Bruch Joel Rubin, 48, was recently awarded the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay for Ghost, 1990’s top-grossing film. He also wrote the original screenplay, Jacob’s Ladder. Influenced by The Tibetan Book of the Dead, Jacob’s Ladder was acknowledged as one of the” best unproduced screenplays” in Hollywood for a decade until Adrian Lyne took it on last year. Rubin’s life has been informed by his encounters with Buddhism in the Himalayas and by his continuing meditation practice. Recently he spoke with Tricycle’s On Film editor Gaetano Kazuo Maida about film and spirituality.

Tricycle: What has inspired your work in film?

Bruce Rubin: The inspiration in a sense is my entire spiritual upbringing. Once you have a meditative life you start to see that the world is really far different than what it appears to be. What appears to be finite is really couched in the infinite, and the infinite imbues everything in our lives. To be unaware of that is to miss what is really going on in the life around us.

Hollywood is the dream factory, the place that takes people into the most secretive parts of themselves. Sitting in a dark theater staring at a big screen, people are very vulnerable. In this openness you can, if you want to, give very important lessons to an audience. You can touch the deepest part of the mass mind, and that’s what I wanted to do.

Tricycle: Do you think it’s possible to evoke an authentic experience through film?

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