“People had more than they needed. We had no idea what was precious and what wasn’t. We threw away things people kill each other for now.” Denzel Washington as Eli in The Book of Eil
Why are post-apocalyptic films so resonant? Why do they speak to us as though they are relevant? Is it because they talk about something that will happen?
Or is it because they are talking about something that has happened, and in fact is happening now?
Appearances aren’t what they seem. What Denzel is describing isn’t just something that happens before a apocalypse, something that creates it, it itself is he apocalypse. Instead he is describing an apocalyptic world! The Buddha was right, the action that creates the karma is the karma itself.
Let’s face it, whilst there are lots of nasty happenings in the world can we really believe that everything is right in the wealthier countries? We’re in the midst of an apocalypse right now, but some countries can hide it better than others. But how long can we hide it?
Ok ok ok, maybe saying “apocalypse” may be a bit of an exaggeration. And by that I mean I don’t expect the Four Horsemen to materialize and cause havoc, the anti-Christ to wage war or the Kingdom of God to miraculously descend on Earth after all the bad things have happened. Or that the Earth suddenly stop existing, like it really is the “end of the world”.
But there is something not quite right. And apocalypse seems to be a frighteningly relevant word even if not particularily accurate.
I look at our “wealth” and have a feeling that something isn’t quite right, that it’s all a lot of a show and no substance, that the foundation is all a bit, well, flimsy to say the least. A look at the facts about peak oil shows just how flimsy. We have built a stone castle of cardboard foundations!
What are the essentials for living a fulfilling and healthy life that don’t include “lots of stuff”?
How can we dig down through the foundations of our society and find the bedrock that we really need?
Can we do it before this Great Edifice collapses on us?
And what is it that we really need to build and develop?
One thing’s for sure, some films get you thinking and questioning… and if more people do that we are en route to a better world.
The quote above hints at something, and that is the values we hold, the values that lead us to use or misuse the world around us… and each other.
We build our world by our values. What values are we building with?