Friday, April 16, 2010

Getting the Puck Out of the Way and Collaborating with God On the Movie of Your Life

Continuing with this idea of life as a movie, commenter Lance wants to know who wrote his particular screenplay. Did he write it? Did he collaborate with God? Is it written by the world around him -- which would be equivalent to fate and contingency? If the Darwinians are correct, it is written by the genes. But who wrote the genes? If Shenk is correct, we play much larger role in shaping our genetic expression than previously thought (and either Shenk is right or Toots Mondello is wrong, a doctrinal impossibility and intrinsic absurdity).

This is a rather large subject to tackle with my remaining 50 minutes of blogtime. Some might say that it's best if one manages to write one's own screenplay, but if that happens, it's usually a tragedy, because it really means that it was written by the ego, and the ego did not write (create) itself.

Rather, the ego is a portion of externalized subjectivity adapted to the external (i.e., family, culture and historical circumstance) and internal world. Even worse, it is possible -- if not likely -- for mind parasites to have a covert hand in writing the screenplay, if not dominating the whole process.

As for God's role in the process, I'm tempted to revisit Balthasar's five volume Theo-Drama, but I don't have time to skim through 2000 pages.

There are answers to all the above questions, but for now let's just get back to what Mouravieff has to say on the subject, since he's the one who got us into it. He says that "Each human being, then, is born with his own particular film. This represents the field of action in which man is called to apply his conscious efforts."

And "For reasons we have already mentioned, exterior man, who lives in the system of Future-Past [i.e., the temporal line], cannot embrace in a single moment the ensemble of his film, nor even the part that contains his immediate future."

Which is why so many people can't appreciate the elementary truth that if they continue on their present course, they're likely to end up where they're headed.

Again, the reason for this is that the exterior man is so affixed to the present moment; and the more exterior, the more fixed (e.g., single issue activists, MSM journalists, political "junkies," anyone who loses perspective and histrionically elevates the present moment well beyond its importance). More ominously, just like the stage magician, the Conspiracy encourages you to rivet your attention on the present moment ("misdirection"), so that it may perform its sinister magic outside your narrow gaze.

Remember, the now is everything. But for that reason, it can also be nothing. In other words, properly understood, it is a prolongation of eternity, our one and only access to O. Improperly understood -- i.e., horizontally and externally -- it is just a kind of fleeting nothing between two nowheres, like the commercial between two TV programs.

In any event, in order to begin seeing the film, one must "enlarge the slot of [the] Present." The first thing that comes to mind is the great athlete who is able to seemingly slow down the game in order to see and do things other athletes can't. Wayne Gretzky, Magic Johnson, Ted Williams -- all could open up seams in time in order to slow down events and then freely move around in the resultant slot. Perhaps you have to be a sports fan -- better yet, an athlete -- to understand how literal this is.

For example, I remember when I tried out for the high school basketball team. I was a very good player, but I was accustomed to playing by myself in the driveway, or one-on-one with friends, or HORSE, etc.

The first time I was inserted into an actual five-on-five, full court game, it was literally overwhelming, since I was indeed in the now, but there were so many things -- and potential things -- happening in the now, that I was mentally paralyzed. And it was all happening waaaay too fast.

It very much reminds me of jazz, in which the soloist is faced in each moment with an infinite field of possibilities that he must also instantaneously coordinate with the harmonic structure of the composition and with his fellow players. And no wonder why so many of those guys liked heroin, because few things are as effective in slowing down time. (Of course, Raccoons are content with our own Beer O'clock slackrament in order to dilate time.)

Baseball was much less of a problem for me, because there things more or less happen one at a time. Plus, I was a pitcher, so I could control the tempo myself. I never played organized football, but there too, most of the players have a very narrow responsibility on each play, and don't have to deal with the whole game, just the opponent immediately in front of them. But imagine how much the quarterback or running back have to slow things down in order to grasp what's going on and make and execute good decisions.

