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Back to Reality

Sunday, October 9, 2016 9:48
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Back in the years when I owned a TV, my favorite program was Red Dwarf. It is an hysterically funny British sci-fi comedy—a spoof on Star Wars, Star Trek and other serious space adventure shows, with typical British wit and naughtiness. It began in 1988 and ran for ten series, and apparently is back again, starring the original main cast. One of these days, I am going to write an article on this show, because amid the slapstick comedy and clever dialogue, Rob Grant and Doug Naylor really knew their metaphysics, and there is barely a week goes by that I don’t experience something that reminds me of a Red Dwarf episode. If you are not familiar with this extraordinary production, please get so.

My favorite episode is Back to Reality, Series V, Episode 6 (and Steven Hawkings’s favorite, too, I have heard!!). Here, the crew of Red Dwarf encounters an ocean moon while exploring in Starbug. They find wreckage of the SSS Esperanto, which was on an evolutionary mission. However, it seems that everyone on board suddenly committed suicide. In fact, all life in this ocean committed suicide, including a haddock. (A haddock should never commit suicide.) But all too late, they discover a giant squid. While Holly, the ship’s computer tries to quickly get them back on board, they are squirted by the squid. Alas, it is the Despair Squid, and they are all now going into deep depression. They reenter Starbug and embark on a group hallucination.

They find themselves awakening hooked up to computers, where for the last four years they have been heroes in a simulated reality, “Red Dwarf: The Total Immersion Video Game,” where they each had specific challenges. But now they have lost their memories of their true identity. Gradually it returns, and it is a shock. Lister, who has prided himself on his compassion and morality towards humanity, finds that he is actually a ruthless, murderous mobster, “Voter Colonel Sebastian Doyle, the head of the secret police in a fascist state.”. Rimmer, the ship’s resident asshole has used false pretenses of aristocratic heritage to support his arrogance, finds that he is a smelly bum, and even worse, Lister’s half-brother, (whom he hates). The ultra-narcissistic Cat, the King of Cool, discovers he is really the Duke of Dork, Duane Dibbley, and they are now being pursued in a high-speed car chase. And the mechanoid Kryten, programmed to never hurt a human, at last also violates his ideal when, as an officer, he shoots someone. They are all about to commit suicide, when Holly, back in Starbug, who has been attempting to turn up the frequencies to get their attention, manages to communicate to Kryten to turn on a fire extinguisher that is hanging on a building. In actually, it is some kind of gas in a tank in Starbug, (because they have never left Starbug, except in their imaginations) that brings them all back to reality. It is Kryten, as usual, who brings wisdom to the situation when he observes that in the simulated reality, they had all become the complete opposite of their highest ideals, which brought them to despair and ruin, thus driving them to near suicide.

Well, folks, for eons, we have been in this simulated reality, imagining we are something we are not, stuck in a vast and seemingly endless group hallucination, where we appear to die, but are merely recycled to come back and do it all over again, never quite able to be who we know we are And the “Despair Squid” are the Reptilians, Aliens, Archons, or whatever the hell you wish to call them. They invaded our planet a very long time ago, and have been controlling us all these years. What we experience as reality is nothing but an illusion, and the time has come for it to end. Kryten has turned on the special gas and we will all recover our minds. The problem is, most people have little mind left. The hallucination for nearly all of humanity has become reality.

Even if you are not Buddhist, I recommend studying some Buddhism. I recently published a review on a book called The Awakening of Faith, on Mahayana Buddhism, and I quote here:

Therefore he should exercise a deep and thorough contemplation, thinking that all those [heretical states of samâdhi] are the temptations of Mâras or evil spirits that take advantage of the deficiency in merits and his intensity of karma-hindrances. After this thought he should make another thought, viz., that all these are nothing but mental hallucinations. (Emphasis mine) When he makes these thoughts, the visions and imaginations will instantly disappear, and, becoming free from all attributes [of limitation], he will enter into the true samâdhi. He has then not only liberated himself from all modes of subjectivity, he has also effaced the idea of suchness. Even when he rises up from a deep meditation, no visionary images, no prejudices will take possession of his mind, since he has destroyed the root of illusion through the power of the samâdhi.

Samâdhi means equilibrium, a state of consciousness in which all modes of mental activity are in equilibrium. Suchness means the highest reality, or the “purely formal” aspect of existence.


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