Wednesday, October 02, 2002

Movie Dharma Review : Flatliners

Sypnosis from :

"Medical students begin to explore the realm of near death experiences (NDE), hoping for insights. Each has their heart stopped and is revived. They begin having flashes of walking nightmares from their childhood, reflecting sins they committed or had committed against them. The experiences continue to intensify, and they begin to be physically beaten by their visions as they try and go deeper into the death experience to find a cure."

Writing about this after seeing half of the rerun on TV just now. This movie is about the need to forgive others and ourselves, and to seek forgiveness- in time... so that we can let go and leave this life in peace. Four students return from their NDEs bringing back "old ghosts", personal demons- not in the physical but hallucinatory sense. It is said that in the process of dying, one's life flashes by, and whatever it is that we cannot let go will stick as our final images. These are our sources of strong attachment or aversion (including fear)- the stuff that keeps us bound to rebirth. The students realise that the cure for the hallucinations was to resolve their unfinished business- largely a matter of being repentant or forgiving oneself. The punishment they went through was self-inflicted, a result of the rudely awakened dormant conscience springing to life. It is not unlike oneself manifesting demons to exact punishment on ourselves when reborn in hell.

The Dharma message in this movie is clear to me. We do not have to experience NDEs to resolve our inner demons. We can do it now. No, we should do it now. It is the best time. Waiting for death's descent to discover what our demons, and to face them in our last minutes, can be a most horrendous and heartbreaking experience! Just as the movie characters realised they had the second chance to put things right after returning to life, this very life we have now IS our second chance- after our previous life. Well, miss this chance and you'll have another second chance, again and again- till you get things right, till Enlightenment! So the question is- Why not get it over with as soon as possible? Samsara is a school not fun to be retained in- learn the Dharma well, apply it well and graduate to Nirvana! reply

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