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The Pythagorean doctrine prevails among the Gauls’ teaching that the souls of men are immortal, and that after a fixed number of years they will enter into another body.

A few days ago I had the pleasure of seeing “Cloud Atlas”.  It was such a complex, rich, and compelling story that is has taken me days just to digest it.  There is a lot for a Druid to get out of this film and it has sent my mind reeling down a hundred different paths at once.

To whet your appetite in case you haven’t seen it:

There are so many ways to view this story and that is one of the most brilliant aspects to the movie.  I am now dying to read the book, but I am sure that if I read it first I would have thought there was no way to encapsulate the story into one film and make it understandable.  Somehow, however, the directors pull it off.

The most compelling aspect to the movie for me was seeing what I am now calling, “the long development of the soul”.  Watching each character during the course of the movie wearing different clothes and faces, yet all with some essential element that is “them”.  You get to see the choices each one of them makes and the repercussions of each choice.  As each of the characters moves through each incarnation you see the tendencies of the choices they made in previous lives show in the current one.  In some characters like Adam Ewing (played by Jim Sturgess) these choices lead to greater virtue and liberation, in others like Lloyd Hooks (played by Hugh Grant) they end in selfish savagery.

What fascinates me about this portrayal is that is “feels” right.  Watching this movie was like some part of myself recognizing that choices I had made in past lives were still with me, shaping my tendencies and perceptions.  Every life gives us opportunities to radically alter our course and discover our uniqueness; our gift.  This movie tied in well with my work on the Book of the Weaver in that I could see the bindings present in all the characters and how some made choices that overcame them.

Zachary

Zachary

My favorite character was Zachary, played by Tom Hanks.  I could relate to the fear and doubt that plagued Zachary through his incarnations.  Evil, in my opinion, does not exist out there.  Evil is a story we tell ourselves, a story that twists our actions and makes us act out of fear.  I think we have all been there; the gods know I have.  But what I loved about Zachary was how his love for the people in his life shaped him and made him more and more true to himself.  All the while dealing with his own demons (externalized as Old Georgie, brilliantly played by Hugo Weaving), past tendencies, and fears.  Like in all great stories it is love that saves this character and propels him to new worlds.

Seeing the drama of each character and how each one of them developed really gave me a great excuse to sit down and think about my past, my bindings, and what choices are best for me.  Old Georgie is well known to me; and learning to live free of that influence is one of my highest hopes for this life.  I wonder sometimes if without Seership, Orion, Druidism, my Ancestors, and my Gods if I would even be aware that he was there?

I highly recommend this film to those who have not seen it.  Be prepared for a complex story, great acting, gorgeous music by M83 (one of my favorite bands), and weepy eyes.  It is so nice to see a movie that reminds me of the “long development of the soul”.

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