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Movies with Spiritual Undertones: Part-1

Movies are one of the most influential mediums through which people all over the world are trying to put across messages and hints that point towards the truth; the unspoken paradigm which exists around us and within us, which we are the creators of. In layman terms (lot of “laymen” out there), movies are more than just visual treats on a weekend outing within your family or your loved ones; they are much deeper than that. They are subliminal messages from people who are trying to get across to you and open your perception up to what really matters. So every movie (atleast the ones that are mentioned here) has to be an experience, a visceral almost traumatic experience that pulls you out of your comfort zones and leaves you naked in front of the colossal truth that IS. So the next time, don’t just watch a movie, EXPERIENCE IT!

The Matrix

One of the most spiritually compelling pieces of film has to be “The Matrix”, a movie which has drawn the attention of several theologists and spiritual seekers around the globe, and for good reason. The plot follows the journey of Neo (Keanu Reeves) as he wakes up to the harsh reality that his “normal” life was in actuality a computer-generated virtual reality being pumped into everyone by machines. He is given an entrance into “reality” by Morpheus (Lawrence Fishburne) where Neo wakes up to find that the machines have harvested humans as an energy source by perpetually feeding them a virtual reality wherein people go about their ordinary lives completely oblivious to the slavery that they are born into. The plot sounds familiar doesn’t it, because once the “machines” are replaced  by the government and the “powers to be”, along with the part of “virtual reality” being pumped into our heads through television, consumerism and other forms of mind control, it points to our very lifestyle in the 21st century. Yes, we are slaves to this intricate mind-control and propaganda of our world, where our energy and potential is being constantly harvested while ensuring that we do not discover our true potential. But, once you have awakened to the reality and free yourself from the immense “Matrix” that we have been forced into, infinite possibilities arise and opportunities for immense powers are just in our reach; not unlike the powers that Neo gains once he learns about the truth, like lightning speed, ability to fly beyond the speed of sound, and to bend the rules of the Matrix in any way he wants to. Well, it may seem far-fetched but trust me when I say, once you wake up everything imaginable is possible! Now, go watch the movie again!

Tripped-Out Fact: There are several pointers in the movie towards the importance of dreams, the biggest one being the name “Morpheus”, who is supposed to be the Greek God of dreams. It basically points to the fact that our dreams can be portals or doorways to unlocking the truth amidst our illusory existence.

The Lego Movie

This animated masterpiece brims forth with spiritual meanings and truths, almost reminiscent of an animated lesson in spirituality for kids and adults alike (more for adults as kid have not yet forgotten that  “Everything is Awesome!”).  The movie follows the story of the central character Emmet (Chris Pratt), who much like most of us is immersed into the routine and mundane works of society, unbeknownst to the immense scale of repetition, mind-control, monotony and media-brainwashing that he and his fellow man have been subjected to. Soon, as a twist of fate, he encounters the Piece of Resistance which has been prophesied to be the object of which the obtainer would be the “Special”, as prophesied by the blind sage Vitruvius (Morgan Freeman). Emmet is then transported into the worlds and vast lands of opportunities that lay outside the confines of his perpetually brainwashed existence. He is opened up to the elements of imagination and the immense powers that it has to change the very world we live in. The movie shows us in a subtle way what people have failed to recognize from spiritual and religious scriptures from all over the world; that everyone is special, even though they think they are not; that the world around us is filled with so much beauty and wonder that we do not need any external forms of entertainment through mainstream media; that even the worst among us can channelize their energies to create something beautiful, and that it is always imperative that we form a community and not center the spiritual journey around only “a few good men”(pun intended).  So break yourselves from the shackles of your programmed lives and use your imagination to create things and nuances of wonder!

The Truman Show

This movie paves the way for some of the most important aspects that one considers on his/her spiritual journey. Moreover, the movie also exposes some of the most inherently decrepit and decadent facets that have been programmed into humanity in the present age, including the constant thirst for mainstream entertainment and constant drive towards materialistic and voyeuristic tendencies that have been inculcated into our minds in this present age. The plot revolves around Truman Burbank (Jim Carrey) who leads a seemingly normal life in the “almost-perfect” town of Seahaven. Unknown to him, his whole life is a careful orchestrated soap-opera, in which only he is the “real” character. Everyone, from his wife (Laura Linney), his best friend (Noah Emmerich) and his mother (Holland Taylor) are actors in this TV show. Truman was born onto this intricately designed studio set, with everyone around him being extras. Nevertheless, Truman has a gut instinct that keeps telling him that something in his life is just not right. He also has instinctive thoughts from his experiences that rightly point to the aspect that everything in the town seems to revolve around. Slowly but surely, he ventures out into the unknown and looks for the signs which all point to the fact that he is a slave to an illusory world that has been designed to keep him as a guinea pig for the purpose of entertainment. He eventually ventures out of his comfort zone, goes against the norms and tries to break free from his illusory existence to find out who he really is. This movie is a gentle reminder that to break free from the shackles of our illusory life, we have to be ready to go out of our comfort zone, to follow our inner instinct and to keep looking for the signs that our subconscious keeps projecting in our life. The inner “you” knows when something is wrong and has unparalleled clarity; we have only to listen to the voice within and let it guide us towards our true potential by escaping the virtual reality that we have been born into, much like Truman does.

Jacob’s Ladder

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This is one movie that has been misunderstood, misinterpreted and criticized over the years, owing to the simple fact that it is just TOO DEEP! Nevertheless, for those who do get it completely, this psychological horror flick abounds with spiritual truth like few other movies. The movie follows the story of Jacob Singer (Tim Robbins) as a soldier who is stabbed with a bayonet during a surprise confrontation in the jungles of Vietnam. The movie then fast-forwards six years ahead when Jacob starts seeing ghostly visions and demonic hallucinations of entities and monsters out to get him, with such utter realness that it affects his very own perception in numerous ways. He also has periodic dreams of being back in Vietnam as he is carried on a stretcher wounded. The story in actuality explores the concept of purgatory, or the transition between this life and the ascension towards whatever realm exists beyond our dimension. Jacob is in fact still in Vietnam, on his way to be treated, when he is having these visions of being back in his normal life and being assaulted by demons and other entities. This phase has been likened to the experiences people have during near-death experiences when they that “their whole life flashed in front of their eyes”. In these transitory visions, much-like dream-states, there is no linear perception of time due to which Jacob actually lives “six years” of his life during the trip from the battlefield to the infirmary. This transitory phase can be closely associated with “Hell” due to the fact that Jacob has to let go off all his attachments and material possessions in order to move on, which seem incomprehensible to him. The movie gives us a glimpse of what we can expect during our “transition”, depending on type of deeds we have done and the life we have lived. It essentially points to the fact that the demons in his visions are in actuality his unwillingness to let go of all his material possessions and bonds. In fact, this stage of letting go of all bonds and material excesses can be done iswithin our lifetime as well, even though it may seem like hell while going through it. The spiritual truth of this matter is just this, letting go is the key to pure and utter liberation.

Tripped-Out Fact: Jacob’s Ladder is essentially a religious indication of the ascension of human consciousness as specified in texts such as the Bible and the Jewish Kabbalah. The ladder of human consciousness basically entails four realms: the first rung being the knowledge of who you really are, and the last rung being at one with your “true self” or “the God in you” if you please.

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About Ashwin Ramesh

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