Past Forward: Get the Key to Your Future

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"All of Life is in the Movies"
Movies have a way of touching our hearts and our lives in the way books and music alone do not. Movies bring fascinating people to life and make us experience things through their eyes that we would never get a chance to do otherwise.

Movies spread the panorama of the past before us, giving us insights and awareness that used to be enjoyed by only kings and philosophers. These are the best of the "spiritual movies"...
So break out the popcorn!

Please note these are my personal selections and do not reflect the views of "management" or the opinions of anyone other than myself. Where there is more than one movie listed in the group, I listed them in the order that I liked them.

1> The Best at Portraying Reincarnation
...... On a Clear Day You Can See Forever (with Barbra Streisand)
...... Patton (with George C. Scott)

"On a Clear Day You Can See Forever" was the first movie about the subject of reincarnation that I ever saw and it inspired me to learn more about past lives. It remains one of the finest depictions of how past life memories surface. When the hypnotherapist tries to cure his patient of smoking, her memories as a past life psychic start flowing. The crucial moment of that past life is the first to emerge. Then, over many sessions, she relives her past life from the beginning to its tragic end. Although her past life self loses everything for love, she regrets nothing because she has lived fully a life rich in experience... and in passionate love.

"Patton" was the first movie that made me aware of my military past lives. General Patton was convinced that he was the eternal soldier where he "fought in many guises, many names, but always me." In the movie, when Patton revisited the ancient city of Carthage (in North Africa), it gave me goosebumps. Like Patton, I too had fought and died in Carthage. Since "military types", like Patton and I, tend to acquire more
wounds during our past life journeys, we tend to connect with our cycles of reincarnation (and our immortality as Soul) more readily than others.

2> The Best at Portraying Past Life Healing
...... Dead Again (with Kenneth Branagh)
...... Yesterday's Children (with Jane Seymour)

"This is far from over..." is the prophetic line that opens "Dead Again" and is spoken by a convicted murderer who we come to learn was innocent. "Dead Again" is a perfect story of karma because it shows how life gives us all a second chance at love... and at justice. As a woman who struggles to regain her memory is healed... she remembers a past life cut short by tragedy. As the history unfolds, it becomes clear that the key players have been drawn together... again. Justice prevails and the love that was cut short in the past... is given new life in the present.

Love never dies even when people do. A woman haunted by memories and dreams of a previous life in Ireland finds herself compelled to see if they could be true. When she researches her visions, she finds the town and the family she had belonged to in a past life. She had loved "yesterday's children" deeply and was heart broken to have died very young. Her worry about their fates in the past had driven her desire to reconnect with them in the present. Although the children were now adults, they had grown apart. Their love for her was the only force to reunite them. She helped them to reconcile just before they died and left for their new lives.

3> The Best at Portraying Time Travel for Love
...... Somewhere in Time (with Christopher Reeve)
...... Two Worlds of Jennie Logan (with Lindsay Wagner)

Love is the most powerful force in the universe. Love can transcend everything... even time. "Somewhere in Time" is the story of a love created by a time paradox. An old woman gives a pocket watch to a young man and asks him to come back to her. The young man later sees a picture of that old woman when young... that seems to be smiling at him. When, by a miracle, he travels back to the past, he discovers that she was smiling at him when the photo was shot. In the space of a few days, they share a love that binds each of them to one another for eternity.

An old lace dress left in an otherwise empty attic is the means by which a woman, Jennie Logan, travels to the past. Each time she wears it, she goes back to the Victorian era. Jennie starts to fall in love with the time period and a young artist that she keeps on meeting. Gradually, as she travels between her "two worlds", the past becomes Jennie's real life and the present loses it hold. To save the man she loves, Jennie makes the choice to stay in the past so she can experience real happiness.

4> The Best at Portraying Future Creation
...... Frequency (with Jim Caveziel)
...... Groundhog Day (with Bill Murray)
...... Sliding Doors (with Gwyneth Paltrow)

"Frequency" shows how time really works. The past, the present, and the future are all connected. A police officer, who lost his father when young, reconnects to him through an old radio. Knowing how his father died, the police man saves his life... at a tragic cost. Now it is his mother who dies. Yet, while the connection between them is open, he and his father do all in their power to save his mother. In so doing, they bring an evil criminal to justice... and reveal how love creates our best future.

