So, as I said in my previous post with considerable satisfaction, the Myth is still extremely alive and well, and this film, ‘The Man from Earth’, has by now a whole ‘cult-following’, just like ‘Highlander’ had for long, about thirty years ago (I still have my cherished three main films with Christophe(r) Lambert, and I lovingly play my favorite ones, the first and the last, from time to time…), another previous very interesting take on the same, so fascinating Myth, of an Undying Man…
But… is it only a Myth?…
Sri Aurobindo’s spiritual but also evolutive perspective on terrestrial life as a whole presented us as early as 1914 with the astonishing news that yes, such a great human potential does exist, meant to become true at some point as terrestrial evolution goes on towards what he called ‘The Life Divine’, the title of his most famous book.
And it could very well be that in the far Past of the Earth, in the beginnings that are alluded to in the various Eden Myths, some Earthly Paradise may have at first existed, in some area of the Earth, in which everything was still much closer than it is now to the Heavenly Paradise our spirits are likely to re-enter after death, or during a Near Death Experience, an NDE. The Mother herself had the vague, but very vivid memory of having lived, physically, in a special place like that, at an extremely early time, a time when everything there was automatically and naturally harmonious… Joyful, peaceful and harmonious. Darwin’s theories aren’t as correct or complete as most people believe them to be.
JRR Tolkien too, in his own way, had the inner certainty that such a place must have really existed a long, long time ago, and in his first writings, later published posthumously as ‘The Silmarillion’, it is what translated itself in the form of the Blessed Realm of Valinor, where lived the immortal Valar, emanated by Eru, the One Supreme Being; and the idea of this idyllic place translated itself also in the coming into existence in Middle-earth at first of the Eldar or Elves, the ‘First-Born’ of Eru’s Children, whom the Valar had lovingly prepared Arda, the Earth, for. The Eldar were beautiful, strong, ever young and healthy, and wouldn’t die unless killed in battle. They spontaneously lived in harmony with the Nature around them. A number of them accepted the Valar’s invitation to go live with them in the safety of Valinor. But as evolution went on, with the destructive actions of Melkor, the renegade powerful Vala later called Morgoth, life even in Valinor was diminished and Middle-earth became a terrible battle-ground. The magnificent wonder that the World had been in its youth faded more and more. When the Valar finally intervened and removed Morgoth permanently from Middle-earth, the problem was still not solved: his ambitious and cruel captain Sauron soon came out of hiding and took his place, nearly forcing everyone into submission through the evil power of the One Ring he had forged for himself. At the end of the Third Age, after the victory over Sauron that finally ended the War of the Ring, the time had come for the Elves to pass on to their long-time friends and allies the Mortal Men, the ‘Second Born’, the responsibility for leading on in Middle-earth the continuing evolution of Arda. The Elves themselves , being immortal, retreated then back into Valinor, the far away Blessed Realm in the West, where the Valar would welcome them again in their protected blissful existence. This is what we see happening at the end of ‘The Lord of the Rings’, when Galadriel, Elrond and Gandalf take the Elven ship waiting for them at the Grey Havens, and their dear small but heroic friends the hobbits Bilbo and Frodo go with them for a well-deserved long period of Healing.
Thousands of years later, our own times now mark the end of the period which started then, when Men, that is, the Mental Power, took the lead of Evolution upon Earth. We are in the transitional period that will bring us further on, beyond the Mental Power, into the Supramental Era when many of the Elven qualities and powers will re-emerge in our nature, as it again grows closer to the Divine Nature we all have secretly as the very core of our Being.
That means Physical Immortality too will again become a distinct Possibility.
In most of his writings, from the early ones in 1914 to the last and most important one, ‘Savitri’, the only one he kept on revising in 1950 until he left his body, Sri Aurobindo announced again and again that renewed Possibility, hitting that huge nail on the head and slowly driving it down our limited human imagination, so that little by little our imagination may widen, until some day it will be able to consciously include and accept such an awesome Promise among the various other Possibilities it also contains about our Future as a species.
One day indeed it will be as natural and normal to have among all the terrestrial multi-cellular beings some more evolved ones who are immortal, just as today and since quite a while already in terrestrial evolution it has become natural and normal to have us ordinary human beings, a pretty amazing lot already: we are far from perfect, no doubt, but we are capable of mental activities unheard from animal species, and in extreme, extraordinary cases, capable of mental feats and prowess that astonish even the other human beings – which indicates clearly that we haven’t reached yet our culmination, our full potential as a species.
