Apocalypto

At the end of my last post I mentioned that I wanted to watch again the movie, Apocalypto. On that particular day, the boys were out of school and Karmen was out of town. It really ended up being a rather perfect day. I did my long run that morning for my Ironman training, 14 miles. Then the boys and I went for a haircut. Following that we went to Dillons to get more peanut butter and jelly and Izzie, our staples when caring for ourselves. Of course, Karmen usually fixes lavish and elaborate meals for us when she is home, much like Nigella from the cooking channel. But that is too much work for us so PBJ’s will keep us alive just fine. Then we went to Horton Hears a Who after which we got Freddies hamburgers and took them home to watch KU in the Big 12 Tournament. After that we watched Star Wars 3, The Revenge of the Sith, and then I put them to bed and stayed up until nearly 2 AM watching Apocalypto on my Apple MacBook while on my bed. It was a good day. I can’t ever remember getting in 3 movies in a single 24 hour period. So I slept late the next morning before going to the YMCA for a swim workout while the boys played in the family pool.

I like Apocalypto. But it is not a pretty movie. It is in fact a brutal movie. Brutal in the violence it shows, something Mel Gibson seems to really thrive on, and brutal in the message that it sends about humanity. I think it speaks generally to how cruel we humans can be to each other when we get going down a path of self-indulgence and comfort. One jungle tribe is focussed on family and relationships and community. Another more urbanized tribe is focussed on the marketplace and comfort and luxury and has turned human sacrifice and cruelty into a sport and a false belief that it is necessary to sustain their way of life. The more urbanized tribe basically ahnihilate the more humble tribes. How does that mirror us?

There is one line in the movie, early in the movie, that keeps coming back to me, and I find myself pondering the depth of its meaning. When we are still being introduced to the more rural tribe and what they are about, before the destroyers rip them out of their existence, one father says to his adult son, “Fear is a disease.” We soon witness the father die with courage and without fear as his son watches and much of the rest of the movie deals with the son’s battle against fear and how he overcomes it so save his own wife and son and newborn baby.

 So what do you think? Is fear a disease? Does it paralyze you? Does it paralyze us? Do we react to it too often? Is there really a healthy fear or are we just appeasing ourselves with that line? If there is a healthy fear, what is it of?

I think I believe that the father is right. Fear is mostly a disease.

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8 responses to “Apocalypto

  1. 1) I don’t EVER make lavish and elaborate meals.
    2) Nigella? Oh brother….! Couldn’t she be your mother?

  2. freestyleroadtrip

    I have just lost interest in Nigella.

  3. Doug, good question about fear. Ever wondered why Jesus told his friends and followers, “Do not fear!” so often? When you think about it we are afraid of many things, especially in our culture. That might make for another good conversation with coffee, or Dew.

  4. Whether it’s true or not it is a good attitude to help surpass struggles. Fear is a warning flag that something doesn’t feel right…or jive with what you have come to know to be true. But the ‘feeling right’ might be due to self-preservation and nothing to do with absolute truth. So we end up fearing social situations because we’ve come to distrust groups of people. And we come to fear heights because we intuitively understand our own limits of stability. And we come to fear elevators because small spaces threaten our ability to live and breathe. So some fears keep us from progress and other fears keep us from death. I guess the fear flag should raise a need to be internally aware of what you are protecting yourself from. And from there treat it like a disease or a savior. My $.02

  5. Love the post…I think fear / anxiety sometimes spreads like a virus.

    BTW, I like the new header.

  6. freestyleroadtrip

    Daren – Got your phone message. Family was sick and I was working. Easter weekend was not pleasant for us. Thanks for the comment. I would love to get together for coffee. Have pretty much cut out the Dew except on Sundays. Part of the training. Or we could do lunch. I think your comment is interesting, linking fear as a disease to Jesus telling the disciples not to fear. I like it.

    Matches – Thanks for reminding us that there are healthy fears that do protect us from very real dangers. It would be stupid to ignore those fears.

    Paul – I agree that much of the time our fears are out of control and spread like a virus. Watched “I Am Legend” this week for the first time. That was a bad virus. Thanks for the compliment.

  7. No simple answer. Some fear is constructive and protects us from foolish risk or danger. Some fear is irrational and obsessive as in phobias. But fear can take over or lives and can function like a disease in that it becomes self-sustaining and impairs our lives. There is a sense in which we would all like to feel invinceable and fearless. But fear always has a function in our lives. As in many other matters, it’s a matter of balance and perspective.

  8. Pingback: “If You Never Go, You’ll Never Know” « Tri Doc – Philosophy AND Triathlon

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