There’s been an awakening. Have you felt it?
Supreme Leader Snoke, Star Wars: The Force Awakens
During the last few weeks of 2015, we movie binged. So many good films were released and sticking close to home, we made the time. On the surface, pure blissed out entertainment. Deeper, I noticed a trend I may have missed if we hadn’t movie-blissed out.
The theme that keeps reinventing itself in popular media, spiritual circles, new age literature–pretty much all around us except on the news–is the cost of not being authentic to who we really are. This not only goes for individuals, but for societies, groups, corporations, countries, the world. There is a cry for authenticity that shouts above the steady drum beat of time. In the movie Joy (Jennifer Lawrence, Robert de Niro), a young 7 year old Joy says to an older 24 year old Joy in a dream, “You’ve been hiding for 17 years! When you’re hiding who you are from others, you’re hiding from yourself!”
The big reveal. Oh, it’s on.
Let’s start with a film we saw a few months ago. Spotlight (Michael Keaton, Mark Ruffalo) is the true story of how the Boston Globe uncovered the massive scandal of child molestation and cover-up within the local Catholic Archdiocese, shaking the entire Catholic Church to its core. (IMDB) The team that made the discovery was called Spotlight. That was back in the day when papers could actually afford such units. They dug deep and discovered disturbing patterns on sacred ground. The church is the place that purports to be the meeting place for God, where Souls gather to seek spiritual sustenance. The church is where seekers go to find Truth. When that shows up wrapped in child molestation, the authenticity withers to the ground making followers question all truth. Who can you trust if you can’t trust your spiritual leader? This story of truth seeking could find no more sacred setting.
Well, except for possibly the football field. (Maybe you don’t live in the Friday Night Lights glare, but I do.) In Concussion (Will Smith-nomination!, Alec Baldwin), accomplished pathologist Dr. Bennet Omalu uncovers the truth about brain damage in football players who suffer repeated concussions in the course of normal play. (IMDB) The movie shows the truth of what happens to many football players and their cruel, early deaths (many by suicide) due to repeated micro-concussions. When Omalu discovered this (using his own money), he received repeated death threats from groups and organizations who felt he threatened the future of an American past-time. They discounted him and his work. It was more important to hide the truth, then to face the truth, and work together to find solutions.
In the financial world, The Big Short (Christian Bale–nomination!, Steve Carell and Ryan Gosling), we get to go through the build up to 2008 again. (My husband, an investment advisor, was thrilled.) Here’s IMDB weighing in. Four denizens of the world of high-finance predict the credit and housing bubble collapse of the mid-2000s, and decide to take on the big banks for their greed and lack of foresight. Now had this not been so painful personally, I would have cheered these guys on. And truthfully, there was a big part of that continuing theme that deserved to be cheered on– shedding a spotlight on authenticity that needed to be shined.
That takes us to a little Netflix documentary called Cowspiracy: the Sustainability Secret. Another brave investigative report into the business of food. IMDB invites you to follow the shocking, yet humorous, journey of an aspiring environmentalist, as he daringly seeks to find the real solution to the most pressing environmental issues and true path to sustainability. The most outstanding (and disturbing) takeaway from this movie is the number of murders of people speaking out against Big Ag–specifically cattle. During the course of this film, a film backer pulls out due to the “controversial” aspect.
The business of showing true colors, of bringing dark secrets into the light, of being who we really are is afloat. What feels like conspiracy theory, may be indeed a truth that has been covered up in a dark cave. Seems as if Hollywood is ready to shine a spotlight on said caves and pull the truths into the light, painful as that might be. That’s where we find our joy.
I think we’re waking up. I think that’s a good thing.
Your visions will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakens. Carl Jung