I watched a video and a movie this weekend that feel deeply interconnected to me. I apologize ahead of time however, because this post goes against many of my principles of blogging: It is too long, has no illustrations, offers way too many links and crams far too many concepts into a rambling, chatty, self-indulgent, poorly edited post. But damn it, sometimes you just got to throw discipline to the wind.
On noticing the almost magical deep connectedness between the movie and video described below, I could have been tempted to think, “Nothing happens by accident: the Universe/God is trying to teach me something.” But I agree with Piper in NetFlix’s new show, “Orange is the New Black“, when she says,
“I don’t believe we get Cancer to learn a life lesson.”
There is no Universal karma machine or god who controls or intervenes in human affairs — or that of squirrels, amoebas or even yours.
So, if the intervening supernatural can’t be used to explain the amazing connection I saw in my viewing choices this weekend, maybe it is simply that I see lots of stuff over the week and remember vividly only the things that are similar to me — things I like. And then I create a notion of “connectedness” while I ignore all sorts of other things and label them as ‘unconnected’. In other words, it is my convenient selection bias at work. Yeah that sounds right. But that view seems to destroy the magic, doesn’t it?
Well, in my web of beliefs, I have a connected belief in Yuan which, in this case, goes something like this: My mind is a mix of selves who can barely talk to each other but if honored properly, they can share in fruitful ways. Small voices, apparent connections and vibrant connections can be explored and nurtured in ways so that they may be roads to fruitfulness and happiness which may be otherwise missed. Life is short, nurture Yuan.
Yuan is still natural, not supernatural, but it honors relationships in such a way to nurture the vibrancy — to me, it is similar to the drone of a sitar. So, with no further ado, here are the two connected viewings:
1. Cloud Atlas
My son and I watched the amazing independent film “Cloud Atlas“. We both loved it. Wait, you may say, Cloud Atlas is New Age hogwash. I agree. But it was hogwash done well and huge parts of me connect with it because part of their model generates outcomes similar to my model of reality.
Messages of the film were that kindness ripples in ways we can’t imagine and we and others are connected in a way that makes the notion of a singular self rather silly. The connectedness illustrated in the film was not one that entailed a purpose, it just is.
Reviewers responses were unfortunately predictable: Reason.com calls it “madly ambitious and ultimately banal.” Christianity Today panned it, of course, calling it “tiresome”. But I will be watching this long, tiresome banality over again being the uncritical sap I can often be.
The silly (all too common) New Age notion in the movie involves people being reincarnating in future lives where they keep intermingling with those with whom they had connections in the past — good or bad.
But heck, who am I to make fun of such a notion, I once had a dream that implied exactly that. See “My German Past Life“. So I guess it is a concept my many-selves both believe and don’t believe at the same time (see “Traffic Light Epistemology” for more). But I also don’t disbelieve it. Here is a quote from the movie I enjoyed: “Our lives are not our own. We are bound to others, past and present, and by each crime and every kindness, we birth our future.”
As I ‘predicted’, I ramble. I haven’t even told you the amazing connected thing in this movie which connects it to the next item. It was the music: in particular, “The Cloud Atlas Sextet”. See this scene. But the whole sound track is amazing (I’ll be buying it). Slate magazine discusses the music here. It is the atonality component of this piece woven with multiple themes in a coherence is what I loved.
2. Vihart’s “Twelve Tones“
I’d never seen this video before. She is brilliant! I subscribed. Vihart’s stuff is amazing and full of many deeply interconnected thoughts. And to make her heavy philosophical/psychological points, she explored atonality using 12-tones through Schoenberg and Stravinsky. Ah, the connection — Cloud Atlas Sextet toyed with an atonal component. And like Cloud Atlas, Vihart’s piece is long, and though connected, it seems rambling — heck, sort of like this post. 🙂
My daughter watched part of Twelve Tones with me today and in disgust said, “Arghhh, don’t make everything so complicated”. But you see, that is what I share deeply with Vihart and with Cloud Atlas. Mind you, I deeply love my daughter, even if this stuff doesn’t resonate with her.
Next my daughter said, “She scares me.” I agree, Vihart has a certain unstable feel to her. But then I would know, I certainly have an unstable side to myself — I love that side, and I can see how it can be scary. We are all different animals — unfamiliar animals can be scary. But I wager if you like my insanity, you will also enjoy Vihart’s.
This was a long, self-involved post with obscure philosophy and way too many links. I wrote it mainly for myself, but if you made it this far and you understood any of the deeper, interwoven points I was trying to make, I’d love to hear your thoughts. If you understood the allusions and thoughts here, you probably understand this phenomena called ‘Sabio’ pretty well.
Why write such a long, rambling piece that probably won’t be anything but skimmed at best? — for my many selves!
Challenge to Readers: If anyone cares to watch both pieces, read a few links and write about any connectedness they feel, I’d be terribly excited. Put it on your blog or put it here in these comments.