Tag Archives: animation
Probably – A Disillusioning Aniboom Animation by Kate Anderson
The Way of the World (in animation)
Renaissance the Movie and Tim Boucher’s Thoughts on God
Renaissance the Movie and Tim Boucher’s Thoughts on God
On this fine Christmas, I watched a very unusual animated neo-noir movie titled Renaissance. It was enjoyable even if not precisely appropriate for this Holy of Holy days. I’m sure Jesus would be understanding. Why can’t anyone make a good neo-noir Christmas special?
The Wikipedia Article on the Rennaissance.
A good review by A.J. MacReady.
I was also spending some quality time with Tim Boucher on his insightful blog. Here is one that particularly amused me partly because the funny quote he started off with.
God gets lonely too, you know
Three bears in the bed, and the little one said
“I’m crowded, roll over”
So they all rolled over and one fell out Two bears in the bed, and the little one said
“I’m crowded, roll over”
So they all rolled over and one fell out
One bear in the bed, and the little one said
– (from Sesame Street)
What I really found interesting was this diagram and a related quote.
I was wondering if there were any historical theological precedents wherein Jesus and Lucifer were two stages of the same entity. That is, Lucifer transforms into Jesus through a process of purification. Lucifer is thrown out of Heaven, descends like a meteor and burns, burns, burns, until one day he just cools off. At this point, he is transfigured, and rises into Heaven once again, like a rocket shot into space.
The quote is the third paragraph below the diagram, but I had the same exact thought when I saw the diagram. Lucifer, afterall, is an angel. Angels are direct manifestations, extensions even, of God. According to some sources, Lucifer fell because his loyalty was so strong to God. Lucifer coming into this world was the first time an aspect of God directly manifested on Earth, and Lucifer’s fall parallels that of Adam and Eve. Lucifer led the way for Mankind to fully enter this world of limits and suffering, and so likewise Jesus in becoming Christ is the Wayshower back to Heaven.
From a friend of mine:
ever get that sinking feeling? check out this surreal webpage
caption could say
“this is your economy on neo-conservatism”
The Adventures of Mark Twain
The Adventures of Mark Twain
The Adventures of Mark Twain, released in the UK as Comet Quest, is a 1985 stop motion animated film directed by Will Vinton (best known for “The California Raisins” animation). After many years in television syndication, it was released on DVD in January 2006. The film features a series of vignettes extracted from several of Mark Twain‘s works, built around a plot that features Twain’s attempts to keep his “appointment” with Halley’s Comet. The concept was inspired by a famous quote by the author:
- “I came in with Halley’s Comet in 1835. It is coming again next year (1910), and I expect to go out with it. It will be the greatest disappointment of my life if I don’t go out with Halley’s Comet. The Almighty has said, no doubt: ‘Now here are these two unaccountable freaks; they came in together, they must go out together.'”
Included are sketches taken from The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, The Mysterious Stranger, The Damned Human Race, Injun Joe (briefly), The Diary of Adam and Eve (Letters from the Earth), Captain Stormfield’s Visit to Heaven and a rendering of Twain’s first story, The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County.
A scene from the movie is often posted on the internet, sometimes without attribution as to where it came from. The scene is present on the DVD release, and shows the children meeting Satan (taken from The Mysterious Stranger)
Twain actually wrote multiple versions of this story, each unfinished and each involving the character of Satan. The first substantial version is commonly referred to as The Chronicle of Young Satan and tells of the adventures of Satan, the sinless nephew of the more familiar Satan, in an Austrian village in the Middle Ages. The story ends abruptly in the middle of a scene involving Satan entertaining a prince in India, suggesting Twain abandoned this piece before he finished writing it.
The second substantial version Twain attempted to write is known as Schoolhouse Hill which involves the familiar characters of Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer and their adventures with Satan, referred to in this version as “No. 44, New Series 864962”, and is set in America. Schoolhouse Hill is the shortest of the three versions.
The third version, called No. 44, The Mysterious Stranger, returns to Medieval Austria and tells of No. 44’s mysterious appearance at the door of a print shop and his use of heavenly powers to expose the futility of mankind’s existence. This version also introduces an idea Twain was toying with at the end of his life involving a duality of the “self”, one being the “Waking Self” and the other being the “Dream Self”. Twain explores these ideas through the use of “Duplicates”, copies of the print shop workers made by No. 44. This version contains an actual ending, however the version is not considered as complete as Twain would have intended.
fascinating! how did i miss this? anyway, better late than never.
I discovered The Mysterious Stranger video on youtube a year or two ago. Recently discovering the Elephant’s Dream video reminded me of it again. I just ordered The Adventures of Mark Twain from Amazon. I’ve never watched all of it before and so I’m excited to receive it.
This a side of Mark Twain that is less well known. I’ve never read the stories that these videos are based on, but its piqued my curiosity. I suppose I’ll add it to my never-ending reading list.
oooh… tell me more, please! I have always enjoyed Mark Twain, especially his works a bit more off the beaten path.
Maybe its you who needs to tell me more. I’m not overly familiar with Mark Twain. All I meant by my comment was that works such as The Mysterious Stranger aren’t normally required reading for English literature classes. Sorry to disappoint. I’ll try not to let you down ever again. 🙂
you never let me down, dearest Ben 🙂
… i guess i am going to have to dig deeper into this mysterious stranger work myself … when i have time 🙂
I found this blog fascinating, especially the piece about Mark Twain and Satan. A bit chilling when you consider the cyclone in Burma and the earthquake in China. Particularly interesting was the mutating mask of Satan and some of the concepts, including those you shared from Wikipedia about this work and Twain’s interest in it.
I kept thinking of the psychic entity of the Pain Body that Eckhart Tolle speaks of and how cunning but also the thought that All that there Is, is All that there Is, and this is somehow part of that. And the impermanance of form and it’s return to the formless. It seems like it’s all there in this short little clip.
It is chilling. There is something compelling about this vision of the Demiurge.
I found it interesting what Wikipedia said about the “Dreaming Self,” the “Waking Self” and “Duplicates.” I’m curious as how those ideas fit into the narrative, but I couldn’t find any more info about it on the web. I guess I might have to read the story for myself.
I’m not familiar with Eckhart’s use of the term ‘Pain Body’. Would you mind sharing?
I came across a book that looks interesting:
The Bible According to Mark Twain
by Joseph B. Mccullough
Here is a good overview article:
Mark Twain & the Significance of the Number 44:
A Review of the Scholars’ Theories
by firstname.lastname@example.org“>Barbara Schmidt
Another good article from the Atlantic Monthly that gives some context:
Mark Twain, or the Ambiguities
A site that has the N.C. Wyeth pictures that went with the original installments of The Mysterious Stranger:
100 Years of Illustration and Design
by Paul Giambarba
Yes, I have not been able to quit thinking about this Mark Twain & Satan post of yours. I think I’m going to write something more in the Living Metaphysics group and link to your blog here. I’ll let you know. After I posted the comment, I went to Amazon and bought the claymation video, the snippet you posted is from that one. The comments and reviews were quite positive. Yes, I think I want to read too but I had the feeling these were unfinished? Thanks for all the additional links.
Most people probably think of Twain (who is from the state of Missouri that I now live in. We pass through Hannibal often when headed to tractor shows in Iowa) as a children’s writer but this shows a much deeper, contemplative side of him. Yes, I am definitely going to delve into it a bit.
As to Eckhart’s Pain Body, yes, I’ll watch your video again and try to bring the concept in that way. It was something about Satan, his cunning and changing methods of tormenting and causing suffering. We are studying Tolle’s A New Earth in the Living Metaphysics group and I have written some of my perspectives in Chapter 5 – Class 5 which talks about the Pain Body. None of the A New Earth discussion board is anywhere near complete at this point.
I am glad I stumbled on this blog of yours last night.
Ben, here is an overview of the pain body concept by Tolle:
This accumulated pain is a negative energy field that occupies your body and mind. If you look on it as an invisible entity in its own right, you are getting qute close to the truth. It’s the emotional pain body. It has two modes of being: dormant and active….
….The pain body wants to survive, just like every other entity in existance, and it can only survive if it gets you to unconsciously identify with it. It can then rise up, take you over, “become you,” and live through you. It needs to get its “food” through you. It will feed on any experience that resonates with its own kind of energy, anything that creates further pain in whatever form: anger, destructiveness, hatred, grief, emotional drama, violence, and even illness.
So the pain body, when it has taken you over, will create a situation in your life that refects back its own energy frequency for it to feed on. Pain can only feed on pain. Pain cannot feed on joy. It finds it quite indigestible.
Once the pain body has taken you over, you want more pain. You become a victim or a perpetrator. You want to inflict pain, or you want to suffer pain, or both. There isen’t really much difference between the two. You are not conscious of this, of course, and will vehemently claim that you do not want pain. But look closely and you will that your thinking and behavior are designed to keep the pain going, for yourself and others.
If you were truly conscious of it, the pattern would disolve, for to want more pain is insanity, and nobody is consciously insane.
The pain body, which is the dark shadow cast by the ego, is actually afraid of the light of your consciousness. It is afraid of being found out. Its survival depends on your unconscious identification with it, as well as on your unconscious fear of facing the the pain that lives in you. But if you don’t face it, if you don’t bring the light of your consciousness into the pain, you will be forced to relive it again and again. The pain body may seem to you like a dangerous monster that you cannot bear to look at, but I assure you that it is an insubstantial phantom that cannot pervail against the power of your presence.
…..So the pain body doesen’t want you to observe it directly and see it for what it is. The moment you observe, feel its energy field within you, and take your attention into it, the identification is broken. A higher dimension of cosciousness has come in. I call it presence.
You are now the witness or the watcher of the pain body. This means that it cannot use you anymore by pretending to be you, and it can no longer replenish itself through you. You have found your own inner strength. You have accessed the power of Now.
Unconsciousness creates it; consciousness transmutes it into itself…..
…. The pain body consists of trapped life-energy that has split off from your total energy field and has temporarily become autonomous through the unnatural process of mind identification. It has turned in on itself and become anti-life, like an animal trying to devour its own tail. Why do you think our civilisation has become so life-destructive?
But even the life-destructive forces are still life-energy.
…..Let me summarize the process. Focus attention on the feeling inside you. Know that it is the pain body. Accept that it is there. Don’t think about it – don’t let the feeling turn into thinking. Don’t judge or analyze. Don’t make an identity for yourself out of it. Stay present, and continue to be the observer of what is happening insde you. become aware not only of the emotional pain but also of “the one who observes,” the silent watcher.
This is the power of the Now, the power of your own conscious presence. Then see what happens.
…..For many women, the pain body awakens particularly at the time preceding the menstrual flow….If you are able to stay alert and present at that time and watch whatever you feel within, rather then be taken over by it, it affords an opportunity for the most powerful spiritual practice, and a rapid transmutation of all past pain becomes possible.
The Pain Body reminds me of the shamanistic notion of soul loss and retrieval. It also reminds me of Reich’s view of body armor.
Just to let you know that I linked to this blog in the Living Metaphysics group here – http://pods.gaia.com/living_metaphysics/discussions/view/288274. I thank you for bringing this to my attention through your personal blog. This is one of the more unique discussions I have run across in some time. I will never think of Mark Twain quite the same, thanks to your work here.
Now, I have much to read, watch, ponder and digest. Here is a good link http://www.geocities.com/hal9000report/hal96.html that includes a couple of chapters from The Chronicles of Young Satan, edited and published by others after Mark Twain’s death. I think the last 2 paragraphs form an amazingly accurate description of how we ended up in Iraq.
