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On love


I am enamored by all things having to do with the mind- the very inner-workings of the brain. Because of my fascination, I’m drawn to books written by psychiatrists, or about any psychology-related dealings. In this last one I read, the psychiatrist author referenced three different movies I was compelled to watch, because I wanted to learn more about what influences this bright woman. Early 80’s film Resurrection, Woody Allen’s Zelig, and pianist David Helfgott’s Shine: That list caught my attention, so I soon found myself looking them up, then figuring out how to borrow them.

Initially I just foresaw some light entertainment, along with enlightenment into the mindset of the writer I admired. I was caught off guard then, by the unexpected theme I found within. In each of these movies, on such varied topics, love saved the day. Edna Mae, the main character in Resurrection, saves a young boy’s life with a healing touch, with no reciprocal attention, validation, or thanks expected whatsoever. It was just the obvious thing to do. Then, a guy named Zelig had a (silly) fictionalized mental condition, and only the love of his doctor, who later married him, was able to save him. And the last, based on a true story, Helfgott develops a disabling schizoaffective disorder, due to his father’s really harsh treatment. But lo and behold, one kind woman sees the good in him, and becomes his wife. Her disregarding attitude of any of his perceived defective personality traits is the key to his ability to live a more normal life, free of institutionalization, and able to play his piano masterpieces once again.

If these people had listened to any other person’s advice, they probably would have fled the situation as quickly as possible. But instead, they listened to an inner voice, trusting their intuition in lieu of the world’s crass voices. A wind moved through them, and they embraced it, ignoring conventional “wisdom.”

At the root of that wind, that stirring, was the divine voice inside each and every one of us, available to each of us if we choose to listen closely. But there is an array, a cacophony, if you will, of alternate vocalizations which speak volumes louder, urging us instead to fear, to hate. To be wary of those who are different than ourselves, whose personal views have drawn them to different perspectives than our own, whether it’s in regards to politics, or social topics. But what a divinely aligned human being, such as the lovely aforementioned characters, would likely offer, would be an understanding acceptance. A view that sees beyond the mere surface, physical preferences, and sees that we are all simply flawed human beings after all, and are easily able to connect to one another based on that single, uniting premise.

These heroines didn’t follow anyone else’s rules. They stuck to their own codes of behavior. On a much, much grander scale, some two thousand years ago, Jesus stirred everyone up by his complete disregard of his religion’s strict rules. His main message: Love one another as I have loved you. Fast forward to current times, here we are, right back again. Some churches preach patriotism as though it were the gospel. Some command its members to be there at this day, this time, as the supreme commandment; nothing else really matters- behaviors, attitudes, and thoughts included. Still others adhere to rituals as though the familiar movements, sights, and sounds offer the real sinewy connection to the divine. Organized religions have a way of putting a falsified box around the reality of situations they are attempting to shed light on, but sometimes (definitely not always!) great movies, books, or songs can remind us of the pervading truth behind it all- all we need is love, and love is all we need.


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