But how, how such a tremendous change as physical immortality will possibly happen, in a way accessible to any interested member of our species , is the next really important question, and Sri Aurobindo answered that too, as I will explain down below.
For this is the crux of the matter: it has to become gradually a normal, accepted thing.
Not only John Oldman in this film, but also of course Connor Mc Leod/Russell Nash in ‘Highlander’ and (except for the Elves) all the other examples of eternal youthfulness in films I have mentioned in my previous post, cannot stay for very long anywhere: otherwise the ordinary humans around them will start noticing that they are NOT aging, and will suspect some sort of foul play on their part – when they don’t start on the contrary worshiping these obviously miraculous oddities as gods, which by now is happening only in the most primitive cultures, the modern ones having since long dropped adoration altogether and adopted the much more suspicious and aggressive behavior we see exemplified in this film against John, even from friendly colleagues, as soon as they discover he is ‘different’ in a way not yet heard of or accepted by their culture, and so, deeply disturbing for them.
Well, additionally to being ‘different’ too, there were serious aggravating circumstances for the mysterious ‘immortals’ in “Highlander’: they were all under the necessity of beheading each other before another one would do it to them, so in 1985 NYC this didn’t go too well with the police, faced with a bewildering series of decapitated corpses, sometimes accompanied by ancient katanas to make those murders even more puzzling. Whoever was responsible for this was by definition an evil person, the usual maniac turned into serial killer. But in reality Russell Nash remained what he was as Connor Mc Leod too: an actually very gentle and compassionate being who would have preferred not to be under such a terrible obligation as the one he was under, if he wanted to save the Earth from a definitely more hellish potential tyrant.
In a similar way, the idealistic and ‘vegetarian’ vampires that the Cullens are in ‘Twilight’ prefer to live peacefully among the normal humans they too used to be before being turned into vampires against their wish; but if they were investigated and discovered for what they still are physically, in spite of their good intentions and actual innocence they would be exterminated; so they too, every now and then, move away to another area, just like John Oldman or Russell Nash also do, when people start noticing they aren’t aging, and so, aren’t ‘normal’.
All this aggressiveness from the ordinary human beings around would gradually change (at least when there would be no aggravating circumstances…) if there were a known, identified process recognized by all as the normal next step in our human evolution, through which any of us could progressively become immortal, if he or she were willing to put in the considerable personal inner effort required.
Immortality until now has been seen as obtainable only through a pact with the Devil, witchcraft, vampirism or other highly abnormal and unacceptable means. To start seeing it simply as one more far fetched human goal, attainable through a logical and understandable inner process, would definitely make it more acceptable as a reasonable and legitimate endeavor for anyone interested, envy and hatred for such an accomplishment becoming thus much less likely.
After all, one way we humans are already quite different from the animals around us, is that we question and often resent what is usually seen as the inevitable human condition: not only our mortality, but several other such things we deem impossible to realize here on Earth.
It is actually what we are here for, Sri Aurobindo points out about all those so-called impossibilities:
What I cannot do now is the sign of what I shall do hereafter. The sense of impossibility is the beginning of all possibilities. Because this temporal universe was a paradox and an impossibility, therefore the Eternal created it out of His being.
Impossibility is only a sum of greater unrealised possibles. It veils an advanced stage and a yet unaccomplished journey.
Thought is not essential to existence nor its cause, but it is an instrument for becoming; I become what I see in myself. All that thought suggests to me, I can do; all that thought reveals in me, I can become. This should be man’s unshakable faith in himself, because God dwells in him.
Not to go on for ever repeating what man has already done is our work, but to arrive at new realisations and undreamed-of masteries. Time and soul and world are given us for our field, vision and hope and creative imagination stand for our prompters, will and thought and labour are our all-effective instruments.
What is there new that we have yet to accomplish ? Love, for as yet we have only accomplished hatred and self-pleasing; Knowledge, for as yet we have only accomplished error and perception and conceiving; Bliss, for as yet we have only accomplished pleasure and pain and indifference; Power, for as yet we have only accomplished weakness and effort and a defeated victory; Life, for as yet we have only accomplished birth and growth and dying; Unity, for as yet we have only accomplished war and association.
