Waking Life

Waking Life movie poster

I recently saw Waking Life, a very interesting and visually stunning film about dreams, consciousness, and existence. The entire movie utilizes the rotoscope technique, rendering every scene as an expressionistic and sometimes surreal animation. A young man named Wiley Wiggins, a dreamer, is visited by an eclectic collection of individuals who challenge the dominant paradigm of reality. Through monologues on philosophy, physics, politics, and humanity, the speakers express a common thesis - that our waking life is no more real than a dream that we are sharing.

Of the many fantastic quotes I could share, this is one:

Actually, there’s only one instant, and it’s right now, and it’s eternity. And, it’s an instant in which God is posing a question, and that question is basically, “Do you wanna be one with eternity, do you want to be in heaven?” And, we’re all saying, “Nooo thank you, not just yet.” And so time, is actually just this constant saying “No” to God’s invitation. I mean, that’s what time is. It’s no more 50 A.D. than it’s 2001. There’s just this one instant, and that’s what we’re always in. And then she tells me that actually, this is the narrative of everyone’s life. Behind the phenomenal difference there is but one story, and that’s the story of moving from the “No” to the “Yes.” All of life is like, “No thank you, No thank you, No thank you.” And then, ultimately, it’s, “Yes I give in, Yes I accept, Yes I embrace.” I mean, that’s the journey. Everyone gets to the “Yes” in the end, right?

I hope you see this film. It addresses some heavy, fundamental questions about our nature, but it isn’t pretentious or boring. Please let me know what you think!

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A prophet on the burning shore