Picking up from where we left off, this week we ask what does any of this sci-fi stuff have to do with Buddhism?! On the one hand, while there may be parallels between sci-fi and Buddhism, often they deal with similar issues in very different ways. How movies like Alien or Starship Troopers deal with otherness, for example, is to suggest that the other is completely alien and dangerous and must be completely destroyed. But in (Shin) Buddhism, otherness is the compassion of Amida, something that completely embraces us. In our further explorations of the genre, we recognize how sci-fi forces us to think differently about simplistic ideas such as good and evil or what we assume reality is, pushing us to question our own motivations or preconceptions. Harry makes the mistake of asking Scott about time travel (don’t get him started on time travel!) which takes us off into a conversation about karma, free will, and predestination. All of which we wrap up with a question about whether or not our mediated experiences are taking us away from reality or are just a reflection of a different type of reality.
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