I am but a victim of confirmation bias. The road I walk is the one of light. At it’s core, there rests delusion.
So there I was. With a million options to choose and yet I chose to watch this movie. A choice which went unfulfilled in its first go. I called it a night and slept off early to a slumber of comfortable emptiness. I had to wait a while longer to watch the movie. I’d love to thank whatever that conspired to help me watch this movie at my own comfortable pace. I’d probably have missed the points otherwise.
So let me get straight to it. Beyond the veil of aliens and hollywood paranoia of invasion from outer space, the movie Arrival could not have been any more further away from that spectral end. This is a movie about the inner universe. Deceptively simple, I’d add.
Lets get the movie split into Acts.
Act 1 : asato mā sadgamaya
From ignorance, lead me to truth.
The movie wastes no time in setting itself up to the first act. Act one is the vanquish of ignorance. We are soon introduced to ‘Things’ that do not belong to our plane of sight. Fair enough. The apparition makes itself visible. Our world loses it and we are forced to confront it. The simplest explanation of the first act is along the lines of Realization and hence the first step towards awakening.
Our status quo is challenged early on. We are left with the obviousness that we are no longer alone. We are no longer at a convenience to rest smug in ignorance. We are left with a choice to either pretend that everything remains to be the same,or make that choice to figure out what is what. Hence the journey into the truth begins.
The baby steps in the first act are, for lack of a better word, brilliant. It establishes a simple and yet a very powerful message that the path to discovery , and discovery of what is something we’d talk about a little later, begins with humble beginnings. Language is chosen as the medium of communication. Yes, that’s the first sucker punch. Science has one language and that language is math. Math proves to be insufficient to tally things up. We are forced to adopt something primal. Language comes into play. Before there was math, before there was science, there still existed a medium of communication. The movie expresses that as the language.
The species do not understand each other at first. The intent is not known and shared. The question that drove Neo to madness, the question that drives a lot of us to the brink of sanity is the same question that makes a subtle appearance in the movie . ‘What is your purpose on Earth? ‘
A question simple enough , but an answer that can be as complicated as one wants it to be. What is our purpose on Earth indeed 🙂
Act 2 : Tamasomā jyotir gamaya
From darkness, lead me to light.
Oh that is my favorite line. It’s a line that I’m itching to get tattooed on my body. I’m waiting for the right time, for the right inspiration to consume me. That ink is not far away.
Back to the movie, and yes, Act 2 is about shedding away the veil of darkness.
As the conversations run wild with the aliens, we are but showed images that juxtaposition with the leading lady’s life and specifically the one about her daughter. It took me a while to realize that the conversations with the alien are actually familiar territory. It’s not different from the conversations that I’ve indulged in, tried and failed in the past. As the movie runs deeper and deeper with the conversations, I draw parallels to the conversations that we have with our soul. Deep inside the inner universe of the mind and body, we do have our little conversations with our souls.
The medium of exchange , or what I’ve experienced so far, is that of language. In fact, they are not of words per say. In meditation, thoughts are the currency of language. It’s only with thoughts that one converses with the soul, or even the wider vaster universe. The exchange varies with different people. I’ve not had the pleasure of meeting many folks. My exchanges have been both visual and through thoughts.
Translation comes later on. Once we snap out of the state of meditative calm, the mind buries itself into translating the meanings of what it witnesses. Another beautiful scene in the movie explains that phenomenon. What is conveyed and what is presented as a written form, they both do not mean the same thing. It is soon established that what is presented in the written form, transcends the usual norms of written medium.
Our minds are hardwired to the ways of the body. We seek out simpler translation of whatever we experience. Not that it’s wrong, it just robs us of the many other things we choose to sacrifice in our eagerness to decipher the things we experience and witness.
Act 2 is that conversation with self. The more we are in touch with the inner universe, the closer we get to understanding what it conveys. Through practice, that communication becomes almost real time.
Act 3 : mrityormāamritam gamaya
From death, lead me to immortality.
Time is the eventual inevitable killer. Yup. No disputing that. Time erodes us all. In time, we are all reduced to dust. Time is the ultimate linear sentinel. Or so we might wonder. Immortality of the body is pointless. Immortality of the soul is but inevitable. The body dies and the soul proceeds with the journey. The point of reference in the movie here shifts from the body to the soul. The nature of the soul, the meaning of time as it sees is now explained. For the soul, the past , the present and the future hold no special meaning. They all harmoniously converge to a single point of reference.
Though I’ve never ever experienced that , but yeah, I’ve read a few books that talk about it. I’d like to presume that it’s true. The skeptic in me stays cautious. This theory of soul and the lack of a sense of time to it is also explained by Dr Weiss. One soul, many bodies! I recently did manage to read The Aleph by Paulo Coelho. Aleph is a book that talks about a quest for forgiveness. Remnants of karma and the lives spent in pursuit of redemption.
Act 3 talks about the past, present and the future which all feed into one another. Karma is not linear. The actions of the past can be redeemed in the present which alters the future. We are not prisoners of our own destiny. We are but slaves to our inertia of fear.
I did enjoy watching the movie and there are a few coincidences around the events of the movie when I watched it, the things discussed and the timing of them all. But those are for me to ponder and act. 🙂