Monday, January 07, 2013

The Nature of Existence

At some point or the other we experience the ultimate inquisitiveness about our real form, the nature, the god, the cosmos, the consciousness etc. It is very important to take such an opportunity and ponder over these topics and if possible learn from the experts. That is precisely what Roger Nygard did and produced the documentary movie called The Nature of Existence.

He selected the most difficult 85 questions and set out to find answers by interviewing people from different spheres of life. These interviews include a wide variety of religious, scientific, and spiritual subjects: from Christian preachers and priests, to Jewish rabbis, Taoists, Buddhist monks, Indian spiritualists, a Sikh, a Jain teacher, a Gandhian, atheists, an astrophysicist, an evolutionary biologist, a string theorist, a neurotheologist, a psychologist, an anthropologist, some friends and even a waitress. He presents the content in an easy going way in a conceptual as well as chronological order as his journey takes him to different places during 2005-2009. Some of the quotes from the movie:

"Happiness seems to be related to several different neural transmitters such as dopamine and serotonin." - Dr. Andrew Newberg, Director of Clinical Nuclear Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, author of Why God Won’t Go Away
"Sometimes people pray hard for miracles and a miracle happens. Miracle being something very very unlikely, but the truth is that the most unlikely thing of all would be if no unlikely thing happened." - Leonard Susskind, Professor of Theoretical Physics, Stanford University.
"One of our purposes is to witness the universe." - Sylvester James Gates, Professor of Physics, University of Maryland
"The one thing we can say about God is that he exists. He is. He exists in a state of absolute-isness." - Rabbi Boruch Kaplan, Jerusalem
 It is a documentary directed and produced by Roger that was intriguing, funny and challenging for him. He succeeded in getting the sound bites from a large number of relevant people. However, there are even larger number of people whom he might not have been able to reach out. The conclusion he reached for the answers to his quest was that it is a journey and not an absolute state. Similarly we should continue the exploration and in the process enrich our cognition about the spirituality and improve the quality of our lives.