Thought Moments (2004) by Michael Simon Toon.
‘Thought Moments’ is a Buddhist term for the mental
states experienced after a physical or mental object enters
the mind (a physical object is something in the ‘real’ world that we
can see, hear, touch or sense in any way. A mental object is something
that is in our mind, that we can remember, or imagine, seeing, hearing,
touching or sensing in any way). This film records the answers
to questions asked of
people on the streets of Leeds, Birmingham, Bristol, London
and Brighton. The questions are simple, but
they seek to reveal their true nature: their
loves, fears and desires. “Between thought and expression,
There lies a lifetime” – Lou Reed.
“Taste is not only a part and index of morality, it is the
morality. The first, and last, and closest trial question to any living
creature is ‘What do you like?’ Tell me what you like, I'll tell you
what you are.” – John Ruskin.
I read about ‘Thought Moments’
when I was a Theravada Buddhist
monk in Bangkok, Thailand. I learned that the
Buddha identified thought moments and their sequences, quite
specifically, going so far as to count and name them. The next day, I
read an article in a Bangkok Post (delivered every day to the
temple) about a new technique in America for scanning the brain which
showed the sequence of brain states during the thought process, even
going so far as to count and name them. The frequencies of these
thought moments described by both the Buddha and the scientists were
Moments is on Facebook. You can watch an alternative version of this film
I also made another short film that I co-produced with Dr Rachel Armstrong, of a basic physiochemical reaction with just a few ‘ingredients’ which exhibits recognizable life-like
behaviors, remarkably similar to our own: Protocell
Circus. Website and contents by Michael Simon Toon.