Dudeism: The Religion Made by the Movies

Dear dude, duder, El-Duderino or His Dudeness,

In 1998, the Big Lebowski came to the cinema. Since I was born that year, I didn’t see it at the cinema. But, when I streamed it from the internet on my laptop a few years ago, I was in love with the movie. The Big Lebowski, simply a masterpiece. It was so artsy, so strange, so funny and so good, that the impact on the world was gigantic. Not immediately, but seven years after the release of the movie (2005), an amazing dude by the name of Oliver Benjamin founded The Church Of The Latter-Day Dude. Inspired by the movie, this religion was taken seriously with influences of epic old Chinese philosophies and stuff. You know, well, I will come back to it later… Oh my god, no, someone peed on my rug. That rug really tied the room together, you asshole. Where was I? Oh, yeah. The dude.

 

The Dude

This amazing man is ‘The Dude’. He actually is called Jeffrey Lebowski, but he (and his friends Donny and Walter) call him the Dude. If you’ve never seen the movie, you really have to go watch it sometime. Stop reading, because I’m going to spoil the end. Or well, the end, I’m not going to spoil the end. Is there an end, man? I don’t know. His Dudeness lives on forever. The Dude Abides.

The movie starts with some guys storming into the Dudes house. They want his money, but they clearly have the wrong person. The needed to invade the house of The Big Lebowski, a man with a huge house and lots of money. The gangs don’t want to believe the Dude and they pee on his rug. The Dude doesn’t like that, so he wants money from the rich Lebowski fella to pay for a new rug. Eventually, The Dude and his friends get entangled in a strange story about kidnapping, money and well, you know, other stuff.

But, the most amazing thing about the Dude is his philosophy about life. That’s what this blog post is all about. The Dude really is a man who just goes with the flow. He thinks everything is alright. Humans can get angry sometimes, they get stressed and they yell at other humans. But it doesn’t really matter. Life goes on man.

 

The Philosophy

The Dudeism website describes Dudeism as the following:

While Dudeism in its official form has been organized as a religion only recently, it has existed down through the ages in one form or another. Probably the earliest form of Dudeism was the original form of Chinese Taoism before it went all weird with magic tricks and body fluids. The originator of Taoism, Lao Tzu, basically said “smoke ’em if you got ’em” and “mellow out, man” although he said this in ancient Chinese so something may have been lost in the translation.

Down through the ages, this “rebel shrug” has fortified many successful creeds – Buddhism, Christianity, Sufism, John Lennonism and Fo’-Shizzle-my-Nizzlism. The idea is this: Life is short and complicated and nobody knows what to do about it. So don’t do anything about it. Just take it easy, man. Stop worrying so much whether you’ll make it into the finals. Kick back with some friends and some oat soda and whether you roll strikes or gutters, do your best to be true to yourself and others – that is to say, abide. (Source: Dudeism)

Let’s take a deeper look insight into these religions.

Taoism

Taoism is a religion and philosophy in which the emphasis is the course of things. Everything is in complete harmony with each other. The Ying-Yang Sign refers to this. I think the bottom line of Ying-Yang is that everything is as it has to be right now. Wu Wei is how the Taoist has to deal with things. He must not ignore them but go with the flow. Bottom line: Everything is as it has to be and go with the flow.

Buddhism

Buddhism is an awesome religion founded by a king named Siddhartha Gautama, aka the Buddha. This king lived for his youth inside of the royal castle and he couldn’t come out. He wasn’t happy. When he got out, he saw the misery in the world. That got him thinking: how can I stop human suffering? He thought of an eightfold path to enlightenment. It starts with the four noble truths. 1. There is suffering. 2. The cause of this suffering is desire and attachment. 3. It is possible to stop the suffering. 4. The way to stop suffering is the Eightfold Path.

You can easily find The Eightfold Path on Wikipedia. The bottom line is that you have to understand the world, help people, don’t lie, don’t hurt, don’t do a job which hurts people and you have to set the right intention to live your life in happiness. Oh, and you’ve got to meditate. Bottom line: accept what is going on and be nice to everyone and you’ll be happy. 

Christianity

This one is kind of tricky. Two thousand years ago, a popular hippie named Jesus lived in Jerusalem. He looked around and saw that people were living a sinful life. They all did what they wanted to do for themselves. They were egoistic as hell! He and some friends who agreed (named the apostles) made up a book called the Bible. Jesus himself couldn’t make it until the end of the publication of the book. To be nice, his friends decided to write that Jesus died for all of humanity. In that way, they wanted to tell people that they had to live for God, Jesus and each other, instead of for themselves. Bottom line: don’t be egoistic and live for something higher than yourself. The world consists of humanity, so live for humanity instead of for yourself.

Sufism

Sufism is an Islamic tradition, in which the purpose is for humans to let go of their ego through meditation and fuse with God. This is coherent with the Buddhist idea that through meditation, you come closer to yourself, and so you come closer to the light(=God). Universal Sufism also exists, in which love and harmony spread to all world religions. Bottom line: let go of yourself and love the world around you. 

John Lennonism

Is this a religion? Yeah, well, you know… If Dudeism is a religion, this can be a religion as well.

If you don’t know who he is, the dude on the right is John Lennon. He was a member of the Beatles until 1970. After that, he started a solo career (and recorded songs with his wife Yoko) until he got shot in 1980. Lennon thought that religion and nations should fade away, they only bring war. Peace had to be in every human mind. Bottom line: life your life in peace, wish others peace and live the life you want to live.

Fo’-Shizzle-My-Nizzlism

Famously used by Snoop Dog, Fo’Shizzle my Nizzle means something as ‘for sure, my friend’. I had to laugh when I searched it up on the Urban Dictionary website:

“fo shizzle ma nizzle” is a bastardization of “fo’ sheezy mah neezy” which is a bastardization of “for sure mah nigga” which is a bastdardization of “I concur with you whole heartedly my African american brother” 

Bottom line: be with your friends and other fellow humans when they need you (or when they don’t need you).

 

Conclusion

So, well, that was what I had to tell you guys. The Big Lebowski seems to be a dumb comedy about a hippie made by directors who made an error and replaced blowing by bowling. It’s not. Well, it’s kind of that, but it’s more amazing than that. The Big Lebowski is a 1998-movie which started a freaking religion and was influenced by all kind of other religions. In a world of atheism, here, in the Western world, I think it’s good that popular culture wants people to look at religion in a new way. I mean, the bottom line of religions always make sense. It’s true that almost always, religions are used for power, and that’s the moment it goes wrong. Religions have to be viewed as philosophies of life. And I think every human being can learn stuff from that. I mean, they’re not on earth for nothing, right?

Ps:

Watch the trailer. It is awesome.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *