Seven ‘Recurring’ Lessons From ‘Russian Doll’

[1] Core: With dreamlike layers within layers like nested Russian dolls, what are we at the core? We cannot be nothing as we are something. We cannot be something fixed as we can change. What left is lasting potential (for purity) – Buddha-nature.

[2] Rebirthday: With or without death, gradual or sudden, as we change physically and mentally from moment to moment, every day can be a birthday, deathday and/or rebirthday to reinvent ourselves. Since we change, whether we like it or not, why not conscientiously change for the better, instead of for the worse? With parallel worlds of possibilities or not, may we swiftly assimilate all we should learn in this lifetime, and live well by that learnt.

[3] Memory: The advantage of living many possible ‘lives’ quickly and remembering them, is that we will not repeat the same mistakes, to re-suffer from wrong redone with nothing truly learnt. However, if not highly spiritually accomplished or having reached Pure Land, it is impossible to recall past lives. Since it is easier to attain the latter, why not aspire to reach Pure Land to expedite spiritual progress towards Buddhahood?

[4] Purgatory: Even without ascent to any heaven or decent into any hell, rebirth in the realm(s) between is indeed like karmic ‘purgatorial’ self-punishment, for deeds that should be done left undone, and deeds that should be remedied left unremedied.

[5] Changes: Even if we make only minute but discrete changes, when they compound to become strong habitual forces, we will eventually rechart our destiny, as we become what we routinely think, say and do.

[6] Cycle: Our well-being plotted against the course of time is linearly (or exponentially) upwards or downwards if we keep changing for better or worse respectively. It is cyclical if we do not really change, or if we make the same ‘changes’ only.

[7] Goal: Redeath and rebirth are existential ‘bugs’ that keep us infinitely trapped if not broken free of. When completely liberated, we will become infinitely free. Death is one certainty, although with countless ways to die… while there is only one goal – of liberation from the cycle of birth and death.

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