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Friday, November 18, 2011

EXPECTATION IN EVERYDAY LIFE

     a scene from after the wedding

 
I watched a Danish film twice today, AFTER THE WEDDING, by director Suzanne Bier. Filmed in Copenhagen, it gave several small peeps into the city, scenes from expensive apartment windows with views of the city. It's a beautiful city. Old. It's architecture goes way back. It must have been a problem, like in all European cities when electricity and plumbing were introduced. The first thing I have to say about Suzanne Bier is that I like the way she decorates homes of the wealthy and corporate office buildings with contemporary, or close to it, abstract art. Sometimes she'd frame a beautiful work of art in the background between two people talking. While they talk, I can look at the beautiful painting long enough to get a feel of it. She likes to decorate rooms with modern abstract works. The homes of the rich and corporate office buildings have abstract paintings and prints on the walls. Woody Allen puts interesting art in his interiors too.


I've been discovering the art of Danish film making. I never wondered about Danish film, until I saw PELE THE CONQUEROR, a beautiful film that told me somebody in Denmark is making good films. Ole Christian Madsen, Bille August, Henrik Ruben Genz, Lars von Trier and Suzanne Bier are the directors of films I've given 5 stars to at netflix. They're all extraordinary film makers from Denmark, a country I never gave much thought to where making films was concerned. These are film makers among the best in the world. And that's actually quite a lot, I'm happy to say. Henrik Ruben Genz made a powerful film called TERRIBLY HAPPY. It's a story of suspense. The suspense rises gradually from the start when you know something is not right. Then something else is not right and it starts getting scary with twists and turns in a very small Danish town where the law is local, not state.


From what I see in Danish films, I am comfortable with their character. It must be the Nordic protestant that feels like home to me. It's not very different from mountain protestant, its feet way back there in the 17th and 18th centuries, possibly going back to the Reformation and before it, the renascence in the Elizabethan period. The protestant belief systems have strong influences on our attitudes toward life. This is why I can't join a Primitive Baptist Church. I'm done being expected of. I'm an old turd. Somebody says to me he's noticed I've not been coming to church much. I need to come more often. I'm thinking, You don't know me. You don't know if I need to be going to your church more often. You don't know my karma. Whether or not I go more often is my decision for myself, not for the expectations of somebody I don't even know, not even his name. I could step into a Scandinavian protestant church and probably feel like I'm closer to home than ever.


I'm not comfortable giving my life, my karma over to somebody else's expectations, esp people I don't know, but do know they do not know me and have no right to be expecting that I walk their line, for whatever reason. I love a Primitive Baptist Church meeting, the singing, the preaching, the people, the handshaking, the good feeling, the presence of the Spirit. Unfortunately, not enough to sign my life over to towing the line of what is expected of a member. I'm not driving to Blowing Rock to a liquor store so I won't be seen. When I want liquor I go to the liquor store in Sparta. They want to talk about me, have at it, but don't be holding me to 18th century doctrine I do not believe. It's all mental stuff of the human mind, theologians, worry about sin. We like to focus on sin. Get together with a lot of church people, preachers, they like to talk about all them things the young people's into in this day and time, aint it awful, terrible, people don't do no better'n 'at. It's the end of time, sin everywhere.


I can't help but see that a knot of hysteria created by focusing outward when the spiritual focus, seems to me, is inward. Instead of fussing over other people's sins and pointing the finger, I can't help but see it more beneficial to one's spiritual life, perhaps to one's karma, to focus attention in relation to God inward. Didn't Jesus say the kingdom of heaven is within? It's not the other side of the clouds. It is, in that the spirit of God is even in the nothing space between universes, but not in the way we think of God in the sky. The sky is good symbolism, infinity, forever, endless, so we look to the sky instead of in our hearts. So much protestant attention in USA has to do with the mission field, forever being the missionary, brow-beating people around them with the Lord. Missionarizing / advertising the protestant church. I can't do that.

In the church I grew up in, all us kids were expected to go to a missionary prep college in Alberta, Canada. Though, not the flock's black sheep. Spiritually, I don't hold with missionarizing. It has caused Christendom to jump the track, focusing attention outward on other people, when one's own life experience is where the focus belongs, seems to me. I'm not a theologian and I see the attempt to persuade somebody to bypass hell with Jesus. I'm so different from that mind, even was as a child, that it doesn't do for me to even think about it. I'll never believe missionarizing is God's will. My understanding of the spiritual path is that it is inward, between self and God, directed by the will of God. I can't believe it's about getting saved and that's it. Then you start being a missionary, meddling in other people's lives, bringing them into the fold where they can be expected of by a bunch of gossips. I'd best stay out of the churches. My path is what I call my Pilgrim Way. It's mine and mine alone. 


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