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Realization(1): The Vanilla Sky of Dreams & DelusionsWhat was the movie "Vanilla Sky" about? The following sypnosis from http://vanillasky.com goes like so: "Snowboarding through life, David Aames (played by Tom Cruise) appears to lead a charmed life. Handsome, wealthy and charismatic, the young New York City publishing executive's freewheeling existence is enchanting, yet he seems to be missing something. In one night David meets a girl of his dreams and loses her by making a small mistake. Thrust unexpectedly onto a roller-coaster ride of romance, comedy, suspicion, love, sex and dreams, David finds himself on a mind-beinding search for his self and discovers the precious, ephemeral nature of love."What does happiness means to you?" Each time David is asked this question, he is speechlessly baffled. What about you? What does happiness means to you? What are you going to do about your bafflement?
David mixes up reality and illusions as he gets baffled by alternating "realities" due to a "glitch" in his mind. His dreaming was so lucid that he could not separate real life from dream life. He realises that in his dream life, he could will whatever he wanted into reality. As a Buddhist movie-goer, this is very interesting. It drew the division between real life and dream life closer. Life is but a dream, is it not? And don't we all have glitches of delusion in our minds? In our dream worlds, experience feels just as real and authentic. That not only means that dreams are life-like, but that life is dream-like! In the words of the Buddha, "All conditioned things (including life itself) are like dreams, illusions, bubbles and shadows." As long as we all have not awakened completely, life can be as much a dream as a dream is. And yes, just as in life, whatever we will can indeed become reality, though not as fast as in David's dreams. Afterall, as taught by the Buddha, "Mind is the forerunner of all things." While things may not be change instantly according to our wishes, what Sophia (played by Penelope Cruz) utters is always true- "Every minute that passes is an opportunity to turn things around." In fact, every second, every moment, in life or in dreams, is an opportunity to turn things around, by a shift in our attitudes, by thought transformation, by repentance, by resolution... it is never too late to do the right thing. Every moment is a fresh chance for you to turn the tables of karma around. We are constantly creating and re-creating our own life and reality, our dreams and illusions.
In the closing scene, David choses to wake up from his lucid dreaming where he is king of everything which is nothing but illusion. He chosed reality in the end, turning off his dream state by leaping off a building, at the same time facing his greatest fear of heights. Knowing we are deluded, would we want to remain so? Would we have the courage to do what he did? Reality is always better, is it not? Reality might hurt (the first Noble Truth), but it heals too (the third Noble Truth). True Happiness is always attained by realising reality, not by hiding from it. Echoed a few times throughout the movie is the question, "
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