Vipasssana Mediation vs “USS Callister” Episode of Black Mirror

“USS Callister” is the 1st episode of the fourth season of the Netflix TV show Black Mirror which debuted on 29 December 2017.

The episode follows Robert Daly, a reclusive but gifted programmer of a popular online game who is bitter over the lack of recognition he gets from his coworkers. He takes out his frustrations by simulating a Star Trek-like space adventure within the game, using his co-workers’ DNA to create digital clones of them. Acting as the captain of the USS Callister starship, Daly is able to order his co-workers around, submit them to his will, and mistreat them if they get out of line. When Daly brings newly hired Nanette Cole into his game, she encourages the other copies to revolt against Daly. (referenced from wiki)

1.

Walking into the room and sitting on a chair, Daly was starting to game by merging into his own Star trek-like space adventure gaming world… He is a god-like controller of other people in this world: control and suppress all of the people in the spaceship by mistreating them; control and suppress everyone’s behaviors with fear; control and suppress all these people by mistreating them; … He believes “controlling and suppressing” is the way to happiness. 

2.

Walking into the room and sitting on a cushion, I was starting to meditate and merging into my own Vipasssana meditation world… I am an observer of my own sensations in this world: observe sensation of a blood vessel jumping under the eyelid; observe sensation of itching on the lower neck; observe sensation of pain on the right shoulder; observe sensation of growing pain on the knees; observe sensation of temperature on both toes; …observe sensation of the disappearing of itching on the lower neck; … I believe “observing sensations and finding equanimity” is the way to happiness.

3.

In the USS Callister gaming world, Daly believed that “controlling and suppressing” is the action for liberation; fear is powerful. However,people being suppressed revolt against Daly; suppression is not the way to liberation.

In the Vipasssana meditation world, we believed that reaction is not the action; love and compassion are powerful. All sensations are equanimous and serve us to get out of suffering; Dhamma is the way to liberation.

Maybe nobody agrees with me to compare Vipassana meditation to the USS Callister game. It is funny that I found that behavior-wise, we do similar things; mentally, we are opposite. 

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About JY

In the end of 2017, I completed my first 10-day vipassana meditation course. Since then, I regularly practice vipassana meditation. Currently, I work as a Professor in a university in Philadelphia. I am fascinated by both traditional wisdom and modern science.
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