"Groundhog Day" shows how
karma really works. A man keeps reliving the same day - "Groundhog Day" - over and over again. What he does with this immortality - at first - is to try tricks and traps to win the woman he loves... and this fails. So he sets about a journey through his chakras. At first, it is all about himself: how he explores sex, money, and power (or the Root, Sacral, and Stomach chakras). When he can no longer stand himself, he finds he cannot kill himself... so he decides to embrace his situation. He learns to play the piano. He does good deeds. He becomes everyone's favorite person (living from his Throat, Heart, Brow, and Crown chakras). In so doing, he becomes the man of his woman's dreams... and his sterling character wins her. This finally breaks the cycle of repeating days.

"Sliding Doors" shows how
life potentials work. A woman's future follows two different paths. One is the higher path where she attracts a better man and a more empowering career because she chooses to value herself more highly. The other is the lower path where she continues with a sleazy man and takes menial jobs to support him in his laziness. As she explores these different paths, the woman learns about her true power and strength. When her paths reconnect, she rejects the sleazy man and re-attracts the man we already know can love her truly and deeply.

5> The Best at Portraying Nature's Power
...... Perfect Storm (with George Clooney)
...... Twister (with Helen Hunt)
...... An Inconvenient Truth (with Al Gore)

Having sailed the ocean in fragile wooden ships, I too have experienced mile-high rogue waves like those depicted in "The Perfect Storm" movie. The memorable moment for me was when the camera starts up high over the storms and descends upon the ship. The huge, mighty storm's raw fury is perfectly shown as is the scale of the tiny, wooden ship compared to it. The bravery and the arrogance of men who believed they could conquer the irresistible force of the big waves and the immoveable tides of the sea haunts me... because I used to be one of those men.

"Twister" opens on a man who is sucked up into the funnel of a monster tornado. That happened to me in a past life... and I know the upward ride feels like you are surfing the air. Yet when the winds stop or when you are thrown into the eye of the hurricane... you fall far and fast. Cars, cattle, and condos tossed into the air are not just special effects. When they happen in real life, they are truly terrifying. My wish for everyone is to just see such things in the movies and never to experience them.

"An Inconvenient Truth" is that
global warming is now our tragic reality. I live near Washington's Crossing State Park. I was taught in school that one of the men who fell out of Washington's boat and into the Delaware River was frozen to death very quickly. The Delaware River has not frozen in my lifetime. In fact, the much higher temperatures have killed off many of the species of plants and animals who used to inhabit the river. Now New Jersey-Pennsylvania has experienced temperatures as high as those in Arizona where I was born. Everyone should see this documentary and do what they can to lessen their pollution imprint on the planet.

6> The Best at Portraying Human Willpower
...... Gattaca (with Ethan Hawke)
...... Shawshank Redemption (with Tim Robbins)
...... Dolores Claiborne (with Kathy Bates)

"Gattaca" portrays a futuristic society where you can only be what your genes have made you. Yet there are those with perfect genes who manage to screw up... and those with imperfect genes whose will is so strong that they must use it to beat the system. The truth is "there is no gene for the human spirit!" This story is about an "imperfect" man with a heart condition who "borrows" the genetic material of a perfect genetic screw up to live the life of his dreams. His success is inspirational.

"Shawshank Redemption" is the story of an innocent man who is imprisoned. Karma teaches that there are no innocent prisoners: those who are serving time are working off past life karma where they escaped human justice. There is a saying shown often in the prison - "His Judgment Cometh and that Right Soon" - which proves to be true as karma comes full circle for all the people in this prison drama. The main character, Andy Dufresne, shows how patience, persistence, and perseverance can create miracles in one's life as well as in the lives of others.

"Dolores Claiborne" is the story of a woman who sacrifices her life first to protect her daughter and next to protect her life-long employer. Dolores' is a story of a truly heroic individual who makes it possible for her gifted daughter to escape the poverty and ignorance that had trapped her. Out of love and affection, she stays by her bed-ridden employer and only friend. Dolores seems gruff and mean spirited on the outside... but she is proof that a person should be judged mainly by what they do rather than by what they say. By that standard, Dolores is a genuine hero.

