Chapter 5 - Death and Reality

Waking Life: Chapter 5 - Death and Reality(A couple are in bed talking -- Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke)

I keep thinking about something you said.

Something I said?

Yeah. About how you often feel like you're observing your life from the perspective of an old woman about to die. You remember that?

Yeah. I still feel that way sometimes. Like I'm looking back on my life. Like my waking life is her memories.

Exactly. I heard that Tim Leary said as he was dying that he was looking forward to the moment when his body was dead but his brain was still alive. You know they say that there's still six to twelve minutes of brain activity after everything else is shutdown. And a second of dream consciousness, right, well, that's infinitely longer than a waking second. You know what I'm saying?

Oh, yeah, definitely. For example, I wake up and it is 10:12, and then I go back to sleep and I have those long, intricate, beautiful dreams that seem to last for hours, and then I wake up and it's ... 10:13.

Yeah, exactly. So then six to twelve minutes of brain activity, I mean, that could be your whole life. I mean, you are that woman looking back over everything.

Okay, so what if I am? Then what would you be in all that?

Whatever I am right now. I mean, yeah, maybe I only exist in your mind. I'm still just as real as anything else.

Yeah. I've been thinking also about something you said.

What's that?

Just about reincarnation and where all the new souls come from over time. Everybody always say that they've been the reincarnation of Cleopatra or Alexander the Great. I always want to tell them they were probably some dumb fuck like everybody else. I mean, it's impossible. Think about it. The world population has doubled in the past 40 years, right? So if you really believe in that ego thing of one eternal soul, then you have only 50% chance of your soul being over 40. And for it to be over 150 years old, then it's only one out of six.

Right, so what are you saying? That reincarnation doesn't exist, or that we're all young souls like where half of us are first round humans?

No, no. What I'm trying to say is that somehow I believe reincarnation is just a - a poetic expression of what collective memory really is. There was this article by this biochemist that I read not long ago, and he was talking about how when a member of our species is born, it has a billion years of memory to draw on. And this is where we inherit our instincts.

I like that. It's like there's this whole telepathic thing going on that we're all a part of, whether we're conscious of it or not. That would explain why there are all these, you know, seemingly spontaneous, worldwide, innovative leaps in science, in the arts. You know, like the same results poppin' up everywhere independent of each other. Some guy on a computer, he figures something out, and then almost simultaneously a bunch of other people all over the world figure out the same thing. They did this study. They isolated a group of people over time, and they monitored their abilities at crossword puzzles, right, in relation to the general population. And they secretly gave them a day-old crossword, one that had already been answered by thousands of other people, right. And their scores went up dramatically, like 20 percent. So it's like once the answers are out there, people can pick up on 'em. It's like we're all telepathically sharing our experiences.

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(Guy with red face is in jail.)

Waking Life: Chapter 5 - Death and RealityI'll get you motherfuckers if it's the last thing I do. Oh, you're going to pay for what you did to me. For every second I spend in this hellhole, I'll see you spend a year in living hell! Oh, you fucks are going to beg me to let you die. No, no, not yet. I want you cocksuckers to suffer. Oh, I'll fix your fuckin' asses all right. Maybe a long needle in your eardrum. A hot cigar in your eye. Nothin' fancy. Some molten lead up the ass. Ooh! Or, better still, some of that old Apache shit. Cut your eyelids off. Yeah. I'll just listen to you fucks screamin'. Oh, what sweet music that'll be. Yeah, I'll do it in a hospital. With doctors and nurses so you pricks don't die on me too quick. You know the best part? The best part is you dick-smokin' faggots will have your eyelids cut off, so you'll have to watch me do it to you, yeah. You'll see me bring that cigar closer and closer to your wide-open eyeball till you're almost out of your mind. But not quite 'cause I want it to last a long, long time. Huh. I want you to know that it's me, that I'm the one who is doing it to you. Me! And that sissy psychiatrist? What unmitigated ignorance! That old drunken fart of a judge! What a pompous ass! Judge not lest ye be judged! All of you pukes are gonna die the day I get out of this shithole! I guarantee you'll regret the day you ever met me!

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