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Author Topic: Walter -> Dude -> Donny: Evolution of Enlightenment  (Read 18213 times)

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SenatorTso

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Walter -> Dude -> Donny: Evolution of Enlightenment
« on: January 15, 2011, 05:27:43 PM »
Forgive a dude if this was covered before. I've searched and looked and while I am sure I'm not the first to cover this in a comment, I'll be damned if my searching skills can't dig it up.

Last night as I'm drifting off under the influence of a few things to help a body get a good night's rest, I began thinking of our three main heroes as representing 1 person's spiritual evolution.

Walter represents "all us sinners" the every day feller that's boxed in by all the demands of the world around him. He's the product of everything that's ever fucked him over and left him with baggage.  Walter can't *be* (the real) "Walter" because he defines himself as what he thinks he *should* be.  From Shomer Shabbos to Viet Nam vet, he's *got* to act certain ways because those are the rules and he does what the rules say. In fact, he's so hardline about the rules he pulls a gun to enforce rules when he thinks someone's about to get away with something.

There's The Dude. The Dude represents actively abiding. We see shit get to him and piss him off, but in the end, he's striving to abide.  Put into situation after situation that would ruin anyone else's day, The Dude either abides or says fuck it and rolls on.

Then there's Donny. Donny's untouchable. He may not know what's always going on, but Donny don't care. Walter's verbal assaults and put downs just bounce off the guy.  He's not involved with Walter and Dude's scam with the empty ringer. We just see him bowling. And he's throwing rocks. As it's stated in another post or posts I have seen here in the forum by wiser fellers than myself, Donny's more unaffected by hassles than the Dude even. He's more Duder than The Dude himself.

It's fitting that Donny is the one who dies. In the middle of utter and complete conflict all around him, Donny is removed from the game (using death as a metaphor here). It's like what other way can you abide, refuse to be hampered by other people's hang ups or get caught up in other people's schemes *better* than refusing to play the game at all? Donny is the Badass Bodhisattva of Dudeism here.

Better minds than mine might have real, proper, and correct names for the ideas I'm barely scratching the surface of. But taken the 3 as part of 1 man's evolution from angry and oppressed individual, to abiding Dude, to some untouchable ever abiding Zen state, I think that's some pretty awesome shit right there.

Shine on, Dudes.
At least I'm housebroken.

cckeiser

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Re: Walter -> Dude -> Donny: Evolution of Enlightenment
« Reply #1 on: January 16, 2011, 11:08:12 PM »
I was hoping someone would reply to your excellent post here Senator Tso dude. I hate to see it hanging out here all lonesome and all, but all this psychological(?) Sociological(?) stuff is way above my pay grade and out of my comfort zone.
I think this may be more up Meekon5 or maybe not_exactly_a_ lightweight's alley. Those dudes can roll!
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DigitalBuddha

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Re: Walter -> Dude -> Donny: Evolution of Enlightenment
« Reply #2 on: January 17, 2011, 12:55:54 AM »
A couple of thoughts on the dude here. Might add light to some deeper meaning to the whole darn Lebowski comedy......................

    Early in Lebowski, the narrator (a cowboy named the Stranger, played by Sam Elliott) intones, "Sometimes there's a man, who, well, he's the man for his time 'n place." The odd truth is this man, the Dude, may have been a decade ahead of his time.

    Today, as technology increasingly handcuffs us to schedules and appointments, in the time it takes you to read this, you've missed three e-mails, there's something comforting about a fortysomething character who will blow an evening lying in the bathtub, getting high and listening to an audiotape of whale songs.

    He's not a 21st-century man. The Dude doesn't care about a job, a salary, a 401(k), and definitely not an iPhone. The Dude just is, and he's happy.

From............  http://matadornetwork.com/pulse/the-dude-abides-the-meaning-of-the-big-lebowski-ten-years-later/
« Last Edit: January 17, 2011, 03:07:38 AM by digitalbuddha »

SenatorTso

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Re: Walter -> Dude -> Donny: Evolution of Enlightenment
« Reply #3 on: January 17, 2011, 10:21:55 AM »
@cckeiser - thanks dude, for the bump.
@digitalbuddha - thanks kindly for the link. Ran a quick read while here at work. Mind is blown. Never thought of it in those exact terms about Walter, man.

