1. Melbourne, Australia
    Joined
    24 May '10
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    7680
    22 Sep '12 01:39
    In the film "Castaway", with Tom Hank's great performance, he turns to a basketball that he constructs into a human-like effigy. This is to cope with his emotional crisis caused by his loneliness and isolation, as he moves to the edge of his sanity.
    The effigy makes it worse. It compounds his issue. He becomes delusional, responding as if to a real person, to the point where he nearly loses his life trying to save the basketball effigy, as he seeks to escape his prison and is pounded by a storm, on his flimsy raft.
    After the storm, on the now calm ocean, empty and stretching to the horizon, bereft of his "companion", the glorious starry bowl of the night sky faces him as he looks up, stretched, exhausted on his raft.
    To me, his aloneness was answered. Not by some "Being" out there. Something far more profound than a constructed companion of any sort.
    Ultimately, we are all alone existentially. It is the great fear. That aloneness is, to an extent, answered by real companions, and according to our bonding primate nature, almost essential to our mental well-being. But many survive aloneness nevertheless. Some are deprived of companionship for extended periods, whether in enforced isolation, or just living physically alone, or in a place of emotional rejection and feelings of abandonment, surrounded by people.

    One way in which that aloneness is answered I see in that moving, powerful moment, in that film.

    That great ocean and that great sky, needs a mind to fully take in its beauty and its wonder. Otherwise, beauty and wonder and all the other phenomenon of experiencing existence, moment by moment, simply are not. And similarly, our awareness and response and meanings do not arise without that which is before us to evoke them. At our deepest moments, our "sartoris", we experience our "selves", our mind, our awareness as the very Universe itself, one.

    So, to me, in that way, "we" are not ultimately alone, separate, abandoned. We are ensconced in the Womb of the Universe, nourished and alive and aware and watching the flow of meaning through us every moment, like the blood of life flowing through a living, growing foetus in a womb, mother and child, one. One cannot be more intimate than being That itself.

    taoman.
  2. Standard memberSwissGambit
    Caninus Interruptus
    2014.05.01
    Joined
    11 Apr '07
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    92274
    22 Sep '12 05:01
    Originally posted by Taoman
    In the film "Castaway", with Tom Hank's great performance, he turns to a basketball that he constructs into a human-like effigy. This is to cope with his emotional crisis caused by his loneliness and isolation, as he moves to the edge of his sanity.
    The effigy makes it worse. It compounds his issue. He becomes delusional, responding as if to a real person, t ...[text shortened]... ther and child, one. One cannot be more intimate than being That itself.

    taoman.
    It was a volleyball.
  3. Melbourne, Australia
    Joined
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    7680
    22 Sep '12 05:39
    Originally posted by SwissGambit
    It was a volleyball.
    Oh, that's right. 🙂
  4. Joined
    29 Dec '08
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    6788
    22 Sep '12 06:51
    Originally posted by Taoman
    In the film "Castaway", with Tom Hank's great performance, he turns to a basketball that he constructs into a human-like effigy. This is to cope with his emotional crisis caused by his loneliness and isolation, as he moves to the edge of his sanity.
    The effigy makes it worse. It compounds his issue. He becomes delusional, responding as if to a real person, t ...[text shortened]... ther and child, one. One cannot be more intimate than being That itself.

    taoman.
    You are not alone, in your aloneness.
  5. Joined
    10 Jun '11
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    3829
    22 Sep '12 07:25
    Originally posted by Taoman
    In the film "Castaway", with Tom Hank's great performance, he turns to a basketball that he constructs into a human-like effigy. This is to cope with his emotional crisis caused by his loneliness and isolation, as he moves to the edge of his sanity.
    The effigy makes it worse. It compounds his issue. He becomes delusional, responding as if to a real person, t ...[text shortened]... ther and child, one. One cannot be more intimate than being That itself.

    taoman.
    not aloneness. loneliness.

    one can be alone without being depressed of the condition, whereas loneliness comes with a painful awareness of being alone.
  6. Melbourne, Australia
    Joined
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    22 Sep '12 07:422 edits
    Originally posted by JS357
    You are not alone, in your aloneness.
    I don't really suffer 'loneliness' myself. I find life too interesting to feel 'alone' too much, though of course I enjoy my friends and family. The film hit with that great scene though. There is a deeper aspect to the more existential 'aloneness', I think we all can encounter. The projection of 'invisible friends' to comfort can arise from this. It's not the end of the world, we are all human. It's good to eventually recognize it and move on. It was so for me in earlier times.

