Human Flow An Existential Glimpse Into the Future?

Human Flow is a rare documentary film “experience” because it has you wading into the experience of being a refugee, not the cause of your refugee status, but the experience of it, the long lines, mud, ambiguity, uncertainty. Above all, it is a very uncomfortable way of being. “Je ne suis pas bien dans my peau” (I don’t feel right in my skin).

This is not an esoteric academic concern. I have been leading the go-to-market strategy of EyeZone Films, a film production company that produces humanitarian films, the first of which are about (mostly) Syrian refugees in Turkey, Germany, and the USA. However, EyeZone’s point of view is that we, all of us, have to change the experience of being refugee.

More and more people are fleeing where they were born, due to war, famine, or persecution, and the figures are accelerating. The Syrian war is the latest driver to reflect the impact of human violence, but climate change will soon eclipse war as the main reason people leave.

What is striking is the common experience reflected in people’s faces, eyes, and voices.

Continue reading “Human Flow An Existential Glimpse Into the Future?”

Spiritual Reflections on Two Classic Sci-fi Films

Quest for Fire and The Matrix are both classic sci-fi films about survival within adversity, but I found that their parallels were eclipsed by striking differences. Moreover these differences hold insights into the importance of humans’ relationship to nature and the universe (or god) and its effect on human survival. I’ll reflect on each film first and add my observations and spiritual reflections at the end. Continue reading “Spiritual Reflections on Two Classic Sci-fi Films”

Freedom from the Known/Jiddu Krishnamurti

freedomknownHave you ever read a book that feels so clear and familiar that its thoughts felt like your own? This is my experience of Freedom from the Known, which expresses thoughts and practices I have been developing for some time, but in a much more elegant, powerful and simple way than I could ever do. The small book is truly revolutionary, and I think you can use many of its suggestions to make profound change in your life.

Krishnamurti communicates so simply and cleanly that I think the book is accessible to anyone who is interested in confronting his/her ideas. At various points in the book, I felt myself objecting and creating mental friction, but that is about my reaction, not the book. Its ideas and observations are very clear to an open mind. If you are used to reading philosophy, it will probably be easy for you to grasp (although perhaps not easy to practice, at least it isn’t for me). Here, I’ll summarize each chapter before attaching my reflections at the end. I will also share how I am practicing some of the book’s suggestions.

If you are curious and feel mental resistance to the chapter summaries, try skipping to my interpretation and reflections where I’ll discuss how I think this works from a practical perspective and how I have been using the concepts. Continue reading “Freedom from the Known/Jiddu Krishnamurti”

Ego and Spirit in Relationship: The Four Agreements

4agreementsThis post offers some insights and practices for how ego and spirit can work together to empower you in relationship to your self and, by extension, to other people and the universe. These practices have helped me to create immense freedom for myself, and I give this freedom to other people, which creates joy and more harmony in the world. This series extends Don Miguel Ruiz’s The Four Agreements, which I’ll summarize here and build on.

The Four Agreements is a kind of handbook of ancient Toltec wisdom, and I highly recommend it. If you haven’t read it, Toltec Spirit has an excellent summary. I find that the book offers a rare approach to relating to oneself and other people through the four agreements, which are practices that help readers live with more spirit. Ruiz doesn’t refer to ego and spirit, but his stated goal is to help readers live with spirit, to take back what they lost during “domestication.” The four agreements are: Continue reading “Ego and Spirit in Relationship: The Four Agreements”