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A Zen Story and The Green Mile.

Comments on A Zen Story and The Green Mile.

Thinker13
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Posted 07/03/10 - 9:44 AM:
Subject: A Zen Story and The Green Mile.
IS THAT SO?

A beautiful girl in the village was pregnant. Her angry parents demanded to know who was the father. At first resistant to confess, the anxious and embarrassed girl finally pointed to Hakuin, the Zen master whom everyone previously revered for living such a pure life. When the outraged parents confronted Hakuin with their daughter's accusation, he simply replied


"Is that so?"
When the child was born, the parents brought it to the Hakuin, who now was viewed as a pariah by the whole village. They demanded that he take care of the child since it was his responsibility.

"Is that so?"
Hakuin said calmly as he accepted the child.

For many months he took very good care of the child until the daughter could no longer withstand the lie she had told. She confessed that the real father was a young man in the village whom she had tried to protect. The parents immediately went to Hakuin to see if he would return the baby. With profuse apologies they explained what had happened.
"Is that so?"

Hakuin said as he handed them the child.

________________________ _________________________________ __________________________________ _________________________________________________

The Green Mile

Yesterday night I had the pleasure of watching a good movie with a friend of mine. The title of the movie is ‘The Green Mile’. The name suggests a domain for the execution of condemned prisoners, because, they are supposedly walking their last mile before death. Tom Hanks has well portrayed the role of an execution officer. The movie has been adapted from a Stephen King novel of the same name. In my opinion: this is a story of a sage. Though the story is narrated by Paul(Tom Hanks), still, the central figure seems to be the sage(John-the healer).
In spite of having been convicted, he gives no pretexts. Like the sage in the Zen story he is very stoical. Moreover, he is a healer and in order to heal others he takes immense pains himself and finally accepts the death which is not justified. He is immensely sensitive towards the pain of others and in-spite of having devoted all his energies in healing others he demands nothing in return. Like Bodhisattva of Buddhist Jataka tales, he is immensely aware of the suffering in the world but being extremely sensitive he is unable to bear the pain any- more and hence prefers death over escape. Nothing has been told about the life of the sage, no background information.

The movie is worth being watched.

Do let me know your views on the same.
Zum
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Zum
Posted 07/03/10 - 12:12 PM:

I like the first story. Looks as though the sage is so advanced, he has no real preferences, or if he does, he doesn't get excited about them. Public disgrace? I kind of liked being respected, but okay, I'll experience this now. Care for the child? Why not? (He cares diligently for the child and perhaps comes to love it.) Ah, you've come to take the child? Well, I love the child, but he's not my child--nor is he the parents' child... Okay.
Thinker13
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Posted 07/07/10 - 8:01 AM:

Zum wrote:
I like the first story. Looks as though the sage is so advanced, he has no real preferences, or if he does, he doesn't get excited about them. Public disgrace? I kind of liked being respected, but okay, I'll experience this now. Care for the child? Why not? (He cares diligently for the child and perhaps comes to love it.) Ah, you've come to take the child? Well, I love the child, but he's not my child--nor is he the parents' child... Okay.



Not 'advanced' Zum. The fact is: just because he is a 'sage' he behaves like that. I read this story once, when a mystic was using it as an example of a 'sage'. smiling face
libertygrl
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Posted 07/07/10 - 9:42 AM:

i haven't seen "the green mile" but from your description of it, thinker, i think you may also find parallels in "the shawshank redemption", also based on a stephen king story. this latter is one of my most favorite movies. if you have the opportunity to check it out, would love to hear your thoughts on it. thumb up
Thinker13
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Posted 07/07/10 - 1:37 PM:

libertygrl wrote:
i haven't seen "the green mile" but from your description of it, thinker, i think you may also find parallels in "the shawshank redemption", also based on a stephen king story. this latter is one of my most favorite movies. if you have the opportunity to check it out, would love to hear your thoughts on it. thumb up



Indeed lib. The Shawshank Redemption is also one of my favorite movies. The protagonist in this drama is also sage like but there are some differences when compared to the Green Mile. I was not aware of the fact that SR is also based on a Stephen King story. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

The sage-healer in the Green mile, as well as the protagonist of the SR, both are very distinct personalities, they are different from other folks.

