Thursday, 22 October 2009

The Celestine Insights, the 4400 and the Ascent

Tuesday the 20th of October 2009 was an in between day in which I progressed plans to attend a funeral, had no inclination to go out after staying up late sorting out arrangements in my mind and through the internet searches. Yesterday the 21st is proving an almost identical day and my impression, inaccurately is that it has rained, sometimes hard for most of the time until shortly ago, after 4pm on Thursday

Ideally I needed to be occupied without challenging thoughts but as often is my situation what I chose to do was the opposite. I switched on the TV to relax and found what appeared to be a stock Sci Fi channel film called the Celestine Prophecy. This proved to be a bad film with poor script, second level acting and third level sets and is organised filmmaking construction but the ideas on which the film is based exceptionally interesting and fitting in with many of my own thoughts over recent years although with significant variations

The Celestine Prophecy was published in 1993 in the United State and is an attempt to explain the purpose of human existence through the ideas of Eastern religious beliefs and sold 20 million copies world wide. The author James Reffield has since published two more volumes on the same subject and is working on a fourth.

I begin with challenging the idea that human life has a purpose other than to live and live as well as its possible for an individual given their inherited body and personality and such abilities and capacities as their nature and nurture provides in the era and particular society and social circumstances in which have been. I am therefore in conflict with fundamental aspects of many faith systems which have arisen because the founders did not understand matter, energy, time and space, the infinite nature of the universe and the capacities and abilities of human beings, let alone of other beings which are likely to inhabit an infinite universe. We can all speculate and imagine and construct from the existing knowledge base of our particular human time but the bottom line is that without having the capacity to communicate and see across the universe we can never know and unless there are infinite sentient beings no being can ever know.

The big idea of the Celestine Prophecy, or more accurately Celestine Insights, is similar to the 4400, in that within every human being there are powerful forces, energies which can be unlocked and which enable individuals to establish a harmony and a connection with the universe, time past and present and yielding an insight into the nature of a heaven and hell experience within the human self conscious awareness and but which can also be shared with others. Having promoted ideas about the infinity of space and time, and that we inherent individual memories of ancestral experience and that we are all directly connected with time past as we are to the accumulation of good and bad thoughts and deeds and to the pull of such forces in a dialectic metaphysical as well as material. (Marx‘s failure of not understanding the true nature of matter as static energy and the nature of metaphysical energy?) , I was immediately interested and encouraged to find a film which dealt with some of these matters, however bad the cinematic film! I have not read the books or plan to do so.

My understanding is that the book and film are about the discovery of ancient scrolls, going back 600 years before the time of Christ in the former civilization of Peru and then hidden by the Catholic Church as the middle ages ended because of the challenge what they said posed for the religion as it had then developed. The discovered Scrolls consist of eight translated insights which have to be experienced in sequence before an individual becomes sufficiently enlightened to grasp the next and so on. Other scrolls are thought/known to have existed.
The First insight is that a new spiritual awakening is occurring in human culture: an awakening, a journey, in which we are led forward in mysterious coincidence. An Awakening brought about by a crucial mass of individuals who experience their lives as a spiritual unfolding. We are asked to accept that it was no accident that the insight came to someone 600 years before the Christian religions from a small Jewish sect promoting the idea of not being phased by every day realities including the persecution, torment and execution by the state and using non violent acceptance to combat the forces of violence and injustice in society. The hiding of truth then occurs before the age of Enlightenment in Europe and North America. However these truths have to be experienced before they can be understood and this implies that they are not truths for everyone.

I have never been happy with the concept of mystery because of its emotional connotations and believe puzzle is a more legitimate expression. I am at ease with coincidence because I believe that all events have a history related to each particle of matter of beings, human, animal fish etc. Because each event has a history it becomes predictable through the collation of all the information relevant to it.

The second insight appears created only for the present world in that it argues that through the awakening process human being will learn to break away from their increasing dependence on secular survival and technological progress and by turning away from the secular path individuals can learn their truth purpose and the nature of he universe. Now I doubt if in 600 BC there was the concept technology or dependence on consumer materialism. I also challenge that the majority of human being are dependent, including those in economically developed countries.

For most of the experience of humanity the belief was in a physical world which was static from an overall flat earth with starts and heaven above and the fires of hell below and that one would fall off into space if one reached the edge of the known world.

For the third insight the author uses the awareness of energy to argue that individuals can interact and harness energy in a constructive way. He does not appear to also make the point that such energy can also be harnessed in a destructive and negative way. This fits in with the 4400 belief that within the brain there is the capacity to use energy to move objects, and therefore rationally it should be possible for individuals with the developed ability to collectively harness such force into greater to both concentrated and distributed power.

