See if you can remember what all these movies have in common: The Bourne Identity, Mulholland Drive, Vanilla Sky and Total Recall.
Okay, that was easy, wasn’t it? The clue was in this blog’s title. The heroes have all forgotten their true identities. They have that all-too-common medical condition known as retrograde amnesia.
The thing is, it’s “all-too-common” only in Hollywood. We see so many cases of it on the silver screen that you’d think hospitals would be full of people like this. In fact, though, the only cases we hear about in “real life” seem to be hoaxes.
So, why are story-tellers so enamored with this plot, when it’s only found in Hollywood? Why not tell a story that is more like real life?
Actually, I think it’s more like real life than medical evidence would suggest. It’s just not in a way that you’d expect.
A Course in Miracles tells us that we have all gone insane and forgotten who we really are. All of us. Really, we are all children of God, sparks of the Divine, come to earth to experience life in physical form. We have forgotten that we are all really One. So we fight amongst ourselves, completely unaware of our true spiritual identity.
Another Hollywood plot device sheds some light on this spiritual reality – even though the writers may not be consciously aware of it. This plot gives us a character who has temporarily been taken over by another consciousness. Think of Captain Picard as Locutus in Star Trek: The Next Generation, or Jonesy in Dreamcatcher. The victim’s own mind is still in there, somewhere, but it must fight to regain control and kick the visitor out.
Again, I believe that this fascination with a mostly-Hollywood phenomenon actually points to a spiritual reality. Our divine minds are still in here, somewhere, but Ego has largely taken over, and feeds us insane thoughts of anger and hate. When I judge someone for what they’ve done – such as my judgement of BP for killing the Gulf of Mexico – I forget our true identities as children of God, and give in to the Ego’s control of my mind and body. I allow thoughts that are not really mine to take over my consciousness and push me away from compassion and spiritual connection.
Ego tells me that “reality” is the oil spill – what I can see physically – and that spirituality is the dream – just wishful thinking. But there is also a deeper part that resonates with A Course in Miracles when it tells me why people do bad things: It’s not that we are truly evil, but that we have forgotten our true identities.
I am an immortal soul having a physical experience here on Earth. Like Klaatu in The Day the Earth Stood Still, my soul does not experience pain, but, “my body does.” I have no spiritual reason to fear or hate my fellow humans, but when my mind allows Ego to take over, then I can find lots of reasons to fear – even if those reasons are based in insanity.
When I listen to the voice of fear, then I find reasons to fear. When I listen to the voice of love, I find reasons to love.
Each moment gives me a new choice.