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Author Topic: Movies that affected your spirituality  (Read 8634 times)

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Movies that affected your spirituality
« on: September 20, 2016, 12:41:59 AM »
Although I consider myself a Dudeist, I'm also a Christian. I was baptized as a Free Methodist when I was 16 years old. However, my faith has changed over the years, partly due to actions of organized religions that I disagree with and also in part because of movies.

Of course "Dogma" had a lot to do with my change in faith, particularly the "Walrus & the Carpenter" monologue from Matt Damon:
No, "Through the Looking Glass". That poem, "The Walrus and the Carpenter" that's an indictment of organized religion. The walrus, with his girth and his good nature, he obviously represents either Buddha, or... or with his tusk, the Hindu elephant god, Lord Ganesha. That takes care of your Eastern religions. Now the carpenter, which is an obvious reference to Jesus Christ, who was raised a carpenter's son, he represents the Western religions. Now in the poem, what do they do... what do they do? They... They dupe all these oysters into following them and then proceed to shuck and devour the helpless creatures en masse. I don't know what that says to you, but to me it says that following these faiths based on mythological figures ensure the destruction of one's inner-being. Organized religion destroys who we are by inhibiting our actions... by inhibiting our decisions, out of... out of fear of some... some intangible parent figure who... who shakes a finger at us from thousands of years ago and says... and says, "Do it - Do it and I'll f***in' spank you. "

Then there was "Stigmata". Now I know that's a weird one but the lines from the mythical Gospel of Jesus Christ quoted in the movie spoke to me.
Jesus said... the Kingdom of God is inside you, and all around you, not in mansions of wood and stone. Split a piece of wood... and I am there, lift a stone... and you will find me.

Is there anyone else that's had a spiritual experience with a movie besides "The Big Lebowski"?

Reverend Al

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Re: Movies that affected your spirituality
« Reply #1 on: September 21, 2016, 12:58:12 AM »
I think Dogma is among Kevin Smith's finest work.  It asks some interesting questions through it's plot and dialogue and, though I think it ultimately comes down in favor of Christianity, neither condemns nor endorses it as a faith or belief.

I was raised in a Catholic (Mom)/Lutheran (DAD) home, and was steeped in Christianity from an early age.  I was young, and pretty much accepted it at face value without questioning it too much, mostly because neither parent was particularly devout so it wasn't constantly being shoved down my throat.  Then a television show premiered in 1972 that introduced me to a very different mindset--Kung Fu.  For anyone who is unfamiliar with the show, it starred David Carradine as Kwai Chang Caine, a half-Caucasian, half-Chinese character who was raised in China as a Shaolin Monk, but had to leave China for America after killing the Emperor's nephew.  The show takes place in the American west at some undefined point in the late-1800s, and Caine travels the country looking for his half-brother and generally finding himself in the middle of the "problem of the week" which requires his Buddhist teachings and Kung Fu skills to solve.  The show was filled with Buddhist philosophy (most of which was probably modified to fit the plot of the week), and it was my first realization that there were alternatives to Christianity.  So, not a movie, but it definitely had a positive impact on me.

Then came May 25, 1977, and the premiere of Star Wars.  I loved the movie, but I was specifically fascinated by Ben Kenobi's rather vague description of The Force:  "It's an energy field created by all living things.  It surrounds us and penetrates us.  It binds the galaxy together."  Something about that simple statement rang more true to me than anything I had learned about Christianity.  I didn't know it at the time, but I realized years later (with the help of a good friend and mentor) that it had been my introduction to Metaphysics.

As for The Big Lebowski, if Dudely Lama Oliver Benjamin hadn't created Dudeism I would probably have never made any of the connections to it's spirituality on my own.
I don't go to church on Sunday
Don't get on my knees to pray
Don't memorize the books of the Bible
I got my own special way


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Re: Movies that affected your spirituality
« Reply #2 on: December 04, 2016, 12:50:42 PM »
I found BILLY JACK to be spiritually inspiring. Also GHOST DOG THE WAY OF THE SAMAURI, to some extent. Of course STAR  WARS.


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Re: Movies that affected your spirituality
« Reply #3 on: December 09, 2016, 04:59:35 PM »

Out here we are all his children


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Re: Movies that affected your spirituality
« Reply #4 on: May 01, 2018, 11:32:00 AM »
A few TV series that really moved me:

 - Battlestar Galactica (2004 - 2009), the blend of religion (Greek Mythology vs Christianity), sci-fi, and the harsh/brutal nature of humanity was fascinating and really makes you think. A masterpiece.
 - Lost: the first two or three seasons was unlike any other show I have ever seen, well done.
 - The Wire: gritty, raw, real, exposes a lot of the corruption from the streets, police and politicians. Everything is connected.
 - Silicon Valley: a hilarious take on the absurdities of the Valley, and stupidity of large corporations


 - The Big Lebowski: it's why I'm here!
 - Star Wars (original trilogy): how could it not!
 - Starship Troopers: a great satire
 - No Country for Old Men: a classic
 - I Heart Huckabees: a truly mind-bending take on the human experience
 - Fight Club: masculinity in crisis
 - The Matrix: the grand-daddy of everything
 - Office Space): the corporate life really is killing us
 - American Beauty: are we all trapped? Why?
 - American Psycho: narcissism, vapid culture and a loss of self


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Re: Movies that affected your spirituality
« Reply #5 on: August 22, 2020, 05:41:41 AM »
Mel Gibson's 'Apocalypto' (and his most widely known movie too). I would say 'Transcendence' with Johnny Depp, 'Matrix' and 'Constantine' were also quite important. 'Bom-yeo-reum-ga-eul-gyeo-wool Geu-ri-go Bom' by Ki-duk Kim (The Spring, The Summer, The Autumn, The Winter... And The Spring). And I wonder how many recognize 'Hsia Nu' (The Touch of Zen) from 1971. 'Inquisition' with Derek Jacobi - simple but quite thrilling. 'The Last Temptation of Christ' by Scorsese, as a kind of Mikhail Bulgakov-style story. 'Friendly Persuasion' with Gary Cooper.
« Last Edit: August 22, 2020, 06:00:46 AM by HnauHnakrapunt »
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