Rev. Steve Sanchez

Rev. Steve Sanchez
Swedenborgian Minister

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Personal Reflection on Depth of Feeling in the Movie Interstellar

       There is dark stretch in Interstellar in which it looks like all is lost. Murph learns from the dying Dr. Brand that all their efforts are based on a lie; there never was a plan A, which involved Cooper and Brand establishing a colony and coming home. Murph feels she has been abandoned by her Father. Cooper and Brand learn of the old Brands deception and must absorb this horrendous news. They must also deal with the thought that Murph believes Cooper and Brand have betrayed her. When Cooper decides the team must return and the mission has failed Dr. Mann also betrays them and tries to prevent them from leaving. Mann kills their partner Ron, and attacks Cooper. Meanwhile on earth Murph knows she must go back to her room to help bridge the gap between the equation and the quantum data from inside the black hole which is the only way to save earth. The music during these scenes is dissonant and disturbing; it is very disheartening.
      It is awful how cruel life can be at times. We put our trust in to something and find it was all a lie. This happens in business deals, in relationships, in religion, in many things. I was once in a psychic/religious organization that I dedicated myself to for many years, but the place was not what it appeared to be and gradually became very abusive. It was a severe cult that worked mind control on all of our hopes, ambitions and good intentions over many years. It was very hard to get out, but I finally left at age forty, my daughter having been turned against me, divorced, no money, no job - just starting over in life. It was traumatic and devastating. I wrote a book about his whole experience, and recovery from it - called "Spiritual Perversion".
    In one way I was glad to be out, but recovering from all this seemed impossible, the pain, loneliness, anger, and trauma was a nightmare. I simply persevered. It took a long time, and the years of trauma never completely leaves. But the depth of suffering and processing feelings cracked me open to compassion for others, humility, and deep sense of the presence of the Lord. I am now a hospice chaplain and all this helped me to become a very good chaplain, to absorb insight from the Word, to have a love for life and others. For a time after leaving I wanted nothing to do with religion, but deep down I loved the Lord and this love grew and helped me to pursue a career.
     The wounds in me were and are very deep. I have found that feeling the depth of the wound is very healing. The hardest thing to do is stay with faith and love when injustice is so undeserved and painful. But if we do stay with it, it brings about the deep healing and an unbreakable bond  of love for the Lord. Many times as a chaplain people have asked me why did a terrible thing happen to them, and they assert that they hate God for allowing it. (We can discuss the theology of why God allows bad things to happen another time) But the promise the Lord gives to us is this: He is closest when we are at our lowest. He asks us to trust Him, even when appearances seem so bad and others have not been trustworthy. Through deep feeling we can move toward healing pain and anger, and bring love and awareness to our soul.
     In the movie the efforts of evil to destroy their lives turns out to give them one last chance to be the bridge that will save the world. After being betrayed and abandoned Cooper, Brand and Ron make the tremendous effort to stick with hope and keep working the process to save themselves and the world. From the depths of loss the movie moves to the joy of love from exercising persistent effort and faith. The beautiful and redemptive music evokes very deep feeling in many of these scenes.
        In my last article on interstellar I talked about how love is a container that has within it all the wisdom and knowledge to achieve its end purpose. This wisdom is tapped by feeling, effort and activity. The correspondence for this spiritual process in nature is this: In every tree there is a seed, and in that seed is all the information and potential for an enormous tree to live. For this to become real requires nutrients, water and persistence.
       
      
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