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Bardo Thodal


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Regarding the death bed scene in this episode, I was wondering if any one else was aware of the following:

Certain sects of Buddhism (most predominantly Tibetan forms of Buddism) believe that enlightenment and freedom from the cycle of death and rebirth can be attained through the process of dying.  So, there is a practice, wherein, a buddhist priest or guide will assist a person in their path from life into death and beyond.  The beyond part is called the Bardo.  It is a state of consciousness after death, wherein, you have the opportunity to become enlightened (if you didn't already do so before passing into death or while passing into death), OR, if unable to achieve enlightenment, you can at least try to choose for yourself the most suitable "next life" or "rebirth" for acheiving enlightenment.  There is a repetative series of instructions for the dying or dead person that is recited for them by the buddhist priest/guide before, during, and after death.  The instruction is spoken/whispered quietly and calmly in the dying or dead persons ear.  These instructions are found in what is commonly refered to as the Tibetan Book of the Death, or the actual name, Bardo Thodal.

In this episode, Frank - using his own experiences in life - sort of takes the role of the buddhist priest/guide, and passes on his experience to the dying man.

I always thought it was sort of fitting that Frank took this role, because he was certainly a person that, to a degree, had learned that "life is suffering" (a foundational Buddhist teaching), freed himdrlg from the captivity of the Group's control of him, and his life was not owned by anyone or anything.

Scott

"Every painful moment in your life casts a shadow across your neurobiology. Until you exterminate these dark memories, you will remain in a negative groove. Thus, those who cannot forget their past, are condemned to repeat it." -- J. Onan Goopta

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  • 6 years later...

I forgot that I had written this. Anyone have any thoughts on this one?

"Every painful moment in your life casts a shadow across your neurobiology. Until you exterminate these dark memories, you will remain in a negative groove. Thus, those who cannot forget their past, are condemned to repeat it." -- J. Onan Goopta

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Hi Scott,

The Monk still delivers the recitation of the Bardos whilst Takashi is dying but it is undeniable that Frank is very much needed to help Takashi's passage into the next state of being. I always wondered why Takashi would be so firmly of the opinion that he needed Frank in his final moments and the script, on the face of it, gives the impression that it is for protection but there are also moments that imply he needed him for something much more. He obviously considers Frank of something of a spiritually sensitive man and he espouses the opinion that he had believed that Frank would seek him out and help him based on the stories he has heard of the man with the gift.

One thing worth considering is it isn't simply Frank that is assisting Takashi but a process by which both men are enriched by the end of his life.

MONK: He believes you can. He gives you a gift. An opportunity to help him. With his death. With his future life. A chance to find out why you are here.

I rather like that idea and if you consider the end of the episode when Frank undergoes a revision of his opinion of Peter Watts and reminds Emma that 'no-one is beyond redemption' then I think it's fitting that a part of Frank was healed as Takashi died.

Eth

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Death of a loved one always seems to eventually bring some form of healing to those who remain behind. Death is considered a new beginning, a new birth, and sometimes I wonder if our existence IS death, and when the body ceases to function, that's when life truly begins. Even the Bible speaks about us as walking graves.

Reminds me of a couple quotes:

"Our life is made by the death of others."

Leonardo Da Vinci

"It doesn't matter who my father was, it matters who I remember he was."

Anne Sexton

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DarleneSignaturePic1.jpg

"Time is too slow for those who wait; too swift for those who fear;

too long for  those who grieve; too short for those who rejoice.

But for those who love, time is eternity."

(Jane Fellowes)

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  • 4 months later...

This episode and Seven and One seem to have an air of spiritual growth for Frank, especially after being "attacked" in Antipas, as well as realizing or re-realizing mistakes or misinterpretations in earlier episodes including Through a Lens Darkly, Collateral Damage, and The Sound of Snow.

:rock2:

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Absolutely. He even concludes at the end of Bardo Thodol that Watts is capable of redemption which is a stark contrast of his anger towards him in the earlier episodes. Frank is very much transformed by his experiences in this episode.

Eth

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  • 5 years later...

