Re: *Eastern Religion/Philosophy Thread*

#11
As a follow up to my previous post, I thought I would add part 9 after seeing The Ride

(9) grasping, the physical, verbal or mental action that follows thirst - The Ride in which I think we can safely say that Tony is grasping at something or some part of his life prior to the shooting - the theft with Chris and pushing him to drink once more, grasping at the truth and/or lies with Melfi and when discussing Ade's death with Carmela. In fact, there was even physical grasping (though this is really a stretch) with Janice's baby.

I think it helps show that Tony is feeling some of the potential enlightenment, especially after denying himself the thirst he had for extracurricular sex in the previous episode, but he does not yet understand it. He seems bored in this episode, but unlike his previous feelings of boredom brought on by doing less of the dirty work himself, he may be finding himself bored because many of those actions don't quite register as they once did. He used to enjoy this life, but now - perhaps not so much. Notice how swiftly the thrill and joy of his stolen wine wears off. Yet, he does not understand why and may be grasping for the truth.

Further, we had Chris grasping at something he knows will help take his mind of Ade, and even Paulie grasping at the mother's love he shunned earlier, now that he may have cancer. There is probably more that I am not recalling since I have only seen the episode once (and the first half a second time.)

And De Novo - I certainly hope you will include the post or posts on karma, nirvana and especially the 8 fold path when you have the chance. I definitely think these thematic elements are informing the direction Chase is taking the show and Tony.

</p>

Re: *Eastern Religion/Philosophy Thread*

#12
Nice work again DH! I agree completely, and think Tony's "boredom" and "grasping" at the vestiges of his old life certainly fit this model.

Per request, here are explanations copied from elsewhere on Karma and Nirvana. Karma certainly ties into the Finnerty sequence, the Buddhist monks and their "lawsuit," which seems to be a method of making Tony pay for his evil deeds in life. However, Tony did not die, and as is becoming increasingly clear, he was not "reborn" in any physical or spiritual way. We are likely witnessing him embracing all of the traits that made him a serial offender by Buddhist or Christian or any other standard of conduct, falling back into ignorance within the context of Samsara.

Thus, Tony will probably not achieve "nirvana" or peace with himself, nor will he attain the cessation of suffering that arrives by following the 8-fold path. This is why I think the remainder of the story, if tragic, could signify the path's inverse, where Tony does everything "wrong."


Karma

Karma consists of a person’s acts and their ethical consequences. Human actions lead to rebirth, wherein good deeds are inevitably rewarded and evil deeds punished. Thus, neither undeserved pleasure nor unwarranted suffering exists in the world, but rather a universal justice. The karmic process operates through a kind of natural moral law rather than through a system of divine judgment. One’s karma determines such matters as one’s species, beauty, intelligence, longevity, wealth, and social status. According to the Buddha, karma of varying types can lead to rebirth as a human, an animal, a hungry ghost, a denizen of hell, or even one of the Hindu gods…

Nirvana

The ultimate goal of the Buddhist path is release from the round of phenomenal existence with its inherent suffering. To achieve this goal is to attain nirvana, an enlightened state in which the fires of greed, hatred, and ignorance have been quenched. Not to be confused with total annihilation, nirvana is a state of consciousness beyond definition. After attaining nirvana, the enlightened individual may continue to live, burning off any remaining karma until a state of final nirvana (parinirvana) is attained at the moment of death.

In theory, the goal of nirvana is attainable by anyone, although it is a realistic goal only for members of the monastic community. In Theravada Buddhism an individual who has achieved enlightenment by following the Eightfold Path is known as an arhat, or worthy one, a type of solitary saint. For those unable to pursue the ultimate goal, the proximate goal of better rebirth through improved karma is an option. This lesser goal is generally pursued by lay Buddhists in the hope that it will eventually lead to a life in which they are capable of pursuing final enlightenment as members of the sangha.

The ethic that leads to nirvana is detached and inner-oriented. It involves cultivating four virtuous attitudes, known as the Palaces of Brahma: loving-kindness, compassion, sympathetic joy, and equanimity. The ethic that leads to better rebirth, however, is centered on fulfilling one’s duties to society. It involves acts of charity, especially support of the sangha, as well as observance of the five precepts that constitute the basic moral code of Buddhism. The precepts prohibit killing, stealing, harmful language, sexual misbehavior, and the use of intoxicants. By observing these precepts, the three roots of evil—lust, hatred, and delusion—may be overcome.


</p>

Re: *Eastern Religion/Philosophy Thread*

#13
The Eight-Fold Path

The Noble Eightfold Path (Pali: ariya atthangika magga), according to Buddhism and as taught by Siddhartha Buddha, is the way to the cessation of suffering, the fourth part of the Four Noble Truths. It is summarized into three important categories: wisdom (pañña), virtue (sila), and concentration (samadhi).

