Are you a “Believer”? You might be – and not know it!
I have NOT (yet) seen the new movie called The Book of Eli, so I cannot comment on the plot, acting, or actual “message” or “meaning” of the film’s “content” – but I thought it quite interesting how the film is being “marketed” to the “masses”.
Eli is emphasized as the central focus of (a book – protected by a) BELIEVER… presumably with the belief that doing so will attract viewers, who either already “believe” (something) – or might after watching the movie).
Both El and Eli were names of an ancient Canaanite god – sometimes associated with Saturn. El was believed to be the “father” of all other “Middle Eastern” gods – and El could refer to any god (in general) – whereas Eli generally only referred specifically to the highest supreme god. In Biblical Hebrew, El is used as “God” and Eli as “My God“.
The promotional previews for The Book of Eli “promise” plenty of (“post-apocalyptic”) violence (connected with the “believer” and his book) – either as (enticing?) entertainment or the inevitable result of conflicting beliefs (about what is written in a book).
Violence seems to appeal a lot to people – both as spectators and participants. Violence has become a major source and form of entertainment. This could be a result of what they do (or do not) believe – partly as a result of the books they read (or don’t). Books do not seem to be as “popular” (these days) as bullets, bombs, or battling “bad guys”.
Even a “good” book is seldom as appealing as watching a movie these days. People tend to prefer and pay more for entertainment than education. This does not mean people do not want, or like, to learn – just that they tend to prefer how more than what they learn.
Things that are entertaining are very often also “entraining” – meaning that we (begin to) match, mirror, or “resonate” (with frequency, rhythm, or timing) with what we enjoy. What we find “entertaining” is often the (initial) “portal” (or “entrance“) to (subconsciously) “entraining” and “training” us to accept, follow, and believe something – with joy. The “entrance” is also often “in trance” – which is why we are often unaware of it.
Beliefs are really only thoughts and ideas. Beliefs are usually accepted on “faith” (or by force) rather than “evidence” or “extensive experience”. The “problem” with beliefs is not what people think they “know” or have “personally experienced” (based upon their perception, interpretation, and understanding) – but people’s attachment to (and “identification” with) their thinking, ideas, and what they have been taught.
What people believe often affects others. People KILL for “beliefs“! Unlike most other thoughts or ideas, many beliefs are unconscious. People are not even always aware of them – even as they “control” their lives. Beliefs may be “limiting” or “empowering”, helpful or hurtful, delightful or dangerous – but they are still just thoughts and ideas (that people act and react to – as if they were “true”).
Believers tend to defend and defer to their beliefs (by default) when challenged. They would rather confront someone else than what they believe – because doing so has a lot to do with how they see themselves). People sometimes think they ARE what they believe – and yet they often do not even know what they (“really”) believe.
What people think and say they believe are usually their “ideals“, not their “beliefs“. To find out what someone believes, watch them. Actions speak louder than words. It is someone’s “walk”, rather than their talk, that matters most – and is a more accurate reflection of what they “really’ believe, value, and hold true.
Watching a movie playing on a screen (where others do everything) isn’t the same as other kinds of “playing” (where you have to actually do and experience everything yourself). There is nothing wrong with watching movies (for entertainment) – but watching others is not the same as living and learning oneself in person.
People are being led to believe that they can and should (virtually) “outsource” almost everything. Many people seem willing to embrace living vicariously through (virtual) surrogate “avatars” that “re-present” them more than they welcome living their “present” form of life. People also seem willing to “outsource” thinking and let others tell them what to think – and believe.
Education means to “draw out” – not to stuff into. Most people who have been “educated” need less learning and more unlearning of what they have already been taught (to believe).
People believe all kinds of things – for all kinds or “reasons”. Different people believe different things than others. Even the same people believe different things at different times.
Beliefs may or may not be “true” (at a particular time, in a particular context, from a particular perspective) – but “believing” is not what makes it so (or not). This is especially important to “realize” concerning anything “religious”, “spiritual”, and/or “metaphysical”.
In addition to Eli, “my God“, at its center, believer also has several other words with in it; the 3 most obvious are be, lie, and ever.
To be, or not to be, is not the real question. The real question is what and how to be. Be the change you wish to see in the world – even when “B” is called “Blasphemy“!
Blasphemy is not just the rejection but the contradiction of what others believe and “revere” (to be true) – no matter how they lay out what may seem like a lie.
Lay and lie not mean the same thing. Getting laid is usually good – unless its getting laid off. But getting lied to is almost never good.
A lie is a (deliberately) deceptive or misleading falsehood. A lie is known to be not true – by the liar (at least until they begin to believe their own lies). A mistake or inaccuracy is not a lie. It is usually unintended – or thought to be “true“. Not knowing is called ignorance – and can usually be both remedied and forgiven.
A BIG lie, repeated often enough may eventually become accepted as “true” – even when it is not. This can be very dangerous – as human history reflects. A lie (of one kind or another) is often used to manipulate and control people. Real eyes “realize” real lies.
Ever refers to a time. The only time that really matters is NOW. “The past is history; the future is a mystery; the present is a gift.” Instead of asking people how (or even where) they are, try asking them when they are. This may confuse them – unless they are present (in the moment – at the time you ask). Or they may not care – and reply with, “what-ever“. Hopefully you will never hear that.
Never means not ever. Whenever anyone is focused on what was or will be, it is as if they are not here at all. Being now here is always better than being no where. You better believe that’s no lie – if you want to live “happily ever after”.
Seeing is believing – and believing is seeing: whatever, wherever, whenever, whoever, and however – (virtually) all the time. Those who are “called” to see “more” are sometimes called “seers” – which is not all the same as calling Sears for Seymour! It is not only what seers see but how. One method (that has gotten quite a bit of attention) is called “remote viewing” – which is like being virtually somewhere else at the time (e-ver).
In Spanish, ver means “to see” – not virtually, but actually, what is, the truth (as in verifying the veracity of something). In Spanish, truth is “verdad” – which in English looks like “to see Dad” (the true Father? – through the ages?). In Spanish, “age” is “edad” – which in English looks (virtually) like e-dad, rather than a “real” one.
To really see means to perceive what is (as is) with no illusion regarding what is true, and what is not (in the moment). It is both to see through a lie and to see a truth others may not. “I see you“ is not the same as “I love you“ nor do the two always go together, but to see and be seen seems needed as much as to love and be loved.
If “B” is for Blasphemy, “R” might be for “Redeemer” – for the “Believer“. Ever without the “R” is Eve – for many a believer. Read that again – to see (ver) all the meanings within.
If Annie was ever “going against the grain” or Dorothy was ever “not in Kansas anymore”, it could have something to do with the their last eve eve-r in “the Garden”. To “sin” means to “miss the mark“. Perhaps Mark and all the others who read and wrote books for “believers” missed something else (that eve).
Just so you know, in Biblical Hebrew, Eve is actually Hava – like “hava nagilla” or “hav a (good life, Eve). Hava means “(breath of) life” – impossible to live without! It may also have been meant as a reminder that a woman’s best side is inside.
A “true” B-ELI-EVE-R could very well be the result of the partnership between either (previously or seemingly) Blasphemous? Eli and Eve as (his?) Redeemer. Remember the old Monkeys’ song? “And then I saw her face, now I’m a believer, I couldn’t leave her if I tried!” Love at first sight? Mutual transformation? Catalystic synergy? It is not always the damsel in distress. Either way, “it is not good for man to be alone.”
A dog or other animal should not be a man’s best friend. The same is true for women – no matter what they may believe. Sexual orientation or preferences aside, there is a reason that humans are masculine and feminine rather than androgynous – and it is not only so we can perpetuate the species. Like it or not, we “complete” each other. Eli needs Eve….
Ishi was not a Mohican, but he was the last of his kind. Tarzan had Jane – and even Mogli ended up with a girl. A good woman is seldom too hard to find; neither is a good man – unless you believe otherwise. A man (who believes in being) alone too long is likely to either molest children (in or out of church), consider being a suicide bomber, or end up like George Clooney’s character in the movie Up in the Air – neither really going anywhere nor really enjoying it.
Being “single”, “free”, and “independent” are not only all highly overrated, but not really completely possible. They are in some ways like “myths” – or perhaps more accurately like stories that would be better off as cautionary tales rather than increasingly as archetypes – of disconnection rather than integration (between masculine and feminine, and between individuals, others, and the world they live in).
People are story creatures. People love, learn from, remember, repeat, and live out all sorts of stories. People also love songs – particularly love songs. Most songs tend to be stories set to music – so that they can be better entrained (whether or not they have a danceable rhythm). Even those who meditate (alone) usually only desire to be “unattached” from their beliefs, not other people (or “reality” – of our “group dream”). Even after two divorces, I think (paired) partnership is not only “good’, but preferable (to permanent “free agency”). The best lives are usually (shared) love stories (of one kind or another).
Previews for The Book of Eli suggests that Denzel Washington’s character (“Eli“) is not only a loner, but also both Believer and Redeemer. Mila Kunis’ character is not named “Eve“, but “Solara” – which means “the sun“. Hmm. Eli and Solara. “My God“, “The Sun“. A LOT of religious (and contemporary “secular”) beliefs are based upon sun worship! I’m surprised the movie was not released on either Christmas or a couple of days before on the winter solstice – when more people would make the connection to the sun (or Son) coming back – as “promised” (and prayed for). Both U.S. Army General Douglas MacArthur (“I shall return“) and Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Terminator character (“I’ll be back“) “kept” their promises – but The Book of Eli probably will not.
Books contain ideas – which is why they are sometimes banned or burned, but books, their ideas, and the written words used to express them, are also “frozen in time”. They cannot change, “evolve”, nor respond to anything after they are printed. Books may offer ideas, insight, information, instruction, accounts, and/or explanations that are interesting or useful long after written, but the attachment to, identification with, and belief in a book, its source, interpretation, perspective, lessons, story, characters, or whatever is “re-presented” can pose a “problem” when a book is elevated to a status higher than those living and breathing (like Hava?) in the present. It is both amazing and scary how much conflict there is in the world over (ideas in) books – that most people either have not even actually read or have done so in translation with little familiarity with the time, place, or original readers for whom they were written.
Without the “ver” to see the truth, what will belie both the Blasphemer and the Believer is an e-lie – which may appear “disguised” as a deceptive (virtual) “truth“. Movies are not only made for entertainment – or even merchandising (alone). Making a “profit” is a big motivator – and so is promoting a “message” that a “prophet” may want others to believe – or not
The information, images, and stories we take in shape how we perceive ourselves, others, and the world. It’s important in the current “milieu” of mass marketing and manipulation (of misinformation, disinformation, and propaganda) to be aware of others’ agendas – and our own… to clearly see a truth we can love (rather than believe).
I may not be “worth” 6 million dollars like Lee Majors’ character Steve Austin was (years ago), but I, too, am a “BIONIC” man. Believe It Or Not, I Care. I welcome and encourage your comments, kudos, feedback, and opportunities to interact. You can even share what you do or do not believe. I’m “unattached” (and “available“) NOW (both at and in the moment) – but that might change if we really like each other…. Either way, please don’t “outsource” your opinion(s) – or your presence. Post something below – if for no other reason than to let me know you were here. Thanks. I appreciate it.
© 2010 – 2011, Oren Pardes. All rights reserved.