A Brazilian film called Astral City was screened at Labia on Sunday 26th May 2013.I was asked to introduce the film and answer questions afterwards. Its a parable or narrative that invites serious reflection on the lives we choose to lead. The setting is in the Forties of the last century during the horrors of the war. It is about a hard working but unsmiling doctor who dies and in Heaven is re educated and evolves spiritually. He then has a re-entry to earth where he constellates a healing impact in his family. I imagined that those possibilities were all to be explored and resolved this side of Heaven? It also clearly shows how the lifestyles we lead can initiate a self suicide that sees us dying as a result of our out of harmony lives! However it makes for interesting viewing. Maybe life and death are one not two in the virtual architecture of the soul. It will always be problematic and controversial -the workings and accessing of the paranormal- and yet increasingly there is scientific research into near death experiences and other psychic experiences that call into question the easy and quick certainties we assert about reality. The movie seems to suggest that it is never to late to start again or to evolve spiritually in this realm or the next. The developing of a sixth sense is within the grasp of all of us but maybe our very material connections blunt this possibility for us and we lose the opportunity?
In speaking to the AGM of the Interfaith Initiative in Cape Town last night at the Crypt in St Marks Church in District Six,I pondered on the contribution that could be made in the creation of an interfaith centre–where city and community issues could be tackled together and the peace of the city could be established–Christian, Jew, Muslim, Ba’hai, Buddhist and Hindu and Agnostic –Then, instead of giving the freedom of the city to dignatories like President Obama we would receive it ourselves, as citizens, because of the way we worked in collaboration for Peace and Healing. There already are architectural plans drawn for such a centre–What is needed is 35 Million Rand!!
What if behind the elaborate defenses and masks we wear there is someone we know within us that wants to live and grow and find a voice and we banish the possibility? Do we then become shadows of our real selves? Does something in our life force die? Living lives scripted into the stories that others write for us and that we then observe from a safe distance makes us phantoms rather than real people?In facing illness and change and loss what is important and crucial is that we see what is essential and let go of the rest. Our minds need not wander down too many paths–Time is too short –The quest for simplicity and focus is the hardest thing of all.
Marriage is that fine art of celebrating similarities and holding gently polarities and differences and somehow remaining interested and open to each others lives and desires.
The real challenge is to keep the interest and curiousity alive
When dealing with serious illness its as if one is living simultaneously in two worlds.Sanity is established by the chatter and yearnings of both conversations finding balance and equilibrium as the competing voices from both worlds do not drown each other out.
These two concepts and realities have a symbiotic relationship but they can out maneovre each other.Someone said Religion is for those who want to avoid Hell and Spirituality is for those who have been there! Spiritual identity is forged as we listen to what arises within us past the anger and bitterness and hate.As we catch the wisps of hope and love and faith that engage the higher more evolved mind that has processed disappointment,betrayal,disillusionment and still sees the beauty and wonder of Life, we breathe different air.
To be spiritual is to seek authenticity and to be able to hold polarity and sometimes contradiction.To be religious is to belong to a specific faith community and to experience a relationship to sacred text and community that re inforces that.That happens with some Religious communities in a way that excludes and diminishes others or includes and celebrates them.