Sunday, May 11, 2014

Sebastian - Reaction Papers: A Beautiful Mind, The Life of Mammals & Inception (3)

Sebastian, Miguel Francisco III G.                                                                                                   STS X2
2012 – 58286                                                                                                               Prof. Juned Sonido

Mind vs. Matter

At first, I really thought that John Nash really did have a beautiful mind. Well, the conventional way of seeing a beautiful mind, at least. He was a smart man, studying in a smart course in a smart university trying to make smart discoveries. Well, in all honestly, that is really it was for John Nash but it did have a twist. He may have been all of that but he experienced something that wouldn’t be described as beautiful. He had schizophrenia.
John Nash had this gift of seeing things other people would never see. As fate would have it, he had this gift in a different way too. He saw people that weren’t there. The people he thought he knew only existed in his imagination. Yes, John Nash may have been a big shot in the mathematic world, but in another reality, he also suffered from a big time mental illness. John Nash was never really in-tune with his feelings and his social behavior. It was such a difficult thing for him to relate to other people and to even understand himself. It was a constant struggle for him to become human. It was so much easier to focus on mathematics.
I believe that his projections, Charles, Marcee and Parcher existed because of his frustrations in real life. He imagined Charles because of his desire to have good friends. He made up Marcee because of his longing to have a family of his own. And he thought of Parcher because of his wish to have a better job. His imagination was his reality.
Those bottled up insecurities of his personified and followed him around all his life. They were the ghosts of what could be or what could have been. They were always so persistent in ruling his life. Having those reminders of something you wish to have but cannot must have been tantalizing for him. Being thought to resist giving in to his mind must have been painful for him as well. It must have been difficult. Most people would have given up, but there was something beautiful about what he chose to do about everything thrown into his way.
He chose to simply ignore his ghosts.
That is very difficult to do. When we have problems or ghosts of our own, we usually try our best to forget about them and postpone dealing with them. Out of sight, out of mind. For John Nash, it was very different. His problems were always in his face. They were always there but he chose to not deal with them. Instead, he tried to live a life as normal as he could have lived. He was the embodiment of “mind vs. matter.” Aside from him being a mathematical genius, he had another gift that most people would never get the privilege of experiencing. He had the gift to choose to not be sick. I don’t think that happens a lot. Majority of the people would let their sicknesses rule their lives. Not for John Nash’s case. He constantly fought his mind to be able to live out a life that was perceived to be so far from his grasps. And he did. He fought his ghosts and won. That may not have been conventional, but that, indeed, is a beautiful mind.


Monkeying Around

I love animals. It has always been my dream since I was a kid to do what Sir David Attenborough does for a living. To see animals right in person and seeing the beauty of nature up close and personal truly is my dream. I feel that it will somehow guide me to my roots as a person. I may not have experienced it for myself, but I did get the chance to see it in video. There it was. My roots. In the form of a documentary.
It’s truly amazing to see how monkeys live. I find it so fascinating to see the similarities and differences of human beings and monkeys. Through the two parts of “The Life of Mammals” shown, specifically “Social Climbers” and “Food for Thought,” I can see much more clearly how humans and monkeys are related to each other. I love the fact that seeing the monkeys at present is like a sneak peek into the past of our ancestors. It is through these similarities that we see the line that connects us from them. It is through these differences that we see what we did to adapt differently and to evolve into who we are today.
Monkeys get creative in looking for their food. They use tools and techniques to get what they want. They know when this fruit is good enough to eat. They know when that plant has remedies that can help them not become hosts of insects and parasites. They know when saps of trees are good enough to eat. They also use rocks and pockets in trees to get clams open. What they do to find food and medicine is something amazing. It takes years for them to learn this. It takes generations and generations to perfect them and to efficiently pass on their know-hows. They have a culture. Much like for humans, we make a huge effort to get food and a lot of it. We domesticate animals and plants to make sure that plenty go around for everyone. The tools for humans are much more sophisticated and it shows when it comes to the outcome of having food to eat.
Monkeys have great social skills, as well. For some, they recognize leaders and alpha males that govern certain groups. For some, they live alone with their children. For the others, they work side by side with other monkeys to achieve a common goal. Whatever the agenda is for most monkeys, they do have the capability of having friends and family. Yes, there are fights and friendships and what not, but it is their way of life. They are a social type of animal. They somehow rely on others to survive. They help each other, groom each other, hunt with each other and basically live with each other. That is how monkeys live. So do humans. We rely on other people to survive. We wouldn’t last as long if it weren’t for our fellow human beings. We need other people. We want other people. That’s the way it is with monkeys and that’s the way it is with humans.

It is not shocking that we were once like the monkeys we see now today. We just somehow learned how to stand on two feet, use better tools and create bigger homes for everyone. Through a lot of time, we became who we are today. That is truly just so amazing. I see the elements that we are alike with monkeys and those that are very different. It is through these elements that I would love to celebrate the beauty of life. Somehow, we just know we are connected with one another that we are rooted into something bigger than all humans and all monkeys put together. We don’t necessarily need to see it for ourselves, but we do know that this is reality. We are humans and monkeys at the same time. We truly are both. All we need to do to get more convinced is to take a closer look. Let’s just be ourselves and we’ll somehow find a way to monkey around.



Truly, since its release in 2010, Inception has been one of the movies people would talk about all the time. They argue about the ending. They applaud the plot. They rave about the cast. They talk about the details. There are many factors that make Inception as famous as we all know has come to be today. Inception makes us think.
Nowadays, there aren’t many movies that really squeeze the brain to embrace every single detail to better understand the workings of the movie. Usually, movies would try to attain such a feat, but it is limited by plotholes and errors in writing and directing. Other than that, actors and actresses are to blame about as well for not being able to deliver the script and essence of the film. In Inception, those are not the case. It was written and executed with such finesse that leaves its audience asking for more and more and more. In short, Inception is such a mindfuck.
            The reason why Inception makes us think the way it does is because it talks about dreaming and the subconscious. As much as everybody knows that we dream and there is a whole other world in our own brains, one must learn to accept that we have little understanding the enigmas of our minds. Naturally, when presented such an opportunity to analyze that mystery in any way, we really jump at it and try to digest what the movie has to say. Underneath all of the guilt and tricks and imagination incorporated in Inception are deeper and more mysterious motifs: death, life and reality.
These are the true questions and ideas circling the movie. This movie offers new perspectives on life and death, where waking up or falling asleep may be entrances or exits to another world. In my opinion, Inception incepted new ideas in our minds. Up until today, people debate about what the movie truly means and what the message of the movie is all about. For me, it is this. I believe that dreaming is a wonderful experience and opportunity to explore the different areas of our mind. In dreams, we are all connected. Our humanity is bonded in our subconscious. Everyone is one. In dreams, we are ourselves. We have no limits and walls. We dream the truth and nothing else. That’s why people take dreams in high regard. We talk about spending our lives chasing our dreams. And we do try. That is how honest and true dreams are.

I can go on and on about what dreaming is for me. With the movie to thank, different perspectives are offered and new ideas are embedded in us. Inception really does make me think. Damn. What a mindfuck.

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