Not having read the book it is difficult to criticise aspects of the propositions which he may have covered but the basic premise of the film is that modern day Catholicism joins forces with the military power seeker in Peru to destroy the insights so their power to create a new age spiritual world will be lost if not for ever, for the foreseeable future. This clearly is rubbish because throughout the history of the human kind while it is true that the already enlightened, as well as the powerful, tend to suppress knowledge and change which threatens their position there are those who also appreciate that the advances can be used to reinforce and widen power with evil intent as well as for good, with atomic and hydrogen energy the most obvious example. The last thing any tyrant would do is to destroy something which could aid their power and at the end of World War 2 Russia and Comrade Stalin used German Nazi scientists to the same extent as did the USA and the UK.

The Fourth insight concerns the nature of human interaction based on the natural inclination of human beings to influence and control, to lead and to dominate others in order to develop out a sense of worth security but which also results in other becoming weaker and provoking retaliation which is the root of interactive conflict.

This brings me to one of the one off episode of the 4400 called Carrier in which a woman who has been dominated all her life, experiencing disappointment, frustration and failure is a 4400 returnee who suddenly finds that when under psychological and emotional attack her metabolism changes and her hands explode into a virulent venom which first kills all 270 odd citizens of her immediate community, then an unmarried lorry driver who attempts to make her into an instant born again Christian is found and then the biologically protected suited government agents sent to help her, demonstrating that her force when roused is more powerful than any existing defensive system known to humans. At first she attempts to kill herself and the order is given to incinerate her in the vehicle she travels when she refuses to respond to the request to be helped, and then when she somehow escapes from this fate and is located moving into the most populated area she can find, believing the intention of the 4400 is that she should beg Armageddon, Diana manages to shoot her in the heart as Tom tries to reason with her.

Regarding the fourth proposition while I have sympathy as with the previous I do not accept that human brings are by nature intent on dominating each other and our history continues to be full of collective and individual collaborative relationships which improves the lives of those participating as well as of those who do not.

The fifth is that is security and violence ends when we individually experience the inner connection with the divine energy within, a connections described by mystics of all traditions. A sense of lightness and buoyancy along with the constant sensation of love are measures of this connection. My only issue is with the understanding of divine.

The sixth argues that the more we become and stay connected the more we become acutely aware fo those times when we lose connection, and usually arises in condition of stress, and it is through the connection that we come to understand our individual path in life and spiritual mission and which is the way we contribute to the future of the world. The author then argues that human tend to seek to become interrogators, Intimidators, aloof and Poor me at times as means of taking energy from others. The author called this stage Clearing the past and learning how to avoid continuing to travel along paths which take us away from our individual missions. To some extent this is what my work installations has been about although it is entwined with the overall mission itself.

The seventh is that when we know our mission and keep on the pathway and there will be a flow of mysterious coincidences to guide to our destinies but this is not an easy progression and we will have to understand and follow dreams, day dreams and our intuition and these insights usually come synchronistically through the wisdom of other human beings. Mumbo Jumbo alas although there are aspects which have a relevance

I find the eighth whimsical in that the basic proposition is fine that we are helped in our individual mission by helping others in theirs but we have to watch out for the problems which arises from romantic relationships and we need to be especially kind and loving towards children.

The ninth where the film ends is fanciful in that as we evolve and progress in the spiritual mission the technology will automate what we need to survive this free us to evolve into a higher form of life transforming the body into a spiritual force and enabling a unity with after life dimensions and thus ending the cycle of birth and death.

It will be appreciated that writing this cycle into a mystery thriller is quiet a task and which one will have to read the book(s) to come to a judgement. The author acknowledges the influence of the work Games People Play by Dr Eric Bernie which I acquired in paperback soon after publication in 1964. (The work is also said to touch on Zen, Chi, New age spirituality and other mystic and philosophical thinking0.

The film story is in the form of an adventure in Peru although the artificiality of the locations with their absence of bird and insect life is astounding as well as the use of colour filter lens to depict heightened vision and sensation is laughable. However there is a brave attempt to translate the propositions into cinematic action moments but it is understandable that unlike the book, the film flopped and has been consigned to free film channels.

