The Ball Thing

"I confess" - writes Robert Sharf - "that my decision to return to the vipassana movement was (...) motivated by the film, 'I Heart Huckabees,' an 'existential comedy' written and directed by David Russell, and inspired in part by Russell's Buddhist practice. At one point in the film the lead character, Jason, ends up studying with Frenchwoman, a nihilist with a rift on emptiness, who teaches that suffering is inevitable, that there is no avoiding human drama, that life is essentially meaningless and absurd. For temporary relief from the anomie of human existance, she has her students whack each other on the head with a large rubber ball so as to stun their inner dialogue into silence. This results in a state of 'pure being' which frees them, at least temporarily, from their daily troubles and concerns. In the movie this becomes known as the 'ball thing.' Russell is playing with Buddhist meditation, with the notion of pure presence, and with the rhetoric of emptiness. And yet in its comic simplicity, it seems to raise essential questions about the modernist Buddhist penchant for 'being here and now.'" 

whacking by mnyx1

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