Philosophical Films

What Dreams May Come

Philosophical Connection

Our philosophical discussion dealt primarily with the possibility of “another world”–a world beyond the world, a life after life, a metaphysical realm. “Metaphysical” means literally “beyond nature”–beyond everything that can be perceived by the senses, and beyond space and time. The difficulty with talking about metaphysical beings and entities is not that “nobody has yet come back to tell us about them” (in the way 600 years ago nobody had come back to Europe to tell people about America and its inhabitants), but rather that we do not understand narrations that describe beings or things that exist outside space or time, and that cannot be perceived in any way whatsoever.

Somewhere in paradise Robin Williams shouts “Time doesn’t exist here!” But the very utterance of that statement takes time. And it is plainly visible that Williams does not only cross spaces, but that his and our senses are fully involved in the story. What we see is a phantastic story in this world, not in a metaphysical “beyond.” (Which suggests that the film deals with earthly and human problems in the form of a poetic myth.)

Yet, the film is full of suggestions that the conception of a life after life is to be taken literally, that the story is meant as a metaphysical statement. That should present some puzzles for a thoughtful viewer ….