In this podcast I’ll be exploring another Universal Life Lesson found in Motion Pictures:
- I’ll explain how other people can act as Universal signs and lessons
- I’ll talk about a few movies that deliver the same universal message
- Finally, I’ll share how you can apply this universal teaching to your life
This is part 3, the final of a 3-part series I’ve been doing on universal lessons taught in film. In part 1 I talked about believing in yourself. In part 2 I talked about accepting your past and accepting who you are now.
Before I get into the final set of films and life lesson I’ll talk a bit more about reading signs from the Universe.
The Universe speaks to you in many ways giving you signposts in different forms, signs that tell you which direction your life should be moving toward. One of these universal signs is other people.
The world is full of kind, generous, and awesome people. But the world also has many annoying, hateful, jerks.
Now I would rather hang out with the awesome folk and not just because it feels good to be around uplifting people, but because I can learn a lot from them. I learn different opinions on so many different topics. I learn new things that I can use to make my own life better and the biggest lesson I get from awesome people is that the world isn’t a terrifying place full of bad and apathetic people as some forms of media would have you believe and that there’s plenty of do-gooders and go-getters out there. For me awesome people are a sign from the Universe that awesomeness truly exists and that joy is an experience that everyone can have.
Of course I do encounter many people who aren’t awesome, but quite negative or hateful or very down on life and being around them can be very draining and energy sapping and they can suck the real honest-to-goodness joy out of life. But I still learn a lot from these so-called energy vampires. I learn different opinions on different topics. I learn new things that I can use to make my own life better. And the biggest lesson I get from negative and apathetic people is that the world is full of opposites. There’s always a different way to do the same thing and there’s always a different way to react to the same event. For me people who aren’t awesome are a sign from the Universe that in order for me, for you, for any of us to experience awesomeness we must also experience the negative, the hateful, and the annoying as well.
My point being people who are good and people who are bad they teach the same universal lesson that life is all about the good and it’s all about the bad. You can’t have one without the other. Everyone is here to give you the full experience of life, the full experience of you. So the next time someone cuts you off in traffic or lets you in the gap; calls you names or calls to say they love you; makes your blood boil or makes your heart sing; remember these people are teaching you something about the world around you and about yourself. What that lesson is though, well it’s up to you to do the introspective work and personal development and reflection to find that out.
Alrighty then before I begin with the final lesson in films spoiler alert! If you have not seen Kung Fu Panda 3, Home Alone, Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, and The Matrix Revolutions you may want to skip this episode as these are the four movies I will be exploring in the next moment. That next moment being right now.
In Kung Fu Panda 3 Po the Dragon Warrior is reunited with his long-lost father. There is also a new villain on the scene named Kai and he is a supernatural spirit warrior from the spirit realm who defeats his enemies by stealing their chi or their energy. The only way to defeat Kai is by mastering chi. Traditionally Panda’s were masters of chi and Po’s father promises to teach him the art of mastering chi, but they must return to the hidden Panda village where Po was born to complete the chi training. Kai has heard that Po being the Dragon Warrior is the only one that can stop him so he hunts him down so he can steal Po’s energy. It turns out that Po’s father has no idea about how to master chi and lied so Po comes up with a new plan where everyone in the Panda village will use their unique skills and talents and strengths to help defeat Kai. When Kai finally arrives Po and the village put up a good fight, but they lose the battle. In order to save the village Po sacrifices himself and takes Kai back to the spirit realm. Kai is about to steal Po’s chi, but back in the village Po’s father urges everyone to focus their chi on Po and to give Po their energy. The transfer of chi works as Po receives the energy from the panda village and this gives him the strength, the chi to defeat Kai once and for all. Without the support and chi of his father and the village Po never would have been able to defeat Kai.
Here’s a quote from the movie:
“Come on. We can do this.”
In Home Alone it’s the night before the McCallister family fly out to Paris for Christmas, but their youngest son Kevin causes trouble for the whole family and he’s sent up to the attic to sleep it off. Kevin is angry and wishes his family would just disappear. Well with the help of outside forces and visiting children the McCallister’s accidentally leave Kevin behind, home alone. Mid-flight Kevin’s mother eventually realises that he’s missing and does her best once they land in France to find her way back home to America, to her eight year old son. Meanwhile Kevin is having the time of his life without his family around to annoy and bully him and he seems to be having no problems looking after himself. For the first time Kevin meets his neighbour ‘Old Man’ Marley and finds out that Marley isn’t a scary guy as some rumours have said. Marley shares how he hasn’t seen his granddaughter in years due to an argument he had with his son. Kevin gives Marley some advice about reaching out to his son and he realises himself that he hasn’t been the best son that he could be to his own family. A couple of house burglars who call themselves the Wet Bandits, they show show up and target the McCallister home. Kevin makes it look like the home is occupied, but the burglars catch on that Kevin is home alone. Kevin comes up with a plan to defend his home and sets up booby traps all over the house and they work hilariously and cartoonishly well. Kevin tries to lure the Wet Bandits into a trap, but the two thieves finally outsmart Kevin and catch him. Just as the burglars are about to hurt Kevin, Marley shows up with a massive snow shovel and knocks the wet right out of the two bandits. Kevin is saved by Marley and the two house burglars are picked up by the police. Kevin begins to miss his family and really wants them back. Kevin’s mother and family finally return making Kevin the happiest he’s felt in a long time and after seeing his neighbour Marley hug his granddaughter Kevin knows family always stick together.
A quote from the film:
“This house is so full of people it makes me sick. When I grow up and get married, I’m living alone.”
In Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi the Empire have been secretly building a second Death Star. The Rebel Alliance find out about its location and plan an attack to destroy it by taking out the shield generator on the nearby Endor moon. Luke Skywalker believes he can bring his father, Darth Vader, back from the dark side of the force to the light side so he gives himself up to the Empire. Luke is taken to Vader and he tells his father that he still senses the good in him. Vader says that he must obey the Emperor, his master, and that it’s too late for him now. Vader tells Luke that the Emperor will be his new master and that he will show Luke the true nature of the Force. When Luke meets the Emperor on the Death Star he refuses to join the dark side and learns that it was the Emperor who leaked the information about the Death Star and that the Alliance were being led into a trap. Luke feels frustrated unable to help his friends and his anger takes over as he attacks the Emperor, but Vader blocks him. As Luke and Vader continue their light sabre dual the Alliance fleet are losing their battle in space and the team on the moon are fighting it out trying to take out the shield generator. With the help of the Ewok people that live on the moon the Alliance finally destroy the shield generators. Meanwhile Luke wins his battle against his father and still refuses to join the Emperor. The Emperor then attacks Luke with the dark side of the Force almost killing him, but Vader feeling the small amount of goodness that Luke saw in him he picks up the Emperor and tosses him down a deep abyss where the Emperor explodes and releases all his dark energy. Vader eventually dies and Luke escapes with his father’s body just as the Alliance destroy the Death Star. With the help of the Ewoks the Alliance take out the Empire’s second Death Star and together as father and son Vader and Luke were able to defeat the evil Emperor.
Here’s a quote from the movie:
“May the Force be with us.”
In The Matrix Revolutions the Oracle tells Neo that since his encounter with the Architect and the Source he now has a special connection to the machines outside of the Matrix in the real world. The Oracle also warns Neo that Smith, the Agent programme that Neo once destroyed, but who is now spreading and replicating himself throughout the entire Matrix by assimilating everyone and everything in it, the Oracle warns that if Smith takes over the Matrix he will also take over the Machine City and all machines. The Oracle states that the war between machines and humans will end one way or another and that everything that has a beginning has an end. When Neo leaves the Oracle, a group of Smiths arrive and one of them copies himself and assimilates the Oracle and this Oracle-Smith becomes the most powerful program in the Matrix.
With the Matrix being taken over by Smiths and the machines about to attack and destroy the last human city of Zion Neo decides the best way to end the war is to visit the Machine City, which is something no one has ever done. Neo’s lover Trinity chooses to help Neo on his suicide machine. The Machine City is defended by thousands of sentinels. Due to Neo’s newfound ability to connect with the machines Neo is able to stop a lot of the sentinels, but not all of them. Trinity takes the ship up through electrical storm clouds, which take out the sentinels attacking the ship, but the clouds also take out the ships power. The ship crash lands in the Machine City and unfortunately Trinity doesn’t survive the crash. Neo makes a deal with the machines that he will destroy Smith saving the Matrix in exchange for peace between man and machine. The machines agree and they hook Neo up to the Matrix where he takes on Oracle-Smith in an epic superman-like battle to decide the fate of man and machine. Oracle-Smith and Neo appear to be exact opposites of each other cancelling out and returning each other’s moves over and over. When Oracle-Smith appears to have the upper hand he says, ‘everything that has a beginning has an end, Neo.’ Neo remembers this earlier statement from the Oracle and has a sudden realisation – that he will never win by force because he must surrender to the inevitable – the ending of his own life. Neo lets Smith assimilate him. Oracle-Smith is relieved and the new Neo-Smith just smiles. However, the Smiths don’t know that Neo’s body is hooked up to the Matrix by the machines. The machines send a powerful signal through Neo’s body into the Matrix that destroys not just Neo-Smith, but Oracle-Smith and every other Smith in the Matrix returning every human and program back to normal except for Neo who gave up his body and his mind to save both man and machine. Without the Oracle, without Trinity, without his fellow man, and without the machines Neo would not have been able to defeat Smith and bring about peace.
