The "Resident Evil: Extinction" Within

by Shen Shi'an, The Buddhist Channel, Dec 9, 2007

Dharma-Inspired Movie Review:

Singapore -- In “Resident Evil: Extinction”, an unscrupulous scientist not only made humans into zombies, he next attempts to elevate them to be “sub-humans” with more intelligence, so as to create cheap “domesticated” labour.

This reminds us that a true human is not one by form, but by one's amount of humanity. In his case, despite his “obvious” human form, his lack of humanity renders him more demonic (or an asura - a titanic demi-god hungry for power) than human. True to this idea, he later forcibly mutates himself to become a super-monster.

The super-heroine Alice realises that there were countless clones made of her - each used to experiment for their intelligence - to see if the next clone has evolved or is able to evolve to be better than the previous. This calls to mind the idea that if we do not consciously improve ourselves life after life, we are reborn as nothing much more than karmic “clones” of ourselves from our previous lives. A case of spiritual stalemate.

Thus, not having any spiritual breakthrough in this life would be an utter waste of this precious human rebirth. The original Alice featured throughout in the “Resident Evil Trilogy” represents the process of successful evolution through personal altruistic choices and efforts to become a heroine. Though not in the “classic” spiritual sense and more in the worldly sense, this would nevertheless be an example of skilful evolution - as her compassion and wisdom grows considerably by this third instalment.

It is interesting to note the truth of interdependence in the symbiotic and relative relationship between the super-villain and the super-hero(ine). In this case, the villain figuratively and literally “creates” the heroine, albeit not purposely. This is reminiscent of how the Ascetic Gotama (who later became the Buddha) was in a way “conditioned” or urged to improve in his spiritual career by his “evil” cousin Devadatta through the course of many lifetimes. In fact, in Mahayana Buddhism, Devadatta is generally seen as a “Bodhisattva” of sorts, be it intentionally and/or accidentally, who plays a crucial role as an adversary for the perfection of the Buddha's spiritual quest. As Stonepeace put it, “Mara's advocates can also be Bodhisattvas' advocates.”

A human who was infected by a zombie gradually becomes a zombie, as his mindfulness of his humanity slips away. This presents a moral dilemma. Form aside, when do we decide a human is no longer human? Not that the zombie phenomenon is real (at least not now), this question becomes more important if the protagonist is us. If we are infected to become a zombie in time, when do we decide it is a better idea to terminate our own lives to prevent harming others? Do we decide or let the others decide? Will we be brave enough to do the right thing? But what is right? With our present humanity which is seeping away, we can still do good, while there is the impending risk of anytime turning into a full-fledged monstrous zombie who kills other humans. What if a cure might be found in time? These rhetorical questions aside, while we are human in this moment, it is wise to mindfully sustain and increase our humanity - to never lose ourselves to our bestial animal (or even demonic or “hungry ghost” ) instincts - to become “mindless” zombies.

As in most typical action thrillers though, the heroes and heroines also have genuine strong aversion as a driving force to eliminate their archenemies, who happen to have the same strong aversion towards the good guys and gals. Spiritually speaking, aversion is negative, be it directed towards another good or bad. The greater spiritual path would be to transform one's aversion to become compassion, to “eliminate” one's enemies by eliminating one's enmity towards them, while using more skilful means to halt or even transform the evil into good. Thus, killing should always be the last resort - and must be done out of altruism, not vengeance.

The truth is, the real “Resident Evil” is the trio called the “Three Poisons” - the residential greed, hatred and delusion within our minds! Will you bring them to extinction? It was Sun-Tzu who taught this in “The Art of War” - “Know thy enemy and know thyself - a hundred battles fought and a hundred battles won.” Stonepeace has an alternative take - “Know thy enemy is thyself...” As the Buddha put it, “Greater than one who wins a hundred battles, is one who conquers oneself.” When one's inner demons have been conquered, one naturally becomes undefeatable by any outer demon.

