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PostPosted: Sat Dec 09, 2006 10:09 pm 
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From the Philippe Perrier interview (Tidbit #?)
“I traveled to Asia. People, over there, attach less importance to the life than us. I attended a funeral, they had burned died it and made small packages of its ashes. Then, they hung these packages with rockets which they sent towards the sky. Here, we have too high opinion of the individual existence. The individual, for me, is not worth anything; he can die of the day at the following day and has importance only as a sample. What counts, be the human one, the universal one. To seize the human one through the individual, that, it is interesting.”

Since I am no expert of Eastern Religion and Buddism seems to be the theme here whether Laurant wants us to appy it or not.
How do you interpret Graff’s words? Can anyone comment on the difference in the perception of life and death between these two cultures?

In the tidbit interview he says "Here, we have too high opinion of the individual existence" "What counts, be the human one, the universal one." My guess from this translation is that he thinks the humanity of the universe is more important than the individual. By being selfless we care more about humanity as a whole. To take this a step further, it is humanity that is important not the life of each person's as we tend to value here. I don't think its the body he is talking of but the individual compared to all of humanity.

A little off subject from Graff and back to Antionne.
I did a little searching and found this paragraph that reminds me of Antionne.

Quote:
Where the Brahmins of India taught that nirvana was attained when the soul becomes one with the Universal soul, Buddha held that nirvana is actually the termination of rebirths. That is, you finally get to get off the wheel. You've reached Nirvana, you're done, you cease to exist. It's hard to see where the hope lies in this, but rebirth after rebirth could, I suppose, make your complete elimination from existence sound appealing.

This paragraph, I think came closest to what Antionne is trying to do. I dont think he is so much into the rebirths as he is trying to shortcut to a state of Nirvana. I think this may be what he feels death is. He is trying to get closer and closer to ceasing to exist.



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 Post subject: Re: Happy Days Question #6 ~ Culturally Speaking
PostPosted: Sat Dec 09, 2006 10:09 pm 
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Veronica wrote:

He is saying that the body isnt whats important its what you do with your life. I think alot of people in the US feel the same way. Its all in what you believe in. The funeral he is describing is different than "the norm" Unless your Hunter S Thompson, that is.


You can't take it with you. It's the soul that's important.

Depputante wrote:
So one can change their Karma/destiny. So they may have had bad Karma up to that point, it can be changed.


This would be the same idea for sin in the Christian religion. Your destiny can be changed by repenting and changing your ways.



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PostPosted: Sat Dec 09, 2006 10:18 pm 
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gemini wrote:
A little off subject from Graff and back to Antionne.
I did a little searching and found this paragraph that reminds me of Antionne.

Quote:
Where the Brahmins of India taught that nirvana was attained when the soul becomes one with the Universal soul, Buddha held that nirvana is actually the termination of rebirths. That is, you finally get to get off the wheel. You've reached Nirvana, you're done, you cease to exist. It's hard to see where the hope lies in this, but rebirth after rebirth could, I suppose, make your complete elimination from existence sound appealing.

This paragraph, I think came closest to what Antionne is trying to do. I dont think he is so much into the rebirths as he is trying to shortcut to a state of Nirvana. I think this may be what he feels death is. He is trying to get closer and closer to ceasing to exist.


I'm just having the hardest time getting my arms around this concept. I can't relate to it, I guess. I can't relate to the idea of wanting to cease to exist. I want to feel there is an afterlife. I don't want there to be nothing.



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PostPosted: Sat Dec 09, 2006 11:05 pm 
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Liz wrote:
gemini wrote:
A little off subject from Graff and back to Antionne.
I did a little searching and found this paragraph that reminds me of Antionne.

Quote:
Where the Brahmins of India taught that nirvana was attained when the soul becomes one with the Universal soul, Buddha held that nirvana is actually the termination of rebirths. That is, you finally get to get off the wheel. You've reached Nirvana, you're done, you cease to exist. It's hard to see where the hope lies in this, but rebirth after rebirth could, I suppose, make your complete elimination from existence sound appealing.

This paragraph, I think came closest to what Antionne is trying to do. I dont think he is so much into the rebirths as he is trying to shortcut to a state of Nirvana. I think this may be what he feels death is. He is trying to get closer and closer to ceasing to exist.


I'm just having the hardest time getting my arms around this concept. I can't relate to it, I guess. I can't relate to the idea of wanting to cease to exist. I want to feel there is an afterlife. I don't want there to be nothing.

