Saturday, October 16, 2010

Suicide Note

Even though I am far from finishing the whopping 1904 pager Suicide Note of Mitchell Heisman, it has been a very stimulating read so far. There are some lapses in logic and fundamental assumptions - like the comparison of ethnocenticism and anthropomorphism to what he calls viviocentricism (life-centredness) - such comparison is fundamentally flawed, for the negation of ethnic inequality and human superiority still builds from the basic assumption that all life "wants" to continue.

This obsession with bumper stickers and coherent meaning has been oppressive, and at best, just fun. Yet these reminders to find meaning in apparent (and usually obvious) meaninglessness are compelling. I think it all boils down to that basic choice, which for most of us, unlike Heisman, is a default one. The choice to be. Once you begin with that assumption, you can build your way up to curiosity, joy, survival and maybe even altruism.

I am approaching the final production schedule of my feature film "Theseus' Ship". I am about to shoot the part in which the monk Maitreya is fasting unto death. As death closes in, he is forced to re-question all the ideas he has taken for granted. Its safe to assume that death is our only certainty, and inexistence the primary fear. Its in the face of this fear, that transcendental signifiers like god, heaven and soul need to be invented, and attempts are made to produce coherent views.

I was amused at Heisman's observation of the Bible's attempt at imagining infinity. He points out that even with the best of their ambition to imagine infinity, the writers of Bible could only imagine a god who looks like man, lives beyond the clouds and a world that is only a few thousand years old.

Meanwhile, "Theseus' Ship" will perhaps be the first film to allude to Charvaka and the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. Images will be up soon.