Waking (Dreaming): A Vedantic Reflection on Richard Linklater’s Waking Life


  • Jaya Upadhyay University of Lucknow




Dreaming, Illusion, Waking, Vedantic, Consciousness


This is a reading of the film Waking Life (2001) in the framework of the Indic philosophy of ‘Vedanta,’ more specifically the ‘Advaita’ or the non-dual school of Vedanta. The film’s narrative is constructed out of the protagonist’s dreamscapes. The itinerant protagonist moves through conversations within his dreams, trying to make sense of his ‘wake walking’ situation. These conversations take the form of a more significant philosophical reflection upon the conscious life of humans. In this paper, I analyze some of these conversations and discussions from the Advaita point of view to affirm the film’s orientation towards a spiritual and metaphysical reflection on human life.


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How to Cite

Upadhyay, J. (2021). Waking (Dreaming): A Vedantic Reflection on Richard Linklater’s Waking Life. CINEJ Cinema Journal, 9(1), 292–319. https://doi.org/10.5195/cinej.2021.330