“Well written and an interesting perspective.” Clan Rossi --- “Your article is too good about Japanese business pushing nuclear power.” Consulting Group --- “Thank you for the article. It was quite useful for me to wrap up things quickly and effectively.” Taylor Johnson, Credit Union Lobby Management --- “Great information! I love your blog! You always post interesting things!” Jonathan N.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Agora: Putting Religion in Perspective

Film has the potential to be so engrossing perceptually for the viewer-auditors that the medium can engage the human condition at a deep, unconscious level. At that level, the subconscious protects us in the games we so seriously play.  If done well, film-making crafts a coherent and complete story-world into which the voyageur can be temporarily lodged before returning to the ordinary world that now looks somehow different. The subtle perceptual change can result from part of the viewer’s subconscious having been made transparent, or realized, while in the film’s story-world. As concerns the religious domain, I contend that the medium has only touched the surface in holding a mirror up to ourselves. This is not to say that more anti-religion movies, such as Last Temptation of Christ, are the answer; neither are more palliative, apologist films, like The Ten Commandments and The Greatest Story Ever Told, the way to greater self-awareness for homo religious.  On account of their un-questioning, one-dimensionality (even when viewed with 3D glasses!), these films are more alike than their respective leitmotifs would suggest. Most importantly, none of these films raises penetrating questions that assume the validity of “the other side.” Nietzsche advocates approaching truth itself as a problem rather than as something whose validity is held to be beyond question (i.e., sacred).  A film can subject truth itself as a problem (rather than as a conveniently partisan given) and enhance, thereby, human awareness of just what we are up to when we take ourselves as religious, whether in self (or group) identification or conduct. Once a film gets a grip on a truth and makes it a problem rather than a pallid backdrop, you can bet the river Styx in the human unconscious will be stirred, lapping over its banks as it tries to order its new-found energy gained from the antiseptic sunlight. My question here is whether Agora transcends below the patina of reactionary anti-religion films to widen our collective consciousness at the expense of hypocrisy and denial. 

The full essay is at "Agora"