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To almost die is to live.


last yearSteemit13 min read

Again and again a main theme comes to me: that man seeks a substitute for missing something in life. I think that we humans are deeply spiritual beings who need to be in resonance with the spiritual.

We like to scientifically explain the events of this world, but that is not enough. I notice it from the fact that, as science is perceived, it soon becomes a kind of superknowledge itself, because we no longer know exactly where we are supposed to go and where our striving should be directed.

In fact, I think that high technology and our lack of spiritual experiences have led us to accept a cheap replacement and seek compensation experiences.

Literature, series, cinematics

This can be clearly seen in films that tell fantastic adventures, use strong symbolism and emotional enhancers so that we experience a world we don't have for at least these two hours. The immaturity of us modern humans I justify with it.

From what I think: it is not enough just to have experienced a virtual danger in order to become a mature personality. The danger must be experienced physically, one must have a kind of awakening experience so that one can emerge from it purified. This must be accompanied by the meaning and the field it creates. This field is people who give meaning in a group. Young boys had to take a maturity test to join the group of adult men. This test consisted, for example, in putting one's life in danger.

The fact that boys really died and some did not, was the meaning of this rite. It was made with consciously generated fear by the adults, for they were aware of what they had experienced because they had passed such a trial themselves. The passing on of this ritual can only be understood through personal and group mirrored experiences. Young people moved out to come back after a few weeks or months. Only then were they full members of the clan. With the scars and adventures they got and had on the way.

Drowning was a real act, not a symbolic one.

What was the baptism of St. John about?

The baptism included the real immersion in water and the feelings of fear of death and drowning during this process. Only when the experience was strong enough did a baptized person really understand what it was about. The symbolic action is therefore only an "as if", a meaning-reducing one, but it cannot replace the real experience.

The act of giving birth to an expectant mother cannot be simulated. A child will be born when the pregnancy has come to an end. The whole act of giving birth is one on a knife edge, the danger that mother and child can die in the process is real.

The tales and acts of substitution are so present that I am surprised that "no one" pays any attention to it. Films like "Vikings", "Lord of the Rings", "Doctor Strange" and many others show brutal fights, fears of death, defeating fear, dying for a meaningful cause. Warriorism and the archaic can be found in it. Rituals still and still.

The intellectual modern man is consumed by this form of sight. One may say what one wants. That none of the television viewers would be able even in the slightest to spend a night alone in the forest, because it would be true. Fear of nature has civilized us. At the same time, we have declared a distanced fight. With machines and technology.

A kind of indirect sadism is spreading,

a pathological exaggeration of death and dying brutally revealed in stories of a cinematic nature that cannot sufficiently examine the serial killer.

To be honest, can anyone explain this epic longing, the sheer mass of movies and series produced and consumed?

Not to confuse the content with pathology, but the never-ending want of it. When people have their awakening rituals, each at its own time, the need and necessity is no longer so strong to desire a continuous repetition of a thing, precisely because we have not yet had it.

What is not in balance here?

The adjective "matric" means: from matrical, after such pairs as English anatomical : anatomic; matrical from Late Latin matricalis, from Latin matric-, matrix womb, uterus + -alis -al

The English-language Wikipedia spares itself the description of the word origin of "matrix". In contrast to the German version, where it says:

Matrix ([ˈmaːtrɪks], [ˈmaːtriːks]; lat. matrix "uterus", actually "mother animal". The majority of matrix is called - depending on its meaning - matrices [maˈtriːʦeːs]

Now, what is your interpretation of this?

Have you ever thought of the movie "Matrix" as something like a "womb"?

I didn't. For me, it was all mathematical, machines, computers, guns, power, war, mental processes. Nothing of a kind which could point to the notion of a womb.

Honestly, it didn't even occur to me that the incubators in which humankind was stored could symbolize a uterus. But of course, this association was clearly recognizable, if you knew how to pay attention to it in the noise of the movie. This naked Neo, who lay in a liquid nutrient solution, just like a fetus and dreaming. My consciousness didn't give me this interpretation immediately, but I perceived it unconsciously.

But the fact that very little is said about this translation and the circumstance probably has something to do with the fact that, just as in the English wiki version, the origin of the word - growing in the womb - seemed to be somehow secondary to the film itself. In any case, I was so fascinated by the fantasy of such a possibility to influence the Matrix in my thoughts that I saw nothing else. Neo with his black loden coat, the constantly threatening danger of Mr. Smith inside and the machine beings outside the Matrix didn't give me time to calm down.

One could almost believe that I was a bit slow on the uptake, just as I did not identify the boxes in which people were trapped as energy sources as wombs. But now that I am investigating this again, I notice that I don't need to be surprised at all. The incubators have nothing to do with a mother's womb. Nothing at all. The whole thing is a technical fantasy, an aberration creation of human life that has nothing to do with being born in real life. There are no machines at all that abuse us humans as energy cells. The whole thing is a pure imagination of technical feasibility. That's why I didn't immediately recognize the place where Neo was to dream as a "uterus", because for me it wasn't a "uterus".

When I think of the scene in which he decides to take the revival pill and then slips out of his prison - again a strong birth association - I feel uneasy, just like when I first saw the scene. And that was related to the fact that such a tall person, a man like Neo, is born like a little baby. It just doesn't fit. It's basically like an unnecessarily inflated version of birth. A missed experience that doesn't mean the birth itself. Because we all got out of this world after all.

