Last week I wrote a post about the film ‘Dr. Strange’ – about how much I liked it, especially in the context of the way it depicts MAGIC. I also pointed out some of the shortcomings of the manner in which this topic is addressed in the film. After many have read that post and I received many questions and comments about the film – about both its strong sides and its shortcomings – I will dedicate this post to a couple of key elements which unfortunately take this film in a very bad direction.
- Warning: spoilers -
Indeed, this film deftly approaches the topic of MAGIC – of the possibilities that open before us when we utilize more fully the Human Technology which is at our disposal (about this – read the previous post entitled ‘WHAT IS NOT SO STRANGE about Dr. Strange’). However, Human Technology, like any form of technology, is neither good nor bad – it is neutral. It can be used in constructive or destructive ways. The film makes a couple of choices, which subtle and hard to notice as they may be for some, are none the less taking the application of the principles presented in this movie into a disharmonious and a possibly destructive direction. These unfortunate choices are actually fundamental dilemmas that many spiritual practitioners who aim to better themselves face often on their path – and so we would benefit from understanding these.
First priority – transform yourself
The conscious and deliberate accessing and mastering of our Human Technology awakens many possibilities which until then were only latent potentials in our being. These may manifest as growing wisdom or as greater power.
The practitioner on the path of true spirituality aims to first awaken wisdom in order to better understand ourselves – our deep needs and desires, our weaknesses, our limitations, our fears and our hopes and Ideals. Then he\she uses the power which he/she have awakened in order to harmonize the inner tensions, to remove traumas and blockages, to overcome fears and transcend desires. Doing this, he/she become truly in harmony with the universe, and become quite naturally an agent of harmony in the Universe.
In contrast, in this film, the protagonist is aiming in the first place to develop power (while wisdom is almost forgotten) and is directing this power towards effecting the world around him and not to transform himself for the better. As a consequence – we do not see a profound transformation in the character of the hero. At the beginning of the film he is proud about his skills as a doctor and about him saving others, and at the end of the film he is proud about his skills as a magician and about him saving others through magic.
This may have great consequences. Many aspirants wish to rush and ‘save the world’ – even before saving themselves. What they do not realize is that before we have solved our inner conflicts and won our inner battles we are still a part of the problem, not the solution. Any attempt on our part to help the world would be a manifestation of a mixture of our good intentions scrambled up with some of our fears and desires. And so we are just as likely to harm as we are to help. It doesn’t mean we should not try at all to help the world till we are ‘perfect’ – on the contrary, we should certainly aim to help, but this should be while we constantly work on harmonizing ourselves and the inner work should have the first priority.
What about God?
Another very important mistake through omission in this film as the fact that God is totally absent. In the film we explore many realms – but is never asked who created them. We learn about Natural Laws and how to harness them – but are never told who designed these laws.
The film even goes one step further and replaces God by someone else. You see, the film does cast as main villain a ‘Satan-like’ entity. This entity is defeated at the end of the film by the protagonist – a man. But who is the one who is able to defeat the forces of Satan in scripture? God of course. So in this film, not only the God is absent, but He is replaced by Man himself. This is actually the mistake that many occult societies propagate today – the idea that God does not exist and that Man is the true God – he but only needs to awaken within him the Natural Powers that give him dominion over the Universe (just as Dr. Strange does).
We can ask – what is the harm in that? Well, if there is nothing superior to Man, then Man is the measure of all things. If Man decides something is good it is good and if he decides it is bad it is bad, there is no Universal scale of right and wrong, it is only relative. So one man who has ‘awakened his powers and considers himself enlightened or chosen’ can then use whatever power he gets his hands on to do whatever he thinks is right and he needs not answer to no one, not even to his own conscience. He may think that perhaps a few thousands should be sacrificed for the sake of millions – and believe that it is in his right to make this choice for all, since he is the chosen one. Does this sound familiar? This is the way all tyrants and mass murderers think. The road to hell is paved with good intentions. If we do not have a higher principle than ourselves it is very easy to stray off the narrow path of goodness.
Indeed this two is a dilemma often found on the path of Self-discovery. We should remember, we do not become great by ‘replacing God’, we become great by becoming like Him by uniting with him through love.
There are more elements which unfortunately take this film to disharmonious directions, I just mentioned the two which were the most evident to me and seemed the most important.
Do you have other examples of mistakes in this film? You disagree with my comments? Want to add more to the discussion? Please write a comment bellow and let’s have a great debate.