(10/17/02 2:47:23 pm)
| Reality as Illusion (Please help :) )|
I'm writing a research paper proposal on reality as illusion.
If any of you have a spare moment, could you possibly list good sources/stories that fall under that theme?
Thank you. Any help would be appreciated.
(10/17/02 3:20:07 pm)
I've only got a minute, but... the first thing that popped into my head was the buddhist philosophy, and the various legends (like, about the bodhisattva's). "The Dream of the Red Chamber" - a fiction novel, and one of China's first - is a pretty good example of 'reality as illusion', and has rather nice fairy story elements. More later, if I can help.
(10/17/02 5:20:32 pm)
| Reality as Illusion (Please help :) )|
Thank you. I've got the Dream of the Nine Clouds as well that relates
to Buddhist philosophy.
Im off to the library to look for your suggestion.
(10/17/02 7:20:44 pm)
| Matrix ...|
This is probably a little too obvious, but _The Matrix_ comes shooting to mind ... and while that's much too simple, looking up some of the academic papers that have been written on the topic to see what sources have been suggested for the underlying philosophy might be useful.
(10/18/02 5:51:57 am)
| another obvious pop culture reference|
"Vanilla Sky" (or the original Spanish version "Open Your Eyes")
(10/18/02 6:22:51 am)
Try almost any novel by Philip K. Dick, for whom reality was highly undependable and thus a source of constant paranoia.
Notably "The 3 Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch", "Ubik", and "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep".
P.S. Skip Vanilla Sky and see the original Spanish film from which it is ripped off almost shot for shot. (We could likely start a whole topic on dumb domestic remakes of interesting foreign films--current example: "The Ring"--perhaps as a logical extension of the Disney remakes of nearly anything.)
(10/18/02 11:08:27 am)
The comment re: "the Matrix" reminded me of this story online at "The Matrix" website:
which fits into the theme nicely, and is actually one of my favorites by the author.
(10/19/02 6:02:54 pm)
| reality vrs. illusion|
A fairy tale on this theme that comes to mind is The Emperor's New Clothes.
(10/20/02 11:48:58 am)
| Re: reality vrs. illusion|
Best source I've found to show our perception of 'reality'
is illusion of forms is "A Course in Miracles" published by the Foundation for Inner Peace.
You can also go to Plato, and his "Prisoners of the Cave"
Hope this is of some help.
(10/25/02 8:17:57 pm)
| Reality as Illusion: Source Stories (incl.|
1. Pretty much the whole of Buddhism, at least in Zen, and easily summed up in the Heart Sutra, which should be findable on the Web. (Thought about simply typing out the version in a liturgy book that's one of the few relics of my long-ago try at Buddhist practice, but unsure if that would violate netiquette.)
2. Folktale I've seen virtually identical Jewish and Hindu versions of, which I hope I'm remembering correctly: Guy goes to his guru/tzaddik, tells him he's going to give up trying to be holy and go live a real life. He goes out, gets married, raises a family, is successful, is happy. Years pass. One day a terrible storm comes, and one by one everyone and everything he cherishes is swept away before his eyes: his house, his children, his wife. And he wakes up, a young man, in front of the guru/tzaddik, who tells him that that's what his precious "real" life is: transient stuff that all goes away.
3. In just about anything by Thomas Pynchon, reality is nothing like its surface appearance, and is ultimately unknowable. Examples include _The Crying of Lot 49_ (short, accessible), _Gravity's Rainbow_ (big and flabby and desperately needing an editor), and _Vineland_.
Much postmodern theory might be useful in this regard; that whole thing about contemporary human experience (at least from about the late 1950s to the early 1990s, anyway) being a flattened world in which history and art styles and identities have all been flattened and fragmented and self-aware-ified. Jean Baudrillard in particular in his essays about the Simulacrum, and (iirc) the idea that our entire social and mediated world lacks any real thereness--just lots of pretending and acting-as-though. Which is how, when the Gulf War (#1) started after he'd written a piece called "Why the Gulf War Will Not Happen," he was able to follow it up with further missives entitled (again, iirc) "Why the Gulf War Is Not Happening" and "Why the Gulf War Did Not Happen."