The following is An Analysis of the Path, a sutra or discourse delivered by Siddhartha Buddha from the Tipitaka, explaining this Noble Eightfold Path in detail. In all these, the word "right" is a translation of the word sammā (Pāli; Sanskrit: Samyañc), which denotes completion, togetherness, or coherence, and which can also carry the sense of "perfect" or "ideal".

Wisdom
(pañña)
1. Right Understanding (or Right View, or Right Perspective) - samma ditthi
"And what, monks, is right understanding? Knowledge with regard to suffering, knowledge with regard to the origination of suffering, knowledge with regard to the stopping of suffering, knowledge with regard to the way of practice leading to the stopping of suffering: This, monks, is called right understanding."
2. Right Thought (or Right Intention, or Right Resolve, or Right Aspiration) - samma sankappa
"And what is right thought? Being resolved on renunciation, on freedom from ill will, on harmlessness: This is called right thought."

Virtue (Ethical Conduct)
(sila)
3. Right Speech - samma vaca
"And what is right speech? Abstaining from lying, abstaining from divisive speech, abstaining from abusive speech, abstaining from idle chatter: This, monks, is called right speech."
4. Right Action - samma kammanta
"And what, monks, is right action? Abstaining from taking life, abstaining from stealing, abstaining from unchastity: This, monks, is called right action."
5. Right Livelihood - samma ajiva
"And what, monks, is right livelihood? There is the case where a disciple of the noble ones, having abandoned dishonest livelihood, keeps his life going with right livelihood: This, monks, is called right livelihood."

Concentration (Mental Development)
(samadhi)
6. Right Effort (or Right Endeavour) - samma vayama
"And what, monks, is right effort?
(i) There is the case where a monk generates desire, endeavors, activates persistence, upholds and exerts his intent for the sake of the non-arising of evil, unskillful qualities that have not yet arisen.
(ii) He generates desire, endeavors, activates persistence, upholds and exerts his intent for the sake of the abandonment of evil, unskillful qualities that have arisen.
(iii) He generates desire, endeavors, activates persistence, upholds and exerts his intent for the sake of the arising of skillful qualities that have not yet arisen.
(iv) He generates desire, endeavors, activates persistence, upholds and exerts his intent for the sake of the maintenance, non-confusion, increase, plenitude, development and culmination of skillful qualities that have arisen:
This, monks, is called right effort."
7. Right Mindfulness - samma sati
"And what, monks, is right mindfulness?
(i) There is the case where a monk remains focused on (his/her) body in and of itself... ardent, aware, and mindful...putting away greed and distress with reference to the world.
(ii) (He/she) remains focused on feelings in and of themselves...ardent, aware, and mindful...putting away greed and distress with reference to the world.
(iii) (He/she) remains focused on the mind in and of itself...ardent, aware, and mindful...putting away greed and distress with reference to the world.
(iv) (He/she) remains focused on mental qualities in and of themselves...ardent, aware, and mindful...putting away greed and distress with reference to the world.
This, monks, is called right mindfulness."
8. Right Concentration - samma samadhi
"And what, monks, is right concentration?
(i) There is the case where a monk...not ardent, quite withdrawn from sensuality, but mindful and alert, enters in the first jhana: rapture and pleasure born from detachment, accompanied by directed thought and evaluation.
(ii) With the stilling of directed thought and evaluation, he enters and remains in the second jhana: rapture and pleasure born of concentration; fixed single-pointed awareness free from directed thought and evaluation; assurance.
(iii) With the fading of rapture, he remains in equanimity, mindful and fully aware, and physically sensitive of pleasure. He enters and remains in the third jhana which the Noble Ones declare to be "Equanimous and mindful, (he/she) has a pleasurable abiding."
(iv) With the abandoning of pleasure and pain...as with the earlier disappearance of elation and distress...he enters and remains in the fourth jhana: purity of equanimity and mindfulness, neither in pleasure nor in pain. This, monks, is called right concentration."




</p>

Re: *Eastern Religion/Philosophy Thread*

#14
Once again, I think it apt to look into how this continuing theme plays into the latest episode. In fact, I thought it particularly curious that Paulie uses the line "I must have done some good shit in my time" or some such. That is certainly karma like thought, whether he knows it or not (and my guess is Paulie Walnuts does not.) <img src=http://www.ezboard.com/images/emoticons/wink.gif ALT=";)">

Number 10 is as follows: (10) existence or becoming, the coming into existence that results from grasping

In Moe N' Joe, I admit, I am having some difficulty seeing this angle. If anything, I think we could say that Vito at least goes this route. We did not see his thirst or grasping stage, but he certainly shows us the existance of this thrist, grasping and existance in this one episode alone.

