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Barak Shavit is a filmmaker from Israel. He is founder of Blue Monkeys Productions with his wife. He is working on a short film and need your support to make it happen.
"The last few years have been a period of incredible growth for me, and I've learned more than I could have ever dreamed. I'm eager to go on our short film venture and use everything I've learned to create a great film about the mind and consciousness.
You note that “telling a story not about outer space, but inner consciousness - is even more mysterious and vaster than space and time”. What are some of the inner consciousness themes you hope to explore with your film, iSyndrome?
First of all, I want to bring to people's awareness that we are consciousness beings. I feel most of us live 90% of the time in our minds - planning the future, reflecting on the past. We do this automatically. We have so many ideas about ourselves but little idea about the mind. Usually we think that we control our mind. But in some situations, like in meditation, you soon realize it's the other way around. It's very simple to test this; try not to think of anything for 30 seconds. If you try it, you soon realize that the mind has a will of its own and you can't stop it, not even for 30 seconds. The mind is simply working, regardless of what powers you think you have over it. When you realize this you can start to see the space between who you are and the mind. And then there are question marks about us being just mind and body, you get a glimpse to a different point of view. This is what we explore in iSyndrome.
What are some questions about the mind that your film seeks to explore?
In iSyndrome I tell the story of a brilliant brain researcher losing his mind. His wife, a post-materialist researcher, tries everything she can to save him. After everything fails, they try as a last resort to perform a NDE (near death experience), basing on the "restart effect" it has over the human mind.
This is the story. Now to take it a step back to our reality; it is documented in many cases of NDE that consciousness activity continues after death. This is supported by the fact that many people have recalled in detail, events while they were clinically dead. And more than that, they sometimes deliver information about events they were not physically present for. This means that consciousness is not only formed in the brain but that the brain might also be some kind of a receiver of consciousness.
On top of that, most people who came back after NDE, were extremely changed in the way they saw the world and how they acted to the people around them.
Inspired by the NDE findings and a few spiritual teachings, I came up with the term iSyndrome. iSyndrome is a term describing the misidentification of one self. It usually occurs when consciousness identifies itself with a physical or a mental process. The majority of people are not aware their consciousness is not formed in the brain, but rather their brain is functioning as a TV set. Screening received information. Since the attention is given to the screen and not to the projector, confusion is created. Just like you lose yourself for a moment in a movie, you can be lost in iSyndrome for life.
What message do you hope to send out with your film?
I'm aiming for a certain experience the viewer would have, of somewhat of a shift in the personal point of view. I know it sounds a bit clumsy in words, and this is exactly why I want to make a movie, because on top of the messages we've discussed above, you can create an experience that has no equivalent in words.
How do you think our awareness of inner consciousness can create change?
Is there any other real change we can create? Over most of the things in our lives we have no control and can't change them. I can't change my dad, I can't change the weather. The only thing that I have control over is my attitude or perspective, and that also sometimes seems impossible to change. I love Rumi quote about this: "He Who Looks Outside, Dreams; He Who Looks Inside, Awakes". I believe true change is an inner one, and that is what generates a change in the outside world.
You mention that themes related to consciousness are not being talked about in our society nearly enough. What sorts of topics do you want to increase conversations about?
All of the above :) (that would be a good start) :)
You talk about the notion of “who we really are”. How do you think we can discover who we really are?
I think we can start by understanding who and what we are not. I love how they present this in Fight Club – "You're not your job. You're not how much money you have in the bank. You're not the car you drive. You're not the contents of your wallet. You're not your f**king khakis. You're the all-singing, all-dancing crap of the world." And I continue this by saying – you are not your body, you are not your thoughts, you are not your feelings, just keep on digging.
Do you have a theory about the self? What is it based on? Is it built upon any other theories?
Wow, I think this could be an entire article just by itself :)
What inspires you?
Many things; I love observing just about anything and always find something inspiring.
I love cutting edge theories especially scientific theories. Meditation. Love. Sri Maharaj Nisargadatta. Movies. I can go on and on like this… :)
What does wellness mean to you?
It's something to aspire to. When I hear "wellness" or "enlightenment" I always ask like a kid "Are we there yet?" It seems to me like the ultimate state to be in.
Reality is such a fluid and subjective concept. What do you think is the nature of our reality? Or rather, what does reality look like to you?
The way I see it, there are many levels reality is being expressed in and perceived in. Some are physical, some are metaphysical, and most of them we don't understand. I had a lot of trouble defining it because all definitions are products of the mind, and at a certain point it seemed to me that in the "real reality" these definitions have little to do with what is really happening. I think that if we try to define reality again and again, it's kind of beating the purpose – how would you define what gives you the ability to define in the first place? It's like playing the same video game over and over again believing it somehow will make you understand its programing better. If you want to understand the programing – you should stop playing. I prefer to be more practical about reality, and focus on what I can change. In the day to day level, reality is what you believe it is. If the voice in your head is always complaining and unhappy, you could be in the most beautiful day with wonderful people, and not even notice it let alone enjoy it. Or you could be in a lousy place all alone and be happy. What you can change about reality is your perspective of it. I think that this naïve attitude is the best way to form your reality, because 90% of reality it is what you believe it is.