The following is my stream of conscious after revisiting the film, ‘Vanilla Sky’. I typed this preface after to best be able to capture my questions as they were upon completion of the film.
What is the meaning of life……
What if you could just hit pause. What if you could just hit rewind. What if these keyboard keys you bang on couldn’t keep up with your mind. What if you could live your life with absolute control over everything and everyone in it? What would make someone even want to?
What if you could just make a decision over again? Why do memories form? What do memories say about who we are? Is it true that our memories become distorted over time as experts suggest? Do new memories recreate past experience? Do we just make ideas up in our head? Are memories nothing more than a romanticization of our past?
What is real?
Are we afraid of death because it is the end? Or are we afraid of death because we don’t know what comes next? Did we make up religion to pretend we have the answer?
Is the Singularity and every other form of “cheating death” by way of promised Immortality since the era of Gilgamesh a way for brilliant mortals to scientifically re-create religion?
Scientific prophets promising you your very own ‘Vanilla Sky?’
What if 85 years wasn’t enough for a life to tell its story? Do writers write as a measure of control, knowing beginning, end and middle? Do the worlds we create, the memories we keep have purpose? Are we not all writers of our own life? If we die and our minds are uploaded to computers many millions of years from now, will we be the same person?
What makes someone a person? And not for legal purposes, but for the purpose of saying “I know that person.”
What if life itself was just a dream of sorts — where we take and form experiences, exaggerate them to our own liking in our subconscious not even realizing that we actually all do that to some extent…that we distort our actual memories over time.
” What makes you happy? “
It is such a simple question, but it is also an inherently complex answer to give.
And I think that is the meaning of life, no? The answer to that question. And the only way to answer that question is to best live the life you want to live.
end stream of conscious.
Today I revisited ‘Vanilla Sky’ at a very awkward point in my life – that point where I honestly don’t know what comes next. But as the British ‘tech-support doctor’ in the film says about life, “there are no guarantees.” Furthermore, Sophia says “everyone said don’t go to NY but I just think good things happen if you’re a good person, with a good attitude.”
I think Sophia’s quote near the beginning of the film is perhaps the most important. It is the attitude we have toward life. The way we can presumably control everything in it is to understand that while there are no guarantees, good things happen to good people. The rest is finding the answer to what makes you happy, what makes you smile beneath those vanilla skies. And sometimes in life, questions like the meaning of it perhaps require no answers at all…..