7> The Best at Portraying Human Ingenuity
...... Voyage Home (with Leonard Nimoy)
...... Wrath of Khan (with William Shatner)
...... Out of Time (with Denzel Washington)

What if humans have already destroyed their future by their wanton demolition of other Earth species? When aliens search for whales who have long since been extinct and start destroying the planet in the process, it falls to Kirk & Company to solve the problem. They must go to the past, retrieve some whales, return them to the future, and hope that the old whales can tell the new aliens to go away. Even though the plot seems bizarre, the "Voyage Home" is about manifestation. Having a bold plan and trusting that the details to carry it out will unfold when needed is what makes their plan work. This kind of human ingenuity is also what makes life work.

Even in the "no-win scenario" there are "always alternatives" for those who rely on their human ingenuity as Kirk does to resolve the "Wrath of Khan" crisis. An evil genetically engineered superman from the past, who Kirk had stranded on untamed planet as punishment for past crimes, escapes. Seeking revenge, the criminal Khan, manages to strand Kirk & Company on another forgotten planet. It takes the combined ingenuity of Kirk and Spock to help the crew not only to return to the Starship Enterprise but to channel a destructive weapon into creating new life.

"Out of Time" showcases the non-stop ingenuity of police chief of a small town in staying one step ahead of an investigation where he should be the prime suspect. Although he is innocent, the Chief must solve the mystery of a murder while trying to avoid being wrongfully accused of it. Using his knowledge and the help of his friend, the Chief gets to the bottom of the tangled situation before he is out of time.

8> The Best at Portraying Alternate Futures
...... The Adjustment Bureau (with Matt Damon)
...... Next (with Nicolas Cage)
...... Paycheck (with Ben Affleck)
...... Impostor (with Gary Sinise)

What all these movies have in common is that they were based on the work of Philip K. Dick who was constantly imagining the future.

That love is the most powerful force in the universe is a message that cannot be repeated often enough. When two individuals - who had once been destined for one another - meet, they feel a powerful attraction. Yet, because their life plan had been changed, those from the "Adjustment Bureau" become determined to keep them apart... and on track with the new plan. Yet "when something feels so right that it cannot be wrong", the couple, who know their love is true, risk everything to be together. So it is the plan that must be changed to honor such a daring love. The "honoring of the heart" is also what drives the Philip Dick movie, "Impostor" (with Gary Sinise), and another loving, committed couple who face adversity together.

"The future changes when you look at it... because you looked at it" is the wisdom of the "golden man" who can see the future. "Next" is the story of a man who can see what will happen in the next few minutes. Winning at the casino, staying one step ahead of its security guards to make his escape, and running a real magic act are just some of the things the "golden man" can do. Yet what extends his vision is love for the woman of his dreams which draws him to the place and time of their meeting. It is this deep abiding love that enables him to save the world from a terrorist attack. Love again proves to be the most powerful force in the universe.

What would be worth giving up a
$90 million paycheck for 19 unimportant items? Why saving the future from falling into the hands of greedy and unscrupulous men! That is the challenge for the reverse engineer who creates a machine that can see the future... and predicts its destruction. To save the world, our hero engineer looks into the future and gives himself 19 items that he will need to navigate it... after his memory of how he created the machine is erased. This is the ultimate metaphor for how we come into each new life with all past life memories... gone! Yet we leave ourselves "Paycheck Clues" about our past lives... that are needed to help us better manage our lives now and to create the future we desire... and deserve.

9> The Best at Portraying Human Discernment
...... Signs (with Mel Gibson)
...... The Happening (with Mark Wahlberg)
...... Knowing (with Nicolas Cage)

What if crop circles were signs of an "imminent danger" of alien invasion? When a farmer's crops are deformed into circles, it is the first of many such "Signs" that something serious may be happening. The farmer's family reads these "Signs" correctly and pulls together to fight back against the aliens. In the process, the farmer regains his faith in God and heals his bitterness over his wife's accidental death. This is a much more accurate and empowering depiction of how guidance works than in the "Sixth Sense" movie. "Signs", in whatever form, are meant to help and guide us in gentle, encouraging (non-scary and non-threatening) ways.

What if humans have become a threat to the Earth... and it chose to fight back? To save the life of himself and his family, a science teacher must apply the scientific method to determine what is "Happening" as masses of people are killing themselves while outdoors. He discerns that plants are bio-chemically attacking people when they are gathered in together in groups. It is this "hypothesis" that helps them to survive while others die... it is the triumph of human discernment.

What if you had the scary "Knowing" that the end of the world was coming? A mathematician receives a "letter" from the past filled with a string of numerical sequences. Curiousity compels him to decode the letter which he discovers contains the dates, times, and locations of future catastrophies. The tragedies continue to unfold as the letter predicts, heading to the final one: the end of the world. Sometimes "Knowing" about the future is a terrible burden in the present.

10> The Best at Portraying Karmic Retribution
...... Enron: Smartest Guys in the Room (with Alex Gibney)
...... Deliver Us from Evil (with Oliver O'Grady)

"Enron" Smartest Guys in the Room" is the only documentary I have ever seen that is as entertaining as a movie. It is the story of the pride, arrogance, and greed that led to one of the biggest corporate bankruptcies in US history. Executives Ken Lay and Jeffrey Skilling, the chief architects of the fraudulent accounting practices which led to the demise of their Enron company, reaped the financial bad karma they inflicted on their employees. Ken Lay lost his fortune and then his life. Jeffrey Skilling lost his fortune: he was tried, imprisoned, and slapped with heavy fines.

"Deliver Us from Evil" is a documentary about pedophile priest, Oliver O'Grady. His is the classic tale of what happens when individuals are not held accountable for their criminal actions. Early on in his career, O'Grady asked for help with his sexual addiction to children... and seemed genuinely remorseful for his first transgressions. Yet, when O'Grady did not get help for his problem and kept being transferred to fresh places by the Catholic Church, he devolved into a hardened, unrepentant sexual predator. If O'Grady had been stopped in his first parish, then he could not have harmed legions of children in the assignments that followed. O'Grady will repay all that suffering in his next life and the scales of karma will be balanced.

Bonus: The Best at Portraying Personal Viewpoint
...... The Informant! (with Matt Damon)
...... Truman Show (with Jim Carrey)
...... The Rich Man's Wife (with Halle Berry)
...... The Usual Suspects (with Kevin Spacey)

"The Informant!" is a movie about a Munchausen-esque compulsive liar who, ironically, only tells the truth about real corporate price fixing - so there! Mark Whitacre tells such convincing lies about his past... that everyone believes them! It even takes years for his tale of his parentage to be revealed as a lie (Mark claimed he was adopted by a rich man when the truth was that his birth parents raised him). The most remarkable thing about Whitacre was - when it should have been clear to everyone that he was a compulsive liar - people kept on believing him! This is the triumph of an individual conveying an utterly convincing personal viewpoint.

"We will accept the reality we are presented with!" is the explanation given by the director of "The Truman Show" for why its star is unaware that he is living inside a television show. This is the reverse of the personal viewpoint: it is a collective view where everyone - except the central character - knows the truth. Everyone around him conspires to keep Truman trapped inside his fantasy world. Yet, the human spirit longs to be free and Truman slowly discovers the reality of his situation. When he does, Truman leaves his tiny world in search of a better more loving reality.

When a rich man dies and his wife is linked to deaths of several other men, she falls under police investigation. She starts weaving a tale that totally explains - from her point of view - what happens and why. She seems so sweet and innocent that her rather improbable tale of how her husband and these other men died... starts drawing the officers in. She accounts for every detail - that the police can verify - and seems so grief-stricken that the officers want to believe her. If only there was one other witness... that could finally verify the tale told by the "rich man's wife"... Such a witness miraculously appears! You believe the "rich man's wife" until... you find out that the she and the "witness" were working together the entire time! Turns out the "rich man's wife" was not innocent: such is the power of personal viewpoint!

A ship bursts into flames. "The Usual Suspects" are rounded up for interrogation. A well known criminal mastermind is rumored to be behind it. The real problem - "who is Keyser Söze?" - is that no one knows what Söze looks like... or where he is. One of his lower level flunkies is questioned closely and the fantastical tale of intrigue and murder unfolds before the dazzled police officers. The interconnected details the flunky reveals explain the fascinating and bizarre series of events leading to the deaths of several of Söze's henchmen. All questions but one - "who is Keyser Söze?" - are answered and the flunky is released. As he leaves, one police officer examines the bulletin board the flunky had stared at as he spoke. All of a sudden the officer realizes the flunky has used the pictures there to spin his tale... and that he was speaking with the real Söze all along - personal viewpoint!



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