Have a real party

Neo plays to us all the time what we missed ourselves. To escape death by a hair's breadth. Not once, but many times. And just look how the homecoming are celebrated. That you get dizzy from the welcome culture of the Zionists, who celebrate a big party after the danger seekers are back. That's what we call real fellowship. That's what we all want to have and that's how we want it to be.

As we are not having the real thing, we continue into having the unreal thing.

Talk of "risk minimization" and "safety" has got us where we are.

I was already proud of myself when, at low tide, I walked through the sea - the Baltic Sea - in almost four hours, from Amrum Island to Föhr Island. The power of the water felt my legs tug when we crossed a pril. My aching soles, scratched by the shells. It is a strange feeling to walk along where the deep water usually is. Where big ships sail. The short period of time in which one uses the low tide to make the hike drives one to hurry, makes one aware that one prefers not to stay there too long, to admire a marine creature or to dig up the lugworms. The water will come back.

But was this a ritual that made me feel as if I belonged to a community of people waiting on the other side of the island to put a wreath around my neck because I had managed to overcome my fear and give up my comfortable life for a while? Have we wanderers in any way taken time for ourselves to honor and reward ourselves? Arriving on the other side, we quickly went to a cafe in the pedestrian zone to order cocoa and ice cream. It all seemed so strangely meaningless to me. No one was awaiting us. No one gave a welcome and honored what we had gone through.

I did not feel like a pilgrim who had gone out to face a danger. It was just a tourist excursion where no one wanted to be embarrassed to say a few words of appreciation. As Rupert Sheldrake said in one of his lectures (not literally but how I remember it): "We are still nomads who compensate our nomadic existence by traveling to precisely those places that should give us a ritual experience, but do not. When we visit the monuments and holy places of the past, we cannot stay there, say a prayer and receive a blessing. Only tourist guides lead groups and unwind their knowledge there, they feed us with mere data. The blessing that we could actually take back with us and pass on to those at home does not happen."

I find this very true. Once I decided to visit a chapel on top of a hill during a vacation on an Mediterranean island. It was a quiet place, I sat alone on a bench and tried to say a prayer. I was desperately seeking for something I could do or use as an act of meaning. I did not succeed. It felt weak and I found myself isolated in a sea of a place somehow abandoned in its greater sense but still showed some remnants of formerly proceeded rituals. It gave me just a hint of what could be possible.

But of course: even the Sunday service is nothing but a substitute for something that the churchgoers have long given up. Praying and singing is a good thing. But the songs and prayers lack the real experience in advance. If we experience nothing awakening from a secure civilization, why should we come collectively together? The man himself who had been on the way as a pilgrim in order to have had trouble, hunger and thirst, will rather feel like a singer. As someone who, through the ritual of reflection and return, has to communicate something that is of substance. But how can we find a common ministry useful if from morning till night we don't really take control of the shaping of our lives? No, I better should say: To let go of control.

What is wild to us?

In the film "Wild" the leading actress and producer Reese Witherspoon says about her role:

By far, this is the hardest movie I've ever made in my life. I didn't hike a thousand miles, of course, but it was a different kind of physical rigor. I'd run up a hill with a 45-pound backpack on, and they'd say, 'Wait, that backpack doesn't look heavy enough. Put this 65-pound backpack on and run up the hill nine or ten times." We literally didn't stop shooting in those remote locations—we wouldn't break for lunch, we'd just eat snacks. No bathroom breaks. It was crazy, but it was so wonderful. It was complete immersion, and I've never felt closer to a crew. We literally pulled each other up the mountains and carried each others' equipment.

She talks of "complete immersion".

This full immersion, the close-up physical experience, is what we are looking for.

"Wild" is a good film that shows how broken we can be and what can help us to heal. Only a few have the courage to venture into the wild. I have long failed to see what this could bring me except painful bones, torn skin, a troublesome plague in a world where exposing oneself to it seems completely unfounded. Why do we want to make a pilgrimage? To experience an adventure and then to tell at home how exciting it was? Basically it can hardly be put into words. And it is also not necessary to do this excessively.

Nothing can prepare you for the fear and panic that we stand alone out there at night in the dark. It is one of the greatest trials a person can face. Not knowing whether it will have a good or a bad end is the reason for such a journey.

People have changed when they return. What they bring with them and shine lies in them, has gone into their flesh and blood. You can see it in their eyes. Something is different, something was not there before.

Even the three weeks in which my son went on a scout trip brought him back changed. All of a sudden he seemed leaner, emaciated, was filthy and exhausted. And yet he radiated for a short time and made a completely self-satisfied impression. Three weeks without any mobile phone or media on cobbler's rap through a foreign country. It's not the biggest of all courageous rehearsals, but it's something I wouldn't want to deny him under any circumstances.

What's all this for? To mature, of course. It makes people more responsible people. They gain in self-worth. All who know their own value are better companions, brothers, sisters, parents and grandparents. Better friends and colleagues. If people have had a life-changing experience, the chances are much better that they will love and be loved. This is still not a real guarantee. But a start.

Photo by Cristian Palmer on Unsplash
Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash
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Photo by Malcolm Lightbody on Unsplash
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