Tonight I watched Baraka for the first time — actually, it is just coming to a close as I type this, and I must say it’s a beautiful collection of powerful imagery. There is so much in it that is striking, moving, powerful, beautiful, horrifying, illuminating, that I won’t even try to describe it. The movie at its base appears to be about human perception and activity, and about how we manifest creative and destructive power, and yet how we are just in the constellation of being of the world. In all of our power and expression, we are motes of dust. I know, you’ve heard all this spiritual mumbo jumbo before, but when it’s displayed before your eyes in this way, it cannot but touch you.
I will pull out one thing that touches me. Throughout the movie there are places and objects of spiritual import, and there are devotees paying loving reverence to objects, icons, artifacts. They kiss, touch, love these physical trappings, not because what they are, but because of what they represent. The wailing wall, icons of Christendom, objects of Islamic import, buddhist reliquery — they are items that are touched by God, that represent God’s beauty and power. For me, I also see these symbols, but they are not objects – but people. The most holy thing, the one physical manifestation that most truly expresses God’s creative power to me… are people. My children, my wife, my family and friends. A stranger on the street. I bow in reverence to the manifestations of life, and most specifically, in the human form. Nowhere else do I so clearly see the powers of the most holy. To kiss a cheek, or to gaze into the eyes is the deepest of meditations. To forgo these things is to miss the point of being here.
So, watch the movie. It’s great either alone, or with loved-ones. Straight or modified, I’m sure it’ll blow your mind.