For the bye week; the Mastermind Alliance assignment was to watch the movie “I AM” by Tom Shadyac and if we so be determined, write a review of it or of a Movie of our own choosing. The guideline was to keep our focus on the material we have been studying and to recognize how the characters and the story of the movie portray and express these principles.
I have chosen to write a review on another movie that I viewed this week. The movie I AM is a well-crafted story that compels the viewer to “stop and take notice” of what their core beliefs were causing in the world. Above all other, the theme of our connectedness to each other and the Cosmo was woven into the fabric of the story challenging us to think differently on many levels and relationships. All very much aligned with the principles we are studying. This has been written about by my colleagues with such profundity and enlightenment that I would be humbled and honored to place my own erudition’s and applications with their great testimony. However this is not to be the case for the simple reason that the following sentence from our reading compelled me to make a choice of another Movie, one which shows a picture of what the heroes of the age now bring to this;
“change in the thought of the world. This change is silently transpiring in our midst, and is more important than any which the world has undergone since the downfall of Paganism” ~ Charles Haanel
As I might I will leave you now without the title and continue about the lesson for the week. I know it is an old ruse made to keep the reader’s attention but a little longer, albeit good, yet I only delay to set a construct and form for which a clear understanding of the movie selected can be known.
Growth and Creation
Haanel writes “In order to grow we must obtain what is essential for our growth, but as we are at all times a complete thought entity, this completeness makes it possible for us to receive only as we give. Growth is therefore conditioned on reciprocal action, and we find that on the mental plane like attracts like, that mental vibrations respond only to the extent of their vibratory harmony. It is clear, therefore, that thoughts of abundance will respond only to similar thoughts; the wealth of the individual is seen to be what he inherently is. Affluence within is found to be the secret of attraction for affluence without. The ability to produce is found to be the real source of wealth of the individual. It is for this reason that he who has his heart in his work is certain to meet with unbounded success. He will give and continually give, and the more he gives the more he will receive.” ~ Charles Haanel Masterkey Chapter 18
Here we see what the Mastermind Alliance in its entirety is building within us. We think and we create. All of animal kingdom is but a slave to its environment. If there is no food in an area, it must move to another or starve. If the weather changes, it must move or die. If something stronger invades it must flee or be killed.
Not so with man. We have created a world of thought. We can live where we want because we adapt the terrain to us. We do that with our thoughts and our ideas. Our thoughts have created a world in which we play, work and have our being. We are but thoughts relating to other thoughts, ideas meeting ideas, each influencing the other and judged on their usefulness and efficacy. And so too with our thoughts have come changes in our beliefs and customs, no longer is the despotic the sovereign for he must acknowledge the laws under which we all live, these founded upon freedom and liberty, having been established they allow the mind to flourish. These ideals are now what make people fruitful rather than looting and wars. This is the thought, running as a river throughout the world expanding and filling the surface. Described and known as the age of Grace, where abundance and generosity are working hand in hand to bring about harmony in the world. Where loving God and serving our neighbors are what we are creating. We all have the power to take part in it. We all have something to add. Think. Create. Then reap the rewards of our efforts. Here to you will find the true Heroes of the age at work.
In the movie The End of the Spear which is a beautiful retelling of the story through the dual eyes of a Waorani tribesman and the son of the man they speared to death. We are brought face to face with a sketch of the heroes of this age and with some important principles to consider as we look at our own beliefs and thoughts which have kept us where we are living
Deep in the heart of the jungles of Ecuador, along the Amazon River basin, the Waorani Indians are murdering each other to the point of near-extinction. Tribal conflicts (internal and external) have led to a staggering 60 percent mortality rate, and the average Waorani male lives to be just over 30 years old. In addition this violence has spilled out unto the local population as “no one” who journeys into their territory comes out alive. In response, the Ecuadorian government plans to send in troops to stop the killings and “reclaim” the land, essentially wiping out the Waorani.
It’s the early 1950s and Nate Saint, the father of Steve who is retelling the story , along with four other young American Christian missionaries, sense the urgency of this crisis and set out to befriend the Waorani people. Nate establishes contact with the remote tribe using a revolutionary aeronautical technique that he invents. Flying his small yellow craft in a tight circular pattern, he dangles a bucket on a rope (which centers itself due to centrifugal force), using it to lower gifts. Then, on Jan. 3, 1956, after weeks of what seems to be a progressing relationship (the Waorani have begun to place gifts of their own in the bucket), Nate and his friends, Jim Elliot, Roger Youderian, Pete Fleming and Ed McCully, land the plane on a sandbar and make face-to-face contact with the Waorani.
A senseless death? One, in which the plan only leads to tragedy? Yes it could have been avoided; yes preparations and an intense study of the Tribe could have perhaps brought them to an understanding of the dire situation. However as we delve deeper into what we have been learning we come to one of the principles that kept the Tribes in this darkness and horror. Haanel states that “In order to grow we must obtain what is essential for our growth, but as we are at all times a complete thought entity, this completeness makes it possible for us to receive only as we give” As we look upon the Tribesman or anyone who is trapped in a cycle of self-destruction we would describe this person as missing something or being incomplete. Here Haanel reminds that everyone is complete at all times. In order to grow and change we have to give that which we want to grow towards, for that which we think about grows and that which we forget atrophies.
Here lies the certain destruction of the Waorani Tribe. For what did they need to give? They were required to give of something that in their beliefs and traditions did not even have an expression, a life without revenge or forgiveness. Two parts of their culture kept them intrinsically in bondage. According to Waorani culture, the son is supposed to avenge his father’s death and the second belief is that the warrior gained spiritual power from all those they killed and to gain this power was the only way to “jump the great Boa” at the end of life and go on to eternity with God or your fate was to become a termite.
“Your subconscious believes. You make decisions based on those beliefs. Those decisions cause you to take action. The action causes you to experience. Your experience reinforces your belief. Your belief therefore gives you your outcome” ~ Claire Mcgee
The story doesn’t end on that tragic day, but shows how it forever changes the lives of both the missionary families and the Waorani Tribe in a remarkable testimony of God’s redemptive power.
The portrayal of missionaries both the martyred and the surviving wives and family is particularly skillful, as the movie very naturally communicates the motivations of the missionaries to evangelize these people, but also shows that the Waorani were in need of an “intervention” before outsiders sent in troops to stop the violence of the region. The missionaries assurance to living with these people, and sharing their sufferings is a wonderful statement of their commitment to give forgiveness.
Two scenes in the story are very revealing of the motivation of the missionaries, to give what they could to help the Waoroni Tribe grow.
During the attack the Waorani men, who killed the missionaries, were perplexed over the fact that the foreigners never attempted to shoot at them, despite having guns. Yet earlier in the story we had heard Steve asks his dad about shooting the Waorani if they attack, Nate responded with one of the movie’s most powerful lines: “We can’t shoot the Waorani, son. They’re not ready for heaven—we are.”
The five missionaries men were prepared to give their life and show another way to live and help the Tribe grow. The way of one who was speared and did not spear back; they showed the trail of a God who left his carvings upon the hearts of violent men, changing them to persons who could love, forgive and be family even with their enemies.
The Waoroni lived in this cycle of revenge where sons were responsible for avenging speared fathers. The power of growth through giving what is needed, was again illustrated at the end of the film when Steve faces his father’s killer, Mincayni, at the exact spot where the attack had occurred. There, Mincayani, who has become a Christian and realizes his guilt. Is in torment, as he tells Steve that killed his father, that he had taken his father’s life. He then places a spear into Steve’s hands and throws his arms out with a posture of total surrender, Mincayni is ready to be avenged. Instead, Steve gives mercy and forgiveness. And says “No one took my father’s life,” he explains. “He gave it.
While the retelling of this story is remarkable and unique in giving us a vivid sketch into the character of the Hero. The lesson is that the authentic Heroes are everywhere. They are those who give to the needs of others without thought of reciprocity so those who have received can give and become heroes too. This type of commitment to growth only leads to success.