I watched the original The Lion The Witch and The Wardrobe (LWW) movie the other day and in the beginning of the movie, as the story starts to develop, the kids stumble into an old wardrobe locked way in an empty room covered in cob webs trying to escape their nanny looking to divvy out some punishment. All three squeeze into the wardrobe to hide, after pushing and shoving each other trying to find enough room within, they collapse out of the back and find themselves standing in a forest covered in snow. They are amazed and begin to apologize to the youngest of the three siblings for not believing her when she told them about this magical wardrobe weeks ago.
As they are marveling at what they have founds “inside” the wardrobe, a beaver walks up to them and begins to speak.
“The beaver is speaking?!” they say, shocked and amazed.
“How could this be?”
The beaver wastes no time, and asks the thoroughly confused young children to follow him further into the frosted woods before they say too much; he didn’t want the trees to hear them talk. If the wardrobe and the talking beaver weren’t enough to screw someone’s perspective of reality up, now they had to deal with guarding the secrecy of their conversations in a forest with eavesdropping trees?! The kids once again looked at each other in disbelief.
So, this troubled me…
The three children, are in a wardrobe one minute, stumble through it to the other side, of which is in fact a large snow covered forest, only to be welcomed by a talking beaver. When the beaver asks them to be careful of the eavesdropping trees they look at one another in disbelief that the trees can talk and that the talking beaver sounds crazy?! Are you really still doubting things even as they come out of an animals mouth in perfect English? How closed minded are you? If I were to see a beaver speak I would realize that I need to be on my guard and that anything must be possible. This is a new world that very well could have more then one thing I consider fact called into question. I would be open to whatever was thrown at me, and be eager to play with and learn about this strange new land with an open mind and blank canvas….wouldn’t I?
But that is the question isn’t it?! If a beaver talked to you tomorrow would your whole world change, or would just the part of the world in which you have characterized beavers as animals that quite obviously can’t talk need some rethinking? Do you begin to question whether or not this is a new species of beaver, or maybe beavers could talk all along we just haven’t listened? Does this help confirm that dolphins can talk? Why not? Does it mean a rock has feelings? Why not? I mean before that moment weren’t you absolutely sure beavers couldn’t talk too? It’s funny how quickly we arrange what is absurd and what isn’t. You are sure that the sun rises and sets every day — well go to Alaska and you will find that that isn’t necessarily true. And what happens in that instant is amazing, you instantly rearrange your belief system and facts to make it work, but immediately close your mind off from thinking much more beyond that. On one hand it is good to find your self grounded and not have to question everything every day, but on the other hand where is the line to always keep an open mind progressively? When those realizations are stretched over time is it easier to limit your openness? Sort of like the difference between easing into a hot bathtub or getting into a Jacuzzi before you turn it on.
It seems that every 100 years or so something large and unnerving shakes up our perception of the world, but just like the children in the Lion the Witch and The Wardrobe we are constantly only allowing a scoped segment of information to change with a new observation. These crumbling moments of facts and belief systems are quickly contained to stay within a single new undertdsaning of any given thing and is not allowed to seep too far into a new appreciation to try and understand everything all over-again; all the while open the mind for this new data. The world was the center of the universe “Fact!” And how could the planet be moving if we don’t feel like we are moving “Fact!” Atoms are the smallest particles “Fact!” The word is flat “Fact!” Blacks are not the same as whites “fact!” — are thoughts all within a few hundred years old. ( Galileo Galilee was sentenced for heresy in 1633 for geocentricity claims less then 400 years ago )
The question is, where is the line between realization and acceptance. When and why do we find a point to start disbelieving again after a new belief has formed? If I was convinced the earth was the center of the world after hundreds of years of heliocentricism would I feel enlightened enough and change my tune when it comes to following everything the Pope says – that God wants a crusade to convert Muslims and Jews to Christianity? Or, would I still follow those commands/beliefs and solely update the part about the Sun?
