Waking Life (2001)
Man on the Train: Hey, are you a dreamer?
Man on the Train: I haven't seen too many around lately. Things have been tough lately for dreamers. They say dreaming is dead, no one does it anymore. It's not dead it's just that it's been forgotten, removed from our language. Nobody teaches it so nobody knows it exists. The dreamer is banished to obscurity. Well, I'm trying to change all that, and I hope you are too. By dreaming, every day. Dreaming with our hands and dreaming with our minds. Our planet is facing the greatest problems it's ever faced, ever. So whatever you do, don't be bored, this is absolutely the most exciting time we could have possibly hoped to be alive. And things are just starting
Speed Levitch: On really romantic evenings of self, I go salsa dancing with my confusion.
Kim Krizan: Creation seems to come out of imperfection. It seems to come out of a striving and a frustration and this is where I think language came from. I mean, it came from our desire to transcend our isolation and have some sort of connection with one another. And it had to be easy when it was just simple survival. Like you know, "water." We came up with a sound for that. Or saber tooth tiger right behind you. We came up with a sound for that. But when it gets really interesting I think is when we use that same system of symbols to communicate all the abstract and intangible things that we're experiencing. What is like... frustration? Or what is anger or love? When I say love, the sound comes out of my mouth and it hits the other person's ear, travels through this byzantine conduit in their brain through their memories of love or lack of love, and they register what I'm saying and they say yes, they understand. But how do I know they understand? Because words are inert. They're just symbols. They're dead, you know? And so much of our experience is intangible. So much of what we perceive cannot be expressed. It's unspeakable. And yet you know, when we communicate with one another and we feel that we have connected and we think that we're understood I think we have a feeling of almost spiritual communion. And that feeling might be transient, but I think it's what we live for.
Philosophy Professor: The reason why I refuse to take existentialism as just another French fashion or historical curiosity, is that I think it has something very important to offer us for the new century. I'm afraid we're losing the real virtues of living life passionately in the sense of taking responsibility for who you are, the ability to make something of yourself and feel good about life. Existentialism is often discussed as if it's, a philosophy of despair, but I think the truth is just the opposite. Sartre, once interviewed, said he never really felt a day of despair in his life. One thing that comes out from reading these guys is not a sense of anguish about life so much as, a real kind of exuberance, of feeling on top of it, it's like your life is yours to create. I've read the post modernists with some interest, even admiration, but when I read them I always have this awful nagging feeling that something absolutely essential is getting left out. The more you talk about a person as a social construction or as a confluence of forces or as fragmented of marginalised, what you do is you open up a whole new world of excuses. And when Sartre talks about responsibility, he's not talking about something abstract. He's not talking about the kind of self or soul that theologians would argue about. It's something very concrete, it's you and me talking, making decisions, doing things, and taking the consequences. It might be true that there are six billion people in this world, and counting, but nevertheless -what you do makes a difference. It makes a difference, first of all, in material terms, it makes a difference to other people, and it sets an example. In short, I think the message here is that we should never simply write ourselves off or see each other as a victim of various forces. It's always our decision who we are.
Guy Forsyth: The worst mistake that you can make is to think you're alive when really you're asleep in life's waiting room.
Soap Opera Woman: Excuse me.
Wiley: Excuse me.
Soap Opera Woman: Hey. Could we do that again? I know we haven't met, but I don't want to be an ant. You know? I mean, it's like we go through life with our antennas bouncing off one another, continously on ant autopilot, with nothing really human required of us. Stop. Go. Walk here. Drive there. All action basically for survival. All communication simply to keep this ant colony buzzing along in an efficient, polite manner. "Here's your change." "Paper or plastic?' "Credit or debit?" "You want ketchup with that?" I don't want a straw. I want real human moments. I want to see you. I want you to see me. I don't want to give that up. I don't want to be ant, you know?
Boat Car Guy: The idea is to remain in a state of constant departure while always arriving.
Boat Car Guy: I feel like my transport should be an extension of my personality. And this is like my little window to the world... and every minute's a different show. I may not understand it. I may not even necessarily agree with it. But I'll tell you what I've accepted: just sort of glide along. You want to keep things on an even key, this is what I'm saying. You want to go with the flow. The sea refuses no river. The idea is to remain in a state of constant departure while always arriving. It saves on introductions and goodbyes. The ride does not require explanation - just occupants. That's where you guys come in. It's like you come onto this planet with a crayon box. Now you may get the 8 pack, you may get the 16 pack but it's all in what you do with the crayons - the colors - that you're given. Don't worry about coloring within the lines or coloring outside the lines - I say color outside the lines, you know what I mean? Color all over the page; don't box me in! We're in motion to the ocean. We are not land locked, I'll tell you that.
Guy Forsyth: The trick is to combine your waking rational abilities with the infinite possibilities of your dreams. Because, if you can do that, you can do anything.