The former one is more sensitive, more vulnerable, more child-like, more sage-like. The later one is also an introvert though. The later one is more of a genius than that of a sage.

One main difference(IMHO) is: The former one is well aware of his complete innocence, but solely because of his complete indifference, because of his acute sensitivity towards the suffering of humanity and perhaps because of his awareness(and I am not clear whether it is not making it more obfuscated or hyper accentuated...) of his share into the totality of Karma, he accepts the suffering.(not exactly like Jesus Christ, to show fellow mortals 'The Way', but somewhat similar to him, at least to show some of them, the right path).

But the protagonist of SR is very dubious regarding the role he has played in the affair. He is not free of guilty(though he is rather calm than being penitent). He is very righteous in his dealings with other beings. He is a good friend too. It is really a good movie .


-Thinker13
libertygrl
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Posted 07/07/10 - 6:13 PM:

interesting observations, i will have to check out the green mile and let you know what i think. but regarding zum's comment, is not a sage someone who is considered "advanced"? merriam webster defines sage as "wise through reflection and experience".
Thinker13
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Posted 07/08/10 - 10:31 AM:

libertygrl wrote:
interesting observations, i will have to check out the green mile and let you know what i think. but regarding zum's comment, is not a sage someone who is considered "advanced"? merriam webster defines sage as "wise through reflection and experience".



Indeed lib. It is my mistake. I thought that she was using 'advanced' for suggesting that he is an 'advanced' sage(which means that there are sages which are not so 'advanced'; in that case, I just wanted to tell, that in my opinion, just being a sage is being 'advanced' in wisdom.)

Thanks,

Thinker13
Zum
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Posted 07/18/10 - 9:55 PM:

If I remember "Shawshank Redemption" correctly, the protagonist is innocent of the murder. He escapes through extreme cleverness and a patience that one might actually learn in prison. He also learns about dishonest dealings by the chief of operations and...well, let me get back to you on that...

That movie has a great scene. Early on,viewers are shown and allowed to hear the prison yard; it is full of noisy chaos. The protagonist works upstairs in an office where classical music is kept for the enjoyment of the directors. One day he locks the boss out of the room, puts on an operatic duet (I think it is), and broadcasts it out into the prison yard. All conversation, arguments, threats, and rants cease at once, and every man looks up, amazed, toward the source of those sounds from an unknown world.
libertygrl
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Posted 07/20/10 - 11:28 AM:

Thinker13 wrote:
But the protagonist of SR is very dubious regarding the role he has played in the affair. He is not free of guilty(though he is rather calm than being penitent).

zum recalls correctly that he was found innocent of the murder; later in the film an inmate confesses to the crime for which the protagonist was convicted. in what way is he guilty, in your view thinker?

(by the way, i've rented "the green mile" and have it at home, but have not had a chance to watch it yet, will share my thoughts on it soon)
Thinker13
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Posted 07/20/10 - 1:46 PM:

libertygrl wrote:

zum recalls correctly that he was found innocent of the murder; later in the film an inmate confesses to the crime for which the protagonist was convicted. in what way is he guilty, in your view thinker?


Zum is quite accurate in suggesting so lib. Actually I failed to convey that he was guilty and penitent only until a point in the drama. When compared to the sage in The Green Mile; he was guilty for a while and later reformist in his own way but the protagonist of the Green Mile seems to have been free of guilt from the very beginning with immense compassion.

(by the way, i've rented "the green mile" and have it at home, but have not had a chance to watch it yet, will share my thoughts on it soon)


Welcome.smiling face
Zenoplata
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Posted 02/08/11 - 11:06 PM:

I think beyond the common theme of mysteriousness in both characters they are much different in their behavior.

The zen master is disassociated, he has no desires or cares, he is like a stream flowing down a mountain.

