Buddhist Film Review: Inside Out and Ex Machina – What is Consciousness?

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"Materialism is the belief that “consciousness” is unimportant, that the mind is reducible to the brain, and therefore that the path to happiness involves precise chemical manipulation. Materialists don’t believe in the importance of the mind itself and instead reduce life to the pursuit of pleasure." -From The Road Home: A Contemporary Exploration of The Buddhist Path  One central theme that I took on in The Road Home is that when we don't experience our own consciousness as the basic home of our experience, we fall prey to Materialism, the belief that everything is reducible to dead matter, that sentient beings are only chemical processes, not really "alive." With this in mind, I had the opportunity this weekend to watch two movies that each explore the nature of consciousness: Inside Out and Ex Machina. Both were highly touted by friends I respect, so it was a fun weekend for this Buddhist