Silence of the Space

gravityWhen should one let go and when should one hang on? That’s the big question the movie ‘Gravity’ continually posed to me, as well as Dr. Ryan Stone (played by Sandra Bullock). Throughout the movie, she struggled with dilemmas of personal morale and ethics with great intensity. And in a weird way, it reminded me of Lemony Snicket’s ‘A Series of Unfortunate Events’. Not because there is a similar storyline but that ‘Gravity’ is really about a series of unfortunate events, although there is a triumph at the end. Not to let the cat out of the bag, I shall let you discover what happens yourself.

When Matt Kowalski (played by George Clooney) asked Dr. Ryan Stone what she like about space, she answered, as I guessed, ‘Silence’. That’s probably one of the most prominent characteristics of space. But if you are a Buddhist meditation practitioner, you’ll probably see no need to take a million dollar shuttle and dress in a heavy spacesuit to go ‘moonwalking’ in space. With the right concentration, one can enter into a silencing stage.

And with deep concentration, one will enter the Sphere of Infinite Space, a mental state where ‘perception of the dimension of the infinitude of space, singleness of mind, contact, feeling, perception, intention, consciousness, desire, decision, persistence, mindfulness, equanimity and attention.’ (Anupada Sutta: One After Another –

Total silencing of the mind and body can be reached when one attains Nirvana. The silence that Dr. Ryan Stone described was just physical absence of sound, while the cacophony of stray thoughts ferment within the mind. If we can silent our mind, we could silent external noise of the world as well. However, if we can’t silent our mind, even in space, which is vacuum, the noise in our mind can prove deafening – since its audibility stands out in sharp contrast.

Overall, ‘Gravity’ is a not too bad a movie to watch, but don’t take all the scenes too literally, as they are for your entertainment. (Some scientists are arguing online on how some scenes aren’t physically realistic enough.) Sometimes, enlightening truth is ‘silenced’ from media – to make things more entertaining? May all beings attain Nirvana soon.

Related Article:
Unbearable Weight Of Gravity

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