Anomalisa, childhood, and the fading of wonder


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Dearest readers,

Yesterday I was listening to an attempt to explain why time seems to speed up as we grow older. When we are young children, an afternoon stretches out for an eternity, whether or not we are enjoying ourselves. A summer break from school contains the perspective of endless freedom and joy. Why is it that the impression of the passage of time, which, while only a convention invented by humans for humans in the third dimension, changes so much as we age?

summer childhood

My personal impression and belief is that the closer we each are to high frequency energies and unity, which is the typical condition of early childhood but also of great wisdom and spirituality, the more timeless our experience of life becomes. I believe that artists, musicians, creatives, gardeners, empaths, and sensitives of all disciplines are more easily able to enter this zone of timelessness so prized in great works of art.

tarkovsky quote

 

I also once read that the convention of the clock or universal time was created because the powers that be realized that certain areas on the globe experienced faster or slower experiences of reality. In other words, zones such as sacred sites (cathedrals, mountains, pyramids, Druidic stone structures, cave paintings, etc.) and those living near these sites would experience a slowing down of time.

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The high energy frequencies of these sites are the reason for which time and time again, humans would build sacred burial mounds, churches and other places of worship on these nodes, lay lines, and portals. I wonder if people who live near these places of pure energy experience longer life, more wonder, creativity in their lives? One could imagine that people vibrating at a higher frequency would be drawn to such sites. In the United States, places such as Mount Shasta, Mount Ida, Sedona, are among the high frequency sites.

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In contrast, places where there has been much war, death, and devastation, I would venture to imagine that time goes by faster. The Earth retains a memory of all that has occurred at each site. Fortunately, we are currently experiencing a cleansing of the planet. Gaia has chosen to heal herself, and as she raises her frequency, so has humanity begun this process of cleansing.

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As we begin to heal, we also long to slow down and to live more simply. When we do slow down, it becomes easier to look inward and to reconnect to our imagination, intuition, and to our connection to the planet, one another, and to our highest versions. A simple life is conducive to a state of wonder. As we move from living in our heads to healing our emotional bodies and returning to our hearts, our senses open as well. The sychronicities that artists, sensitives, and the spiritually awake have always seen will become visible to everyone. It is really about paying attention and knowing that everything we perceive in the so-called “outside” world is conscious and speaking to us.

compassion

This childlike sense of wonder that our current society beats out of us in a very intentional manner from such an early age is key to our happiness. As we each learn to deeply love our self and to see every other being and thing as alive, conscious, and connected to our self, the beauty of the world, of humanity will become apparent to us again. Instead of judging and constantly criticizing self and others, we will feel joy and remember that we are all creators of realities. Knowing we are powerful and that we create our lives from within at each moment is a great generator of wonder. Instead of living as victims in a world that goes against most of our innate beliefs about life, we can now choose and take responsibility for our experiences of reality every day.

timeless

The movie “Anomalisa”, directed by Spike Jonze and written by Charlie Kaufman (director of my favorite film, “Being John Malkovich”), is a great example of how we live in our heads, how we allow our adult self to be controlled and brainwashed by the illusion of a societal vision of reality, and how wonder brings life back into full color.

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In the film, all of the characters are very realistic animated puppets. Unlike in “Being John Malkovich”, where real people manipulate one another like puppets, and where the puppets in the film have strings, the situation in “Anomalisa” is more enigmatic. There is no duality between “reality” and “fiction”. The entire reality is composed of puppets. In Kaufman’s artistic reality, puppetry is very symbolic of how we live co-dependent lives as victims and manipulators. We live in separation from self and see others as a source of joy, wonder, pleasure, energy…whatever it is we feel we lack to be whole, sovereign beings. Both films are very philosophical but can be enjoyed on various levels.

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The main character of “Anomalisa” is a motivational speaker, Michael Stone, from the U.K., who has come to Cincinnati, Ohio for a customer service conference. All of the other characters in the film share the same male voice (played by actor Tom Noonan), with the exception of Lisa (voice by Jennifer Jason Leigh), a young woman who ends up spending the night in Stone’s hotel room. All of the events are fairly banal. We, as viewers, sense that Stone is depressed. He lives a conventional life: he is married, has a child, and a good career. People appear to like him. Yet he feels alone, separate from the remainder of humanity. The emotional connection between Stone and life has been severed, and he lives inside his head. Which is why everyone speaks with the same voice. He cannot relate to others, differentiate people from one another, or see the beauty in the uniqueness of each person.

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Lisa, who is a customer service representative, is attending the conference with a more vivacious and charismatic friend and co-worker. Lisa seems to lack self-esteem due to scarring from an injury, which has also affected her emotional well-being. Michael and Lisa connect, and they sleep together. They discuss the meaning of the word “anomaly”, which is why Stone begins to call her Anomalisa. He begins to open his heart, to differentiate her from other people, to see her and feel her presence as alive. He begins, for a short time, to come alive himself.

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Because, like most of us, Michael is trained to see love and completeness as something outside of self which is inaccessible,  he yearns to find wonder and emotional completeness in the world. When he meets Anomalisa and her presence touches him, he sees her as an anomaly in his dull, emotionally colorless life. After they sleep together, and Lisa expresses a desire to continue the relationship beyond the spontaneous experience of that evening, her individual voice fades into the male monotone of all of the other characters in the film. As Michael Stone disconnects emotionally from his own heart and from Lisa, his sense of wonder leaves him once again.

reflection

The film is very interesting because the puppets are so very real. They move and live in a world exactly like the one that has been created for us. And this is fascinating because it shows us up front that our collective reality is in fact an illusion. It looks real, and it evokes all of the emotions we experience in the collective nightmare that has been given to us as reality. This is disturbing until we wake up and realize as Kaufman has that the world our culture has given to us is not reality.

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When we reawaken to wonder and to our true human abilities as creators and emotional beings, we can step out of our puppet skins. We can stop fooling our self, stop manipulating others to get what we think we need to be happy. We can take back our power and create beauty and emotional satisfaction in our own lives. Wonder is at our fingertips at every moment. All we need to do is slow down, stop, look, listen, and see. We live in a magnificent world, full of beautiful emotional beings. We have been taught to put up walls around our self. To protect self from others. We leave reality and we become lonely, hurt, disappointed. The monstrous world of narcissism, co-dependency, manipulation, but also of artistic creation reflected in Kaufman’s films is a wonderful mirror to help us, as human beings, to remember who we really are.

charlie kauffman

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