CUBE – a made-for-television sci-fi movie

Morality is a game which only makes sense when played by the rules of free will and for high stakes.

The playing field may be as small as a four foot square prison cell, or as large as the surface of the earth or even as geometrically infinitesimal as one’s point of view.

Freedom has rules. There is a law of liberty. Even chaos and anarchy have structure and consequences.

This idea has come to me on December 29, 2003, as I awoke from sleep. From where and how does such an idea come to us?

Ideas seem to arise and take shape from the ever-changing and fleeting patterns of thoughts and feelings and moods in the kaleidoscope of consciousness, caught by the snapshot photographer, language, posing for us only once in prose, and never to reappear again if we do not pause to write them down.

That prose is pose and pause gives us pause for thought.

Who or what has set this kaleidoscope in motion?

It is the movie “Cube” which served for me as a metaphor for the genesis of ideas from thoughts.

The cube was a prison and a puzzle of thousands of rooms constantly changing in position. We do not know how we got there, in a room in that cube. We do not know why we are there. The cube has no purpose, but our decisions and choices weave the fabric of meaning and purpose which becomes the tapestry of our character.

There was only one exit, bridge, escape, which was freedom, liberation, salvation, heaven, for it is called by many names.

One exit, one solution, but countless paths which lead to that solution.

The inside of the cube seems at times like hell but at other times simply like life itself.

We are constantly faced with decisions great and small. Even inaction is a course of action. Even silence is a statement, a reply to the invisible master of the Koan of Existence.

Even our decision to get out of bed and cross the street can be monumental, resulting in death or resulting in a new and different life, a rebirth.

Had I stayed in bed and fallen back to sleep, this idea might be gone, lost, never to reappear in the ever-changing patterns of that kaleidoscope.

I made a choice to find pen and paper and search for words.

Such thoughts are fragile as a gossamer moment strung between frail reeds, bejeweled with morning dew, yet once captured, written down, having taken shape and final form, they are cast forever as a juggernaut in monumental bronze, lumbering about the earth like a behemoth Godzilla, toppling citadels and empires.

It is our illusion that we create and author such ideas. We are a conduit, a focal point, a lens. We do not cause but rather, simply, we allow to happen. We become quiet enough for the silence to be heard.

We may give birth to the smallest mustard seed of a notion which in turn may grow to something either majestic or monstrous, something which overshadows us and empowers us, or leaves us powerless, imprisons and enslaves us or frees us. And our only weapon against its greatness is mute silence and abstinence, denying the seed its thimble of soil and drop of dew.

Sutras always begin “I have heard it said.” Oral traditions always give birth to religions with laws etched in tables of stone which guide empires of giants with feet of clay.

Note: the one person to achieve liberation in the movie is an autistic man who is an idiot-savant with a give for numbers. It is precisely that gift which empowers a remnant of the group to make it to the brief window of opportunity which permits escape


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