Friday, March 04, 2005

the difference between knowing the path and walking the path

I was watching The Matrix the other day.

A few years ago a brilliant teacher of mine, Tom Shields, talked about what a great movie it was. We watched a small clip in class, and I violently pinned down a yawn. Stupid, stupid escapism...

Now, on my third full viewing, I'm stuck on the line "There's a difference between knowing the path and walking the path." This maybe claptrap when taken out of context. Eh... good old fashioned Christian sounding sensibility.

But in the framework of the movie the point seems to be that our bodies and our minds are not always in sync, despite best efforts to reign in the offending impulses and synapses. Our bodies and our minds have access to a subterranean level of understanding- if we touch it, we might become emboldened as Neo did. But we might also shirk away in fear, denying reality as the Joe Piscopo-like mole does in this movie.

The disparity between the body and the mind. The chasm. The gulf between reality and make believe.

Where is Terri Schiavo today? Does she know now or did she know then what her family did to one another, supposedly on her behalf?

And what of my relative, who, over his wife's deathbed (as she lay on the brink) recently offered me her more expensive, newer car?

Could she hear that?? Wherever she was at that time, in that moment, would she have even cared?

*m&m has a theory that destiny is a tad bit perverted