Interesting: Mouravieff says that if one is successful in widening the slot of the immediate present, it is as if a bit of the future slips in. This again makes sense to me in the context of sports; I think of Gretzky, who could pass the puck to places he just knew a teammate would be (and before the teammate knew it). Likewise, some goalies (Dominik Hasek comes to mind) just have a freakish ability to react to a shot an instant before the opposing player hits the puck.

Now, as long as a man lives in what Mouravieff calls the wilderness, his film "will unfold with mechanical inflexibility, and the Personality will remain entirely unchanged." To be truly "born again" signifies the move toward genuine individuality, which, of course, implies an original film: "By acquiring the gifts of the Holy Spirit appropriate to his nature, he progressively participates in real, objective existence, which finally characterizes his being. This is Salvation; liberation from the bonds of the film."

Importantly, unless one is liberated from this mechanical film, one cannot accomplish one's cosmic mission, being that one's real mission could only be a reflection of the true self. In other words, one's mission might be thought of as the horizontal prolongation of the true self within the field of time. Interestingly, this is reflected in something Paul said, (referenced by Mouravieff) in Romans 28-29:

And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. For whom he foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.

In other words, to address Lance's question, the second birth has much to do with abandoning the effort to write one's own script, and to begin collaborating with God. A Raccoon simply calls it O-->(¶).

39 Comments:

Blogger Rick said...

"The first thing that comes to mind is the great athlete who is able to seemingly slow down the game in order to see and do things other athletes can't. Wayne Gretzky, Magic Johnson, Ted Williams -- all could open up seams in time in order to slow down events and then freely move around in the resultant slot."

You forgot Spiderman, but I haven't finished reading yet... and we're still talkin about movies, right?
:-)

4/16/2010 09:08:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

It's also central to what Bruce Wayne learned in his training with Ra's al Ghul....

4/16/2010 09:11:00 AM  
Blogger Rick said...

I'm reminded of certain military leaders as well, I think Gen. Washington was one, who had a great natural sense for "what to do" during what looks like the chaos of battle -- situational awareness.

4/16/2010 09:15:00 AM  
Blogger Rick said...

Bob,
BTW, have you finished Shenk's book? Raccoomend it?

4/16/2010 09:17:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Do not recommend, because, like most books, its only original point could be expressed in a sentence or paragraph.

4/16/2010 09:21:00 AM  
Blogger Rick said...

Thanks, Bob. I thought maybe my son may find it useful. And that I might test drive it.
Anyway..
Today's post is perfect "time-ing" (for me) by the by the way. Watched this movie last night and, in a sense, there is a "watching of one's own movie" in it by the main character(s): Moon.

4/16/2010 09:26:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Bad timing for me, in that the Kings lost the first game of the playoffs last night to a team that really knows how to slow down time, in particular, the extremely skilled Sedin twins.

4/16/2010 09:32:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

And one reason they are so effective at hockey time-dilation is that they've been playing together since they were in the womb, batting around the placenta...

4/16/2010 09:34:00 AM  
Blogger Rick said...

I can't even watch hockey for the same reason you couldn't play basketball. I used to be able blame the rabbit-ear reception..

4/16/2010 09:37:00 AM  
Blogger Leslie said...

Rick
Don't watch the puck. You have to watch the players like you're watching a school of fish or flock of birds.

Sid the kid is playing today. Penguins vs. Senators. Give it a try. He is the real deal.

Mrs. G

4/16/2010 10:14:00 AM  
Blogger Rick said...

I’ve tried picturing them as the opposite sex, but I’m afraid it’s of no use.

(Please forgive me, it is Open Joke Friday, after all.)

4/16/2010 10:26:00 AM  
Blogger Leslie said...

LOL!
I misunderstood your problem enjoying the game.
With the playoff beards, spitting, and the "coaches handkerchief", I can see why you're not able to picture them as supermodels in hockey gear.

Mrs. G

4/16/2010 10:40:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Les,
You have to watch the players like you're watching a school of fish or flock of birds.

Yes, after a while it's almost like an elaborate dance. I think that's easier to learn if you're at a game, when it's tougher to spot the puck with no camera following it around for you.

