Waking Life

Waking Life

After we return to work from a retreat or vacation, we may find ourselves with the thought, “Wasn’t that the way it should be all the time? Shouldn’t our ‘normal’ lives be the exception?” Well, if we work hard enough, and stay focused on the right endeavors, of course, all suffering will fall away and bliss will be ours. First though, we have to be sure which is which. Which is suffering and which is pleasure. It may not be as easy a question as it seems. On the way to figuring it all out, Richard Linklater’s Waking Life is a great, diversion…..it begins with the question: What are dreams? Are they an escape from reality or are they reality itself? Waking Life follows the dream(s) of one man and his attempt to find and discern the absolute difference between waking life and the dream world. While trying to figure out a way to wake up, he runs into many people on his way; some of which offer one sentence asides on life, others delving deeply into existential questions and life’s mysteries. We become the main character. It becomes our dream and our questions being asked and answered. Can we control our dreams? What are they telling us about life? About death? About ourselves and where we come from and where we are going? The film does not answer all these for us. Instead, it inspires us to ask the questions and find the answers ourselves.