KENSHO is an Audio-Visual Feast for your Soul
"This place is a dream. Only a sleeper considers it real. Then death comes like dawn, and you wake up laughing at what you thought was your grief." ― Rumi
Kensho. In the Zen tradition this signifies the first insight– the moment that one intuitively perceives their true nature. A moment London-based creator Aaron Paradox’s latest film, Kensho, celebrates with an audio-visual pointing out instruction second to none.
Notice the approach. We seem to think we know who we are– but are challenged here to treat that as a dream. Then to dream all the alternatives. And while the imagery in Paradox’s film is stunning and perfectly suited to a journey in alternative-identity-universes, it’s the language that points us to what the imagery implies. Isn’t this exactly the way we’ve been constructed as egos?
Sure, there is the felt experience of life, but its interpretation is how we seem to think of our identity. In Kensho, the images and words we tend to identify with are still readily available– but the message is begging us to fall into the shear movement of life itself.
How do we figure out who we are? How do we figure out anything at all? The preferred method is to utilize concepts constructed of language. Kensho seeks to shake us from this habitual cognitive sleepwalking– it asks that we move inward into the swirling universe of phenomenon where astronauts, marble Renaissance sculptures, dice, and city-scapes float together in the cosmic void and the Kaaba, statues of Buddha, and Machu Picchu easily dissolve and fade into one another.
But when we say “move inward”, the question usually follows, “Move inward to where?” And here’s the answer: To an experiential sense of being in which each step is a departing from the definition that we think is actually ‘who we are’– an effortless flow from one dream into the depths of the next.
Listen to the poetic language in the narration by Alan Watts and you will hear the pointers. For instance, he speaks of “awakening from an illusion.” What illusion? The one that would have us believe that concepts could possibly hold who or what we are. It is only by taking the jump into the bottomless chasm of experience, into the so-called stability of who we are, that the purpose of films like Kensho is realized.