Also, for those who like drama it's easier to spot the fights breaking out if you're watching the players...

I have to ask, though - what's the coaches handkerchief?

4/16/2010 10:44:00 AM  
Blogger Rick said...

I would just like to add that there is nothing in the bi-laws preventing the formation of a Dame Edith Waterfowl Hockey League.
I don’t think. And, just saying.

4/16/2010 10:49:00 AM  
Blogger mushroom said...

Which is why so many people can't appreciate the elementary truth that if they continue on their present course, they're likely to end up where they're headed.

If the Bible were being written today, that statement would be in it.

4/16/2010 11:09:00 AM  
Blogger mushroom said...

As it was, the Lord used an agricultural metaphor rather than a navigational one. The chosen people were never very good at directions.

4/16/2010 11:10:00 AM  
Blogger mushroom said...

Hockey -- it does help to have been at a game or two. And it helps immensely if you're around for a few good fights.

4/16/2010 11:25:00 AM  
Blogger Alan McCann said...

You must see hockey live to appreciate it. Then you can appreciate it on TV.

IMHE (experience) there are some fortunate times where the script comes out of you/from behind you line by line without any effort and you look at what just happened and are amazed. No worrying about the morrow, just living the now. I imagine that is what it is like for Bob when writing most days.... and what it is NOT like for Obama seeing the script come from the teleprompter in front of him.

I have found there is a palpable difference when the script comes from below - both in feeling and effect.

4/16/2010 11:47:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Yes, I couldn't write until I gave up trying... Same with life/living... Which I suppose is what Paul meant when he made the crack about how it is "not I, but Christ who lives in me."

4/16/2010 11:57:00 AM  
Blogger lance said...

Most interesting and thought provoking stuff today Bob. I really liked comparing it to sports and the really, really great players ability to take themselves out of the time stream and act and react accordingly. It reminded me of Pele and other great Soccer players and there ability to almost disappear and reappear in a different place on the pitch.

It reminds me of my writings on Boethius and Free Will and the idea that God exists outside of our temporal time line and for him everything is happening all at the same time. Which is why we are unable to comprehend events because we are trapped into seeing everything on a linear line. But when we can understand that really the only thing that we can fully experience is what is happening in the present. It takes on a different level. Because for me to look back at the past is just me colored by the present looking back at the past and when I look toe the future by the time I get there it will be the present.

All of my rambling aside I liked today's post. Thank you

4/16/2010 01:03:00 PM  
Blogger mushroom said...

Come to think of it, Obama did ride the bench for his HS b-ball team. He seems like a guy who is easily rattled.

4/16/2010 01:29:00 PM  
Blogger ge said...

Ted Williams: his advice for batting: Wait wait wait, then quick quick quick!

In a cd from tape that surfaced by Gerard Malanga, you hear Kerouac in his [only] visit to Warhol's Factory, breaking some social-esthetic ice by imitating Ted's swing

4/16/2010 01:45:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

For just a second there, Mushroom, I thought you meant baseball. And couldn't help wondering how in heck he made the team with his characteristic limp-wristed throwing style. Then the extra brain cell kicked in...

4/16/2010 01:47:00 PM  
Blogger ge said...

http://www.break.com/index/amazinghockeygoal.html

--happened upon this week
= some mad skillz

wv:
butbils

what you pay if you play too long?

4/16/2010 01:52:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

OT, Chopra Jr. responds to Gutfeld.

4/16/2010 03:41:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

"Which is why so many people can't appreciate the elementary truth that if they continue on their present course, they're likely to end up where they're headed. "

Cooncur. See my leprechaun comment, end of yesterday.

"Remember, the now is everything. But for that reason, it can also be nothing. In other words, properly understood, it is a prolongation of eternity, our one and only access to O."

Ohh... there's that big, big monastery bell ringing it's bone thrumming songggg again....

"Interesting: Mouravieff says that if one is successful in widening the slot of the immediate present, it is as if a bit of the future slips in."

... and againnnn.....

