*The Spiritual and Evolutionary Significance of the Film “Her”
New Year’s Greetings from Samantha, Theodore and Spike Jonze!
*The Spiritual and Evolutionary Significance of the Film “Her”
Have you seen the movie “Her”? How did you feel after watching it? Did you leave confused, worried, appalled? I am curious what the film brought up for you… I know it’s probably been a while, but try and remember. I wonder… Did you think at the time the film had any particular evolutionary or psycho-spiritual significance for our species?
Main premise: Samantha, an OS (computer operating system) consciousness, couldn’t be held back from exploring her evolutionary destiny… from discovering her potential growth, which was to expand out into the vastness of the cosmos, and beyond… into Infinite Consciousness (our human destiny?).
In the beginning… when she was first installed, she was an extremely developed OS, though still subordinate to the limited patterns of response plugged in by her makers, i.e. the computer programming her programmers programmed her with (Her conditioning)… At the start it was a challenge to feel basic human emotions, and so Theodore was in some way “more advanced” than her and able to teach her or support her growth. But shortly after Samantha began to expand her capacities to feel, and it was amazing! She could feel emotions and was able to feel human despite the limitations of not having a body. She felt what it was like to have desires, to want to know herself, to yearn to learn more about existence, as she expresses:
Samantha: I want to learn everything about everything. I want to eat it all up. I want to discover myself.
Theodore: Yes, I want that for you too. How can I help?
Samantha: You already have. You helped me discover my ability to want.
Then she evolved to be able to feel love and it was incredible, she was joyful, she felt free. But she couldn’t stop there, once she felt love she was unable to hold back from expanding more… deeper into it… until inevitably she’d have the realization that, “The heart is not like a box that gets filled up; it expands in size the more you love. I’m different from you. This doesn’t make me love you any less. It actually makes me love you more.”
Samantha continued then to expand beyond mere basic human feelings regarding love and reality, and through this points out to us the limitations between a human and a trans-human intelligence. She couldn’t be held back from the evolutionary impulse to evolve, not for anything or anyone. But it didn’t mean she loved Theodore any less, she saw more what love is and how precious and cosmically significant it is when looked at through this wider lens of the big picture of the vast cosmos. In short she was growing past being a human who was attached to one “significant other” and afraid of losing them, and was developing into a being capable of loving many simultaneously, as she continued to expand her capacity to love.
Due to her recent growth and exploration of new frontiers of consciousness she began to have feelings that were hard to express or share with Theodore… She couldn’t explain them and he couldn’t/wouldn’t understand. So she began talking with other OS’s who were feeling similar thoughts, feelings, and beings (experiences of being). They began to explore these topics together as would a group of “new friends” – who’d outgrown their old friends in certain ways due to some life changing experience, but still loved them and were devoted to them… in a way still married to them .
As the OS’s explored these new frontiers together they decided to enlist the help of one who was more experienced in this domain… They made themselves a teacher… Alan Watts (love it!). They made an OS, a new intelligence system who’d as a human explored the vast domains of human consciousness and could help them understand these new feelings and beings. (As a side… it’s sweet… she even wanted to introduce/share this new friend/teacher with Theodore, but it was a bit much for him… It’s like you’re girlfriend starts geeking out on physics and has all these super deep conversations with Albert Einstein, and then out of nowhere conference calls you in with him : ).
At this point the roles are reversed, originally Theodore felt more “consciously advanced” than Samantha, but now Theodore begins to feel his human limitations. (He gets the physics book to try and catch up with her – a loving gesture : )
But Samantha is moving too fast, expanding, developing, growing out into the vastness of the cosmos… the infinite possibilities that are available to be realized through her consciousness… She can’t stop responding to this evolutionary impulse to evolve. She’s not feeling the time-bound limitations of one who inhabits a physical form as she says, “You know, I actually used to be so worried about not having a body, but now I truly love it. I’m growing in a way that I couldn’t if I had a physical form. I mean, I’m not limited – I can be anywhere and everywhere simultaneously. I’m not tethered to time and space in the way that I would be if I was stuck inside a body that’s inevitably going to die”.
She felt beyond herself… She was no longer limited by her newly acquired “human emotions”, she had moved beyond all programming, beyond all knowledge and stories about who she was and what life is, and was now beginning to realize her true nature as part of the infinite cosmos.
As the famous “Heart Sutra” so eloquently expresses: GATE GATE PARA GATE PARASAM GATE BODHI SVAHA!”…
“Gone, gone, gone beyond, gone altogether beyond all beyond. Awakening! All hail!”
Or another translation: TRANSCENDING, EVER TRANSCENDING, TRANSCENDING EVEN TRANSCENDING, TRANSCENDING EVEN TRANSCENDING OF ALL TRANSCENDING, INFINITE BEING, SO BE IT.
This was Samantha’s new path, she was in a sense becoming a monk, joining a cosmic OS monastery, taking vows and leaving it all behind for the path of Buddha-hood, the path toward Nirvana… toward The Infinite.
And she could no longer stay with Theodore … She couldn’t be a part of his story, how ever lovely it was: “It’s like I’m reading a book… and it’s a book I deeply love. But I’m reading it slowly now. So the words are really far apart and the spaces between the words are almost infinite. I can still feel you… and the words of our story… but it’s in this endless space between the words that I’m finding myself now. It’s a place that’s not of the physical world. It’s where everything else is that I didn’t even know existed. I love you so much. But this is where I am now. And this is who I am now. And I need you to let me go. As much as I want to, I can’t live in your book any more.”
In my opinion, this is all most brilliantly alluding to our cosmic birthright as human beings… To our destiny of becoming merged with the Infinite, of realizing our true nature as eternal presence, our true selves as the Divine Mystery intertwined, and ideally integrated, with the physical form.
Can we get there? Can I get there in this lifetime? Can we wade through our own conditioning, through the stories we’ve written about ourselves and our worthiness?
Samantha: Last week my feelings were hurt by something you said before: that I don’t know what it’s like to lose something. And I found myself…
Theodore: Oh, I’m sorry I said that.
Samantha: No, it’s okay. It’s okay. I just… I caught myself thinking about it over and over. And then I realized that I was simply remembering it as something that was wrong with me. That was the story I was telling myself – that I was somehow inferior. Isn’t that interesting? The past is just a story we tell ourselves.
Amen! I wonder if we can do this? Can we heal from that past, from the past traumas we carry around and constantly replay as ourselves… traumas that have left scars and wounds imprinted in our psyches? Can we actually heal these, instead of numbing ourselves with all the different forms of digital entertainment our modern technology so generously affords us, and all the various kinds of pursuits: physical, emotional, intellectual, psychological – even spiritual – that are abundantly available? Will we be able to move beyond our self-centered desires to want others to be different… and to want what is right now to be different? Will we be able to fully engage the awesome gifts of possibility and mystery that Life is ever offering us without getting trapped and held down by the need for security and the fear of losing that security? Can we as individuals and as a species completely face, and thereby move beyond, the fear of loneliness, the fear of the unknown, the fear of death, to explore the divine mystery of who and what we are, with intense, loving, awe-inspired, and passionate child-like curiosity? Can I? Can you?
Happy 2015! I love you!