The Scott Shaw Blog Be Positive

Embracing the Zen

Life is about what you live, feel, experience, and relay to others.
Life is about what you think, what you do based upon what you think, and how others interpret what you do based upon what you think. Think about it…
Somebody asked me this morning if I would like to have a movie made about my life as a filmmaker and my filmmaking process. This is not the first time I have been asked that question. I explained, as I have done in the past, that has already been done. A group of people from Grand Valley State University, in Michigan, did a multi-part parody about Zen Filmmaking and myself well over a decade ago. It’s pretty funny. It’s been up on YouTube forever. Check it out. It truly embraces the essence of Zen Filmmaking.
The only time any one of those people ever contacted me was, however, when someone emailed me a question about where we got the Chupacabra monster. I told them that it costs tons of money to have it made and that was that, I never heard from any of them ever again. Yet, they moved forward making that parody. I have no idea what ever became of any of those people. I hope they are still making movies.
Interpreting what someone does, is a slippery slope. Because all interpretations are simply that, an interpretation.
Believing you know what someone thinks, why they think it, and how that leads them to what they do, is also a slippery slope. Because how can anyone truly understand anyone else, particularly if you do not know that person on an intimate level? Yet, everyone does this all the time. How about you?
Most interpret other people solely in their own mind. They do it without speaking a word. Yet, they think they know what they know—they believe they know what that other individual thinks and why they think it. Some, in fact, proclaim they know what someone else knows. They scream it to the world, never claiming that it is simply their interpretation. From this, a lack of truth is given birth to. I’ve had that happen to me. A few even make movies about someone else. A biopic if you will. Like the one they did about me. At least those are fun and funny. But, how many people have seen that multi-part piece? Not many, I believe. I haven’t even watched it all the way through. I did skim through it a bit, all those years ago, when it first came out. But, I’m me, I already know how I think and feel and why I do what I do. Why would I need to watch a movie about me?
I believe taking the time to make Art Films like that is an interesting utilization of time. But, is that me? No. I’m me. Did any of those people ever meet me—or were they on the set of any of my films? No. So, interpretation is all they were left with. Thus, by its very nature what they present it false.  
What does interpretation mean?  Analysis leading to understanding. But, what is understanding if it is not based in the authenticity of a person’s own lived-reality?  
Is your interpretation of me my reality and the truth or is it only what you have concluded based upon the limited set of facts that you possess about me? Is my interpretation of your reality the truth or is it only what I have concluded based upon the limited set of facts that I possess about you?
Interpretation can be made into an Art Form, like in the case of the aforementioned film on Zen Filmmaking. Most never take it to that level, however. All they do is to think what they think, based upon their own set of preconceived notions, which has its foundations in their own predeveloped personality and psychological reality. How about you? What do you think about me? Why do you think what you think about me? What makes you believe what you think you know about me is the truth? And, more importantly, why do you think about me at all?
I am just using me as an example. Why do you interpret—why do you think what you think about anyone? Why do you think about them at all if you do not personally know them? How and why can you relay a true knowledge about them if you have never met them?
Think about this the next time you begin to spread your opinion about anyone. How can you know those you don’t know? How can what you be speaking be the truth if your supposed truth is nothing more than your interpretation?
Knowing that you know that you don’t know is the place where true realization may be born. When you stop thinking that you know, this is the place where true Zen is embraced. It is also the place where an individual is allowed to be who and what they truly are, defined only by themselves. Doesn’t that just instantly make everything better? Isn’t that the essence of Zen?