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Individualism: Eastern Religion, The Movie Falling Down, And Rand

1509 words - 7 pages

Individualism: Eastern Religion, Falling Down, and Rand.
The western culture seems to be leaning towards individualism more, having lived in three continents of the western world. This individualism culture is also creeping up in major cities of more traditional cultures in Africa. As an international student, and a mother of children all under age 6, I constantly find myself trying to find a common ground between my culture and the culture my children are growing up in. I search to merge the positive sides of each, to better prepare my children for the life ahead. Having been born in a “third world country” and having the most part of my growing up in that country and the U.K, gave me a ...view middle of the document...

In Hinduism, renunciation is renouncing oneself by coming to a knowledge of Brahman so complete that one no longer distinguishes between self and Brahman. Renouncing self or worldly desires means embracing the whole universe without discrimination. While Buddhism believes that life in itself is unnecessary suffering, selfish desire, referred to as Tanha, is the cause of unnecessary suffering, which is referred to as dukkha. To eliminate suffering, one must extinguish self. Extinguishing self and eliminating Tanha involves following the eightfold path. The eight fold path includes 8 rights; views, intent, speech, conduct (do not kill, lie, steal, use intoxicants, unchaste) occupation, effort, mindfulness, and concentration. `
The beginning of the movie shows a traffic holdup scene; the main character William Foster, whose license plate reads: "D-Fens": and goes by this name throughout the movie. He is a divorced and unemployed. This traffic holdup takes place in Los Angeles on a hot and humid day. D-Fens is enraged by a series of events that keep him from getting to his daughter as it was her birthday; these events cause him to act violently towards people who have crossed his part.
Hinduism does not encourage most behaviors of the movie characters. D-fens for one is disillusioned about life that has dealt him a bad hand. He encounters other people who have issues like the storekeeper who insisted D-fens buy something from the shop, if he wanted change. The storekeeper then charged him 35 cents extra for a can of coke, thereby making the reason for wanting change, pointless. D-fens then proceeds to thrash his shop. On leaving the store he encounters two gang members who claim he is on private land, threaten him with a knife using undesirable language and demand his briefcase. The gang members see D-fens walking down the street and try to shoot him; instead they take down by standers and then are involved in a fatal car crash (the law of Karma?). He encounters them again where they were involved in a fatal accident; he takes one of their guns and shoots one of them in the leg (this act goes against the eightfold part of the Buddhism, do not kill). The gang members go against the eightfold part in many ways. They definitely do not have the right views, there speech (using foul language) is not acceptable, they do not have the right conduct (they lie and they kill). They do not have the right livelihood, (extortion and illegal gang related activities). According to Buddhism and Hinduism, they will not make Nirvana according, they died having not extinguished self, and they died without relinquishing their selfish desires. They did not achieve Moksha. Yet again he encounters a panhandler who weaves him a story about his hard life, D-fens views his story suspiciously yet out of “compassion” gave him the briefcase, which only had food in it, the panhandler does not appreciate his gesture and shows his displeasure. Buddhism does not approve lying...

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