The Zen of (Some) Science Fiction

The Zen of (Some) Science Fiction December 30, 2017

Shrinking Man

 

 

 

 

Scott Carey’s concluding monologue from the Incredible Shrinking Man, screenplay and book by Richard Matheson goes:

So close – the infinitesimal and the infinite. But suddenly, I knew they were really the two ends of the same concept. The unbelievably small and the unbelievably vast eventually meet – like the closing of a gigantic circle. I looked up, as if somehow I would grasp the heavens. The universe, worlds beyond number, God’s silver tapestry spread across the night. And in that moment, I knew the answer to the riddle of the infinite. I had thought in terms of man’s own limited dimension. I had presumed upon nature. That existence begins and ends in man’s conception, not nature’s. And I felt my body dwindling, melting, becoming nothing. My fears melted away. And in their place came acceptance. All this vast majesty of creation, it had to mean something. And then I meant something, too. Yes, smaller than the smallest, I meant something, too. To God, there is no zero. I still exist!

I’ve always loved the book the Shrinking Man, and, equally, maybe even more so, the movie the Incredible Shrinking Man.

Now I think zero isn’t a bad term, either. And, well, maybe zero is God.

With that small caveat I think Mr Matheson does a little pointing that many within the Zen world might find true. I do.

And it reminds me that awakening is the common inheritance of our humanity, a gift from the world itself. Zen offers some clarity about the matter and maybe even more importantly some spiritual disciplines that can keep us on track should we find seeing into the heart of our lives something important. But, bottom line, bottom line, awakening belongs to all of us.

 

""The other day my friend the Zen teacher and Episcopal priest Mary Gates commented on ..."

The One Sermon: A Reflection on ..."
"As Guifeng Zongmi is one of my favorite Zen Masters of theTang era, this Soto ..."

Five Approaches to Zen, Fingers Pointing ..."
"I loved this. Thank you for sharing and doing so while addressing your own preconceived ..."

Five Approaches to Zen, Fingers Pointing ..."
"And what rough beast, its hour come round at last, Slouches towards Bethlehem to be ..."

Five Approaches to Zen, Fingers Pointing ..."

Browse Our Archives

Follow Us!


TRENDING AT PATHEOS Buddhist
What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment