Confusing faith with fact is as foolish as writing it off as fairy tale. Nevertheless it is interesting to note that the two extremes, like all others, harmonize in a way that the present moment cannot comprehend. It takes time to see that they need each other in order to understand their selves. Thus like the Ying and Yang the two are equals, and furthermore exist within the opposite. More binary thinking I know, it seems I can’t escape it. This week it takes a religious twist thanks to a pair of films I saw this past weekend: The Mystical Laws & Life of Pi.
The first movie, The Mystical Laws, is an anime with a rather heavy-handed approach to spirituality. What I mean by this is that its imagery and dialog were possessed with a religious fervor, enough to make even a tolerant atheist cringe. Be that as it may its story still inspired some personal discoveries. Foremost among them was its use of numerous philosophies and other systematized beliefs. The story’s lead, like many questing souls, builds a faith from pre-existing blocks. By absorbing the best of several theological constructs the end product is capable of wide-spread appeal. His opposition in turn does the same, but with a more aggressive approach. Portrayed as a military force the dark side overtakes more than it incorporates.
Such a line is often drawn. The good invite their counterparts to warm their hands by the fire, while the bad use their bodies to feed it. In “Life of Pi,” the family patriarch, a scientific man, see’s the superstitious enflamed. Pi, his son, musters the courage to challenge this fiery outlook. He does so in his childhood by entertaining the beliefs of others. Hindu, Christian and Islamic literature inspires him to believe in something beyond himself, and his trials at sea test this resolve.
In the end what survives is a mythology, a morality play starring unlikely characters in a magical place; fairy tales for those who fear to dig a little deeper. Yet, for the few who muster the strength to strike with spade, they will find gems embedded in such sagacious soil. Wisdom if you will; that whether pious or pragmatic it is important to extend ones understanding beyond self; to doubt certainty and ever ask questions. For what good are answers? Why conclude understanding at any given point? Believe that there is something more, and something more will come. Ignore the need, and cease to wonder why life’s point is none.