A few years ago a good friend and me got together to watch The Neverending Story, a shared childhood favorite. We were ecstatic, planning the occasion for a week. Pizza, soda, and other childhood novelties accompanied our adventure into childlike wonder and excitement.
We popped the movie in with great anticipation. 15 minutes rolled by and we scratched heads. We remembered it being much better and looking much cooler. Just wait though - we reminded ourselves of an upcoming scene. The scene would soon arrive, and again disappointment struck.
The movie didn't look as cool and feel as cool enchanting us into ecstatic fantastical pleasure. Damn! With today's cinematic technology and storymaking means, the awkward special effects of the 80s, though amazing then, don't compare to today. Even films of the 90s (have you seen Jurassic Park lately, yawn) don't compare. In reflecting on this recently, I remembered again that things are never as good or bad as we experience them and things are typically not as good or bad as we remember them.
When I first saw The Neverending Story, I was of coursed enchanted. I was 9 and the princess was supremely hot. For a boy that was entirely interested in mysticism and fantasy, myth and magic, and girls, it was a fantastic film incorporating live action, animation and claymation - wow it was a special effects masterpiece. And I wanted to be Bastian so bad - sort of nerdy, bookish and misplaced, he saved a universe from complete destruction. Things have clearly changed, and some things haven't (I still identify with Bastian).
Though the movie didn't look and feel as cool there are some interesting philosophically poignant moments, namely the title. One thing that we can now intuit in Spirit and Cosmos, in enlightenment and freedom is the ever-unfolding story of self, culture and nature - the ever unfolding state of enlightenment itself.
I loved the sense of possibility the film created in me as a child - the idea that a story never ends. This is still exciting for me today - the idea that the story of our experience, the story of my experience and the story of the Cosmos will never end, and wonderfully we can participate in this story.
There is never a point to anything, including this universe. The point is what you perceive in certain terms, and in other terms the unfolding and evolving nature of these perceptions create the ultimate point - the collective point. However, an important and transformative point is that your story and our story will never end and that we can absolutely participate in the unfolding of our own stories.
An advaita vedanta realization brings us to the beginning of the story of each moment. It shows us that there is no story. A tantric, Kashmir Saivistic, realization shows us that the no-story and the story are both aspects of an unfolding universe and that we are one with this universe. We are one with the story and free from the story.
These two realizations are essential to freedom. However, there is a third and ever more poignant realization: the integral awakening. The integral awakening instills within us a unity with the unfolding and evolving Cosmos and Divine. One with the Cosmos and Divine, we evolve the Cosmos and Divine.
Just like the story, The Neverending Story, our story constantly marches on as each of us author it. March on, Bastian, the Empress awaits.
Kristoffer Nelson | Krama Consulting & Development, Inc. | kramaconsulting.com