Thursday, September 30, 2010

fictional worlds

Did anyone familiar with the old sci-fi movie, "The Terminator," ever wonder as I did this morning why the terminator, a very sophisticated and very determined robot, spoke with a German/Austrian accent? True, the actor playing the terminator, Arnold Schwarzenegger, current governor of California, was born in Austria and speaks with an accent ... but why would the very sophisticated fictional terminator do that when it was made clear in the movie that he could imitate any voice the terminator chose? Fiction is something made up, but it is also careful in its construction so as to mimic non-fiction and thus convince the viewer or reader.

More important than the peccadilloes of a sci-fi movie, I sometimes wonder why people involved in spiritual life need to adorn themselves with paradoxical finery, spewing Alice-in-Wonderland nonsense so as to lay claim to the paradoxical qualities/realities of spiritual life. It's self-centered bullshit, and I remember being called out on it. "You don't have to be crazy to do this stuff," Sasaki Roshi admonished me during dokusan.

And yet it can seem so kool to speak a language others cannot be party to. Soooooo spiritual. Speaking in tongues. In the world of fiction, making up fictions probably seems to make sense if you want to be 'real' and in control.

"You don't have to be crazy," except that sometimes the fictional craziness is the only answer to a world which, if you treated it honestly, might drive you crazy.

In a world where you already have an Austrian accent, why do you need an Austrian accent? OK, you're kool. Now what?



  1. Are you suggesting that there is something "real" to say? :) I mean it is a matter of interpretation is it not. Or is it what Bankei called the Unborn Buddha Mind, that
    we all share and then we all just get sidetracked by our ego conditioning. Clever is also a construct of mental gymnastics. So is pulling out meaning where none really
    exists except in the eye/mind of the beholder. Thought and understanding take up about a nanosecond of time, the rest is just verbiage and self aggrandizement. But
    we all have one foot in Samsara and the other foot in Nirvana! :) It would have been even more cool if the "Terminator" had talked in Ebonics! :)

  2. Well, true, by listening to what is unwanted, or ignored the voice of everything ignored up til now finally has a place to begin, but without a beginning, middle and ending. Once listening and opening to silence takes center stage one considers taking off one's shoes finding that being "in" is quite more sensitive to subtle changes as opposed to what ended terminally "out".

  3. It's just freaky fun.

  4. i love u G, although i do not know why today, but I know someday I will.