Afterthoughts of the "LOTR" : Just Let It Go!
Another "Enlightenment through Entertainment" Dharma-Inspired Movie Review:Afterthoughts of the LOTR : Just Let It Go!
The following are some afterthoughts after rewatching "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy...
In the chapter of "The Crack of Doom" in "The Return of the King". Sam sees Frodo hesitating to destroy the evil "One Ring" (that is capable of ruling the whole of Middle-Earth) - by simply dropping it into the molten lava of Mount Doom. It was somewhat a scene of the proverbial "last temptation", of the final battle of the Buddha versus Mara, the Evil One...
Sam yells in exasperation, "Destroy it!... Go on! Now!... Throw it into the fire!... What are you waiting for?... Just let it go!" This is an interesting parallel to Buddhist spiritual practice. All the suffering in the world, here in a sense, embodied by the struggle over the ring, is caused by attachment (greed) to it, due to delusion, which also leads to aversion (hatred), as Frodo suddenly rears an unseen ugly side of wanting to own the ring. All Frodo had to do was let go of his attachment to be free of the burden of the ring. More exactly, to be free of the burden of attachment itself.
Throughout the story is the recurrence of Frodo and members of the fellowship being tempted to take the ring for their own. Every time they awaken to their senses of their unskilful intentions, they revert to their loyalty and purity of heart. Evil is not depicted as something intrinsic to their original nature. This is reminiscent of our ever pure "moon" of Buddha-nature, which is occasionally overshadowed by the "clouds" of our defilements. The moon shines eternally and the clouds are only fleeting. The goal of spiritual practise is to eradicate these clouds by realising their false nature, so as to see our true nature.
The entire trilogy was a quest to lose something, not to get anything. Likewise, the path to the "attainment" of Enlightenment or True Happiness, is not really a mission to "attain" anything, but a mission to let go or renounce our three poisons of attachment, aversion and delusion. Why? The reason is simple - they are the only impediments to our True Happiness!
Yes, spiritual cultivation essentially does not require us to let go of anything else, other than our defilements. In the next scene, after which the ring falls into the lava and Frodo slips, hanging onto a cliff, Sam beseeches him, "Give me your hand!... Take my hand!... No! Don't you let go!... Don't let go!... Reach!" Yes indeed - there is nothing else you need to let go of - not even your life, if you have already let go of your defilements, here symbolised by the dropping of the ring. Why not live on to benefit others with your compassion and wisdom? We can all aspire to be great Bodhisattvas who choose to live on to help, even after we have transcended the cycle of birth and death. Why not be a Bodhisattva? To do so, aspire for Buddhahood. Become a true lord, of the otherwise endless rings of dissatisfactory rebirths! -Shen Shi'an | pic:readme.com, nzvideos.org, moviepublicity.com, dynamicobjects.com
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