Alex Jones: "You can't fight city hall." "Death and taxes." "Don't talk about politics or religion." This is all the equivalent of enemy propaganda, rolling across the picket line. "Lay down, GI! Lay down, GI!". We saw it all through the 20th Century. And now on the 21st Century, it's time to stand up and realize, that we should NOT allow ourselves to be crammed into this rat maze. We should not SUBMIT to dehumanization. I don't know about you, but I'm concerned with what's happening in this world. I'm concerned with the structure. I'm concerned with the systems of control. Those that control my life, and those that seek to control it EVEN MORE! I want FREEDOM! That's what I want, and that's what YOU should want! It's up to each and every one of us to turn loose of just some of the greed, the hatred, the envy, and yes, the insecurities, because that is the central mode of control, make us feel pathetic, small, so we'll willingly give up our sovereignty, our liberty, our destiny. We have GOT to realize we're being conditioned on a mass scale. Start challenging this corporate slave state! The 21st Century's gonna be a new century! Not the century of slavery, not the century of lies and issues of no significance, of classism and statism, and all the rest of the modes of control... it's gonna be the age of humankind, standing up for something PURE and something RIGHT! What a bunch of garbage, liberal, Democratic, conservative, Republican, it's all there to control you, two sides of the same coin! Two management teams, bidding for control of the CEO job of Slavery Incorporated! The TRUTH is out there in front of you, but they lay out this buffet of LIES! I'm SICK of it, and I'M NOT GONNA TAKE A BITE OUT OF IT! DO YA GOT ME? Resistance is NOT futile, we're gonna win this thing, humankind is too good, WE'RE NOT A BUNCH OF UNDERACHIEVERS, WE'RE GONNA STAND UP, AND WE'RE GONNA BE HUMAN BEINGS! WE'RE GONNA GET FIRED UP ABOUT THE REAL THINGS, THE THINGS THAT MATTER - CREATIVITY, AND THE *DYNAMIC* *HUMAN* *SPIRIT* THAT REFUSES TO *SUBMIT*! WELL THAT'S IT, that's all I've got to say. It's in your court now.
Guy Forsyth: Did you ever have a job that you hated and worked real hard at? A long, hard day of work. Finally you get to go home, get in bed, close your eyes and immediately you wake up and realize... that the whole day at work had been a dream. It's bad enough that you sell your waking life for minimum wage, but now they get your dreams for free.
Philosophy Professor: What you do makes a difference. We should never simply write ourselves off and see ourselves as the victim of various forces. It's always our decision who we are.
Pinball Playing Man: I mean, I'm not saying that you don't know what you're talking about, but I don't know what you're talking about.
Alex Jones: What a bunch of garbage; liberal, democrat, conservative, republican. It's all there to control you! Two sides of the same coin. Two management teams bidding for control, the CEO job of Slavery, Incorporated! The truth is out there in front of you, but they lay out this buffet of lies. I'm sick of it, and I'm not going to take a bite out of it, do you got me?
Quiet Woman at Restaurant: When it was over, all I could think about was how this entire notion of oneself, what we are, is just this logical structure, a place to momentarily house all the abstractions. It was a time to become conscious, to give form and coherence to the mystery, and I had been a part of that. It was a gift. Life was raging all around me and every moment was magical. I loved all the people, dealing with all the contradictory impulses - that's what I loved the most, connecting with the people. Looking back, that's all that really mattered.
Man with the Long Hair: They say that dreams are only real as long as they last. Couldn't you say the same thing about life?
Alex Jones: We have got to realize that we're being conditioned on a mass scale. Start challenging this corporate slave state.
Man on TV: I do not await the future, anticipating salvation, absolution, not even enlightenment through process. I subscribe to the premise that this flawed perfection is sufficient and complete, in every single ineffable moment.
Pinball Playing Man: There's only one instant, and it's right now. And it's eternity.
Speed Levitch: Life is a matter of a miracle that is collected over time by moments flabbergasted to be in each others presence.
Old Man: As the pattern gets more intricate and subtle, being swept along is no longer enough.
Boat Car Guy: Man this must be like... parallel universe night. You know that cat that was just in here? Just ran out the door? Well, he comes up to the counter, you know, and I say "What's the word, turd?" And he lays down this burrito and he kind of looks at me, kind of stares at me and says, "I have but recently returned from the valley of the shadow of death. I'm rapturously breathing in all the odors and essences of life. I've been to the brink of total oblivion. I remember and ferment the desire to remember everything."
Wiley: So, what did you say to that?
Boat Car Guy: Well, I mean, what could I say? I said, "If you're going to microwave that burrito, I want you to poke holes in the plastic wrapping because they explode. And I'm tired of cleaning up your little burrito doings. You dig me?"
Accordion Player: And this is where I think language came from. It came from our desire to transcend our isolation and have some sort of connection with one another. And it had to be easy when it was just simple survival, like water we came up with a sound for that
Accordion Player: but when we use that same system of symbols to communicate all the abstract and intangible things that we're experiencing. When I say love the sound comes out of my mouth and it hits the other person's ear, travel through this Byzantine conduit in their brain, through their memories of love, or lack of love, and they register what I'm saying and they say, Yes they understand, but how do I know they understand? Because words are inert, they'r ejust symbols, they're dead. And so much of our experience is intangible. So much of what we perceive cannot be expressed, it's unspeakable. And yet, when we communicate with one another, and we feel that we have connected, and we think we are understood, I think we have a feeling of almost spiritual communion. And that feeling might be transient, but I think that's what we live for.
Man on TV: A single ego is an absurdly narrow vantage from which to view this experience. And where most consider their individual relationship to the universe, I contemplate relationships of my various selves to one another.
Celine: I've been thinking also about something you said.
Jesse: What's that?
Celine: Just about reincarnation and where all the new souls come through over time. Everybody says they have been the reincarnation of Cleopatra or Alexander The Great. I always want to tell them they were probably some dumb fuck like everybody else.
Alex Jones: Resistance is not futile, we're gonna win this thing, humankind is too good, we're not a bunch of under-achievers! We're gonna stand up, and we're gonna be human beings. We're going to get fired up about the real things, the things that matter! Creativity, and the dynamic human spirit that refuses to submit.