Sunday, April 25, 2004

Riddle: What always weighs the same no matter how big it gets? (Answer at bottom of this entry.)


In the late 40’s and early 50’s people entered a movie at any time. We didn’t wait for films to begin—we just went in—right in the middle if need be. This was because films were so formulaic and so few plot lines existed that a hip viewer could pick up the storyline at any point. Also, good guys and bad guys were easy to identify. In WWII movies, for example, since they were basically propaganda films, you just automatically hated the enemy and loved your American GI. A viewer knew exactly who he sided with and where the moral center was at all times. The trouble is that most people also tended to see real life in that way too—good guys versus bad guys. People and movies were pretty simplistic. Simplistic people still wish to see the world that way: evil and good.

However, the more experience I picked up the less able I was to hold onto such simplistic ideas of reality. Films began to change too as expanded consciousness gave us a more complex reality. Films like "David and Lisa" and "All Quiet on the Western Front" presented more complex psychological realities. Soon, bored by standard Hollywood fare, I began to look around, and I came across "8 1/2" by Fellini and I was blown away. For he shows us the complex nature of reality. Dreams, waking fantasies, psychological projections, memories, altered states are all blended together just as they are in our own conscious realities. He doesn’t even bother to separate them for us with clear distinctions. A viewer can't and couldn't just walk into the middle of his films and make any sense of them. In fact, I didn’t understand what Fellini was doing for awhile (I had to study and think) though I knew I was fascinated by what was being presented to me. But, as I learned more about consciousness, I began to understand what Fellini was up to. The balance between what he brought to alter my consciousness and what changed consciousness I brought to him shifted.

Now I truly do live in a new reality. My consciousness is permanently altered by my experiences, some of which are filmic, and I’m always looking for films and books that expand my understanding of how humans perceive reality. The search after these truths has been my goal for thirty years. It is disheartening to realize that some people still live in that old reality and can’t or don’t want to escape it. Over and over, they (Bush and co. and Moslem fundamentalists, for example) keep bringing us back to that old time rel.....(er).........reality with all its fury, suffering and aggression. The structure of their consciousness is actually out of touch with reality and in love with suffering; they’re a little crazy but don’t know it, so they feel dangerous to me and scary to be around. Some people inhabit the 21st Century, but they don't live here.

Answer: A hole.

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