Back to feeding the monkey.
At least I'm housebroken.

meekon5

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Re: Walter -> Dude -> Donny: Evolution of Enlightenment
« Reply #4 on: January 17, 2011, 12:03:51 PM »
Ok I think what we have here is your basic zen ten bulls theory shortened into three bulls.

Now from my point of view I think you've gotten the last two steps the wrong way round.

Yes I see Walter as a personification of the modern person, all caught up in trying to be what he thinks everyone else thinks he should be.

But I think Donny's bowling skill is confusing you. Donny for me is the second step spending his time lost and confused not really knowing where anything is at. I think he doesn't partake of the ringer episode not out of any especially spiritual reason, he just doesn't understand.

Where as the Dude has reached the summit and stepped back into life renewed.

Walter is bulls one to three.

Donny is bulls four to eight.

The Dude is nine and ten.

I do think Donny may abide in the position of the holy fool. It is difficult sometimes to measure the level (if one were to try to measure that is) of such an individuals enlightenment (the concept of measuring enlightenment being in itself ridiculous). A holy fool may exist in the grace of whatever understanding of enlightenment by the very means of their madness, ie living the life of unattached nirvana only because they are uncluttered by the "sensible" restraints of the unenlightened.

All IMHO.
« Last Edit: January 17, 2011, 12:06:37 PM by meekon5 »
"I have noticed even people who claim everything is predestined, and  that we can do nothing to change it, look before they cross the road."
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SenatorTso

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Re: Walter -> Dude -> Donny: Evolution of Enlightenment
« Reply #5 on: January 17, 2011, 03:29:26 PM »
@meekon5 - love it. Will look into the Zen Ten Bulls when I'm home. I think I might have focused too much on Donny's death and "removal from the game" so to speak, and ignored the rest. Thanks for the food for thought. Exactly the kind of things I love to dwell on.

Peace on, brothers.
At least I'm housebroken.

brother_erwin

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Re: Walter -> Dude -> Donny: Evolution of Enlightenment
« Reply #6 on: January 17, 2011, 04:41:27 PM »
Yeah, CCK, you are right, I only noticed this thread today (which is not to say that I feel up to the high standards you brought up as kind of qualification necessary for this thread - I start blathering anyway)

@ Senator and M5,
fucking interesting thoughts you are coming up with, Senator, and thanks for your links and comments, M5.

I do not fully agree, though, Senator.
IMO Donny's character is that of a person who is not in the world at all. Sure he is a pleasant guy, but his self-denial is a caricature, too, is it not? He doesn't have a clue what goes on around him - politically, socially and what concerns the plot. He doesn't know what pederasts are, he doesn't really know what nazis are - apparently he just has a vague notion that they are nasty and something to be afraid of. He doesn't know that the Viet Cong fought in black pajamas. Apparently he gets killed when confronted with reality.

As an aside - to confuse Lennon with Lenin is another play on words which until this moment I had not been aware of - and deadfunny it is, too.

Also, I do not fully agree with the interpretation of Walter being a neocon (by David Hagland), as in the link M5 posted. Which neocon would quote Lenin, Herzl, and remind the Dude to freedom of speech, class resentment, and let's not forget political correct "nomenclature". He fucking stands for what the Dude used to stand for, and repeatedly reminds the Dude of that.

He is caught in the past, yes, mainly in his personal, as a veteran. I don't know, but I think this is to show that someone who saw his buddies die facedown in the mud cannot but relate everything else to that experience, I think that goes for many war veterans, and while a lot of him around him must appear like a travesty, he needs rules and principles to carry on - in a world that has gone crazy. He seems to be a bit bonkers, but in fact it i s the world (and the plot) that is bonkers.

So it is the travesty-character of Walter who reflects the travesties around him.
To be honest, that loafish, choleric with a big heart becomes more endeared to me with every watching of TBL.
Well, just my opinion, man.

Faithfully
BE







meekon5

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Re: Walter -> Dude -> Donny: Evolution of Enlightenment
« Reply #7 on: January 17, 2011, 05:40:42 PM »
@ brother_erwin,

Please be aware I'm not denigrating Walters character.

What we are trying to do here is look at each of the three characters in an abstract spiritual way.

