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

Jaya Upadhyay

Abstract


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.


Keywords


Dreaming; Illusion; Waking; Vedantic; Consciousness

Full Text:

PDF

References


Albahari, M. (2019). Beyond Cosmopsychism and the Great I Am: How the World might be Grounded in Universal ‘Advaitic’ Consciousness. The Routledge Handbook of Panpsychism. 119-130.

https://www.academia.edu/29740491/Beyond_Cosmopsychism_and_the_Great_I_Am_How_the_World_might_be_Grounded_in_Universal_Advaitic_Consciousness.

Chang, C. (2001). Movie of the moment: Waking Life--cosmic babble. Film Comment, 37(5), 22-24.

Elsaesser, T., W. Buckland, D. Polan, S. Jeong (2021). The Mind-Game Film: Distributed Agency, Time Travel, and Productive Pathology. Routledge.

Great Unsolved Philosophical Questions. (2018, January 27). Oxford University Press. Retrieved from https://blog.oup.com/2018/01/5-great-unsolved-philosophical-questions/

Grabiner, E. (2015). The Holy Moment: Waking Life and Linklater’s Sublime Dream Time. The Film Quarterly, 68(3), 41-47. https://online.ucpress.edu/fq/issue/68/3.

Linklater, R. (Director). (2001). Waking Life [Film]. Thousand Words. https://yts.mx/movie/waking-life-2001.

Linklater, R. (Director). (2013). Before Midnight [Film]. Castle Rock Entertainment. https://ytson.com/movie/before-midnight-2013/.

Mann, D. (2010). Buddhists, Existentialists, and Situationists: Waking up in Waking Life. Journal of Film and Video, 62(4), 15-30.

Astavakra Samhita. (2015). (Nityaswarupananda. S, Trans.). Advaita Ashrama.

Sarvapriyananda, S. (2020). Consciousness and Self in Advaita Vedanta. Prabuddha Bharata, 125(1), 87-97. https://advaitaashrama.org/read/.

Shaviro, S. (2007). Emotion capture: affect in digital film. Projections, 1(2), 37-56.

The Mandukya Upanishad with Gaudapada’s Karika and Shankara’s Commentary. (2013). (Nikhilananda. S, Trans.). Advaita Ashrama.

Wilson, D. K. (2016). Tango for a Dream: Narrative Liminality and Musical Sensuality in Richard Linklater’s Waking Life. Alphaville: Journal of Film and Screen Media, 2016(8), 1-16. http://www.alphavillejournal.com/Issue8/PDFs/ArticleKulezicWilson.pdf.




DOI: https://doi.org/10.5195/cinej.2021.330

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.




Copyright (c) 2021 Jaya Upadhyay

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

This journal is published by the University Library System, University of Pittsburgh

ISSN 2159-2411 (print) 2158-8724 (online)