“In communism, and even capitalism, and most isms……. corporate efficiency will often trump individual convenience - until they figure out how to charge a premium for the convenience. I am starting to think more and more that a pure democracy would be the majority run rampant, and we need to be able to focus legislation in a more humanistic manner…. to control the majority and represent human rights.”—Uncle Fishbits
“My atheism, like that of Spinoza, is true piety towards the universe and denies only gods fashioned by men in their own image, to be servants of their human interests.”—George Santayana, Soliloquies in England
The film [ENTER THE VOID] is astonishingly ambitious, both technically and philosophically. There can’t be many directors attempting to show what it’s like to die in the first person and then be reincarnated. What set you on the path to such a film?
I read books on reincarnation and many books about out-of-body experiences. Actually, the movie is not so much about reincarnation. It’s more about someone who gets shot while on acid and DMT [Dimethyltryptamine], and trips out about his own death and dreams about his soul escaping from his flesh, because he wants to keep this promise to his sister that he’ll never leave her, even after death.
I don’t believe in life after death. But I still enjoyed the idea of doing a movie that would portray that collective dream, that collective need. Like flying saucers are a collective need for people who need to believe in flying saucers. You don’t need to believe in flying saucers to do a movie about Martians or flying saucers.
You just say, well, it’s in literature and books and people need to believe there’s something after [death] because otherwise life is too short. It’s better to tell people that, don’t worry, life is short but you get to have a second chance. You can survive and always rearrange things that happened in your lifetime.
That’s what all religions rely on. They say you’ll be rewarded somewhere up there in the sky, or if you misbehave you’ll go to hell. But those are brainwashing tools to make people take their money and bring it to the churches.
Buddhists are not as hardcore as Catholics and other religions, but they’re still, I think, part of such a huge lie that it’s scary. I didn’t want to promote that lie, and at the end, when you see the baby coming out from the mother’s belly, you don’t see the face of [the central character’s] sister, you see the face of the mother, so you don’t know if you’re seeing his original birth. He’s recreating a false memory of that traumatic moment that was his birth when he discovered light and oxygen. Or is he just getting into a loop, and your perception of time is only likened to how your brain is built.
“[God has] “an inordinate fondness for beetles.””—J.B.S. Haldane - When asked by Theologians what could be inferred from his studies, he would proffer this apocraphyal response. This is a reference to there being over 400,000 known species of beetles in the world, and that this represents 40% of all known insect species (at the time of the statement, it was over half of all known insect species).
“Each person has inside a basic decency and goodness. If he listens to it and acts on it, he is giving a great deal of what it is the world needs most. It is not complicated but it takes courage. It takes courage for a person to listen to his own goodness and act on it.”—Pablo Casals
“I am very happy your religion works for you. I am. The issue is that it needs to work for everybody, and if it isn’t equitable and just across the board, it negates any personal benefits you might think you feel.”—Uncle Fishbits
“The time will come when diligent research over long periods will bring to light things which now lie hidden. There will come a time when our descendants will be amazed that we did not know things that are so plain to them… Many discoveries are reserved for ages still to come, when memory of us will have been effaced. Our universe is a sorry little affair unless it has in it something for every age to investigate… Nature does not reveal her mysteries once and for all.”— Seneca
“Power does what it wants (…) and now they’re just more naked about it. Now they just put it right out front and say ‘this is what we’re doing to you folks’. This country is finished, its been sliding downhill for a long time. And everybody has got a cellphone that makes pancakes so they don’t want to rock the boat. They don’t want to make any trouble. The people have been bought off with gizmos and toys in this country and no one questions things anymore.”—George Carlin on MSNBC’s Countdown with Keith Olbermann