My visits to TIWWA have been so sporatic and infrequent that I failed to see the discussion that ensued from my thread starter.  And a very insightful discussion it was!  It always amazes me the depth that can be found in just one scene of a Millennium episode.  And it's kind of fitting I rediscovered this thread now.  Last year both my father and then later his sister passed away.  Though my younger brother's sudden death in 1991, and my paternal grandmother's death a few years later effected me deeply, I was a younger man in my mid-twenties then.  It effected me much differently then.  The impact of each my father's and my aunt's passing was profound.  And I am not one to run from the big things in life - I tend to face it - the good, the bad, the ugly, and the beautiful.   So I quite relate very personally to the things various people have said in this thread.  I was even able to do for my aunt (and my grandmother) on their deathbeds what Frank did for Takashi.  When I did this for my aunt, she passed away a few hours later (my grandmother, a day later).  The impact of morning my father and aunt has been emence - coming to terms with all the graditude, joyful memories, regret, troubled relations, etc.  It has changed me.   And like Frank toward Peter, the experience of grief has given me a depth of forgiveness, that was previously impossible for me.  And it has made me more patient and compassionate.  But like the struggles featured in this episode, the morning, regret, and loss was very difficult as it is for most.  And it probably wasn't until like January or February of this year that some of the weight of it began to lift.  I didn't plan on this being quite so personal a response, but there it is.

This is who we are,

Scott (aka selfosophist)

"Every painful moment in your life casts a shadow across your neurobiology. Until you exterminate these dark memories, you will remain in a negative groove. Thus, those who cannot forget their past, are condemned to repeat it." -- J. Onan Goopta

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Great to see you back here again Scott.  Very sorry to hear about your losses.  The experience of grief and loss does soften the heart.  I am always reminded of what Rose Kennedy said, and besides sharing it often, I keep a copy of it on my computer desk as a reminder, since I have experienced the loss of so many loved ones myself, including my oldest son.

Quote

It has been said, 'time heals all wounds.' I do not agree. The wounds remain. In time, the mind, protecting its sanity, covers them with scar tissue and the pain lessens. But it is never gone.

We also have a private thread, just for members, "Home Away From Home," where we can open our hearts, or rant.  Whatever you need to do there.  I have always said to newbies that this is our home away from home, and I meant that with all my heart.  It truly is.  It's located in the Donut Hole Coffee Shop in the "More Off-Topic Forums" at the bottom.

I'm curious, what made you decide to change your name?

Love and Huggers  :23:  :52:

 

DarleneSignaturePic1.jpg

"Time is too slow for those who wait; too swift for those who fear;

too long for  those who grieve; too short for those who rejoice.

But for those who love, time is eternity."

(Jane Fellowes)

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Very good and true quote! I have heard that one before. And great to be back and to digitally "hang" with the old gang.  I don't think I knew you'd lost your son.  There is nothing like that pain.  I watched my parents experience it.  I don't know how long ago it was, but you have my sincere condolences.  Thanks for reminding of the Home Away From Home forum.  Back in the day, we used to call TIWWA that, because we all felt that way about the community of fans.

Name change might not remaim as it is. Still deciding.

Great being back!

TIWWA

 

"Every painful moment in your life casts a shadow across your neurobiology. Until you exterminate these dark memories, you will remain in a negative groove. Thus, those who cannot forget their past, are condemned to repeat it." -- J. Onan Goopta

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21 hours ago, BardoThodol said:

Very good and true quote! I have heard that one before. And great to be back and to digitally "hang" with the old gang.  I don't think I knew you'd lost your son.  There is nothing like that pain.  I watched my parents experience it.  I don't know how long ago it was, but you have my sincere condolences.  Thanks for reminding of the Home Away From Home forum.  Back in the day, we used to call TIWWA that, because we all felt that way about the community of fans.

Name change might not remaim as it is. Still deciding.

Great being back!

TIWWA

Thank you for your kind, compassionate, words Scott.

Again, glad you are back and hope to see you here often.  :52:

DarleneSignaturePic1.jpg

"Time is too slow for those who wait; too swift for those who fear;

too long for  those who grieve; too short for those who rejoice.

But for those who love, time is eternity."

(Jane Fellowes)

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