So often we think about teachers as people, sometimes experiences, even animals. However, sometimes our teachers can be films. It is one of the reasons that several times I have offered a film and spirituality group. It is amazing the spiritual lessons we can learn from a film. Sometimes what we learn is from the storyline, sometimes it is the setting, sometimes the lighting, sometimes the music, sometimes a character.
When I offered this group it was interesting to be sitting in a room full of people who had all just watched the same film, but we all walked away with different things or characters that spoke to us. It is like going to a restaurant and everybody eats the same meal, but different people like different things about it. What you see and take from it is for you and I see and take from it is for me.
One of the films I can never watch enough is The Never Ending Story. Why? LOL. The reasons change every time I watch it. However, here are some of the consistent lessons I am reminded of. First, as don Miguel Ruiz teaches in The Four Agreements, we are the artist of our own lives. The closing scene reminds me that my life can only become what I envision it becoming. In the film Fantasia has been destroyed with the exception of this small grain of sand. The Princess tells Atreyu that the human can create a new Fantasia. We have the power to do that.
Atreyu teaches me so much. I am reminded to always be willing to look into my own mirror of truth and look at all of me and who I am, the good, the bad and the ugly. Yeah I have those qualities too. I keep working on them, but I cannot deny they exist because they too are a part of who I am. This is one of the first tests Atreyu has to go through and so many who have come before him have not been able to do so.
The scene between Atreyu and his horse at the Swamp of Despair is ingrained in my memory. I remember screaming for his horse to fight the depression and not sink in the swamp, but he couldn’t. Having recently lost a dear friend to suicide, this scene takes on new meaning because I had to watch her sink in her swamp and no matter how much I encouraged her the despair was so heavy it weighed her down. Some of us are like Atreyu and are able to move through the worst of situations, others get sucked up in the Swamp of Despair.
I also learn from the Luck Dragon. Besides knowing how good it feels to have that hard to reach itch scratched (we all have one of those). The Luck Dragon always seems to show up when needed and makes the journey easier for Atreyu and then later takes Bastian into the life he is writing for himself. For me, the Luck Dragon reminds me of my relationship with the Divine and with Ganesha who is the Remover of Obstacles and the Creator of New Beginnings.
The technology is not as awesome to me now as it was in the 80’s when I first watched it, but the lessons are as powerful. If this makes sense, even if you do not agree, because you have watched it. Awesome, but tell me what you learned from it or from any film. If you have never watched this, please do.