Rev. Steve Sanchez

Rev. Steve Sanchez
Swedenborgian Minister

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Interpretation of the movie 'Interstellar'

I think interstellar is spiritual, metaphysical, scientific, and has some Biblical themes. It never really mentions God, but has, I believe, a few distinct Biblical themes. The main one is that the lead character and his daughter are called the 'bridge' that brings the knowledge across worlds by means of love that saves the world - that is a pretty strong Christ allegory. In the Bible this is called the Logos, that which makes God accessible to humanity; the logos is one with the divine human - Jesus. The logos brings the love and understanding of God, it brings knowledge of heavenly things to earth, which was otherwise completely lost. Bringing intelligence, and the right information into the unknown is extremely important in Interstellar. At great peril Cooper and Tars, the intelligent robot, bring love and intelligence into the black hole. In a spiritual and metaphysical way it is emphasized that love is the force that will guide them to the answer. When cooper and tars travel into the wormhole Cooper ends up in the presence of his young daughter from the past whom he has been yearning to return to the whole time. By way of science the story says that the quality of one's love leads them to the place they belong in the spiritual world.
It is also Biblical that Cooper, his daughter Murph, and the Hathaway character, Brand, are the 'brokenhearted'. They are racked with grief from personal loss, but submit to the higher need of humanity. Without clear cognitive communication or assurance they are led by a higher power (superior aliens simply called 'they') that guides them to saving the world through a wormhole. This is much the way it is with faith and God in life. We must trust that God has a purpose in spite of the pain and grief we suffer. What also makes this Biblical is the truth from scripture that the 'Shepard will seek and save the one as much as the many'. In the movie the significance of the human drive to do what is right for the whole of humanity is demonstrated, but also the significance of the love of one person is held high as having universal repercussions. In addition, in the end their 'tears are wiped away' when they are saved at the end (it is implied the Brand is saved by love with Cooper).
Swedenborg's principle that love is a container gives a lot of insight to the movie too. He says that contained in love is all the particulars of wisdom that serve that love toward its end use. This is what happens in the movie, the intense love of the main character and his daughter leads them to the information to be the bridge. Tars supplies the data from inside the black hole, transmits it to Cooper, and cooper taps it to Murph who must have the intelligence to receive and interpret the morse code. She struggles with her deep personal pain and bitterness, yet she has the inner drive and love to overcome all the obstacles to understanding, receive, and complete the task. She and her father communicate between, what is called in the movie, the 3rd and 5th dimension. Cooper accomplishes this by taping on the gravity stream that moves the second hand on the watch he gave to her before he left. Allegorically this can be taken as representing the communication that takes place between the natural and spiritual world by what is known as correspondences (See the article in this blog on correspondences). The intense love and admiration between father and daughter carried within it the knowledge and wisdom to accomplish the deed that brought both personal redemption, and the redeeming of humanity on earth. In the end we see the new society built in an enormous space structure that was made possible from the information received from inside the black hole. It is shown that Murph puts together the equation of the great scientist, brands father, and the information from the black hole. She is revered as a sort of savior in the new society.
The movie is remarkable in that it realistically shows the tremendous tole put on human emotion by space travel. This is shown in many ways but most effectively when the Mat Damon character awakens from long term sleep, sees he is with people, and instantly cries convulsively on Cooper's shoulder. He says later how hard it is to go without human touch and presence. This underscores the importance of love and affection, and also represents the universal truth that love and wisdom can be expressed only through a body. The Damon character also demonstrates how the human soul can be broken from lack of love, and seeking only self interest, not the interestn of the whole. He turns out to have some kind of space psychosis. He sets up a bomb in a robot and kills one scientist, and almost kills cooper also.
The biggest weakness of the movie is the way it depicts a pessimistic view of earth's future; this is not consistent with our current scientific trajectory, or with a spiritual view of earth. For a scientific movie, the explanation of how earth is losing oxygen has little realistic foundation. It also makes no sense how poorly prepared people are for the recurring dust storms and loss of atmosphere. Perhaps they are trying to make an environmental point with this; but mostly it seems, it is essential to the plot line that the world is ending, and dust is the vehicle that reveals the gravity anomaly.
Brand makes an important speech in the movie when they have lost all other options and are deciding on one of two planets to go to. In spite of her scientific mind she speaks of love as the transcendent force in nature that will bring the answer. In light of this speech and the events of the movie it will bring great meaning to the movie to reveal a cosmic correspondence that Swedenborg affirms as a truth from the spiritual world: The force of gravity in the physical world corresponds to the force of love in the spiritual world. In the physical world we are subject to time and space, but in the spiritual world there is no time and space, but all is based on ones state of being, or the ruling love on ones soul. In the physical world any body with mass attracts to it other bodies by the force of gravity. In the spiritual world every person gravitates to the society they belong by the like quality of love in that society. Love attracts and holds a person (spirit or angel) in the sphere of that society where they are in great happiness and use to each other.
         There are two other remarkable scenes that emphasize the power of love and how it is expressed through the human body and most importantly that it is the nature of the universe ultimately to serve embodied love . When cooper is in the black hole he realizes and expresses that the 'they' is himself, and that his desire and presence created the structure in the black hole to accommodate his human form to communicate to his daughter. Since love is the internal correspondent of gravity, gravity folded space so that he can be in the presence of his daughter from the past. The subtext in this scenario is that God or the supreme power is providentially creating and guiding them to this point. Formerly this supreme power was expressed as 'they', and now it is scene that 'they' is within him. The second scene that emphasizes this has two parts; Earlier in the movie a presence reaches out to brand and she identifies it as 'they' spiritually reaching out to her; and she, with great wonder and passion, shakes its hand. Later as Cooper is moving through wondrous lights out of the black hole he sees Brand in a spiritual way and holds her hand with love and care. These two moments are one in space folded. Another principle this is showing is that love is pre-conscience, yet it is the true formative power of our life and seat of our being. In spiritual psychology this means that our internal self determines our true state, but we are most often unaware of it; also that God knows our true state of love better than we do. For instance, Cooper's love for brand is awakened in the black hole experience when he touches Brand's hand, but he only fully becomes aware of this consuming love at the end when his daughter tells him to go to her.
         When cooper is behind the bookcase in the black whole he can not directly communicate with his daughter. This is a depiction, or allegory, of how it is between the spiritual and natural world. The spiritual world exists in us in a very internal way, but not in the external except by correspondences. Put in a linear way, there is a discreet degree between these worlds that cannot be crossed bodily or physically, but affection from our soul in the body can be felt. This truth is depicted in the movie by Cooper being called Murph's 'ghost'. Affection or love is the bridge between the physical and spiritual world. The internal state of affection is pre-conscience until our desire and circumstance (God's providence) bring us to the point of integration where our real state of love becomes an awareness, - and this is a very spiritual thing that inherently includes an acknowledgement of God. It is a universal principle of spiritual psychology that all thought is preceded by affection, and that the influx of love and wisdom that created and sustains the universe comes from God.

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