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A Thousand Moments Later—Identity and Isolation

Below is part of the outline I wrote for the voiceover for my film, A Thousand Moments Later.

Identity and Isolation

  1. a strong sense of self implicitly cuts one off the the others and creates a feeling of isolation.
  2. from here this sense of self becomes rigid. well defined. set in its own ways. Separate. Alone.

In the very process of creating identity is embedded a kind of isolation. That is, when we think “I am” we are carving ourSelf out from all that is not Self.

Not a big deal in most cases but inherent in this is the seed of all our problems and indeed all suffering. Why? Because it is fundamentally a misunderstanding how we actually exist in the world.

No one lives in total isolation. We live in a relation to other people and things. From a Buddhist point of view the conventionally existent self arises in the process of identity and is therefore dependent on the other for its existence. We are and have always been interdependent with all the people and things around us, and this is a good thing.

We are the stories we tell ourselves about ourselves. To some extent we, therefore, are the authors of this story. Not in any new age kind of way but in a very deep philosophical and cognitive way. No you cannot manifest a new car or dream house but, you can change the story you tell yourself about the things that life dishes up. That much is true.

Therefore in order to fully understand and appreciate this way of being we need to ask questions about how we are, not who we are but, how we are – how we exist as a dependent relation.

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