Saturday, November 17, 2012

Bardo Thodol

My friend recommended I watch the movie Enter The Void a while ago and I finally go around to it.  It's buddhisty in the sense that the Bardo Thodol is referenced, even explained a little, and the suffering of life is palpable and there's a larger picture aspect of it that I feel in spirituality.  It might be about the Tibetan wheel of life, taking off from the Bardho Thodol.  It's not a feel good movie (thus the photo meme above).

Watching Enter The Void, I got interested in the Bardo Thodol.  It got me reading the Sangharakshita seminar on the Bardo Thodol.  Also Padmavajra has an eight talk series on it in FBA.

If you've seen Gaspar Noé's other movie Irréversible, you know he's not about pleasing entertainment, he paints rather grim pictures.  These movies are gritty reality, with seedy underbelly, base nature, violence and exploitation.  Not really my cup of tea.

I didn't know that the Bardo Thodol was supposed to be written by Padmasambhava, which means it's going to be very rich in mythology and magic.

I think this might be the last Buddhist classic I approach because I don't really groove to the whole reincarnation thing, not my expeirence, doesn't make sense to me.  I don't want to dismiss it because it's foreign.  I don't want to dismiss it because it seems to be part of the Buddhist tradition.  But I fall along the lines of a secular buddhist, enjoy the works of Stephen Batchelor and others along those lines.  Even so, my interest has been piqued because of this profound and horrible movie.

I'll end with a quote from the Gardian review, the first link above:

"Some may find Enter the Void detestable and objectionable, though if they affect to find it "boring" I will not believe them. For all its hysterical excess, this beautiful, delirious, shocking film is the one offering us that lightning bolt of terror or inspiration that we hope for at the cinema."

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