Kingdom is Netflix’s first original Korean series. It’s an adaptation of a webcomic series called The Kingdom of the Gods, which was originally authored by Kim Eun-hee and illustrated by Yang Kyung-il. Of course Netflix has become very popular in the days of social distancing, but in Kingdom, viewers will find the storyline eerily reminiscent of today’s current situation with regards to the global pandemic.
The story is set during Korea’s Joseon period, a few years after the Japanese invasion of Korea (1592-1598). The premise of the story combines facts with fiction as the Korean population dies as a result of a global pandemic and mutates into zombies. Though they are dead, they still think and behave as if they are alive. In the course of the story, the characters struggle for powerful positions, some even killing others to get a chance to hold the position of prince within the kingdom. This drama is actually a very interesting study with regards to meditation.
In meditation, we can begin to understand that we think we are living beings, but spiritually we are dead. From the perspective of Truth, God or Buddha, our material shape or physical body is human, but we are dead because we aren’t living in God’s world. We are only really living in our mind’s “world” that we’ve made up during our lifetime.
Think about it: We learned in elementary school that the invention of the camera was based on the physiological characteristics of the human eye. Our eyes are like a camera. Not only are our eyes cameras, but so too are our other sensory organs (nose, tongue, ears and skin). All of these senses record our “pictures” of the world and our life lived and we store them all in our brain, right? So when we interact within the true world (the world God made), we’re not actually in the world. Instead, we are interacting in our human mind world based on all of our memories and thoughts and all of our individual experiences from the life we’ve lived. This is not living in reality. This is living in our own individual perceptions of what we believe to be reality. So, much like Kingdom, we are also just zombies living in a dead world in our mind. We are not truly living in the world God made for us.
Don’t believe it? Try this: Think back to your elementary school days. Can you recall the memories of being back in grade school? There were teachers, favorite friends, not-so-favorite friends and then there was summer break. If you can see all those memories in your head, are those pictures reality or just remembered thoughts? Are remembered thoughts living or dead? Of course, memories don’t have life. They are just “dead” pictures of past life. Still, we are all living in our old thoughts and memories. Even at this moment, while we are thinking about this article, we are thinking from the perspective of all the dead pictures we’ve amassed over the course of our life. Do all of your past experiences and memories that you’ve been living in agree or disagree?
Later, before you go to bed, recall this moment. You will see that “I’ve never once lived in this world, I’ve been living in my mind world,” one that overlaps the real world. The real world is living and has life, the false picture world is dead, therefore, I am false and the world I made in my mind is false. This is why I am dead. This is why I should meditate!
People are just now finding out that there is a way to get rid of my fake world and become one again with the real world. We’ve all been living as zombies (or the living dead) living in our own little worlds in our minds. If you had cancer and it was possible to remove a tumor that was going to kill you, you’d probably pay any price to have it removed so you could live, right? This is no different. The most important thing to know right now is that I am dead. We are dead and our minds are dead therefore we are false or fake so we’ve become selfish and want to take advantage of people and use them to get what we want because we are dead inside. We’re all just looking to fill that falseness with something. Just like the story of Kingdom, we are all trying to be the King of a dead world. The thing that we’re all looking for is life! Now it is time for all of us to meditate and get out of our dead world. There’s no point to continue living in the dead world because it only contains pain and suffering.
Through this meditation we can let go of all of our fake mind and body, be reborn and live in the true world. Now we have a meditation method. There is an ancient Chinese proverb that says: it’s harder to defeat one’s “self” than it is to defeat 100 million soldiers in battle. Isn’t now the time to get rid of my selfish ideas and go back to the world? Isn’t now the time that human zombies return to God and give up the picture world in our mind? Let’s live together as brothers and sisters. Let’s build our blessings in an everlasting, living world. Let only truth remain.