"..."By acquiring the gifts of the Holy Spirit appropriate to his nature, he progressively participates in real, objective existence, which finally characterizes his being. This is Salvation; liberation from the bonds of the film.""

Dang... that's a lot of bells.

4/16/2010 04:02:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Lance said " It reminded me of Pele and other great Soccer players and there ability to almost disappear and reappear in a different place on the pitch."

(This one's for Ximeze, whom I'm sure is still perusing from sOMwhere)

You mean... sort of like faeries..?

4/16/2010 04:08:00 PM  
Blogger Rick said...

Bob,
How's that new Eckhart book? Just start?

4/16/2010 04:20:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Challenging, but very important. Probably furnishes the missing key for what I've been groping for. Gosh!

4/16/2010 04:52:00 PM  
Blogger Jack said...

Guitarist Lenny Breau supposedly once asked McCoy Tyner how he did the amazing things he did...the answer Tyner gave was it took a deeper musical faith.

Or what Coltrane said about playing with Thelonius Monk...if he let his attention slip just a little it was like falling down an elevator shaft.

It's easy to mistrust that in oneself and try to get by on conscious *effort* alone. But effort only seems to take one so far.

4/16/2010 05:46:00 PM  
Blogger Bill Rice said...

As the great Levon Helm once said, "Easy ... for those that know how."

By the way, Bob, you make it look pretty easy.

4/16/2010 08:33:00 PM  
Blogger mushroom said...

Julie, remember, you're thinking for two now.

No, the Oboeman would never have made it as a pitcher -- he might be a catcher.

4/16/2010 10:16:00 PM  
Blogger Magnus Itland said...

Another amazing effect in spiritual aperture science: When your present expands to give room for a bit of eternity, you begin get in contact with those who lived in eternity, such as saints or enlightened ones who lived long ago.

When you only have the needle-point now, the words of eternals either make no sense or some pretty weird sense, but once you are in the same dimension as them, it is almost like they are talking to you face to face. It is just baffling.

I believe this to be the meaning of Lao-Tzu's cryptic comment "When you are ready, the immortals will find you", and possibly the popular Buddhist saying "When the student is ready, the teacher will appear". I expect Catholicism to have a similar concept, since it enlists the Christian saints on a regular basis.

4/17/2010 02:13:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

That is sooooo correct. In fact, it might be the central point of this new book I'm reading on Eckart: that he wrote from the standpoint of eternity -- from within God, so to speak -- and can only be comprehended that way.

4/17/2010 06:58:00 AM  
Blogger jwm said...

I was just born without the Sport Gene. Hockey, basketball, football,soccer- I'm just color deaf, or tone blind to the appeal. But surfing delivers on the time dilation rush. Odd, but there are some very few waves- Skating down the face of big green waterwalls. I can stop for a moment, and call them back fresh from thirty five years ago. Getting in the tube on a cloudy gray morning at River Jetties. Raindrops on the face of the wave before me. It was good.

JWM

4/17/2010 07:16:00 AM  
Blogger Rick said...

Bob,
And you tried to talk me out of it? Gosh!

(Actually, I forgot you always do that to me.)

4/17/2010 07:36:00 AM  
Blogger Rick said...

Same here JWM. I enjoyed playing tennis though. It's like baseball, except you get to hit the ball a lot!

(No offense baseball fans or players)

4/17/2010 07:39:00 AM  
Blogger Leslie Godwin said...

http://video.nhl.com/videocenter/console?catid=35&id=66489

Sorry I still can't embed a link here, but this is Sidney Crosby making a safe as dramatic as almost any I've seen by a goalie

They're saying that a Crosby hat trick is a goal, assist, and a save. But I don't think that will be as popular as a Gordie Howe hat trick: goal, assist, fight.

Mrs. G

4/17/2010 10:28:00 AM  
Blogger Leslie Godwin said...

ge - that WAS amazing. But I can't root for Ovechkin. He just isn't the man that Gretz or Sid is.

Mrs. G

4/17/2010 10:32:00 AM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home