We Need Your Help to Train the
Buddhist AI Chat Bot
(Neural Operator for Responsible Buddhist Understanding)

For Malaysians and Singaporeans, please make your donation to the following account:

Account Name: Bodhi Vision
Account No:. 2122 00000 44661
Bank: RHB

The SWIFT/BIC code for RHB Bank Berhad is: RHBBMYKLXXX
Address: 11-15, Jalan SS 24/11, Taman Megah, 47301 Petaling Jaya, Selangor
Phone: 603-9206 8118

Note: Please indicate your name in the payment slip. Thank you.

Dear Friends in the Dharma,

We seek your generous support to help us train NORBU, the word's first Buddhist AI Chat Bot.

Here are some ways you can contribute to this noble cause:

One-time Donation or Loan: A single contribution, regardless of its size, will go a long way in helping us reach our goal and make the Buddhist LLM a beacon of wisdom for all.

How will your donation / loan be used? Download the NORBU White Paper for details.

For Malaysians and Singaporeans, please make your donation to the following account:

Account Name: Bodhi Vision
Account No:. 2122 00000 44661
Bank: RHB

The SWIFT/BIC code for RHB Bank Berhad is: RHBBMYKLXXX
Address: 11-15, Jalan SS 24/11, Taman Megah, 47301 Petaling Jaya, Selangor
Phone: 603-9206 8118

Note: Please indicate your purpose of payment (loan or donation) in the payment slip. Thank you.

Once payment is banked in, please send the payment slip via email to: Your donation/loan will be published and publicly acknowledged on the Buddhist Channel.

Spread the Word: Share this initiative with your friends, family and fellow Dharma enthusiasts. Join "Friends of Norbu" at: Together, we can build a stronger community and create a positive impact on a global scale.

Volunteer: If you possess expertise in AI, natural language processing, Dharma knowledge in terms of Buddhist sutras in various languages or related fields, and wish to lend your skills, please contact us. Your knowledge and passion could be invaluable to our project's success.

Your support is part of a collective effort to preserve and disseminate the profound teachings of Buddhism. By contributing to the NORBU, you become a "virtual Bodhisattva" to make Buddhist wisdom more accessible to seekers worldwide.

Thank you for helping to make NORBU a wise and compassionate Buddhist Chatbot!

May you be blessed with inner peace and wisdom,

With deepest gratitude,

Kooi F. Lim
On behalf of The Buddhist Channel Team

Note: To date, we have received the following contributions for NORBU:
US$ 75 from Gary Gach (Loan)
US$ 50 from Chong Sim Keong
MYR 300 from Wilson Tee
MYR 500 from Lim Yan Pok
MYR 50 from Oon Yeoh
MYR 200 from Ooi Poh Tin
MYR 300 from Lai Swee Pin
MYR 100 from Ong Hooi Sian
MYR 1,000 from Fam Sin Nin
MYR 500 from Oh teik Bin
MYR 300 from Yeoh Ai Guat
MYR 300 from Yong Lily
MYR 50 from Bandar Utama Buddhist Society
MYR 1,000 from Chiam Swee Ann
MYR 1,000 from Lye Veei Chiew
MYR 1,000 from Por Yong Tong
MYR 80 from Lee Wai Yee
MYR 500 from Pek Chee Hen
MYR 300 from Hor Tuck Loon
MYR 1,000 from Wise Payments Malaysia Sdn Bhd
MYR 200 from Teo Yen Hua
MYR 500 from Ng Wee Keat
MYR 10,000 from Chang Quai Hung, Jackie (Loan)
MYR 10,000 from K. C. Lim & Agnes (Loan)
MYR 10,000 from Juin & Jooky Tan (Loan)
MYR 100 from Poh Boon Fong (on behalf of SXI Buddhist Students Society)
MYR 10,000 from Fam Shan-Shan (Loan)
MYR 10,000 from John Fam (Loan)
MYR 500 from Phang Cheng Kar
MYR 100 from Lee Suat Yee
MYR 500 from Teo Chwee Hoon (on behalf of Lai Siow Kee)
MYR 200 from Mak Yuen Chau

We express our deep gratitude for the support and generosity.

If you have any enquiries, please write to: