Today I learned the biggest lesson in my life to date, and I learned it from a movie. But let me back up a bit. It actually started when I saw “The Matrix” in 1999. I remember sitting in the theater spellbound after the movie ended. I wanted so badly to plug into that world where amazing things were possible. Where everything was new, rules could be bent and invented. The mundane replaced by the surreal. I knew it was just a beautifully executed work of fiction, but I couldn’t help but feel there was some kernel of truth hidden inside. Some hint of attainability just nagged at the back of my mind. I never thought much more of it than that; just that it was a great movie.
Fast forward 10 years. After seeing Avatar I couldn’t stop thinking about it. Obviously the visual effects were groundbreaking. Amazing 3D and incredible CGI combined to affect an astounding visual aesthetic. But that’s not what stuck with me. It was the same sense I’d had after watching the Matrix. I desperately wanted to be able to transport myself into the experience of the Na’vi. Where I could feel alive and connected to all living things; command a powerful body of my own to jump through the trees; experience passionate, connected love; where every element of physical reality is heightened. I was chalking it up to another amazing movie and preparing to be slightly depressed that I could never be a Na’vi when I stumbled across this quote:
“Our body applies itself to space like a hand to aninstrument, and when we wish to move about we do notmove the body as we move an object. We transport itwithout instruments as if by magic, since it is ours andbecause through it we have direct access to space.”-Maurice Merleau-Ponty