what Morpheus is describing is when you get an existential crisis. Where you ask, what is the purpose of my life? Who am I? Why am I here on this earth? What is life all about? Is there a God? How can I know God? How can I know myself? It's that one question. Once you ask that one question, the whole endeavor is to get to know it and we feel it within our life. I remember when I first asked the question, who am I? It really played on my mind. It really took my whole being. It made me feel crazy in fact, that I didn't know who I was and I can relate to that line in The Matrix. Again, going into this, Morpheus says to Neo that 'Have you ever had a dream, Neo, that you are so sure was real? What if you were unable to wake from that dream? How would you know the difference between the dream world and the real world?' If we can link this now, back to Inception, the whole aspect of dream and reality. It's talking about the reality of Maya and the reality of Brahman and once we are able to answer this question, this is Brahm Vidya. When we get to know the reality of Maya and the reality of Brahman. It's really interesting because we can question the dream, but have we ever questioned how we perceive life now? Have we ever questioned? Why do I feel the things that I feel? Why do I sense the things that I sense? Why is it that I see a memory different and perceive it differently to my own spouse or my own family members? Why is it that someone can get involved in the same accident and yet perceive it in two different ways or multiple different ways? It's that question. Those questions are making us think about what is the dream world? What is? Reality? Is what we see real? Is what we perceive in this world, is this video that you're watching is that real? Is that everlasting? Morpheus goes further to say 'the matrix is everywhere. It's all around us. Even in this very room, you can see it when you look out of your window and when you turn on your television, you can feel it when you go to work. When you go to work. When you pay your taxes, the matrix is a world that has been pulled over your eyes to blind you from the truth.' That's Maya. The Vedanta explanation from Maya is that this world that we perceive is hiding Brahman, is hiding the Ultimate Reality. The Ultimate Reality is there, it's always there, but because we take this world as real, as completely real, definitively real, we never understand that there's a deeper reality. We take everything that we see as reality itself, but actually it's not. The matrix in this movie is this world is a virtual reality, like a hologram. The scriptures, the Upanishads, the Bhagavad Gita really hones in on how we can differentiate the real and the unreal, the changing and the changeless. And that's how we differentiate between Brahman and Maya or the transactional reality. And this is a good one and I believe in this completely. Morpheus again says further in the movie that 'Neo sooner or later, you're going to realize just as I did, there's a difference between knowing the path and walking the path. This is really interesting because a lot of people, they may say, oh yeah, I know the truth. Now I can see the truth. I can perceive the Truth. But walking it, it's totally different. And a lot of people ask me this on TikTok and on Instagram, sometimes people ask me well how can we live in the world knowing it's unreal? And how can we remain in that state of Brahman? And I always describe this to them that when you're living in the world, you have to see it as real. For example, if you lose a lot of money, You got to feel the pain of losing a lot of money. You can't turn around and say, well, in, in the state of Brahman, I've not lost anything, then you not dealing with reality and it will only strengthen your ego. But I always say that Brahman or the ultimate reality should remain as your background awareness. And the reason why I mention it should be your background awareness is because it should always be there in the background. And you can then live in the world, without it affecting what's in the background. So it's like the screen, that's not affected by the projection of the images in the cinema or in the theater. The stage remains as it is, despite what the characters do and what the set design does. The stage remains the same when you're in a theater or watching a play. The same way as the stage remains the same. So does the background awareness of Brahman, which is changeless, which is imageless, colorless, formless, it's the reality that remains. You could say the matrix is basically like the characters in the play that come onto the stage and do their thing, or in the movie, the characters in the movie, they play their role. The images shown, but the projector screen remains the same. That's how we got to see life. That's how you're marry the transactional reality and the ultimate reality and how we live in that non-dual state, because if you're going to say that this world is unreal and only Brahman is real and everything I'm perceiving is unreal and I'm not going to deal with it. I'm not going to live in it. I'm going to get affected by it. And I don't want to remain affected by it, that creates duality. We've got to find a way to synthesize both of them. That's why meditation is important. I think you remember there's a scene in the movie where there's a boy bending a spoon, and the boy says to Neo, when Neo asks, how does he bend the spoon? The boy says 'there is no spoon'. And Neo asks him, 'there is no spoon?' The boy replies, 'then you'll see that it is not the spoon that bends. It is only yourself.' Again, showing the interconnectedness of the world, of us and the whole of existence. When we see that we are all one, we understand that we have a part to play in the way the world runs. I have to ask myself constantly, am I adding beauty to the world? Or am I adding destruction to the world? Am I adding evil to the world? Am I harming the world? Or am I adding beauty? Adding love to the world? . This whole thing about 'it is only yourself that bends' again, shows how we all made from the same substance. There's a part in the movie, Neo is rescued by Morpheus and there's resistance. And he's shown what the matrix really is. And Neo cannot take it. He rejects it. He wants out. And when he refuses to believe it, he refuses to believe everything that's been shown to him. He refuses to believe that everything that he's been living in life is false and illusory. That everything was a matrix, it was played upon him. It was a hologram and he couldn't take that. As he experiences this, it becomes so intense that he throws up and falls unconscious. And that can happen when you experience that the whole world that you were experiencing isn't what it seems to be. You literally, I wouldn't say you throw up. But you do reject the idea. A lot of people, the reason why they cannot accept Advaita Vedanta as the actual philosophy of life is due to this, because it implies that you were unconscious before, it implies that everything you experienced has been false at the Ultimate Reality point of view. And a lot of people can't take that. They enjoy the fact that there's a duality, even a duality between them and God, because that duality keeps them safe. It keeps them secure. But if you tell someone that you and God are the same. Oh my God. It will be disastrous for the mind, but that duality is interesting. That duality keeps you being the slave, instead of going towards where the Master is trying to show you. This whole journey between Morpheus and Neo in The Matrix is between the preceptor and the disciple. The master is constantly telling the disciple to grow. And is showing ways how to grow, shows you the difference between the transactional reality and the ultimate reality, between Maya and Br But are we willing to accept that? The master never wants the disciple to remain a disciple? You can see this in Morpheus. He keeps telling Neo, 'you're the One, You're the One.' He's empowering Neo and Neo is rejecting it in the beginning. And he doesn't want to be the one, but eventually Neo does trust Morpheus. This movie, The Matrix is incredibly beautiful for the fact that it shows us the reality of who we are. It shows us how we can step out of the matrix, step out of Maya and perceive things as they really are, and then live accordingly, knowing that all this is going to disappear, all this is going to go one day. When I leave this body and mind, it's not going to be there. Everything that is experienced is according to the body and the mind, but there's an objective sense of reality. There is an ultimate sense of reality. And I'm to go towards that. That is when knowledge begins. And then when you live, it is when you understand that this background awareness, this Brahman is always here always now. That's the three movies that I recommend to you to definitely watch if you want to understand Vedanta a bit more. There are movies like avatar and star wars and Groundhog day that talks about the subjective sense of reality or the fight between good and evil, of Vedantic concepts. Definitely watch them. But three movies that I find really enhances my spirituality is Interstellar, Inception and The Matrix. Definitely watch them after you've listened to this episode and see if you see things differently now. That's the end of the episode. But before you go. I want to just let you know that I have now set up a Patreon page, which you can sign up to. And by signing up to that, and by paying, you know, $5 a month, you'll get access to a few extra things. And by the way, you don't have to just be in the U S to sign them to this. You can sign up to it with whatever currency you have, and I will put a link to my Patreon page in the show notes and description below. Basically by paying $5 a month, I make a commitment to you as well. The first commitment is that you will get exclusive podcasts episodes. So sometimes in some podcasts that I've published, I've had afterthoughts where I wish I had said something or I could have added something. So what I'm going to do now in the future is whenever this happens, I'm going to be sharing it with you and it would be only exclusive on Patreon. I will not be publishing it anywhere else. The second thing that I'll be doing is a live stream exclusively for you. The live stream will happen every month. Only you will get the link to that live stream. No one else will have that. It will not be open to the public. Three you'll have exclusive blog posts and articles that I will put up and write. That is my commitment. I just wanted to let you know that the Patreon page is set up, please sign up to it. The reason why I set this up is because I do need support. This podcast does have running costs. And on top of that, I can tell you my laptop is really struggling right now with the amount of work I do, in terms of the podcast. So I do need more equipment, I do need to upgrade? By signing up to Patreon, you are helping me do that. You can also donate on my blog. Every Sunday from August 29th, we will be having podcasts episodes that are dedicated to a scripture or a religious or spiritual text. And the first one we're starting with is the Bhagavad Gita. And once we're done with the Bhagavad Gita, it would be the Upanishads. Thank you very much for listening. Thank you for the support that you've given me this week. It's been three months since this podcast has begun and I just really want to say a massive thank you to all of you who have supported it, who've listened to the podcast, who follow me on social media. I really appreciate everything you've done so far for me. I love and cherish each one of you. Thank you for listening to this episode of The Bearded Mystic Podcast, please do remember to follow or subscribe to this channel and do leave a review for this podcast. I'd really appreciate knowing what you think. You can follow me on social media and I will leave the links below to each of those accounts. I do share small clips on there that you can share with friends and family. And if you feel that anyone in your friends and family circle would love this podcast do share it with them. A new episode is uploaded every Sunday and Thursday until next time, take care. See you again soon.