Apocalyptic movie or documentary?

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The promise of a movie night, with a simple dinner and a little sugar-filled treat we had bought for later. All seemed in place. She picked an apocalyptic movie – humanity’s only survivors from a climate disaster on a train to nowhere under the control of the greedy in power.

Twenty minutes in and I’d had enough. The portrayal of violent, selfish and evil people causing pain and suffering was too much for me to handle. She said I was ‘soft’. I laughed. “I don’t need to see the horrors humans can inflict on other humans”, I said.

If he had been here, I would have been mocked for the ‘loss’ of movie night. He wasn’t, and there was no loss. We decided to watch David Attenborough’s “Planet Earth”, again.

And what a pleasant gratifying experience that was!  To be reminded that
• our vast world still sustains us, even as we humans continue to test its limits;
• the natural world still holds many mysteries and wonders so let’s be humble;
• we ought not lose sight of or interest in this world we inhabit for it has much to teach us;
• we and the world beyond the boundaries of human-made structures are inter-dependent, and the survival of one is reliant on the other.

Sitting with her on the couch watching this documentary felt right. I had moved away years before from “indulging” in pain and suffering, the overcoming of which is worn as a badge of honour. No. There is more to my life than that. And no, I was not avoiding the reality of life.

I am aware of the trauma that can be life. I have experienced some of that. I am also privileged not to have experienced the worst of it. But as was told to me by a wise woman those years ago, “where you expend your energy, that is what you feed”. The media creation of need to consume the worst of humanity, the normalising of voyeuristic, and perhaps narcissistic, tendency to feed upon the plight of others – not where I intend to be.

As James Redfield said, “[E]nergy flows where attention goes.” And so where I can help, I do. Where I can’t, I choose not to energize.

But I told her none of this, only relaxing into the moment of a Saturday evening at home. We discussed natural history and geography, theory of evolution, the behaviour of the male species in the animal kingdom (humans included)… 🙂 and much more.

I was content that we were not expending our energy on a movie focussed on the darker side of the human condition, which propagated the narrative that fighting is the way to success and freedom, and being physically tough and psychically hard were the only ways to be. She wasn’t, not in that moment, further indoctrinated into the cynicism and distrust that can fuelled our existence.

Granted “Planet Earth” had its gory scenes of predator and prey, life and death. I was fine for her to see the cycle of life, the natural order of things if you like. To appreciate the black, white and grey areas of living. It gave me great comfort that nature knows what to do to survive, so long as we humans do not impose our will on it.

I was not ‘soft’, not in the sense of being weak and scared. I was perhaps just tired of the perpetual narrative of fight, dominance, ‘toughness’, and pessimism on the inevitable plight of the human experience. I have no wish to spend more minutes on negativity and pain. “Be like water” comes to mind. Flow and leave your mark.

Maybe I was over-thinking it, putting words to the experience. The feeling of my body constricting during twenty minutes of the movie, in contrast to the sense of peace and inspiration of the documentary, the choice was clear.

So I am soft, in choosing to be positive, to expend my energy on matters which lift and on creatures of beauty, to contribute to a positive consciousness.

What would you do?

~ FlorenceT

 

© 2017 FlorenceT Copyright reserved. The author asserts her moral and legal rights over this work.

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#Haiku Challenge 131 @RonovanWrites

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RonovanWrites Haiku Challenge 131 with prompt words – Car, Coast

Winter Tale

Coast on, she presages
Life passes when unconscious
Looking straight ahead
In a car on the highway
Are you on merely a road?

~ FlorenceT

© 2017 FlorenceT Copyright reserved. The author asserts her moral and legal rights over this work.

 

The Dream of Life – a #BeWow post

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For this post as part of the #BeWow hashtag (an initiative of RonovanWrites), I share with you Alan Watts’ perspective on ‘The Dream of Life’. This is a must-watch 🙂 which will change your view about life or at least provoke you to re-evaluate. Enjoy!

 

 

For you who are asking, Alan Watts (1915-1973) is a British-born philosopher, writer and speaker who made Eastern philosophy popular in the Western world.  At the age of 23, he underwent training in Zen Buddhism in the US.  A few years later, he obtained a theology degree and went on to become an Episcopalian priest.  By the time he was 30, Watts had accepted a teaching position with the American Academy of Asian Studies, which he held for some 5 years before embarking on an illustrious career in writing and speaking.

Watts’ worldview is premised on “the whole universe consists of a cosmic self playing hide-and-seek, hiding from itself by becoming all the living and non-living things in the universe, forgetting what it really is; the upshot being that we are all IT in disguise“.

Excerpt of the video:

“If you awaken from this illusion, and you understand that black implies white, self implies other, life implies death — or shall I say, death implies life — you can feel yourself. Not as a stranger in the world, not as something here on probation, not as something that has arrived here by fluke, but you can begin to feel your own existence as absolutely fundamental.

“I’m not trying to sell you on this idea in the sense of converting you to it; I want you to play with it. I want you to think of its possibilities…

So in this idea, then, everybody is fundamentally the ultimate reality. Not God in a politically kingly sense, but God in the sense of being the self, the deep-down basic whatever there is. And you’re all that, only you’re pretending you’re not.”

 

– FlorenceT

 

© 2015 Copyright reserved. The author asserts her moral and legal rights over this work.