‘The Shining’ (1980) is classic mystery horror, perhaps due to it being somewhat scripted to be ambiguous? A man goes to an isolated hotel to be its winter caretaker. He hears about a previous caretaker, who seemed to have had a murderous mental breakdown, but does not seem to take it to heart. What he sought was solitude for his writing and a staycation with his family. However, the isolation turned out to be problematic, leading to mounting pressure, frustration and ‘madness’.
Was it cabin fever, that led to irritability from long confinement indoors? Was it bad history repeating due to haunting and ghostly suggestions, or his personal demons playing out this possibility subconsciously? Was his mind disturbed due to overactive imagination, or did he ‘inherit’ the effects of a haunted place, to walk in similar footsteps of the past caretaker? Most might be uncertain, on whether his meltdown was self-induced, due to supernatural disturbances or both.
What we do know for certain, is that people are haunted by their inner demons before they end up haunting places as actual outer ‘demons’. In this sense, all in the mind can manifest to be within a place. As such, the way to escape, from being stranded in such a ‘hellish’ place is to change the mind, to reclaim the ‘lost’ mind for peace of mind. When the mind changes, the experience of a place changes too. Thus is there the Buddhist saying that, ‘When the mind is pure, the land is pure.’
His son was portrayed to play alone… with an ‘imaginary’ friend, who seemed to guide him to see spirits and the hotel’s horrible past, to some extent scaring yet also helping him. We are unsure if he was experiencing schizophrenia, or with some psychic power – ‘the shining’. In the novel version, this friend is said to be the projection of hidden parts of his psyche. What we all have within for sure is the ‘brightest’ Buddha-nature waiting to shine! The solution for the fix of the family, is to connect to a realised Buddha’s light for protection and deliverance of spirits – via mindfulness of Buddha!