It is tricky trying to know what to make of ‘Wounds’. There is the idea that there are ancient rituals that see wounds as portals for summoning ‘higher beings’ to enter this world, which leads to the question of how to have such wounds in the first place. Turns out that there are only two ways – by self-infliction or infliction by others. The first is extreme ascetic self-destruction, that the Buddha warned as dangerous and futile. Pain is pointless if nothing is learnt from it and never heals, only maintained or even increased as gaping wounds. The latter is potentially murderous.
The story is vague on who are the ‘higher beings’, and why anyone would want to go through or make others undergo such rituals. The clue is perhaps in the opening quote, from Joseph Conrad’s ‘Heart of Darkness’ – ‘It had whispered to him things about himself which he did not know, things of which he had no conception… and the whisper had proved irresistibly fascinating. It echoed loudly within him because he was hollow at the core.‘ Without the supernatural, this ‘it’ might as well be the self-delusional or unguided mind, of the existentially lost and spiritually empty.
We all seek self-actualisation, in all manners, be they viable means or not. The truth is, otherwise hollow life does not become fulfilled simply by ‘summoning’ a ‘higher being’ from outside in. The true higher ‘being’ to summon is not from elsewhere, but within oneself – our Buddha-nature, the innate potential for Buddhahood. It is our ‘Heart of Brightness’! As long as we do not self-reflect, to look hard within to find our bearings, and only look without, even to inviting a takeover by the alien or extra-dimensional, we will surely become more pained and confused.
Looking deeper, the physical wounds that form in the film arose from inner wounds, from insecurity, fear, anxiety and such. Those with these personally undetected hurt are likely to latch onto whatever perceived possible to give life meaning, be it sex, drugs, alcohol, cults or hate – which provide a false and destructive sense of purpose. What consumed and expressed are but desperate attempts to forget their wounds, or to express their pain, which is never fulfilling. What needed is to heal and form healthy and beautiful scar tissue inside out, to be stronger there than ever.