For those of you who have not yet seen the new Marvel sensation Doctor Strange, never fear. I am not about to give away any plot twists or reveal hidden story lines. Although this movie was visually astounding, and I recommend all to see it if only for that, the core meaning is something that had me leaving the cinema swearing in awe.
DISCLAIMER: (Oh, I love how I do these) If you are as paranoid as I know I can be about spoilers, please do not read on. I don't intend to reveal anything of great consequence. However, what I consider to be of little importance over the whole story, may be completely different in the eyes of another. So, please read on at your own risk.
If you haven't read my previous two posts, I have become quite passionate about Universal dynamics and the interconnected relationships between all things. That each of us, as individuals, plays a role in the lives of those around us. Not only the people in close proximity, but those across the planet. In saying this, I do not only speak of the people of this world, but of all living things. And all things are living. Even in death, there is life. But this isn't the path I wish to lead you down today. I would like to describe, as best I can, what this film brought up for me.
This is a story of a man who was brought to his knees by a physical affliction (kept that nice a vague, didn't I?) and sought to regain movement through highly experimental, yet quite limited, means. He finally came to know of a teacher in Kathmandu, who could offer so much more than a mere surgical implant and a band-aid. In order to gain the fine motor-skills he previously had, he needed to forget everything he knew about who and what he was. Only once he has set his ego aside, would he be able to tap into the magic that is inside and all around him. Not only could he re-claim the life he once lead, but he would have the ability to manipulate space, time and reality as we know it. Cool, huh?
Okie dokie, I don't think I completely gave the game away there. But I had to provide a little context. Happiness! Now, to make this a little easier on my (and perhaps your) brain, I will break up the main underlying forces into segments. In no particular order, lets start with:
This is the ability to conjure something from nothing. I am not talking about something you'd learn at Hogwarts, I speak of the ability we all have to visualise something we want and see it come to life in front of us. Have you ever wanted something so bad you could taste it? You're fixated on it, seeing it when you close your eyes, determined it will come into your possession. Then lo! That pair of woollen socks you've always wanted has just been given to you by someone who saw them and thought of you! Yay!
But manifestation isn't all warm toes and happy feet. If we become fixed on something we do not want to occur, chances are, we will bring it about. When in school, had you ever been sitting in class and just known, in your guts of gutses, that the teacher was going to call on you to finish some ridiculous equation on the board? And then it happens. "Bugga. I knew she was gonna do that."
These are very light examples of manifestation.
This skill is demonstrated by the use of the Sling-Ring in Doctor Strange. "Clear your mind and the gateway will open." It works by seeing the destination, holding focus and remaining clear. Visualisation is critical in this ability, as well as complete acceptance that it is going to come to pass.
You can see it in people everywhere. Those who have the midas touch, having everything they need and want, remaining driven and clear on their desires. Focused on the final goal, as great as it could ever be, not just the next step along the journey. Not limited by frightened thoughts of "this isn't how life works" or "I can't do this," and even ignoring the nay-saying that is being flung at them from all sides. Once focused, nothing can stop this process but the person casting the spell.
An example of the flip-side can be seen in those driven by fear. You know the ones. They blame others for their own misfortunes or "bad luck." Life is happening to them. Your life is about you, it is what you make it. It takes a courageous person to step up and admit their own faults. But it takes an extraordinary person to embrace and draw strength from them. You have it in your power to be living for more than just the weekend. So, step up!
The casting of spells represents the intentions behind our actions. I would definitely say this is part of the Manifestation process, as it channels the direction of outcome. What I mean by this is that we may have a particular objective in mind, but if our intentions for such a result are unclear, the final outcome may not be exactly what we hoped for. For example, I wish to learn a spell to conjure a shield. But the reason I want this ability is to keep myself safe from potential danger, not to protect those around me. So, when presented with a genuine threat, my shield fails.
I'm not suggesting that we all fall on sword to protect others, I'm merely offering potential for expansion of awareness. If we operate from a place of self-serving desires, it leaves us in labyrinth of mirrors. Everywhere we turn, we can only see ourselves. Limited in our isolation. However, if we abandon the desire to gain and ask "how can I serve?" then our actions are fortified by something pure and true.
It isn't easy to be completely honest with oneself. Many say that they are the "most honest person they know." I'm at fault here, too. I have just recently caught myself unawares about a particular person/situation that forced me to check in and re-evaluate my intentions. I asked myself questions like "what do I get out of this?" and "why do I want this?" or even "what is the feeling am I craving?" Being completely honest, and I mean to the point where it almost seems cruel, as to what I am expecting from the resolution. Vindication? Satisfaction? To be a saviour? The fact of the matter is that if I am seeking to gain anything, my intentions are not pure. I renounce the need to be the catalyst for change in this person's (or anyone's) life. I send them nothing but my unconditional love and compassion. Then I let go.
Power has a purpose. Once knowledge is gained on how to channel it, it can bring about a great many wonderful things. But abuse it, and suffer the consequences. The Universe is about balance and if there isn't love at our centre... Well, you reap what you sow.
This isn't something that can only happen with the aid of a blue box. (Did anyone else just have a Blue Waffle flash back? Don't Google it.) Sometimes these moments grip us unexpectedly. Walking down the street, you're caught by a particular smell that immediately transports you back to childhood. Playing in the front yard with the kids on the street, you're called in to dinner by a familiar voice. Walking into the kitchen, you're smothered with the scent that permeates every cell, making you swoon, and it is only known as Nonna's Cooking.
For a second or two, you forget the path in front of you, where you are, where you're going. You are physically back in that delicious moment. Until you realise the scent has passed and you've got to go home and cook for yourself... Dammit.
It isn't just the backward motion in time to which we can navigate. We can create our future through our thoughts. Have you ever had a crush on someone, and you've been thinking about sharing a particular moment in time with them, that your heart rate quickens and you catch your breath? Same. Although this could be part of the manifestation process, it could also be a quick glimpse of an alternate reality where you are together, really living that moment. It is in these short seconds that you become blind to the world around you, only the rush of emotion, desire, sensation and, dare I say, hormones become you're entire existence. Captivated by the vision in your head. You are no longer in the present.
Or perhaps you have experienced a time within a dream-state that felt so incredibly real and vividly true that, upon waking, you were completely disorientated. "What day is it?!" is one of my favourite early morning exclamations. There is nothing to say that our sleepy-time frolics are no less real than our waking life. If you want to believe that the Matrix is your reality, then by all means, enjoy the steak.
I will leave you here for a short while, as this will be a two-part verbal kaleidoscope of ideas. So, stay tuned for next instalment that will tie everything together... If we're lucky. I actually feel that I have started with the softer side of what I took away from this film and, I must confess, that I kept my explanations extremely light-hearted. These are simple aspects that everyone has experienced, I'm sure. Relatable, to an extent. The second part will encompass our place in the Universe and the role we play in all existence. Regardless of where we believe we are in time. Perhaps even touching on the Multiverse theory. But the idea of trying to explain that one makes me feel less than qualified. So, let's just see where whimsy takes me.
So, Doctor Strange...
Not just a comic book movie.