In this first blog post of The Dude Way, I begin by looking at the qualities of the Dude in The Big Lebowski movie, and what motivates his way of responding. It's the first of a number of posts to bring us closer to the true Dude.
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Was the Dude in The Big Lebowski actually a dude?
In this blog post, I take a dive into what it means to be a dude. We can all try to copy The Big Lebowski movie character, but what was driving the Dude to act the way he does?
If we look at the Dude in this movie he's a laid-back character. He seems largely untroubled by life's events. If you are not familiar with the movie The Big Lebowski, then here's a quick summary to get you up to speed, and if you do know it, then skip the next section.
The Big Lebowski Movie - in a sentence or two
An out-of-work guy (Jeff Lebowski, aka the Dude) is attacked in his home buy some thugs who mistake him for the millionaire Jeffrey Lebowski whose wife owes them money. They urinate on the Dude's rug and force his head down the toilet in an attempt to pressure him into paying.
He later sets out to get compensation for his rug by going to meet the millionaire, and what happens as a consequence of this is a series of events where the Dude ends up out of his depth, and in a complex muddle of seriously uptight individuals. How the Dude handles these situations is central to the new religion, Dudeism.
To Dude, or Not to Dude, that is the Question
When we, as followers of Dudeism try to emulate the qualities of the Dude, it might be because our sense of self identifies with characteristics that reinforce who we believe we are, or should be. And we don't know if the Dude in the movie is doing the same, or whether he is being completely authentic.
If I use the metaphor of a tree; the outer qualities of the Dude such as being laid back and abiding with life, these are like the leaves of the tree. What we want though, is to get to the root. The root is the source of what makes us a Dude. Then the leaves unfold as a consequence of this source; what is moving us from our centre.
In this movie, all the characters are driven by different egos, and they are mostly fighting to reinforce their sense of self throughout the film. Donny is perhaps the most "dude", but it's difficult to say as he is overshadowed by some of the stronger characters in the film and rather than appearing simple-minded, he might be ultra introverted. So, it seems that the Dude identifies with the idea of being a dude, and Walter has his ideas of what a man should be, as does the character Jesus, and the millionaire Lebowski. All ideas. All leaves. All things that are overlooking the Root.
Ultimately, we don't need to know. We need to come from the place that makes us Dude-like without a sense of what it is to actually be a dude.
And that's what this blog is about. That's where we are going to go. To the Root. To the True Dude. One easy step at a time.
More on this, in the next blog...
Thanks for reading.
The Reverend Thomo