For someone who falls asleep during most of the movies in cool dark theaters, I did pretty well when I went to see Interstellar. Very often, friends have to check on me and make sure I am still with them and enjoying the movie. Many times, during a 3-D movie, I have found friends lifting my dark 3-D goggles only to find me fast asleep beneath the comforting darkness of those goggles. I am not proud of it but somehow television and movies have stopped interesting me like before. Why? That is another story for another time. For now, I want to talk a little about what Interstellar exactly did to keep me wide-awake. Yes, I am a huge fan of Matthew McConaughey but this time it wasn’t only him that made me enjoy the movie.
I came home after watching this movie and ever since I have been in awe of a particular dialogue by Anne Hathaway who plays the part of Dr. Amelia Brand, a scientist and an astronaut in the movie. Throughout the movie, she talked about space, gravity, equations, technology, speed, and everything that was hardcore science. I was listening. Then all of a sudden her conversation turned towards love. Now, I was really listening and suddenly I was completely awake. Following is the conversation that takes place between her and Matthew McConaughey who plays the part of Joseph Cooper, a NASA pilot on the interstellar expedition.
Cooper: You’re a scientist, Brand.
Brand: So listen to me when I say love isn’t something that we invented. It’s observable. Powerful. It has to mean something.
Cooper: Love has meaning, yes. Social utility, social bonding, child rearing…
Brand: We love people who have died. Where’s the social utility in that?
Brand: Maybe it means something more, something we can’t yet understand. Maybe it’s some evidence, some artifact of a higher dimension that we can’t consciously perceive. I’m drawn across the universe to someone I haven’t seen in a decade who I know is probably dead. Love is the one thing that we’re capable of perceiving that transcends dimensions of time and space. Maybe we should trust that, even if we can’t understand it.
At that moment, Dr. Amelia Brand had echoed my exact feelings about love. She had conveyed a powerful message about love so easily. Anne Hathaway, herself said in an interview that her character, Dr. Amelia Brand, to begin with was an arrogant scientist who went only by theory but during the interstellar expedition her ego drastically melts. Dr. Amelia Brand gets converted into a humble person by the end of the journey. She begins to believe in the power of love which helps her to become more in tune to who she really was, a spiritualist who was also a scientist.
For once, I was happy to be at the movies and not fall asleep. This one or two minute dialogue about love made me feel like Tom Hanks when he lit a fire for the first time in the movie “Castaway”. I wanted to stand up right in the middle of the dark theater and tell my fellow moviegoers to listen carefully, for Dr. Amelia Brand was speaking the ultimate truth about love. I think, this is exactly what love is capable of and even more. This, in my opinion is the real message of the movie.
So often we talk about Love but do we fully understand its depth and intensity? I fall short of words to express what I truly feel about this so-called feeling that resides in each one of us. Brand was right when she said that Love is something that transcends dimensions of space and time. Love according to me is bigger than what we generally think it is. No matter where our loved ones are geographically, we are still able to feel the same love for them even with 1000s of miles separating us. No matter how old we get, we don’t stop loving them. Even when our loved ones pass away, we are still able to retain the same love in our hearts even though we know that they will never return and are not a part of our world anymore. I also feel that it is a miraculous thing for us humans to feel love towards our plants and pets, a totally different species from us and actually be able to receive it back from them.
History has proved time and again that love has ignited such fire in the hearts of humans that they have been able to overcome grave hurdles in their paths that could have been otherwise impossible. Yes, it is true that love can actually travel through time, space, age, species, pain, and suffering and actually remain unchanged throughout its journey. What it really changes is us! Just like Brand was reborn into her purest Self once she realized the true power of love, it is also time for us to realize what love truly is. Through her deep metaphysical realization about love, Brand had finally accepted that she was a scientist and a spiritualist at the same time. Same is applicable to us. Being spiritual can and will never go against our day-to-day material lives and our outward personalities that the world sees. If anything, it will only help us create more balance in our lives.
I never realized what love is until I started my spiritual journey. Once I began this journey, love unfolded itself at every step. I did not struggle anymore to understand what love truly was. Yes, it was definitely more than what we see in the movies today or what we feel for each other and for things in general. What we are able to understand about love in our day-to-day life is only a very small subset of real Love. Most of the times, it is intelligently commercialized in such a way that we don’t even realize that our brains are trained to feel love the way some external sources want us to feel about it. Yes, that’s right. Our “brains” are trained to “feel” something that only the “heart” can truly feel and we don’t even know that this is happening to us.
Meditation opened the doors to love in my life. Love had finally happened to me! 🙂 And then a new journey began. At the beginning of this journey, I thought I was learning the process of understanding love. As I moved forward in this journey, I realized more and more that it is not about understanding love but becoming love myself. I am the process. I am love in the making and I am loving every bit of this process. Like Amelia Brand said, “maybe we should trust that (love), even if we can’t understand it.”