So far there is yet to be any connection between the one off mini stories of the 4400 and the development of the main story and its characters and the series appears to be becoming vehicles for raising moral and social questions of the day. In Rebirth Richard is invited to the funeral and wake of one of his group in the Korean War and he sees this as an opportunity to confront the former colleague who was the main racist responsible for his being framed and beaten up. The others appear apologetic to varying degrees having adapted to present day North America. When he confronts his adversary he finds an unrepentant old man dying. But Richard is nevertheless able to close the door on this aspect of his past. It remains unclear what his power and mission for returning is other than acting as the Joseph figure for the Virgin Lily, Virgin only in the sense that she has been impregnated by Richard while they were away without either knowing of any previous contact.

In Hidden the issue is the position of War criminals who can make an important contribution to the future of mankind. On of the returnees is a Rwandan doctor who works as nurse in a USA hospital and uses an ability to repair brain damaged babies before their birth. He agrees to be assessed by the 4400 watch unit as long as his anonymity is protected. However the Collier Foundation also get to know of the development and its new managing director/communication/publicity Director leaks the information and the man is identified as a war criminal in that he was aware this his clinic used a sanctuary and for those being murdered was about to be raised and he did nothing to prevent his patients from visiting or to protect them when the military led mob arrived. The publicity outs his background but the government then decides that his curative powers are more value than his extradition to be executed by the present government in Rwanda. It is something which all governments have done throughout time

There was also no further major revelations. Alana, Tom’s other dimension wife of eight years now carries on where the couple left off although I am not clear if she has moved in permanently or is keep her own home as well as art gallery. She is not listed in teh Wikipedia information which suggests she either objected to the Wikipedia articles or had her credit removed from the series. I shall have to check the official site if there is one.

The continuation of another dimension relationship takes Kyle, Tom son, some getting used to as he becomes more and more brooding when he begins to realise that he was the killer of Jordan Collier. He runs off and is hidden by his natural mother, Eventually Tom works out that Kyle was involved during a blackout and manipulated by the 4400, fortunately just before other members of the unit begin to follow leads which brings them to a station left luggage locker in which they find a weapon bought at the same time as the riffle and also containing a photo of Jordan C. Alana finds the key for the locker hidden in Kyle’s room and they are able to remove and hide the incriminating weapon before the 4400 investigation unit arrives. Tom, his former wife and Alana then arrange for Kyle to hide in Mexico where Alana has family but someone else who also fits the identity picture is then arrested and brought to the unit and Kyle is told he can return home, which is obviously a stupid thing to do without knowing why he is having the black outs and recent memories of what he has done during them,

Diana had been warned by her psychic daughter Maia not to continue to be involved with the search for Jordan’s killer as it will lead to someone close to her being hurt. When the suspect is apprehended he pulls a gun out and Diana pushes Tom and the bullet misses by a micro second in freeze frame. Diana assumes this it what Maid has seen but when she says that Tom is safe, Maia comments, For now.

Diana is not fit for purposes in many respects as having an inbuilt second carer with her sister while she spend the greater part of the time in her work, she then throws the sister out who tries to use Maia to predict bets so she can made some money. Diana is also prepared to allow a colleague to fake Maia’s Diana. While I have sympathy about her guilt at having broken her daughter’s trust in reading it the diary in the first instance she was prepared to disclose its existence when it came to trying to prevent the death of Jordan Collier and then she decides to sit on whatever else the book reveals. I would have no hesitation in dismissing Diana on the spot and slapping a confidentiality order on her after gaining possession of the diary and the idea that the government would accept whatever she submits without first authenticating with the child is ludicrous.
The disappearance of Jordan Collier’s body, did he suddenly come alive and go to ground? Question is left in the air while Shawn is finding his role as centre Godfather and faith healer impossible and wants a sabbatical to heal himself and adjust to his new role as the Messiah. It is at this point that that a publicity communications’ man, a friend of Jordan, steps in to say it was Jordan’s intention that he should take over as Shawn’s MD and quickly establishes himself as more single minded, ruthless and devious in the cause than Collier himself, although he also confides that he is not a believer!

One of his first acts is to promote Lily as his Director of Human Resources and persuade Shawn not to go off but to restrict his healing to one case a day and to set up a Foundation with an international committee to decide on which deserving cases among the millions seeking help should be chosen. Shawn has made up with his young brother and his mother but when the brother is shown around the centre his tour guide is Liv. The attractive young woman Shawn rescued from street life poverty, drugs and prostitution and has become a study disciple at the centre. She steals some drugs which she uses to tempt the brother into a relationship but they are caught after Shawn has warned his brother from getting involved with the girl. However this is not out of protection for his brother but because he fancies herself himself. The MD steps in and warns Shawn that he is being unrealistic in contemplating having a relationship with the girl given her background. Shawn retaliates that teh role did not stop Jordan bedding every willing female in sight. The MD points out that Jordan was not the faith healer messiah that Shawn has become and that he better sooner than later get used to the demands and restrictions which are intrinsic in this role.