In a word, godhead; to remake ourselves in the divine image.
The interesting thing is that in the new evolutive era the Earth is now entering, the Supramental Consciousness-Force activated since 1956 right inside terrestrial matter itself, is precisely the higher Divine Power that was needed to start accomplishing all of the above goals listed out by Sri Aurobindo; particularly significant, only that Power could possibly awaken again fully the Divine Consciousness secretly dormant in every particle/wave constituting Matter, and so awaken first of all the same now obscure Consciousness at work in all the cells constituting our human bodies.
Just like for each of the successive previous stages in terrestrial evolution, this higher energy now activated within Matter frees us from some of the limitations the just previous evolutive stage was keeping us into.
By learning how to use our consciousness directly instead of only as the Mental Power we have been used to, our knowledge of how really our body functions and remains healthy, will increase tremendously. It is presently limited by what Science will accept to consider as valid influences on DNA and our genes. The present almost entirely materialistic approach will not reveal to us all we can accomplish, nor how.
John Oldman’s extraordinary physical longevity isn’t explained in any real way in the film. The colleague biologist, Harry, answers everybody’s question with some scientific hypotheses as good as any, based upon what we think we know produces aging in our bodies, that is, a gradual self-poisoning of our entire system by the never quite complete elimination of the various wastes, that then accumulate, clogging more and more everything and bringing it slowly but surely to a grinding halt that is what we call death ‘of old age’. However true that may be (a later post on Edgar Cayce about this will confirm it), the mechanical, external ways to counteract this problem cannot, by themselves only, bring on the perfect functioning needed (Edgar Cayce confirms that too…), something else is absolutely essential, besides the healthy living.
Any signs we see of John’s healthy living?… One: the strong bow (and arrows) Sandy discovers and brings out, vainly trying to pull its string; he says he uses it to hunt deer, which is live game and a relatively unpolluted one as it feeds on wild greenery. Later on, we see also that John is quite fit indeed: while he is briefly outside with Sandy, Harry, a rather burly man himself. ambushes him from behind the door and as John steps in again, attacks him with all the skill of his second dan black belt in something… only to find himself two seconds later flat on his back with a very robust and agile John on top of him, still keeping his usual cool and soft manner, but having clearly demonstrated the efficiency of his own fighting skills, even when taken totally by surprise like that.
The film gets embroiled then into religious assertions by making John say he is the person who has become known as Jesus, his so-called resurrection being explained away by the special skills he had learned in Tibet and India, that enabled him to block the pain, render his vital signs undetectable, and bring his body back to normal afterwards.
If an outright miracle was in this way denied, still these acquired capabilities he revealed distanced him also very much from the colleagues listening to him: such methods certainly aren’t available for the ordinary person.
What would have Sri Aurobindo contributed to the discussion, if he had been there? I will express it here in my own words. Sri Aurobindo may have said this to John Oldman and his friends:
The friends, and John Oldman (picture from ‘Spoilerific Review: The Man from Earth’, with my thanks)
“These methods were indeed the only thing possible for a long time: given the almost total obscurity and inertia in the body-consciousness, such feats could be accomplished only by exceptional persons, in whom the Inner Being was developed and strong enough to do for the body whatever had to be done for such a great result to be obtained.
But since 1956, because of the new step in terrestrial evolution that got started, it is the consciousness in the very cells constituting the body, that awakens and sets itself to accomplish these high goals: as the cells become aware again of the Divine Presence in themselves and everywhere, their own awakened innate aspiration makes them participate willingly in the evolutive thrust of the whole being, so as to reach the bodily Perfection they too want to manifest.
The crucial advantage is that this new way of functioning, once learned by cells in one human body, can be passed on to cells in another human body, as the new vibratory frequency is contagious; and after some time it can become a new, permanent acquisition available for all the members of the species, for this is one of the main ways Evolution works.
So nowadays the methods can change, and they must include a conscious collaboration between the Inner Being of the individual, and his or her body-cells. Why don’t you try that, dear John Oldman? And your girl-friend Sandy who is going with you towards the next place you will live in, can then join you in this endeavour as well, if she is interested! And who knows, she may become able to keep up with you…”