Okay, moving on….
Soon after I watched LWW my cousin passed on some movie suggestions to me, one of which was “Afghan Star”. It is the story of how American Idol made its way to the minds of television producers in Afganistan after the leadership changed laws in 2004 allowing singing, music and television back into the country. The movie was strewn with interviews of countless people describing how beautiful it was to have music back in their lives.
“The empty house is now filled” one man said.
It is symbolic and beautiful that a culture can express themselves. Every contestant and viewer expressed their excitement and joy of how amazing it was to finally feel free and express themselves; how important it was for morale and culture. A women being interviewed from the thousands of contestants explains that before 2004 she had to take voice lessons in her home town in secrecy because she could be beaten or arrested for such things. Her town is less progressive and to this date does not think Afghan Star is good for the country. Another young woman explains how overwhelmingly beautiful she believes art and music are and feels how it fills her life with joy. Watching the movie, I am amazed that these people did not have the right to express themselves, but moved that they are now able to do so and beginning to embrace it. There is forward progress.
But slow down campers, let’s not get too excited. In the second round of the Afghan Star finals the same woman I just described that is overcome with joy now that she can sing and has made it to the final four. As she is singing these feelings culminate into a single expression of happiness through dance, while giving her singing performance.
“What?!! What is she doing?!” fellow contestants yell.
“She is ruining the show for us all” her female competitor says of her performance.
Yup, after an hour of the movie showing the beauty of what freedom and music can do to the soul and after following these contestant to the top, finally living their dream to become a famous singer they all turn on her because dancing on TV is not okay — just singing. She was admonished for dancing on stage.
The people have embraced the ability to finally sing through tears of joy, yet when it comes to a woman dancing on stage we are back to square one!? The poor girl cried after she lost and was escorted to her van ride home. All she wanted was to express herself much like others had finally done through song. It was a very emotional moment for me, the sheer ignorance and hypocrisy of people. To embrace singing and in the same breath still admonish this young girl for expressing herself through dancing…….A young man said “she should be killed” –it was painfully frustrating to watch.
So, once again I find myself asking, how the hell do you only learn a little, only see as far as the light is allowing you to…how can you not even tell?! …..Am I doing that without even knowing?
When jews were considered equals we had learned the sadness of our ways except that blacks were still an unknown quantity, when our society finally was able to see past skin we had to start over with women and sexism, and even after that hard lesson was learned we must debate a person’s sexual preference, “gays”. …….Yes the lion the witch and the wardrobe is a silly fantasy about ones imagination and the oddities of reality but the sad part is that the reality we live in is as perhaps more absurd and our inability to believe in parallel concepts are as surreal and absurd as theirs.
Is life a process of building up foundational truths and refining them over time or is it more like the unraveling of untruths toward a final point at which everything is possible? Are we getting closer and closer to a reality that is bound or one that is realized to have none at all? I have yet to see a talking beaver but if I did tomorrow what then, and why is that different the geocentrism in the face of helio? Knowledge may very well get larger not because we will learn more about what is untrue but we will find out that all is true.
Are we working to refine what we know and create more conclusions, to get closer to ultimate thruths, or is that short sited. If all things throughout history are learned and unlearend and like an atom bomb we are unable to take an explosive chain reaction of ideas out for infinite distances, i.e., our minds are only able to learn one or two steps out from the point of impact (wardrobe is forest->beaver talking->but trees can’t talk OR singing is okay->dancing is not) then is it possible the there is not a point that we are moving towards and instead just including more possibilities of beliefs. We may know more every day as the cliche concept but we end up knowing more depth about one thing every day, knowing something about something compeletly different or opposite to what we knew is much harder to see. Is it forever expanding of the breadth of systems or is there a single direction?
I guess I feel like this is a massive hole in our world. It exists right in front of us every day at the same time it is so far from being used and weighed against in our every day lives…..Am I on crazy pills?