Friday, July 25, 2014

The Spirituality of Space

I had heard a lot about the movie Gravity.  I knew it was probably best seen on the big screen, but it slipped away from the movie theatres before I had a chance to go.

I heard many people talk about the beauty of the movie, and a subset talked about how spiritual it was.  So, the other night, after a long day wrestling with forms and faculty files, I settled in to quilt and watch.

I must confess, I switched between it and reruns of Modern Family.  I fast-forwarded through some of the parts of floating through space.  There seemed to be huge swaths of floating through space.

On a big screen, perhaps this would have been spiritual--or at least beautiful.  On a small screen, I found it boring.

So, if I looked for the spirituality in the movie, what would I say?  There's the issue of when we give up on life and when we don't.  But I didn't see the movie approach this question from a spiritual angle, more from a survivor who needs to dredge up her last reserves and carry on.

There's the issue of the fragility of life.  I found this article on the NPR site which addressed that angle:  "Also, as we see in the movie, to leave the protective blanket of our atmosphere is extremely risky. Life out there is impossible, as the movie's opening lines make clear."

The movie doesn't go in this direction, but it made me think about the creator of this universe.  What does it say that so much of the universe, at least as we know it now, is hostile to life as we understand it?  I've wrestled with this issue before; see this blog post for more thoughts and a poem of mine, "Geology, The True Life Science."

One of the creation stories in Genesis leads many to think of humans as the ultimate creation, the one that God intended.  Some go further and say that this creation story leaves humans in charge for all time.

The movie shows the folly of those beliefs.  We are only in charge as long as we've got our protective atmosphere--and often, not even then.

And thinking we're in charge is the ultimate folly.  We are not, not even remotely.  The movie shows the folly of this thinking again and again and again.

1 comment:

John Flanagan said...

You have such a confused and rudderless thought life, hanging on to loose, disconnected ambiguities, and the reason is because you have no anchor, so you just drift from place to place in your mind, entertaining each idea as it floats through your conscious mind and passes on. May I suggest you remember that not all thoughts have equal value, some ideas need to be swept out like yesterday's dust. If you are a Christian, think mainly about Jesus. He should be your anchor. Think about grace. Keep it simple. Much of what you discuss is just foolish talk.