When I lived with my parents in Chile, I watched many movies and TV shows with my dad. We saw some good and some terrible ones, but all made lovely memories.

Usually, during the movie, my dad would find many inconsistencies, mistakes or things that “are not like that in the real world“, making him lose interest in what we were watching. Most of the time, he was right. Someone made a stupid decision, something physically impossible happened, or it was nonsense.

Of course, there are terrible movies, and those mistakes are just a tiny part of what makes them incredibly bad. But if we try to analyse every detail and look beyond the 3D animation, the actors and make-up, we will find something very disappointing… IT’S JUST A MOVIE! IT’S NOT REAL! Yes, everything is make-believe – its camera tricks, 3D animated characters, not historically accurate and perhaps not even based on “real life events”. At first, we think we’ve gained something with this knowledge, but maybe we also feel like something was taken away.

It’s just like magic; there is a big smoke screen, and we think that we will find the real secrets by looking through it. Finally, we will feel satisfied and complete. But most of the time, we end up feeling disappointed because maybe knowing the secret wasn’t what we were looking for. Perhaps we don’t need “just a trick”, and the answer to “how do you do it?” don’t lead us to the real secrets of magic.

I think magic:

“offers the pleasure of something plain and ordinary, unexpectedly elevated to a marvel. It’s a redemptive feeling, a reminder of many potential wonders. When a magician places a coin in his hand and makes it disappear, it is a reminder that there’s something about coins and hands that we’ve failed to appreciate. Unlike a mere deception or a simple secret, which gives the impression that something’s been taken away, a great magician makes you feel like something’s been given to you.”*

Looking for answers, judging and categorising things have helped humans discover amazing things. But, by labelling and judging everything, we could lose our ability to wonder and enjoy the simple things: good company, watching a movie, drinking hot chocolate, or just walking in the park.

I’m not suggesting that we need to throw our brains down the drain! We need them to be what we are, but sometimes, if we let our brains rule us, we lose the ability to feel and truly enjoy experiences.

Thinking is an incredible tool, but we don’t need to think that we are happy to be happy. We don’t need to think about sounds to enjoy a song, and, perhaps, we don’t need to peek behind the curtains to enjoy the show. Even though we see the smoke and mirrors, we can still enjoy the movie, not because we don’t see it, we know it’s there, but maybe, just for now, we can let it go, sit down and enjoy it for what it is, JUST A MOVIE!

In the end, even though my dad analysed most of the movies, we still enjoyed a lot of foolish ones (like Underworld or Abraham Lincoln Vampire Slayer, which were amazingly fun to watch!) because we knew that they were just stupid movies or maybe we just enjoyed each other’s company.

See you next time :)!

*Quote from: Hiding The Elephant, Jim Steinmeyer

Related bibliography

Recommended book: The Doors of Perception, Aldous Huxley

Recommended video: Alan Watts, Let go of controlling everything


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