The effect on judgement and potential misuse of official position over a pretty face and yielding body is the subject of the great War time film find of the decade called The Ascent.

This 1994 film stars Ben Cross as the bitter widowed Major Farrell who is put in charge of a British POW camp in the foothills of what I thought was Mount Kilimanjaro which came to the attention of British cinema audiences in the 1952 film The Snows of Kilimanjaro with Gregory Peck, Ava Gardner and Susan Hayward. However on looking up the mountain and remembering something said in the film I realised the mountain was Mount Kenya, the highest in Kenya 17000 and the second highest in Africa to Kilimanjaro 19000.

The film centres on the Italian POW’s with records of opera in background and in particular the young handsome loner Franco Disassti played by Vincent Spano who has already made three escapes to the consternation of the camp commander and is recaptured on his fourth attempt after stealing a vehicle and crashing into another in which are Patricia Rachel Ward and her father who runs a local rural business which includes providing the camp with the timber for its construction and development. He fixes their vehicle and Patricia takes a shine to the young man but this does not prevent her father returning him to the POW camp. When the Commander, Major Farrell learns of this development when he comes a courting the daughter who is also a young widow he scurries back to the camp to punish the escapee with a further period in solitary confinement in a crude tin hut with only a grill for lighting and air.

The exploits of the escapee are also a thorn in the side of most of the other POW’s who want a quiet life, hoping the allies will quickly win the war so they can return home to their country and families. The major was away from the camp at the time of the escape following his ambition to climb the mountain but he has failed on this occasion as he has done on others. Franco lets it be known that he is an accomplished mountaineer and the one of leading Italian officers Aldo- Tony Lo Bianco hits on the idea of a small group breaking out of the camp, climbing the mountain and planting the Italian flag and breaking back into the camp in order to gain their self respect having surrendered and become POW’s and make a point to the Commanding Officer. Franco at first refuses to participate but then agrees giving a promise to return to the camp rather than go down the other side into Somalia.

The camp rallies around he enterprise giving rations to the Franco to build up his strength and making the equipment and clothing needed for the climb, setting up an Italian choir and band to mask the noisy work involved.

Then the Italian made saw mill breaks down and Patricia ask for the help of Franco a qualified engineer and reluctantly the Commander agrees proving his Sergeant as armed escort. However during the visit Patricia arranges for father to provide the guard with food and drink and while he is away she and Franco become lovers and he fixes the machine in such away that it will break down and require further attention in the future. The guard is suspicious about what has happened while he is away and works quit the machine has been fixed to break down again because of he use of materials and on return expresses his concerns to the Major adding that he believes the daughter is aware of what has been done. The Major gets drunk and threatens first Franco and then goes to the home of Patricia and her father to confront her in the middle of the night. Although her father comes to see what is happening, she is able to get the major calm and takes him to a room so he can sleep the drink off overnight and to have a serious chat with him in the morning after telling her he has planned to propose marriage to her.

When the Major returns to teh camp he finds that Franco, Aldo and German POW have escaped, the German POW has become the third member of the project offering his military compass as an incentive. However once outside the camp he breaks his word and goes along the road but is caught trying to steal a vehicle from Patricia’s home stead as one of the first places the escapee were expected to raid. The German POW is given the impression that the other have been caught and he unintentionally reveals that they are making their way to the mountain. The Major and Sergeant then travel by road to base of the mountain thus are within a short distance of them when the serious climbing begins. Aldo starts to be affected by the atmosphere and suffers from climber’s altitude sickness. He is found and taken back by the Sergeant to the homestead to recuperate before going back to camp.

Meanwhile the Major follows the Franco up the mountain. Franco then use a rope and within the camp to lasso himself from the peak he has climbed over to a point where the highest peak can be climbed and the Major uses the rope to follow him and then threatens to shoot him with a revolver as he starts to climb the last stretch. The major does not do this although he liked top saying he will not let Franco take her, Franco says no one can have her so beautiful she is. He reaches the summit and plants the Italian Flag and contemplated the freedom over the other side. But he returns down to the Major and offers himself as the prisoner just as it looks the major is considering killing himself. They return to the camp and Franco is allowed into the compound without punishment and the film ends as Aldo looks with his telescope to see the Italian Flag. The acting is excellent and script and story credible. My own quibble is the ability of Franco to lasso across to the peak which would have required a remarkable throw at the distance shown in the film

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