Re: [terrencemalick] perception and ttrl
>From: Christina Lui <clui@...>Thank you, Christina.
>Subject: [terrencemalick] perception and ttrl
>Date: Mon, 28 Feb 2000 12:46:42 -0800 (PST)
>Welcome! It's always great to hear from a new person, and from a person
>who's writing for the first time.
>I agree from my perspective (in other words, I choose to believe) that
>I think this is right on. Simon Dalby has a fantastic book about how
>during the Cold War, the Soviets were constructed as the Other by the
>Americans (I think he also talks about the Othering of the Americans as
>well), showing that not only is behaviour to be studied, but ideas and
>ideals as well.
>I thought this was a bit disingenous on the director's part. Imagine
>yourself as a Melanesian, in 1942/43. Foreigners have come to YOUR land,
>destroying the world YOU live in, tearing up the land and the earth,
>pressing you and your neighbours to serve them, to carry their water and to
>point out places where they can blow up even more of your land. It'd be
>pretty difficult not to notice more of these foreign invaders.
>Or perhaps this old man has retreated into himself where nothing can touch
>him. Or perhaps he's anticipating that they won't see him as a useful
>strong young man who can carry their water.
he was in a space where this world did not affect him. Perhaps he also had
a completely different perspective toward the land. To my knowledge, the
Native Americans who sold Manhattan Island to the Europeans thought it was
preposterous that a man could buy the land. They saw the land as belonging
only to God and that no man could possess it. And our history jokes that
they sold it for a song. Perhaps our Melanesian friend had similar views.
I think it is a much healthier way to see things (Remember Welsh's disgust
in realizing that the whole war was about property).
>Nature can be peaceful, but a war also exists in it. The first shot in theI see your view as very similar to Tall's perspective in the movie
>film is of a crocodile sliding into the water--a predator, a killer, a
>carnivore. The first few words spoken in the film are about the war in the
>heart of nature and what geologists constantly remind us is the battle
>between land and sea.
(specifically his "nature is cruel" comment), which is just that--a
perspective. We have fashioned our lives based on our own perspectives.
And we deal with the world based upon them. Does war exist in nature or do
we see something from our frame of reference, judge it to be bad or
"war-like", and then label it as such. To the crocodile, he is just doing
what he does. He's not choosing to kill with the knowledge of how we see
that--he is either eating or defending himself from attack. There is no
good or evil involved. It just is. It is we humans who choose to see him
as a predator, a killer, and a carnivore, along with whatever meanings we
put to those words.
>That is exactly what I am saying and thank you for recognizing it (it lets
>So are you arguing that the way to end war is by changing ourselves? Can
>you say what is the connection to God?
me know that my communication skills do actually work sometimes). War
starts from lack. Lack of control, lack of abundance, lack of material
things, lack of property, lack of understanding, etc. The list goes on and
on. However, if we truly knew that we lacked nothing, that we were complete
in and of ourselves and could never be otherwise, would we choose to engage
in war? No. The reality is that we are complete in and of ourselves with
no lack whatsoever. Would a Divine Creator create otherwise? Would it
create something unlike Itself? No. We just believe that we are something
we are not (inferior, incomplete, imperfect) and what we believe is
reflected to us in the world we see. Therefore, to change the environment
we see, we must change our view of ourselves. What we are is forever
unchanged--our job is to remember that. If we can experience the peace
within ourselves, as we were created, that will appear naturally in the
world outside. World peace has never been achieved because we have believed
peace to be something outside ourselves and something to be achieved. If
everyone knew and experienced the peace that not only exists in us, but
actually is us, they would have no desire whatsoever for war. It would not
even be considered. The world does not determine us--we determine the
The connection to God is that God is omnipresent. Therefore, God
exists in nature, in man, in the crocodile, in the soldier, in the gun, in
everything. In my opinion, that change in ourselves is our realization of
the fact that God is the only Power and that power is in us. God is the
Source or Cause of all. And that Source is good. That is not to say that
He is the cause of war but in war, His goodness is present. TTRL was
hinting at this at the end when the voice-over said love and strife were
lines on the same face. There is nothing else but God (if He is
omnipresent, logically there can be nothing else). War, poverty, disease,
pain, etc. in my opinion all stem from a BELIEF that we have somehow
separated from that Source (God). In truth, we have not and never can
separate but we sure believe we have and our beliefs create what we see in
the world. Therefore, realizing our eternal Oneness with God is the key to
that change in ourselves and thus the change in the world.
>This leads me to the "another discussion" I spoke of. I stated that it
>Can you say more about "another discussion"?
appears we are in pain, in war, in strife, but that is all it is--an
appearance. Hold on to your seat. The apparent reality we experience with
our senses is not reality at all. God is. And God is the only Reality.
Like I said above, if God is omnipresent, then there can be nothing else.
Which means this world we experience is not the Real World and is thus an
illusion. How is that possible? How can I see, smell, touch, taste and
hear so much and it not be happening? Logically it is difficult to
comprehend, but this goes beyond logic. It just is. This is the what Witt
was hinting at when he said he had seen another world. The Matrix was not
far from the truth. This world is an illusion (although I don't believe God
is a bunch of machines using us as batteries) and what our senses tell us is
not the truth. We have to redefine what our definition of reality is and
the tools we use in which to determine it.
I hope this answers your questions. Again, this is not even the tip of
the iceberg on this subject but I have done my best to attempt to explain
it. If you have any more questions, just let me know. One of the many
reasons I am sharing all this is because I believe things like TTRL are
accesses to that other world--the Real World. Mr. Malick not only
postulated it, he showed it to us. When you can experience it, even for a
brief moment, it is impossible to describe to freedom you feel. And then
the cool thing to realize is that that bliss you experience is our natural
state and everything else is just a facade we've placed over it. Our
journey is simply to unlearn what we have learned (to borrow from Yoda).
My top ten movies are (at this time), in no particular order, as
follows (and don't quote me on the years):
The Thin Red Line (1998-drama)
The Shawshank Redemption (1994-drama)
Defending Your Life (1990-comedy)
Run Lola Run (1999-action (German))
Life is Beautiful (1998-comedy/drama (Italian))
Sling Blade (1995-drama)
Schindler's List (1993-drama)
The Matrix (1999-action)
LA Story (1991-comedy)
Grand Canyon (1991-drama)
Thank you for your questions, Christine.
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