I see Nicole posted quite a bit about the Pain Body. I think this is one of the more original concepts to come out of Eckhart Tolle’s own contemplations (it really has the potential to change human interactions for those who become acutely aware when it arises) and one that many people who begin to read him seem to resonate readily with. Thanks again !
Thanks for linking my blog. I joined your pod. It looks like it could be interesting, but I don’t know how much I’ll post cuz I have my plate pretty full already.
And thanks for linking to that page of Twain’s writing. I agree that those last 2 paragraphs are ever so relevant. War(and what leads us to it) is one of those things that doesn’t change much with time.
yes, deborah, it is a significant concept – it helps me understand my life better, i need to work through more implications
sadly, Ben, war doesn’t change much… but we must do what we can
I just finished watching the movie. I highly recommend it. The larger narrative of Mark Twain and Halley’s comet somewhat brought together the vignettes. I liked the way the movie showed the different sides of Twain. I think to get more out of it I’d have to read some of the stories its based on
Plot and explanation
The movie was made mostly as an experiment, rather than to tell a certain story and therefore has a strong arbitrary and surreal atmosphere. It features two men, Proog (the elder and more experienced) and Emo (the younger and more nervous) living in a miraculous construction referred to only as ‘the Machine’; Proog tries to introduce Emo to its nature but the latter is reluctant and argues about its purpose. The creators originally intended for the movie to show the abstraction of a computer.
The final message is not easy to see due to the abstract nature of the movie and therefore some viewers criticized it as pointless and random, and worthy of attention only if seen as a demo. Other people have widely different interpretations of its meaning. This slashdot comment for example describes the viewpoint that Proog represents the logical half of the brain, while Emo is the creative half. Proog cannot abide imaginative, unpredictable fun in his so carefully crafted and isolated logical world, which is why he tries to dominate Emo and eventually attacks him. Another theory is connected to the theory of evolution, with Proog and the Machine representing multicellular life and DNA, whereas Emo represents a single mitochondria and cannot grasp the complexity of the Machine.
Bassam Kurdali, Director of Elephants Dream, explained the plot of the movie by saying  :
“The story is very simple-I’m not sure you can call it a complete story even-It is about how people create ideas/stories/fictions/social realities and communicate them or impose them on others. Thus Proog has created (in his head) the concept of a special place/machine, that he tries to “show” to Emo. When Emo doesn’t accept his story, Proog becomes desperate and hits him. It’s a parable of human relationships really-You can substitute many ideas (money, religion, social institutions, property) instead of Proog’s machine-the story doesn’t say that creating ideas is bad, just hints that it is better to share ideas than force them on others. There are lots of little clues/hints about this in the movie-many little things have a meaning-but we’re not very “tight” with it, because we are hoping people will have their own ideas about the story, and make a new version of the movie. In this way (and others) we tie the story of the movie with the “open movie” idea.”
The title ‘Elephants Dream’ is also ambiguous. The original title was to be Machina but was dropped due to pronunciation issues. One motivation for the title regarding the story was the concept of an Elephant in the room, referring to the (unspoken) fact that Proog’s precious world only exists for him.
i started to read this one day and got distracted… it’s really intriguing
So, God is to Lucifer as Jesus is to Christ. Makes sense to me.
In Lucifer’s fall (and even more in Mankind’s fall), God becomes more distant. This tendency becomes magnified with Protestantism in that any supernatural phenomena was largely judged as Evil. As such, Lucifer became the representative of the supernatural; and by implication representative of the greatest supernatural being of all, God.
Lucifer’s supposed pride is the same pride that is considered to be the greatest sin in man. Lucifer is the the pride of ego which Jesus resists, but from a more Gnostic perspective this is an internal struggle as much as a cosmic one. All of us fallen souls are Lucifer and everyone who rises is Christ.
If you wanted get all Wilberian-like, you could say God is the pre-personal and Christ is the trans-personal. But that is probably going too far. lol