Last night, we watched the movie 127 Hours, which friends had recommended and justly garnered 6 Oscar nominations. James Franco does a great job of re-enacting the story of an wilderness adventurer (Aron Ralston) who appears to be stuck between a rock and a hard place. Without spoiling the plot (too much), the account of his courage, stamina and ingenuity makes a fine caricature of the lengths to which we all go to try to establish and preserve an intact separate identity (with our bodies playing the starring hero role in the dream.) At the physically pivotal point in the film, he liberates himself from the limitation that appears to have held him captive. Prior to this, however, at what one might identify as the spiritual pivot point of the film, he chooses real freedom as he recounts to himself:
“You know, I’ve been thinking. Everything is… just comes together. It’s me. I chose this. I chose all this. … I’ve been moving towards it my entire life. The minute I was born, every breath that I’ve taken, every action has been leading me to this …” *
Perhaps this revelation is exactly what gives him the option to do what leads to the best possible outcome for this story, given the premise of the circumstances. We’ve all experienced these box canyon moments, when our choices have appeared to have been narrowed to just two; between feeling sorry for our self-imposed predicaments or set free by forgiving ourselves for the folly of feeling trapped.
Most of us run away from this depth of realization like the plague. Yet isn’t this exactly what any metaphysical system worth it’s pure non-dual foundation is gently reminding us of, 24/7? What if we were to freely abandon all thoughts of martyrdom for every dream event – from the most dramatic, as in this movie’s example – to the most seemingly trivial events that seem to disturb our peace? What if we looked down at the copy of the screenplay for the holographic movie of our lives, courageously examined the fine print at the bottom of the page, and saw our own signature? The only appropriate response would be to laugh, treat ourselves and each other (since we’re all perfect mirrors) with total kindness. As the protagonist in this film recounts favorite past life episodes of family, friends and life choices in a series of flashbacks, we get the impression that he realizes the true value of these relationships which transcend the special and specific incidents (or perhaps that’s just my projection onto the film? 🙂 To his video camcorder he shares “I love you guys … I’ll always be with you.”
In any case, I might not ever drink Sauvignon Blanc again. (You’ll have to see the film, if you haven’t already to appreciate this.)
* (Thanks to the folks at IMDB for providing the quote, excerpted above.)