We watched “The Human Experience” as part of our segment on Christian Anthropology. What is Christian Anthropology you ask? Well it’s what the Christian faith has to say about being human. This movie however, isn’t really presented from a Christian perspective but rather from the perspective of human curiosity which works out well since Christians believe that being a good Christian begins with our first vocation: being a good human. I found this movie to be a great window into the quest for a deep experience of humanity. It’s really a powerful story of searching and healing as the main characters share their past experiences and gain greater understanding of themselves throughout the journey documented in this film.
The second movie in today’s double feature is titled “The Peaceful Warrior” and is based on the true story of a young Olympic hopeful who must face his inner demons when he is crippled in a motorcycle accident. This movie is a parable for the inner journey we are all invited to. As children we develop an outer armor which protects our sense of self, but as adults the armor only gets in the way since it is psychologically meant to be like training wheels for our development. If we don’t let go of our training wheels we can easily convince ourselves that we are happy, but in our true self we will know this to be false and hollow. In his book The Naked Now Richard Rohr, one of my favorite authors, uses the verse, “Unless a grain of wheat should fall to the ground and die, it remains just a grain of wheat; but if it dies it produces much fruit” (Jn 12:24) to describe the imperative need to let go of our training wheels and really change our selves and not just our behaviors.