    Enjoying present company anyway. 🙂
  7. Hmmm . . .
    Joined
    19 Jan '04
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    22131
    23 Sep '12 03:30
    In the end, each of us
    is alone—
    and that’s enough.

    —Just a line (a koan, if you will) from my principal teacher, once upon a time; with a nod to VoidSpirit above.
  8. Hmmm . . .
    Joined
    19 Jan '04
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    22131
    23 Sep '12 03:34
    Originally posted by Taoman
    I don't really suffer 'loneliness' myself. I find life too interesting to feel 'alone' too much, though of course I enjoy my friends and family. The film hit with that great scene though. There is a deeper aspect to the more existential 'aloneness', I think we all can encounter. The projection of 'invisible friends' to comfort can arise from this. It's not th ...[text shortened]... nd move on. It was so for me in earlier times.

    Enjoying present company anyway. 🙂
    I enjoy the company—especially of my dear best friend and spouse—but I am not lonely when I am alone. My enjoyment of the “sangha” here is not a response to loneliness. It is just another aspect of this play of one who is really “no somebody at all”.
  9. Standard memberwolfgang59
    Infidel
    Dunedin
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    24 Sep '12 21:24
    Originally posted by SwissGambit
    It was a volleyball.
    You'd have to be nuts to talk to a basket ball.
  10. Joined
    10 Jun '11
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    3829
    25 Sep '12 00:32
    Originally posted by wolfgang59
    You'd have to be nuts to talk to a basket ball.
    basketballs are more refined.
  11. Melbourne, Australia
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    7680
    26 Sep '12 13:26
    Originally posted by VoidSpirit
    basketballs are more refined.
    A volleyball is not terribly grounded, yet on the other hand, the basketball is more holy. 🙂
  12. Joined
    16 Jan '07
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    93394
    26 Sep '12 13:36
    Originally posted by Taoman
    In the film "Castaway", with Tom Hank's great performance, he turns to a basketball that he constructs into a human-like effigy. This is to cope with his emotional crisis caused by his loneliness and isolation, as he moves to the edge of his sanity.
    The effigy makes it worse. It compounds his issue. He becomes delusional, responding as if to a real person, t ...[text shortened]... ther and child, one. One cannot be more intimate than being That itself.

    taoman.
    i always thought the stars were to make him feel even more alone and insignificant. isnt it that point in the film where he gives up fighting to survive and just gives himself up to fate and just floats until he lives or dies?
  13. Melbourne, Australia
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    26 Sep '12 16:49
    Originally posted by stellspalfie
    i always thought the stars were to make him feel even more alone and insignificant. isnt it that point in the film where he gives up fighting to survive and just gives himself up to fate and just floats until he lives or dies?
    From the film's perspective, you are probably right. It was more my immediate perspective as I watched the film. I am sure, on reflection, the film was not making the same philosophical viewpoint that was evoked in me by the powerful scene. Thanks for the clarification.
  14. Joined
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    26 Sep '12 18:061 edit
    Originally posted by Taoman
    A volleyball is not terribly grounded, yet on the other hand, the basketball is more holy. 🙂
    indeed, a great revelation! the volleyball is flighty and arrogant; it abhors the ground and avoids it all it can. the holy basketball on the other hand must not remain in the heavens for too long; it must periodically touch base with the ground and get back to its roots.
  15. Melbourne, Australia
    Joined
    24 May '10
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    7680
    26 Sep '12 22:45
    Originally posted by VoidSpirit
    indeed, a great revelation! the volleyball is flighty and arrogant; it abhors the ground and avoids it all it can. the holy basketball on the other hand must not remain in the heavens for too long; it must periodically touch base with the ground and get back to its roots.
    Accepted, but the volleyball, not being terribly grounded, was a more suitable counterpoint to the castaway, methinks. 🙂
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