I ask this question because I gave up watching television about 2 years ago and have since watched but a handful of hours of television. I gave it up because it was assisting me in wasting my time. I watch very few movies now for the same reason. Does Hollywood help us or hinder us?

asked 18 Feb '10, 20:16

TheSevenMan's gravatar image


edited 18 Feb '10, 20:25

In Chapter 8 of Illusions, the Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah, Don Shimoda discusses movies as a metaphor for life. It's a very interesting discussion, and if you haven't read it, I encourage you to get the book. I won't copy the entire passage here (it is a bit too long), but I will highlight one particular part:

"You can hold a reel of film in your hands," he said, "and it's all finished and complete - beginning, middle, end are all there that same second, the same millionths of a second. The film exists beyond the time that it records, and if you know what the movie is, you know generally what's going to happen before you walk into the theater: there's going to be battles and excitement, winners and losers, romance, disaster; you know that's all going to be there. But in order to get caught up and swept away in it, in order to enjoy it to its most, you have to put it in a projector and let it go through the lens minute by minute...any illusion requires space and time to be experienced. So you pay your nickel and you get your ticket and you settle down an forget what's going on outside the theater an the movie begins for you."

"And nobody's really hurt? That's just tomato-sauce blood?"

"No, it's blood all right," he said. "But it might as well be tomato sauce for the effect it has on our real life..."

"And reality?"

"Reality is divinely indifferent, Richard. A mother doesn't care what part her child plays in his games; one day bad-guy, next day good-guy. The Is [Source or God] doesn't even know about our illusions and games. It only knows Itself, and us in its likeness, perfect and finished."

You can replace the words "film" and "movie" with the word "life" in the text above, and it still makes sense.

What makes a movie "good?" and if a movie is good, is it worth watching?
What makes a life good? and if a life is good, is it worth living?


answered 18 Feb '10, 20:38

Vesuvius's gravatar image


edited 18 Feb '10, 21:03

What a great answer:-)

(18 Feb '10, 21:08) Michaela

Vesuvius, I appreciate your research here. If movies, films and television are metaphors for life then is there any point to watching them. They are not life. "But it might as well be tomato sauce for the effect it has on our real life..." So it has little effect other than to dirty our shirt. Does this mean you concur that there is little value in Hollywood?

(18 Feb '10, 21:45) TheSevenMan

Movies are a condensed, stylized version of life. A good movie is like a good book, in some ways. It can be educational, it can be inspirational. It is our modern version of the oral tradition. Like anything else in life, you have to decide whether it is worth your time to experience the movie or not.

(18 Feb '10, 22:33) Vesuvius

You will understand the tomato-sauce reference better if you read the whole book. Like life, the movie ends when you step out of the theater and re-enter the larger reality. Once you leave the theater of life, does the blood spilled matter anymore?

(18 Feb '10, 22:34) Vesuvius
showing 2 of 4 show 2 more comments

It depends on what we watch. There are movies that cause us to feel sick, uneasy, etc... this cannot be good. There are movies that make us laugh, laughing is good for us physically and mentally. There are some movies that end up having some hidden meaning that we may or may not see, that if we see the hidden meanings, we can learn and grow spiritually. Some movies to watch would include: Sphere, The Matrix, Inception


answered 06 Mar '11, 21:41

Fairy%20Princess's gravatar image

Fairy Princess

Everything in life may appear to have some benefits, of course if it is your cup of tea! But on the contrary, everything over done is too much. So it is basically, what is your interest?


answered 07 Mar '11, 06:18

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