Dear Fellow Travelers,
A prevailing theme in literature, as well as in life, is the existence of either Good & Evil or Dark & Light in the individual human experience. I revisited this concept recently when I saw the newest Star Wars film and then again a few days later watching an old movie at home. Being a Reiki Master Teacher, I’m intimately familiar with how we, as human beings, have the ability to tap into Universal energy (i.e. “The Force”) and use it to impact the lives of others. As a matter of fact, one of my Reiki students commented on Facebook after seeing Star Wars: The Force Awakens, that when we do Reiki, we’re working with “The Force”. The eternal question is: “Why do some move toward the Light and others the Dark?” The answer to this question played out before me on Christmas Day evening as I watched Captain Corelli’s Mandolin for what is probably the 30th or so time.
I’ve always wondered what intrigued me so much about this movie. I knew it wasn’t the stellar acting (It’s not anyone’s best work, in my opinion, even though I do think John Hurt did a good job.) As I watched it again, post recent Star Wars, the veil began to thin and I could see why I was so drawn to the story. It takes place on a Greek island during WWII that is occupied by both Italians and Germans. The residents have a lot to deal with in the way of invasion in their lives, loved ones gone to war and two very different cultures forced into their daily lives. What Louis de Bernières provides for us in his novel upon which the movie is based is an intimate look at the characters’ struggle during this time. What I see time and time again through the characters’ eyes is the anguish they feel trying to decide where it’s okay to love and where love, friendship and kindness would be considered betrayal to one’s family or community. It isn’t easy territory to navigate. The characters’ experience has been described as “. . . difficult to negotiate the minefield of allegiances, both personal and political, as all around them atrocities mount, former friends become enemies and the ugliness of war infects everyone it touches.” (goodreads.com) I find myself wondering how many of us feel that way in our culture right now. It seems that everywhere we turn there is a new “enemy”. We’re being invited constantly to condemn and label individuals and groups as evil threats to our safety and our culture. Some of us grapple with the idea of neighbors suddenly being considered “the enemy”. How do we stand in this space of absurdity? How do we respond to those in our culture who dwell in fear?
InCaptain Corelli’s Mandolin people from opposite sides of the war come together in friendship. There is betrayal, both real and perceived, within the local community, some followed by condemnation and some by forgiveness. At least one character who is betrayed risks his life to save an “enemy” because of his love for another. Enemies who have become friends through common human experience find it impossible to kill each other. What is at work here is “The Force”. Love, as it shines light on “The Dark Side” of Fear, has the power to bring humanity to any situation. As we navigate this particular time in our history, where it seems that uncertainty and lack of balance lurk in the corners of our daily lives, I encourage all of us to keep our hearts open to Love; that’s where we will find our center and remain sound as we move forward. Remember, the Force IS with you.
Blessings & Light,
"We should care for each other more than we care for ideas,
or else we will end up killing each other.”
~Louis de Bernières, Corelli's Mandolin