Saturday, April 5, 2008

Some thoughts on hate based on "Silent Hill (2006)" movie


Sometimes, I find inspiration not only in Buddhist books, but also in movies, which by using images can also offer a good visual explanation of profound teachings. So, even when I am lazy about studying the Dharma, the Dharma continues to come to me in many forms. In one of the last nights it came to me in the form of a horror movie which is called “Silent Hill”.

The story is about a little girl, named Alessa, who was burned alive by a group of religious fanatics who thought that she was a witch. She was saved from death in the last moment, but she never recovered from her serious wounds who affected the whole surface of her body. She became drowned in extreme fear and pain, which later transformed into strong hate.
It is said in the movie (I quote from memory):

“When you are hurt and scared for so much time, the fear and pain transforms into hate, and the hate begins to change the world”.When the hate of the burned little girl became extremely strong, a demon with the same appearance, came to her: “Then I came and I promised that they will fall in her darkest dream....”
In that moment, everything around Alessa, begun to change, Silent Hill becoming a secluded and cursed city after it was burned by a violent fire. People around Silent Hill used to say that coals are still burning in the mines beneath the city, for me a symbol of the strong hate that keeps burning inside us and can always burst into flames.

I take very personally some moments of this movie, in the sense that I can see many aspects of my own life in it, especially when it comes to feelings of hate I often feel towards people who, in my unenlightened view, harmed me and made me suffer. Those words I quoted above: “When you are hurt and scared for so much time, the fear and pain transforms into hate, and the hate begins to change the world” are very important to me.
“The hate begins to change the world”…
, that is, my personal world and karmic destiny, but also the world around me, like my relation with my friends, family, and every person I meet. All the people around us can be influenced by our hate, even if this hate is not directed towards everybody, but to some chosen persons we call enemies. When we are full with attachments, misery, and hate, this hate and misery can influence and be transmitted to others, can make other people suffer because of us, and they in return, can make others suffer, too. Hate transmits itself better than a contagious illness, it creates the personal hell and the common hell.

Asked what the demon and the little girl wants, the demon answers: “we want satisfaction, we want revenge”… And the demon says that she is the dark side of Alessa.
Then, there is another quote: “Evil awakens itself in revenge. Be careful what you chose”.
And I also remember the mother of Alessa, when she saw her daughter taking revenge to everybody who harmed her: “Oh my child, what have you become!” The movie offers you a very impressive image of the girl taking revenge, chains coming from all over her body to kill all the people who made her suffer. If you see the movie, I am sure you will remember that image for a long, long time. To me is a very powerful image representing pain, hate and revenge. The chains killed everybody, but those chains came from her body, so she was herself enchained by them, by her own hate.

The feeling of being hurt by others, fear, pain and pain transformed into hate, then hate taking action in the form of revenge… All this creates the hell I and other unenlightened beings live in. It is our everyday hell, which after our death might continue in the form of tortured revenging spirits, or mad spirits who feed on blood, or even in the hells described in the sutras. A person tortured by hate feels himself like burning even in this very life, so why in the next one this hate not be seen by him as real fire who burns continuously his flesh?

In what direction one’s mind-stream full of hate will go, left to its own power, if not to a place and environment full of hate, together with other people enslaved by hate? The outside will begin to resemble the inside - this is karma and rebirth in the lower realms.

And this is the reason why I take refuge in Amida Buddha. Because I see myself in the person of that little girl, burned with hate and wish for revenge, sending chains to my so called “enemies” to kill them, but also becoming myself caught in my own chains.
The matter of our own blind passions and attachments should not be taken easily. The burning coals inside us can always burst into huge flames and devour us and everything around us, changing our karmic destiny for many eons . We can never know in whom we may transform due to them. I also don’t think it is good to let all those strong feelings and negative energies into our own power to solve and overcome. For this, we need a more powerful force to help us and stop this misery to continue in another life. I am thinking here, of course, to the power of Amida Buddha. His saving activity manifested in his Primal Vow is the only chance for us, beings confronted with our evil karma, strong hate and pain.
Namo Amida Butsu


4 comentarii:

Riona said...

wow! i just read your blog about the silent hill movie... and i have to say that i agree with you in every word!

For long time i had a problem coping with my feelings, especially hate caught me from time to time, but i someday i realized that hate only leads to more unpleasured things. ("hate begins to change the world..")

so when i started to change that, everything changed aswell..

so that's why this is one of my favorite quotes:

In every bit of honest writing in the world, there is a base theme. Try to each other, and you will be kind to each other.
Knowing a man well, never leads to hate and nearly always leads to love.

~John Steinbeck

Josho Adrian Cirlea said...

thank you, riona, for your comments. in the movie you will find more inspiring quotes. keep in touch!

Riona said...

oh i just recognized that the wuote was missing a word, eheh, sorry! maybe i was just tired!

i saw the movie when it got at the cinema years ago. i liked it because as you say besides the fact that i like horror movies, silent hill has some nice quotes and even a kind of statement.. it made me think about many other things.. and i like that!

In every bit of honest writing in the world, there is a base theme. Try to UNDERSTAND each other, and you will be kind to each other.
Knowing a man well, never leads to hate and nearly always leads to love.

~John Steinbeck

Josho Adrian Cirlea said...

Thank you again, Riona.
To me this movie showed also another more important thing: some wounds never heal but remain with us in this life and in the next. We are in fact always caring in us the wounds and evil karma of many life times.
It is not in the capacity of an ordinary person, like Alessa was, to oppose their pain, hate and the consequences of these. The coals that people said are always burning beneath that city was for me an example of the evil karma of hate and suffering of many lives that keeps burning inside us and can always burst outside into flames. The blind passions and ignorance of ordinary people is not an easy thing to change and we in Jodo Shinshu say that, in fact, nobody can ever destroy his evil karma and blind passions by his own power so that he can be sure this will never manifest itself in this life or in the next.

To me, this movie showed the actual desperate situation of myself, an ordinary person under the influence of his own blind passions and who needs immediately a final solution for escape. And like Alessa, who didn’t recovered in the movie from her own hate, because she was too sick and too much suffering to do something, also ordinary people might never heal from their many known or unknown wounds or evil tendencies cultivated in many lives of ignorance, hate and pain.

This is why I said at the end of my commentary that “I don’t think it is good to let all those strong feelings and negative energies into our own power to solve and overcome. For this, we need a more powerful force to help us and stop this misery to continue in another life. I am thinking here, of course, to the power of Amida Buddha. His saving activity manifested in his Primal Vow is the only chance for us, beings confronted with our evil karma, strong hate and pain.”