The weekends typically offer a perfect opportunity for relaxation and engaging in enjoyable activities. During weekends, the mind is not burdened by deadlines or the pressure of competing against time, which is a common stress factor in Singapore. Hence, these moments are ideal for reflection, understanding fundamental principles and learning about the nature of cause and effect. 

“I don’t really enjoy movies; I usually end up dozing off during them. It feels like a waste of money and time. I prefer doing something more meaningful,” is my typical response when friends suggest watching a movie over the weekend. However, one movie changed my perspective. Each time you find yourself saying no, take a moment to pause and reconsider. Don’t firmly label your likes and dislikes based on your preconceived preferences over the years. Sometimes, the best lessons are learned when we are open to something new. When I pondered why I had a dislike for going to the movies, I realized that there was nothing inherently wrong with movies and their ability to entertain; I simply hadn’t taken the time to seek out movies that I would genuinely enjoy.

DA CHI LAO is a Chinese movie from Hong Kong. The story incorporates certain elements of fantasy and begins with a scene of a monk leaving a small town, well-versed in Chinese martial arts. During his journey in a forest, he unintentionally kills a little bird. Instantly, he determines it as “Karma!!” without delving into the real cause. Eventually, the monk encounters a female police officer. In some inexplicable way, he senses that she is near death and each time her life hangs in the balance, he rescues her out of compassion. Despite his well-intentioned actions, the girl ultimately loses her life while pursuing a cold-blooded killer. At that moment, the monk resolves to uncover the causes behind all that has happened by searching for the killer. Only then does he discover the reasons that led to such consequences.

The underlying message of ‘Da Chi Lao’ revolves around considering “cause and effect” as the foundation for gaining understanding. The ‘Ba Gua’ encompasses Yin and Yang, with no clear segregation between them. Imagine Karma starting as a negative force and as it progresses, it accumulates complexity either intentionally or unintentionally, with the cause being human nature’s “attachment”. The only way to end the influence of karma is to halt the entire chain of action. Achieving this requires forgiving with compassion. The question is, can you deliberately overlook what bothers you and let go of the desire to delve deeper?

Undoubtedly, the human mind possesses immense willpower. The story tells us to break the chain and choose the path of happiness, contentment and freedom from karmic burden. While this may sound religious, it is not exclusively so. Humans require a calm state of mind to engage in deep reflection and the logic behind this can be explained in scientific terms as “frequency waves.” The next time you make a decision, deeply consider the concept of “cause and effect”.