Classic: The Truman Show

This month I would like to talk about some older films that we have all watched (if you haven’t, you should!) but to look at them from a spiritual perspective.

We will start with ‘The Truman Show’, Peter Weir’s film from 1998 with Jim Carrey and Ed Harris. Carrey plays Truman Burbank, an insurance salesman who wants to travel the world but his aquaphobia (fear of water) makes it impossible to achieve. He lives in a port city called Seahaven on Seahaven Island — in reality a huge tv set where the show featuring his life is being filmed. He has no awareness of it because the show started before he was born.

Truman is the only ‘true man’ in this world. Everybody else is either an actor or an extra. His decisions seem to be his own but in reality they are all manufactured by Christof, the Creator! Well, at least of a television show. But the reference to God is obvious. Why Truman doesn’t realize that his whole life is an illusion? Because, as Christof remarks: “We accept the reality of the world with which we’re presented”.

A spiritual awaking reminds Truman’s realization that his world is not what it seems. We suddenly start to see things differently, perceive the cues that surround us and start to understand some messages that we received in the past but ignored. We start to understand things around us in a new way. And some things from the past suddenly start to make sense.

Just like Truman we should start to question our reality and things we were told. He has a boring job and he dreams of going away to Fiji, where he believes his first crush Sylvia stays. He wants to pursuit his heart but is stopped by the crew because they don’t want him to know the truth and leave the show. Doesn’t it remind us our own situation? When all we encounter is barriers while we are trying to follow our goal it should make us sure that it is the right thing to do.

Also, very often we buy into the story that our life should look a certain way so we put up with a job that we hate or even a relationship that doesn’t make us happy. But we should start questioning our believes and ask ourselves where did we first learned them. Was it something that somebody said to us and we believed it and made it a rule for ourselves even if it didn’t always prove to be right? All our statements with “I always” or “I never” — if we really think about it we can usually find an exception or two and so it’s not always or never anymore.

Finally, don’t you sometimes think that that the whole world resolves around you and everybody else disappear when you are looking away. Or that you are just playing a virtual reality game? How do we really know it’s not true?

‘The Truman Show’

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