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Re: [terrencemalick] perception and ttrl

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  • Jos Linn
    ... Thank you, Christina. ... I agree from my perspective (in other words, I choose to believe) that he was in a space where this world did not affect him.
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 1, 2000
      >From: Christina Lui <clui@...>
      >Reply-To: terrencemalick@onelist.com
      >To: terrencemalick@onelist.com
      >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.

      Thank you, Christina.
      >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.

      I agree from my perspective (in other words, I choose to believe) that
      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 the
      >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.

      I see your view as very similar to Tall's perspective in the movie
      (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.
      >So are you arguing that the way to end war is by changing ourselves? Can
      >you say what is the connection to God?

      That is exactly what I am saying and thank you for recognizing it (it lets
      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.
      >Can you say more about "another discussion"?

      This leads me to the "another discussion" I spoke of. I stated that it
      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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