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Chris Kelvin Profile
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The Irrational Passion (or why we exist)


“Man has been turned loose from religion and has hailed the death of his gods. Man in the twentieth century has been cut adrift in a rudderless boat on an uncharted sea: if he is going to stay sane throughout the voyage, he must have something to care about, something that is more important than himself.” Stanley Kubrick, 1968

Why do we exist?

I believe that every human being has a purpose in life. Why? I don’t know. If everyone would listen to his inner voice and acts on what he feels then his pupose is going to be fulfilled. The problem is that most people (certainly in this modern civilisation) have lost contact with their inner self. I believe every person has an “irrational passion.” Something he feels deep within himself, makes him happy and makes life meaningfull. If only people could have a chance to do the things they want to do.

Chris Kelvin
9/29/2003, 12:20 pm Link to this post Send Email to Chris Kelvin   Send PM to Chris Kelvin
 
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Re: The Irrational Passion (or why we exist)


If truly meaningful living ever existed it must have certainly occurred where there is a collective who all believe the same thing, and little contamination from outside from contradictory ideas and belief systems. The man whose "irrational passion" consists of sitting in front of the "glass teat" every night eating Doritos and cookie dough icecream would surely enjoy his life more if he could do the same thing, even though it's ludicrous, with other people at the same time. How this can be achieved in this day and age, I don't know. It's a thing of the past.

Could you describe the "inner voice" stuff more?

Matthew

P.S. And are we the only ones here? emoticon




9/30/2003, 6:57 am Link to this post  
 
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The Inner Voice


The “inner voice” is man’s intuition. This is how I believe the authors of the film “Return to Light: a spiritual odyssey” made their film. A filmmaker like Robert Bresson also worked through his intuition: he tried to get rid of reason while he was shooting his films. Intuition is a very powerfull thing and a lot of people just don’t follow this. They have put there faith in the intellect and emotions. By letting yourself guide by your intuition you can be capable of things (an act, a creation, for me this is art) that didn’t thought you had inside you. Intuition can help you in many ways and you should respect that. Intuition is a spiritual reciever and mediator. This is why I believe spiritual art is capable of awakening people.

Some thoughts:

I think man has alienated himself from his natural invironment. He constantly destroys it in order to obtain power and get rid of all fears that are natural to life. Even the fear of death, because today we can delay this. Science takes the quest for truth very literal: he goes into space, he dissects the human body,.... If a person is searching for truth or spirituality, then this has to be achieved not by searching, but through awakening. I believe the awakening must come first in order to rise upwards. This awakening is provoked by beauty, art, some traggic event that happens in a person’s life. Something that provokes the soul in a deep way. It has to come from the outside. Then the human being becomes conscience of life, beauty, suffering, cruelty and death. This is something hard to recognize because most people choose to be blind. They deny their true selfs, and so never achieve peace and spirituality. People have this denfence mechanism for anything uncomfortable. And this first provocation from the outside is very uncomfortable because it confronts people with their own lives. So in order to have a spiritual rebirth people must confront themselves and most important they mustn’t deny themselves and what they feel, even if it is uncomfortable. I don’t think most of the people can achieve this, that’s why I don’t believe in a collective spiritual rebirth. Every individual must achieve this by himself: alone. Other things, people, art or events can only help another person towards spiritual awakening by provoking the soul of this person. It’s an “inciting incident” from the outside.

Being spiritual has a lot to do with another way of living (the voyage). Having compassion, help people, don’t judge, forgive, feeling one with nature,... This is a first step. The rest will come naturally if you keep listening to your inner voice.

So I think a collective rebirth is only possible:
I refer here to the story that Alexander tells his son at the beginning of “The Sacrifice” by Tarkovsky.
“Come here and give me a hand, my boy! Once upon a time, long ago, an old monk lived in an orthodox monastery. His name was Pamve. And once he planted a barren tree on a mountainside just like this. Then he told his young pupil, a monk named Joann Kolov, that he should water the tree each day until it came to life. Put a few stones there, will you? Anyway, early every morning Joann filled a dipper with water and went out. He climbed up the mountains and watered the withered tree and in the evening when darkness had fallen he returned to the monastery. He did this for three years. And one fine day, he climbed up the mountain and saw that the whole tree was covered with blossoms. Say what you will, but a method, a system, has its virtues.
You know, sometimes I say to myself, if every single day, at exactly the same stroke of the clock, one were to perform the same single act, like a ritual, unchanging, systematic, every day at the same time, the world would be changed. Yes, something would change. It would have to!”
So if each individual could be spiritually awakened, then one day you could have a collective spiritual rebirth. But first we have to walk through the valleys of darkness.

Oké, maybe not everybody has this irrational passion. But what is a passion anyway? It is this intuitive thing that goes inside you that makes your body tremble. And suddenly everything makes sense of the world and what your purpose is here on earth. It makes you feel selfsecured. This passion tells you what you have to do. Some people create art, others help other people,...
And I think if someone feels this passion inside him he must do everything to let himself guide by it.

Chris Kelvin

9/30/2003, 11:03 am Link to this post Send Email to Chris Kelvin   Send PM to Chris Kelvin
 
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Re: The Inner Voice


I'll have to give this careful consideration before responding.

Matthew
9/30/2003, 10:45 pm Link to this post  
 
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A Quote from Andrei Tarkovsky


A quote from the book “Sculpting in time” by Andrei Tarkovsky.
(for educational purposes only).

“It seems to me that the individual today stands at a crossroads, faced with the choice of whether to persue the existence of a blind consumer, subject to the implacable march of new technology and the endless multiplication of material goods, or to seek out a way that will lead to spiritual responsibility, a way that ultimately might mean not only his personal salvation but also the saving of society at large; in other words, to turn to God. He has to resolve this dilemma for himself, for only he can discover his own sane spiritual life.”

Chris Kelvin.
10/1/2003, 3:28 pm Link to this post Send Email to Chris Kelvin   Send PM to Chris Kelvin
 
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Re: The Inner Voice


I agree with the gist of what you say, but there are some points I'd still like to make.

I don't deny the importance of intuition, but it would be equally foolish to deny the importance of rational thought and the systems of scientific research, philosophy, history, medicine, and innovation. Although not using the rational aspects of the mind is unavoidable in the first place, without it we cannot articulate what it is we believe or think for the benefit of others, or even for ourselves. Articulation is also needed to make art, unless one's art is on the level of a Jackson Pollack intuition-bound painting. Intuition without reason can lead one astray, since we are just as attracted to evil or wrongful things in life as we are to the good.

It may be true that the kind of spiritual seeking you speak of is best achieved on the individual level without the contamination of collective behavior and thought. However, advanced civilization is required to sustain this kind of individualism and freedom that we now take for granted. On the city-state, village and tribal level collectivism is a must for the society to survive and individual living of this kind is a rarity unless you are a member of an aristocracy or can manage to become a hermit ingenious enough to survive alone in the wilderness. So here you have "progress," science and technology to thank for your individualism and your ability to formulate your own personal spiritual journey. I don't mean to say that you are wrong in the way you live, but the catastrophic environmental destruction that occurs everyday which you speak of might be required for these luxuries. (Suddenly I think of "The Devil, Probably," now. It's these kind of paradoxes that may've led the film's protagonist to kill himself.) With me, I feel the urge, the intuition or irrational passion, to travel across the world once I have saved up enough money. I'm sure this will add something important to my life whether or not I articulate it as "spiritual seeking." But this requires cars and airplanes (or boats), very advanced technologies we would have never arrived at had we not taken this progressive and destructive journey. (It is true that traveling by foot is or used to be more rewarding than current methods of travel, which, like with the airplane, almost negate entirely the experience of a journey).

I don't make a distinction between physical and literal truths and the private, subjective sort. They both interrelate like a two-way street or a cable which both sends and receives information at the same time. Man has always been in awe of the beauty of the nighttime sky and only very recently have we set out to explore this primeval section of our environment, a section that, like fire, is a universal visual wonder of nature and is surely imbedded somewhere in our collective unconscious. Mere physical exploration can enlighten and affect the soul because the personal side of it is not necessarily left behind. A mountain climber appreciates both the beauty of the landscape and the fact that it took a great deal of his resolve, discipline, effort and luck to achieve his feats. I think introverted personalities and thinkers find greater satisfaction from personalized, spiritual journeys. Extroverts, which make up the majority, prefer using their body to explore the physical world and to socialize with the multitudes. I suspect the range of experiences and insight achieved with these differing styles is similar when taken to their greatest heights.

quote:

I believe the awakening must come first in order to rise upwards. This awakening is provoked by beauty, art, some traggic event that happens in a person’s life. Something that provokes the soul in a deep way. It has to come from the outside. Then the human being becomes conscience of life, beauty, suffering, cruelty and death. This is something hard to recognize because most people choose to be blind. They deny their true selfs, and so never achieve peace and spirituality. People have this denfence mechanism for anything uncomfortable. And this first provocation from the outside is very uncomfortable because it confronts people with their own lives. So in order to have a spiritual rebirth people must confront themselves and most important they mustn’t deny themselves and what they feel, even if it is uncomfortable.



I agree here. Perhaps some of our disagreements lie in semantics.

You're right that most people can't achieve what you speak of on their own, and that is no doubt the reason why most of us are wired to prefer collective spirituality led by gifted spiritual individuals.

Matthew
10/1/2003, 8:25 pm Link to this post  
 
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Le Diable Probablement


quote:

I don't deny the importance of intuition, but it would be equally foolish to deny the importance of rational thought and the systems of scientific research, philosophy, history, medicine, and innovation.



Unless these are consequences of a spiritual longing or need and are used in the most respectfull way: no influence of vanity and selfish reasons (wich is very unlikely in this modern age), I don't believe they can help in achieving a spiritual rebirth.

What I mean by the "individual" is not "individualism". It is not "I" against "the rest". What I mean is that a person can't search in another person's soul in order to have a spiritual rebirth. This person has to do it himself. Nobody can do it for him, because each person is different. If you search for it alone then you get also more convinced about it, because it was you who followed the path. It's your voyage. Then if you want you can share your experience with someone else, but you can only awaken them (if they want to be awakened) when the spirital void is already present in that person. But the search in it self they have to do on their own. They have to follow their own path.

On science and progress:
I believe humanity can achieve great things with it if they only could use it in the right way. Humanity has the capability to save itself. The mayor problem lies in the fact that science and other "thought forms" are used for selfish reasons, profit, money, vanity, material prosperity, a higher standart of living...
Science and progress in this modern age do more bad than good. I think science and progress are only good if they are again consequences of a spiritual longing.

About the physical search:
Again if this is done with the right motivation.
But I have to say that it was a huge disappointment when I studied film in school. In the beginning I was fascinated by the emotional and mysterious things it could achieve. By what effect it had on a viewer. And then I learned about how this was achieved. How they do it. The rational explanation behind it. Everything was explained: how to do this, that,... I was disappointed because for me the mystery was gone. Every secret was explained. It was only a few years later that I discovered that it could do completely different things. Things that weren't even fully explored yet (and maybe they can't be fully explored). These things kept me going, even today. I believe now, and I know this for sure, that film can capture what lies behind the surface of the world. But again this has to be done in the most serene way, without vanity and it must be explored in function to search for the spiritual. And not to make money, profit or for entertainment. This is the problem with all 'thought forms".
So first we must experience the awakening and change our way of thinking before we can explore things in order to find the truth.

Chris Kelvin.
10/2/2003, 10:34 am Link to this post Send Email to Chris Kelvin   Send PM to Chris Kelvin
 
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Re: The Irrational Passion (or why we exist)


I do not know what a spiritual awakening or a spiritual rebirth is. I have read about it a fair amount, I've seen others talk of it, even of their own experiences, and I usually assume there is something to it, that something wonderful is really happening to them. I say "usually," because if it is a matter of the individual like you say then I'd have to experience it myself. How could I know if I have a void in me, as a void is something one lacks, not has? A "spiritual longing" equals a quest that can never be completed on Earth, at least in this life, I say. Is there much use in the longing with that in mind, then? Most people seem to practice spiritual ignoring instead and many of them live reasonably happy lives so far as I can judge.

I desire instead a physical manifestation of God with a hand-delivered apology for the sorry condition he has left us in. This is not a complaint, because I do not suspect he is listening. He vacated the premises long, long ago and is no doubt on the far side of the universe creating more miserable creatures, or basking in the light of billions of suns, cocktail in hand. Yes, his thug smile seems to have left an imprint in our star-filled skies, though, and it says this to me: "these are the lands you damned know-nothings will never reach or comprehend no matter how tall of a tower you build, no matter how fast your spaceships go. Eternal envy of my power and knowledge is my gift to mankind. Bah humbug."

Matthew
10/2/2003, 10:27 pm Link to this post  
 
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Re: The Irrational Passion (or why we exist)


I can only tell you about my experiences, because for everyone this is different. For me personally I believe I had this “spiritual void” always inside me. I just wasn’t conscious about it. It was only later I realized humanity was on the wrong road. I could exactly tell what was wrong with it and this made me suffer. I felt it physically. And this was the void for me. It was the catalyst to search for something meaningfull. I read a lot of books, seen a lot of films and art, but most of them didn’t really satisfy me. But the things that did interest me were the works that were all about the same thing in essence. And what the most crazy things were was that the idea’s I had and things I had written (even when I was 14years old) had a lot of similarities. Some things I had written were decribed in these books and visualized in artfilms and paintings. This was a really weird experience. Eventually it gave me a lot of confidence, even when my idea’s were completely against of what I learned in school, what teachers said and what the general public stood for. I knew I was on the right way and this not only influenced the things I made, but also my way of life. I got conscious about it. I saw things more clearly. This was for me the awakening. It was like my whole life I had led so far was all pointed toward something I still I don’t completely understand and this awakening was just something that had to happen. It was all connected. (I know this all sounds very pretentious and I rather not talk about it, because a lot of people react on it in a negative way).
I think it also had a lot to do with my childhood which was far from normal. I have always been the outsider, the “strange guy that doesn’t talk much”, the one who didn’t belonged to a group of people. This was unconscious. I guess I was different and other people (even today) can’t live with that.
I think this awakening had also something to do with the death of my grandfather (also a catalysator). I guess I started to think a lot about life and death, what the value was of human life, what the meaning of life was, why people do what they do,...
All this led to a so called “awakening”. Now I see things more as they are, I understand them better. Although there are a lot of things I still want to explore. The awakening is just the beginning.

For me this “spiritual search” is something I have to do, it’s a part of my being. I have no choice, if I wouldn’t follow the path that lies in front of me that means I would ignore myself and what I feel. It even makes me more happy, alive, it gives meaning to my life.

About people ignoring the spiritual and still have happy lives:
For me this is something I don’t completely understand because “being spiritual” is the same as “deep living”. These people live on a certain level but are still blind or choose to be blind (and I accept that) for what life really is.
I try to avoid the experience that my dying grandfather had and which has much similarities with the story written by Leo Tolstoy “The Death of Ivan Ilyich”. The fact that one comes at the end of his life and realizes that the life he led wasn’t really real. I think many people may have such an awakening sooner or later. This certainly is a big confrontation to realize that the life you’ve lived so far is false. You must give value to everything again from the beginning. You must question everything all over again. This modern way of living doesn’t help people much. We are conditioned and are therefore prisoners of our own way of thinking.

God and the sacred is not somewhere up there in the sky. It’s everywhere. It’s in our selfs. In our natural invironment, it’s all around us. It’s life itself and we should respect that.
The condition “He” left us in is our own creation. Man has a free will you know.

Chris Kelvin

P.S.: Are we the only ones on this messageboard?
10/3/2003, 11:09 am Link to this post Send Email to Chris Kelvin   Send PM to Chris Kelvin
 
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Re: The Irrational Passion (or why we exist)


I appreciate your sharing this. I've lived often quiet and removed from the world and other people's lives. I'm not proud of this position. I wonder if I am not who I have believed myself to be all these years and whether I am not transforming into something new that could be better, or that could be worse. I keep in mind the deathbed sceneario, with my primary belief that experience is just as valuable and meaningful as knowledge. I have slowly been making a film of my grandparents, who are so wonderful, and a theme that has cropped up, intentionally or not, is what they can leave to prosperity and what wisdom they've gained. These are moments difficult to film because they usually come out at the times that would be the most uncomfortable to film, but it is a need that I pursue. I have other films I am writing that I will make one day. This is where spirituality lies for me and I suppose it is almost entirely a personal matter.

Matthew
10/4/2003, 1:18 am Link to this post  
 


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