Yes, It is hard to understand why he feels this way. I think if he thought there was an afterlife he wouldn't drop out of this life but maybe try to dedicate himself to some good causes.



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PostPosted: Sat Dec 09, 2006 11:13 pm 
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Liz wrote:
gemini wrote:
A little off subject from Graff and back to Antionne.
I did a little searching and found this paragraph that reminds me of Antionne.

Quote:
Where the Brahmins of India taught that nirvana was attained when the soul becomes one with the Universal soul, Buddha held that nirvana is actually the termination of rebirths. That is, you finally get to get off the wheel. You've reached Nirvana, you're done, you cease to exist. It's hard to see where the hope lies in this, but rebirth after rebirth could, I suppose, make your complete elimination from existence sound appealing.

This paragraph, I think came closest to what Antionne is trying to do. I dont think he is so much into the rebirths as he is trying to shortcut to a state of Nirvana. I think this may be what he feels death is. He is trying to get closer and closer to ceasing to exist.


I'm just having the hardest time getting my arms around this concept. I can't relate to it, I guess. I can't relate to the idea of wanting to cease to exist. I want to feel there is an afterlife. I don't want there to be nothing.


Well Liz, think of it as being equivalent of being allowed into the pearly gates of Heaven, rather than ceasing to exist.



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 Post subject: Re: Happy Days Question #6 ~ Culturally Speaking
PostPosted: Sat Dec 09, 2006 11:19 pm 
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DeppInTheHeartOfTexas wrote:
From the Philippe Perrier interview (Tidbit #?)

“I traveled to Asia. People, over there, attach less importance to the life than us. I attended a funeral, they had burned died it and made small packages of its ashes. Then, they hung these packages with rockets which they sent towards the sky. Here, we have too high opinion of the individual existence. The individual, for me, is not worth anything; he can die of the day at the following day and has importance only as a sample. What counts, be the human one, the universal one. To seize the human one through the individual, that, it is interesting.”

How do you interpret Graff’s words? Can anyone comment on the difference in the perception of life and death between these two cultures?


I'm a bit lost here too, commenting on this subject.

What I do feel is that here we have a most interesting subject that we all can look at in our own way based on our own beliefs of death and life after death. Although what we leave here on earth is important, at death the soul leaves the body to other destinations.

Perhaps Antoine is fooling us all. . .that he really has turned within to ponder death, so as his transition, when it does come, has been prepared for and he may very well go beyond all. There is much to be learned from elders.

Lady Jill


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 09, 2006 11:35 pm 
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I'm enjoying hearing other points of views as well !
Don't let me or Parlez stop y'all !
Kind of like sitting in Harry Potter's Divination class.
:chill:
Comparative Religion is a very interesting subject.
I think we have alot to learn from Antoine, even though, it does feel like he's trying to skip to the end without going through due process. Maybe that's why it's such a short book. He cuts corners to get to the point.

The book in general seems odd to me. To be so short, and such a subliminally deep subject. I would think the author could have done it more justice by putting in more detail as to Antoine's religious leanings, goals, etc...



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PostPosted: Sun Dec 10, 2006 12:35 am 
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A famous statesman (Churchill? Roosevelt? Franklin?)once said, "If you don't learn from the past, you're bound to repeat it." That's one way to sum up the idea of rebirth and karma and
the whole wheel of reincarnation that runs through Eastern religious thought. I think we've all experienced the exhausting
repetition of at least some aspects of our lives, including certain thought patterns that just don't seem to let us 'see' something in a new light. ("through a glass darkly") That's the appealing part about acheiving enlightenment/extinction, in both Hindism and Buddhism. We think of life as being so precious in the West,
but in the East it's a different perspective ~ it's not that life doesn't matter, but there's something more to each person's focus that makes this lifetime less significant compared to the Big Picture ~ the Big Picture being cessation (or completion) of life in general and the premanent attainment of bliss/nirvana/heaven.

HOW this is acheived is the hard part! Some, in the monastic tradition of every religion, claim you must be removed from the world - because it's sinful or corrupt or distracting. Others say you need to go into the world - in a life of service and involvement and full paricipation.

I get back to my view of Antoine as an ascetic, a contemplative
and a mystic. That's why his story can be short - because there's no ego-mind-action to report. Things just ARE for Antoine. The world swirls around him, but he's just trying to
Be. Here. Now. I'm kind of surprised the book is a long as it is!



