This is a TV show made by Pendleton Ward and Duncan Trussell, The Midnight Gospel, and while at first glance it seems like some crazy bizarre nonsense made by someone on mushrooms, you could actually say the same about the bible or any religion.
It’s an exploration of Buddhism, or Agnostic Pantheism, from the perspective of psychoactive drug experiences, and it’s actually pretty deep, and not dumb at all.
It begins by exploring one side of Buddhism, nothing really matters, life is just an illusion, you can make up your own journey, live in a virtual reality world, such as through a screen, and that’s just as legitimate as your “real” life, and it doesn’t matter anyway.
Throughout the series, he begins to realize that there is more to life than just his one subscriber on his spacecast, and his illusory experiences and he has real issues to deal with in the “real” world with his responsibilities and obligations, family, work, chores, things that need to be done.
I spent a few years studying Zen Buddhist koans, trying to gain “enlightenment” but realized that while it was easy in theory to recognize certain “truths” as I saw them, it was harder to maintain the right “balance” between letting go of attachment to desire, said to be the cause of all suffering, and realizing that desire is inevitable, suffering is inevitable, and it’s important to take life somewhat seriously as you must be mindful of other people’s experiences, even if it’s impossible to appreciate them to the level of a drop in an infinite ocean.
There is duality in all things, and in any debate you might have, you need to consider both sides, as the Zen perspective is all things at the same time. Right and left, up and down, man and woman, black and white, they both exist, and to take one side or the other, ignores that both sides exist, and are equally meaningful, and also without any real meaning at all.
Suffering exists, but is that a “bad” thing? What does bad mean? The first noble truth of Buddhism is life is suffering, so that would be an important step in understanding the root cause of the problem.
The second noble truth is desire is the cause of all suffering, you want something, it’s an instinct or a natural part of our biological makeup as humans to avoid pain, consume to survive and reproduce to continue. We are what we are.
So can you avoid desire, what should you not desire, and is anyone even capable of doing that? The conclusion I draw in the end is that you must weigh the selfish and the selfless, attachment and detachment, love and hate, good and evil in a balance that suits you, to the point that it works, in your own life, and for everyone else, and only you can do that, for yourself.
My belief is in endless reincarnation in an eternal universe, the big bounce theory, what goes up, must come down, Einstein wrote a paper about it, (the year before his more popular endless expansion paper with a co author), that was not released, in English until 2014.
He got death threats from the church, when he wrote a book about how he called the universe God and favored Buddhism and Spinozism. The reason behind this is kind of obvious, if the universe is eternal, cannot be created or destroyed it only changes form, then that would mean that everyone and everything is “God” or as much a part of it as anyone else, and also perhaps an eternal probability in this endless cycle.
The endless cycle brings up a potentially almost infinite amount of other probabilities, and then the question becomes who am “I”? Am I you right now? Was I you and will I be? Is individuality just an illusion, or is the illusion your individuality? I never really answered that as a question, and some questions are better left without an answer.