Just saw the movie and this was my review. What is the Shape of Water? This is a Zen Koan. If you name any shape, you are wrong, if you don’t name a shape, you are wrong. Now choose or you will be punished. In the Zen Heart Sutra Form is emptiness; emptiness is form. What does that mean? We don’t know. It is an enigma, a puzzle…but the movie the Shape of Water is about the shape of emptiness. But emptiness has no shape. Just as with water, you can’t see water walking around without a shape, nor can you see emptiness without a shape. So form is water, water is form….There is water, but we can’t see it without form, yet they are not the same. The ONE that is two, the two that is One.
The movie The Shape of Water is a mystical video poem. It might as well have been sung by any mystical poet. But in our culture, movies are our poems, and many are mystical poems, mystical teachings not different from the mystical teaching in other ages, in other language. Movies are our language.
But because we are. unconscious to the unity of life, to the water of life, to the emptiness of life, all we see is the form of the movie. But the movie is a metaphor that points to the water that has no shape. While our hearts get it, our minds don’t, because our minds are fixated on form. If it has no form, you can’t measure it, and if you can’t measure it good or bad, up or down, it doesn’t exist. So in our materialistic world view water doesn’t exist except as form. This is like saying the ocean doesn’t exist. Only waves exist.
I am informed by my review. I had no idea what I was going to say when I clicked on LIVE. The shape of my talk surprised me. Where did that talk come from? Where did the insight come from? It came from the water.
The myth is ancient: Beauty and the Beast. A young woman falls in love with a beast, something that is defined and hated in the objective world. Yet she sees THAT which is before the beast, before the form. She sees the water because she too is water. When water meets water, it becomes one water. Love is water.