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PostPosted: Sun Dec 10, 2006 12:55 am 
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Quote:

If you don't learn from the past, you're bound to repeat it."



That was George Santayana who said that. Santayana was a Spanish Philosopher.



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PostPosted: Sun Dec 10, 2006 1:05 am 
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Depputante wrote:
Liz wrote:
gemini wrote:
A little off subject from Graff and back to Antionne.
I did a little searching and found this paragraph that reminds me of Antionne.

Quote:
Where the Brahmins of India taught that nirvana was attained when the soul becomes one with the Universal soul, Buddha held that nirvana is actually the termination of rebirths. That is, you finally get to get off the wheel. You've reached Nirvana, you're done, you cease to exist. It's hard to see where the hope lies in this, but rebirth after rebirth could, I suppose, make your complete elimination from existence sound appealing.

This paragraph, I think came closest to what Antionne is trying to do. I dont think he is so much into the rebirths as he is trying to shortcut to a state of Nirvana. I think this may be what he feels death is. He is trying to get closer and closer to ceasing to exist.


I'm just having the hardest time getting my arms around this concept. I can't relate to it, I guess. I can't relate to the idea of wanting to cease to exist. I want to feel there is an afterlife. I don't want there to be nothing.


Well Liz, think of it as being equivalent of being allowed into the pearly gates of Heaven, rather than ceasing to exist.


Well said, Depputante.

As Depputante stated, it is not about ceasing to be it is about ceasing to be reborn. For anyone familiar with self-actualization (a la Maslow) think of that idea but in other-worldly terms :lol:


This link has some info about nirvana.
I hope this works



http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nirvana



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PostPosted: Sun Dec 10, 2006 1:07 am 
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Gracias, rainbowsoul!
:chill:



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PostPosted: Sun Dec 10, 2006 8:34 am 

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Is makes me wonder how they plan to make this book into a movie..there are people who go to the movie just to escape and do not want to think about the behind the scenes, why he said this, what did he mean here....I have the feeling unless they can come up some meat in this movie (or explain better his why and where it got him, or why was he doing this) that the critics will have a field day.

I took comparative religions in college, but that has been so many moons ago...and I only retained a couple of things from it..

..one was that you don't mess with reincarnation...if there is a begger on the street, don't offer him money or food or anything...he is paying for his sins from the previous life.

..two, and I've never seen this anywhere else - and it must have been a long dead religion...that these people believed everything was sacred...land, water, fire, etc...so when their loved ones died, they put the on a tall trellis structure and let the birds pick their flesh off the skin until only the bones remained...then there was this bottomless well (a hole so deep you could never here the splash) and they'd drop the bones down this "black hole". It was one of the few times I think I stayed awake in class....much more intersting than detailing the wars over land masses.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 10, 2006 10:51 am 
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Always wished I'd taken comparative religion and am enjoying learning about these outlooks. Nirvana sounds cool! :cool: But somehow I feel that Antoine only takes an interest in death because it's the one part of life that he can't escape!



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PostPosted: Sun Dec 10, 2006 10:54 am 
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Thanks everyone for all the great information. It really is interesting to see how different religions view life and death.

Charlene, those last burial practices you referenced remind me a bit of Native American culture. Not so much the bird part but being one with all of nature.

I wonder if the author intentionally keeps details of Antoine's life outside of Happy Days to a minimum to make him a more universal character. If we knew his religion or background, we would probably ascribe attributes and thoughts to him based on that information. Since we don't really know too much he is more of a blank slate that we can write our own story on based on our own experiences and reference points.



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PostPosted: Sun Dec 10, 2006 2:13 pm 
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Charlene, the Jain religion is alive and well in India. That's the one where everything is sacred and some Jains even where masks so they won't accidentally breath in any small living microbes. Their funeral practices are as you describe - the body is placed in a Tower of Silence structure where the vultures take care of the corpse. Kind of macabre, isn't it?! The Tibetans also have a grisly practice of hacking up the dead body and feeding the parts to the vultures. Some Native American cultures placed the corpse up high on a plaform and let it return to the elements.

D-T, I agree with you about the blank slate approach, and (IMO) it would be a more interesting way to handle the material on film than giving all the motivations away.

Thanks for all your amazing thoughts and knowledge and curiousity on this topic!!



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