A quote from the movie:
“If you tell me we’ll make it, I’ll believe you. –We’ll make it.”
So what’s the lesson and common theme I’m focusing on in these four movies?
The protagonist, the hero they’re down and out about to lose the fight, the battle, the war, or their life. But there is always someone else there to help them, to support them, to give them the strength and the courage to keep fighting, to keep moving forward, and to do the right thing. The hero never wins alone, but by working together with family and friends and even former enemies, by working together as a team the hero always saves the day.
So how can you work together with the people in your life to reach your dreams and to help other people reach theirs?
Before you can connect and understand and support and love another person you must first fully connect and understand and support and love yourself. This goes back to part 1 where I talked about the universal lesson of self-belief. You have to believe that you have everything you need already to succeed. A daily affirmation practise is a great way to build up this self-belief. Ultimately this self-belief creates a connection and understanding of yourself. Knowing thyself is a huge step in being able to love thyself and loving your own being in all your forms physical, sexual, emotional, mental, and spiritual, loving all of these is a pre-requisite before you can love another. You can only give what you got and if you haven’t got love to give yourself then you haven’t got love to give to someone else.
Another critical step to working with others to achieve awesomeness is to be here now, in the present moment. This is the universal lesson I talked about in part 2 about self-acceptance. If you’re still battling demons and dragons from your past it’s going to be impossible to keep your mind on the task at hand that’s right in front of you, right now in this moment. That’s not to say that you cannot function in the world if you’re still dealing with issues in your past, but you will be functioning well below your potential. Psychotherapy, Emotional Freedom Technique, and doing awareness exercises, learning how your past is affecting your behaviour today are three ways to help you accept your past, accept who you are now, and this makes it a lot easier to be with other people where they are on their journey and to accept people for who they are now in this moment.
When you believe in your own abilities and know who are in this moment you create a more authentic connection to the people in your life. No longer are you wanting or bargaining for something from someone else because you already know whatever it is you need you got within you. No longer are you blaming or projecting past hurts on other people because you’ve accepted your past for what it was and now in this moment you get to choose how you respond to the events in your life.
With belief and acceptance of self you begin to believe and accept other people as well allowing you to be with them like you’ve never been with them before and with true honest, open, authentic relationships you can work together with the people in your life as a powerful awesome single-minded team with the same dream and the same goal and the same passion for life.
Here’s a quote from Helen Keller who was a very awesome enabler of other people despite having physical disabilities of her own:
“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.”
Think about the greatest sports teams of all time. They became great working together. Same dream, same mission, same goal. Even in individual sports champions win with the support of their coach, family, and friends. Think about war. People will live and die not for themselves, but for their country and will do so side-by-side with their fellow countrymen with the same dream, the same goal, and the same mission. Think about life on Earth. Without the sun we’d still be a bunch of molecules leftover from a previous star explosion just swirling around aimlessly in space. The sun created the Earth and the Earth is home to the soil and the sea and the soil and sea are the mother and the father to all life on Earth.
I’ll leave you with this thought.
Like Kevin in the Home Alone movie there will be times where you just want to be alone because other people especially those closest to you will get on your nerves. This my friend is inevitable. Just promise yourself one thing though. Never stay too long in this alone time. Seeking to be alone is fine. We all need time-outs every now and then. But to stay alone for too long can lead to feelings of loneliness. Keep your time-outs short and sweet, but don’t live there.
Even if you feel lonely you are never, and I mean ever, alone. If you find yourself constantly, consistently feeling lonely, down in the dumps, sad and depressed with life you are not alone. There are millions and millions of other people around the world thinking and feeling the exact same way you are. Feeling lonely, down on life, feeling sad and depressed, millions with different stories and different situations are having the exact same mental and emotional reactions, responses, and patterns in their bodymind that you are experiencing. So if you turn into Mr or Ms Lonely more often then you care to admit, remember you are not alone. There’s a whole bunch of people out there just like you going through a similar process, a similar experience.
We are all in this game of life together. Even if you say to yourself you have nobody and that you are all alone and no one has your back remember this universal lesson – there’s always someone there willing to give you a lending hand, whether they be family, a friend, or a complete stranger, if you’re open to receiving it.
And as Al Green sings:
“Let’s stay together… whether times are good or bad, happy or sad.”
Links and Resources
- WGP 042: Universal Lessons in Film – Self-Belief
- WGP 043: Universal Lessons in Film – Self-Acceptance
- Kung Fu Panda 3 on IMDB
- Home Alone on IMDB
- Star Wars: Return of the Jedi on IMDB
- The Matrix Revolutions on IMDB