Beyond ‘Pure’ Imagination
In ‘The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus’, Johnny Depp plays a character who says this to a lady in her imaginary world:
Prepare to be reborn.
Nothing is permanent.
Not even death.
Sounds like the stuff of the Heart Sutra,
which goes a step further and says that
there is no birth and death in the first place,
precisely because nothing is permanent -
to be born of and to die of,
that is born, that dies.
What is an imaginarium? In the movie, it is a doorway to the paradise in our mind, that we dream of. The best place beyond our imagination is Pure Land. We lack imagination of this best place possible due to our perception limited by deluded craving. Our best is not good enough, while the Buddha’s vision of it is really the best. Amitabha Buddha’s Pure Land has to be the best because Dharmakara Bodhisattva, who shaped Pure Land with his vows was manifested from the Dharmakaya, the universal body of all Buddhas – that supreme collective of perfect compassion and wisdom.