I do understand the sympathy you feel towards him, away from the spiritual. I feel the same.

What the Coen brothers are doing is using the three characters to counterpoint each other. Walters character is an archetype representing a whole generation of Americans who are lost after serving their country faithfully.
"I have noticed even people who claim everything is predestined, and  that we can do nothing to change it, look before they cross the road."
Stephen Hawking

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cckeiser

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Re: Walter -> Dude -> Donny: Evolution of Enlightenment
« Reply #8 on: January 17, 2011, 05:45:35 PM »
Is Walter a "Murcan"?
There are not Answers.....there are only Choices.

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brother_erwin

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Re: Walter -> Dude -> Donny: Evolution of Enlightenment
« Reply #9 on: January 17, 2011, 06:21:40 PM »
@meekon5: No worries, mate, I never got the impression you or anybody else was denigrating Walter's character.

I do have to admit that I mixed up the issues a bit, though.

Of course, looking at the characters spiritually is a "discourse" (fucking a, I went to college and apparently remember at least one word from it  ;D) different from analyzing the characters socio-politically (oops, another one).

@ cck: having just learned about "murcans" I feel a bit out of my element to comment on that, but being born pisces and walking on two legs I do that rather often, anyway, thus:

No, I don't think he is. Again, would a "murcan" quote Lenin, Herzl, and remind the Dude to freedom of speech, class resentment, and let's not forget political correct "nomenclature"???

I don't know but from what I have heard about murcans, I rather doubt it.

Also, a Polish Catholic turning Jewish is something very ironic in itself. Am I wrong?

Faithfully
BE

meekon5

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Re: Walter -> Dude -> Donny: Evolution of Enlightenment
« Reply #10 on: January 17, 2011, 07:32:24 PM »
Had to look up Murcans.
"I have noticed even people who claim everything is predestined, and  that we can do nothing to change it, look before they cross the road."
Stephen Hawking

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cckeiser

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Re: Walter -> Dude -> Donny: Evolution of Enlightenment
« Reply #11 on: January 17, 2011, 10:30:23 PM »
Had to look up Murcans.
Was just introduced to it myself by revgms here:
http://dudeism.com/smf/index.php?topic=1874.0

Personally I would prefer amurcan myself as that's pretty much how they pronounce it from what I heard. With a little Taxes Twang to it! ;D
There are not Answers.....there are only Choices.

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meekon5

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Re: Walter -> Dude -> Donny: Evolution of Enlightenment
« Reply #12 on: January 24, 2011, 07:31:52 AM »
Dude.  If you're not a spammer, you're really not helping your situation.
I'm beginning to think of him as a pet (fish). :)

I have to be honest, (and I may have mentioned it before) I spent the first few months on this forum thinking DB was actually a BL themed spambot that hadn't been noticed because all it did was post BL quotes.

I wonder if the same is true of Fishex99, just a bit shy.
"I have noticed even people who claim everything is predestined, and  that we can do nothing to change it, look before they cross the road."
Stephen Hawking

Where are you Dude? Place your pin @ http://tinyurl.com/dudemap

Tripnastic

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Re: Walter -> Dude -> Donny: Evolution of Enlightenment
« Reply #13 on: January 24, 2011, 09:05:44 AM »
whoa.  How did these quotes and replies get all the way over in this thread?  Black magic, that's how.
From what is Dudeism trying to liberate us?Thinking that's too uptight.

To what state of being is Dudeism trying to bring us? Just taking it easy, man.

By what means does Dudeism attempt do this? Abiding.

Outer Element

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Re: Walter -> Dude -> Donny: Evolution of Enlightenment
« Reply #14 on: February 12, 2011, 07:49:18 PM »
Ok I think what we have here is your basic zen ten bulls theory shortened into three bulls.

. . .

Walter is bulls one to three.

Donny is bulls four to eight.

The Dude is nine and ten.

. . .

Ten Bulls--great! Here's my take:

The story is about The Dude, and no one else. All other characters and events are symbols of forces in his life and do not have a separate existence. Classic example of the protagonist being the only fleshed-out character and his/her story being the only one told. Ten Bulls is the story of The Dude's journey to get his rug back. Lotta struggle, lotta mystery, lotta ins, lotta outs. In the end, he abides.

The Dude Abides.

 

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