Does life get more syncronistic, as we go forward on the journey of spiritual healing? Are there signs and messages all around us, from every person in our life, and everything that is happening, that become more visible to us the more we become aware of them?
I thought so the other day, when I was cleaning out the storage, and I came across the movie Castaway. For some reason, though I don’t watch too many movies anymore, I decided to watch it again.
In this movie the main character, played by Tom Hanks, gets stuck on a small Island for 4 years after a plane crash, and we see how totally intense it is to live without other humans, and without any of the necessities we use and take for granted today.
And it brought up immediately in my mind the story of Noah’s Ark. Perhaps not the story we have all learned, how Noah built the Ark to save what could be saved of all the animals etc, so that when the rain stopped the earth could repopulate etc.
The story I am referring to was the one revealed by Emanuel Swedenborg, whom you probably haven’t heard of, because no one ever seems to mention him, though he was perhaps one of the most brilliant minds to have ever lived.
Though he mastered every branch of science in his day, his greatest work was in finding the inner meaning of the Bible. To see an excellent book detailing his life, and what he found, go here.
By the way, have you ever tried to actually READ the Bible? Isn’t it almost incomprehensible when trying to understand it literally?
Did God create the world literally in 6 days? Or are there six stages of spiritual regeneration, where we start out void and empty, and wind up totally connected spiritually? The latter interpretation may be hard to buy from “sense of the letter”, but becomes more believable upon delving into Swedenborg’s body of work.
You may have to read the book I suggested to really comprehend that possibility of the symbolic potential of the Bible, and the spiritual healing that is possible from that perspective.
But if we were to approach the story of Noah’s Ark from the symbolic perspective a la Swedenborg, what meaning would we find? This is a story, on one level, of a time of trial. When we see an incredible storm on the horizon, be it physical or spiritual, what are we mandated to do?
Don’t we need to build some kind of vessel to ride it out? And don’t we need to take into our vessel all the things the things that are good (eg the animals, each representing a different form of good), so that when the storm is over that good can come out of the vessel and re-populate our world again?
We have all been through such storms, one way or another. When we are in the storm, riding it out, we are just waiting for that time that the storm will end. All the things we have taken into our vessel, the parts we treasure, to hold until the storm passes, cannot really live, in a time of trial, the way they were designed.
We see this happen to Chuck Noland, the character played by Tom Hanks in the movie. Finding himself stuck on the island, and finally realizing he may never get off, he holds a vision of love and hope, represented by his girlfriend Kelly, in his heart, but that love could obviously never express itself there. And he realized finally, that must just stay alive, and keep on breathing, for, though he didn’t think it of it that way then, who knows what the tide will finally bring?
And there are hints in that movie that perhaps we all, most of us anyway, are also castaways. Oh, we don’t live on a deserted island, as we have the all the things for our outer life that the Tom Hanks character lacked, but our inner spiritual and emotional worlds overall lack what we need to be actually living, though we may not realize it.
We see this in the protagonist himself. As he said in the beginning of the movie, “let us not commit the sin of turning our back on time.” As a Fed Ex trainer, every minute was important, and that was essentially what his life was measured by – the incessant beating of the clock.
We see it also in his best friend, who cannot relate on a deeper emotional level about anything, even the imminent death of his wife from cancer. And the Tom Hanks character himself cannot relate to that level of his friend’s pain either, except on a superficial level. They both seem more comfortable with a friendship that is based on role play.
Most of us these days are stuck in some version of such a life. We simply go about our lives much like drones, dominated mostly by the incessant beat of time, which most of us are running to keep up with.
Are we happy? As I observed in the post, “Have Americans Lost The Spirit That Made This Country Great?“, if you judge from appearances, from the faces of people around, it is like we have spent most of our lives, spiritually at least, stuck on some desert island.
We live in a world that doesn’t nourish that emotional or spiritual part of us, which is why in the movie the two friends, when outside the boundaries of work banter, had such a stilted relationship.
Most everyone, for example, watches an average of 5 hours of TV per day. This is a substitute, as all addictive type behaviors are, such as the massive quantities of food, for example, that we all like to gobble up, for what we are not receiving on our individual desert islands. Perhaps this is why we don’t seem to realize too much that we ARE living like castaways. We don’t realize how deeply we are being tested right now.
What is interesting is what happens when a person finally comes back to the land of the living. Chuck Noland, the time obsessed work driven man, now takes life at a different pace.
He now lives at an incredibly deep level, a testament to the depth and ferocity of the experience he went through. He speaks now to his best friend from that place of depth and passion as he recounts the feelings of being a castaway, as his best friend listens still rather awkwardly in the background.
Instead of being driven by the clock, he now is free to pursue the signs, the messages that his unconscious seems to be giving him. We see this in the last scene, where he returns the Fed Ex box with angel’s wings on the front.
Will he go back to logic, as he stands at that crossing of the roads, or pursue the sign that was laid before him, to see where those angel wing’s could lead? From the look on his face, we can see the inner power he has gained from his trial.
Isn’t it amazing that we live in a world with such a rich source of feedback and messages coming to us all the time, that we can’t see, and do not register, because we are like dead robots, “avoiding the sin of turning our back on time” to such a degree that we miss most all of it?
Maybe the tide is bringing us signs, messages and gifts everyday, but we mostly don’t even see them, because we are locked into a make-believe world. Perhaps that is why we may not even know we are castaways, each on our individual desert island.
So what in the world could bring us the spiritual healing that we inwardly crave and need? Maybe the first step is to recognize we are in that state, and as Chuck Noland says, and to keep breathing, for we never know, if we pay attention, what the tide might bring.
This implies a change of state all on it’s own. Now instead of running faster and faster like the proverbial hamster inside an increasingly impossible system, we are alert for the signs and changing of the tide. It means we are willing to integrate, to see, to dialog with that part of us that can pay attention and capitalize on such signs.
And who knows when the tide will bring us something new, that will gradually take us back to where we need to be? Maybe we could even be that way now, and enjoy a gradual spiritual healing.
In this world that keeps most of us unaware of the prison bars surrounding us, we could learn to be free, if we could only could read the signs that point the way back home.