The character from The Green Mile possesses fears, cares, and worries. He may be an admirable character, but is not a very good example of zen.
Thinker13
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Posted 02/14/11 - 9:11 AM:

I agree with you Zenoplata. What is the meaning of your name, if I beg your pardon?
Zenoplata
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Posted 02/14/11 - 4:13 PM:

Omoplata and gogoplata are moves in Brazilian jujitsu. I came up with zenoplata because my goal is to attain a zen-like state while doing that particular martial art. Saying your goal is to become zen is not a path to zen, however.

I still liked the name so I kept it.
Thinker13
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Posted 02/15/11 - 7:18 AM:

Zenoplata wrote:
Omoplata and gogoplata are moves in Brazilian jujitsu. I came up with zenoplata because my goal is to attain a zen-like state while doing that particular martial art. Saying your goal is to become zen is not a path to zen, however.

I still liked the name so I kept it.



Glad to know that. thumb up
libertygrl
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Posted 05/21/12 - 11:16 AM:

finally i took the time to watch "the green mile" last night. i had rented it before, but finally returned it unwatched as the timing was not right before.

well, it should be no surprise the similarities between it and the shawshank redemption - besides being both based on a stephen king story, they are also both adapted for the screen and directed by the same director.

was john coffey a sage? he made great sacrifices to help others - but in the end, his death was a suicide. edgecombe (tom hanks' character) had offered him the opportunity to run away, and he refused it, saying that he was too tired to keep going on. on the one hand, it was a wrongful execution. and on the other hand, he had also manipulated the sadistic warden percy to kill wild bill, the rapist and murderer of the two young girls. so can he be said to be completely innocent? i'm curious to know your thoughts thinker.

nonetheless, surely the character of john coffey is impossible not to love. i don't feel that he did anything wrong, personally, i think most audiences will agree that he made things right out of a bad situation.

i believe his character symbolizes all that is quietly mysterious about the emotional universe - the magic and the wonder but also the pain and torment. truly a great film, and thanks for the recommendation. thumb up
thedoc
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Posted 05/21/12 - 2:38 PM:

I have not seen 'Shawshank Redemption', but I saw 'The green Mile' several years ago. The character of the healer John Coffey did in effect commit suicide and as I saw it he was tired of the hatred directed toward him, in spite of the good he could do. He was a black man living in the south amid extreme racial predujice, and the general population, unaware of his gift, just saw the opportunity to 'get rid' of another black man. An interesting effect seemed to be that his healing had the effect of extending the life of the individual. The mouse was still alive many years later and the narriator, Paul, pondered "if the mouse could live that much longer, how much longer will a person live?" I also noticed that Percy, now in an asylum, seemed to be aware of what he had done, one wonders if he had been condemed to long life, to ponder his errors, as well? Pauls gift of longevity seems to be a double edged sword as he is outliving all those he comes to love.
Thinker13
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Posted 05/25/12 - 12:08 AM:

libertygrl wrote:

well, it should be no surprise the similarities between it and the shawshank redemption - besides being both based on a stephen king story, they are also both adapted for the screen and directed by the same director.


I was not aware of it; interesting.

lib wrote:
was john coffey a sage? he made great sacrifices to help others - but in the end, his death was a suicide. edgecombe (tom hanks' character) had offered him the opportunity to run away, and he refused it, saying that he was too tired to keep going on. on the one hand, it was a wrongful execution. and on the other hand, he had also manipulated the sadistic warden percy to kill wild bill, the rapist and murderer of the two young girls. so can he be said to be completely innocent? i'm curious to know your thoughts thinker.


The main rationale behind suggesting the idea of 'sage' was his sensitivities. I think that he is a very sensitive character, though some of his 'means' might be questionable. He is acutely sensitive of human suffering and works to alleviate it, that is why, I call him almost a sage.


lib wrote:

nonetheless, surely the character of john coffey is impossible not to love. i don't feel that he did anything wrong, personally, i think most audiences will agree that he made things right out of a bad situation.

i believe his character symbolizes all that is quietly mysterious about the emotional universe - the magic and the wonder but also the pain and torment. truly a great film, and thanks for the recommendation.


I agree. You're most welcome, lib.
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