Ever since I read Yogananda’s autobiography in my teens, and was completely baffled by his movie analogy, I have had an interest in that particular image.
It seems that movies can be an analogy in many different ways…
- Ground free from form. Awakeness is inherently free from its own content. It is stainless, untouched by it. And in the same way, a movie screen is inherently free from whatever movie is shown on it. An image is replaced by another, and the previous image is not there anymore. A new movie is shown, and there is no trace of the old one.
- Perfect and imperfect. The content of a movie can be/include/show imperfection, suffering, confusion and so on. Yet, it is also perfect light falling on the movie screen, or perfect dots on the TV or computer screen. The light is untouched by the form it creates, as awareness is untouched by it content.
- Awakeness is its own content. Light falls onto a movie screen and makes up an endless variety of forms, and these forms are no other than light itself. In the same way there is awakeness and the content of awakeness, and this content is no other than awakeness itself taking on a temporary form.
- Temporarily lost in the movie. When we watch a movie, we may be temporarily lost in the movie. We forget it is a movie, and get absorbed into the story. In the same way, Big Mind (God) can get lost in its own play, forgetting what is really is. And as we at some point remember that it is a movie we are watching, Big Mind at some point also remembers itself (although maybe not within this particular life).