For Tony, it is harder to see. I am begining to feel a little "forest for the trees" at the moment. We get so much information each episode without much to really tie it to anything. There was certainly some feeling that Tony is becoming more comfortable in his old skin in this episode - taking Johnny for more in the deal with the businessmen, screwing Carm out of the spec house to get back at her, and perhaps even moving right back in to the same dynamic with his family - Janice in particular as double for Livia.

And as much as Tony needs to confront his father in all of this, I am beginning to doubt he ever will. Melfi asked him, once again about yet another woman, "does she remind you of anyone?" And yet again, Tony declines to answer.

So perhaps the existance or becoming is Tony returning to that which he knew before and starting to forsake all of these inner thoughts that came out of his NDE. De Novo - I think you may be quite correct that what we will see is Tony's reverse path. He is doomed to repeat his old mistakes because he refuses to learn from them. Besides (and as I have suggested elsewhere), in this world it really does seem that no good deed goes unpunished.

I'll have to return to thoughts of the eight fold path after these twelve episodes have played out to see if they offer any guidance. But I continue to think this type of theme is looming large over the direction Chase has scripted this ending. Once again De Novo, thanks for starting it.<img src=http://www.ezboard.com/images/emoticons/smile.gif ALT=":)">

</p>

Re: *Eastern Religion/Philosophy Thread*

#15
Re: From your list of twelve--No.(11) birth, manifesting in one of the six realms;-- as reflected in ep11:

I was hoping someone in this thread could comment further- for example, Vito's brief remark to his wife at the skating rink about how he was thinking about them having another baby...How would this fit into your No.11? And could you comment about the six realms?

Interesting that gay Vito approaches the idea of a new birth in the family, but that the one who would do the literal birthing (Marie) just gives him the most cryptic expression in response. Difficult to read. Not exactly like the Virgin Mary at the Annunciation when asked to be the bearer of a Holy Child. Its as though they all approach the light but somehow end up falling short.

Thank you for taking on such a huge topic.This is a most fascinating and intense discussion here, and it is absolutely beyond my experience to offer very meaningful insight other than to try to see some of the connections between your lists and the episodes. I wish i could participate more but for now i am really appreciating your comments and trying to learn- coming from the particular tint of glasses of a Catholic. Even though i don't have detailed knowledge of this particular realm, it is still clear to me that your connections are correct or on target or something to that effect!

</p>

Re: *Eastern Religion/Philosophy Thread*

#16
Thank you for your clever comments about the deeper issues of the show. About the "Seven souls", I think it's more important what we see than who we see, along with the narrator's words. When talking about "the director", we see a mother. And for the remains, we both see Tony digging a hole (hin own grave?), and Junior, without hin memories.

Re: *Eastern Religion/Philosophy Thread*

#17
Thank you for your clever comments about the deeper issues of the show. About the "Seven souls", I think it's more important what we see than who we see, along with the narrator's words. When talking about "the director", we see a mother. And for the remains, we both see Tony digging a hole (hin own grave?), and Junior, without his memories.

Thank you again, and greetings from Barcelona.

Re: *Eastern Religion/Philosophy Thread*

#18
DeNovo and everyone else...


Thanks for posting on this. I too, felt that Tony always wondered how he would have turned out if he would have left "the life". The Zen Buddhist monks calling him "Kevin Finnerty", even the previous clip of the re-run of the old "Kung Fu" episiode w/ David Carradine and Master Po(the blind Shaolin monk),etc.

Because I KNOW other members of the show wondered about it..

Adriana(when she mentions to Chris about leaving it behind and going to California), Big Puss, Vito(he should have stayed in New Hampshire) and some others too.

How many of you think that "Kevin Finnerty" really WAS who Tony would have been if he flipped?

Re: *Eastern Religion/Philosophy Thread*

#19
DeNovo and everyone else...


Thanks for posting on this. I too, felt that Tony always wondered how he would have turned out if he would have left "the life". The Zen Buddhist monks calling him "Kevin Finnerty", even the previous clip of the re-run of the old "Kung Fu" episiode w/ David Carradine and Master Po(the blind Shaolin monk),etc.

Because I KNOW other members of the show wondered about it..

Adriana(when she mentions to Chris about leaving it behind and going to California), Big Puss, Vito(he should have stayed in New Hampshire) and some others too.

How many of you think that "Kevin Finnerty" really WAS who Tony would have been if he flipped?
Post Reply

Return to “Sopranos Symbolism and Subtext”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests