Thursday, 26 January 2017

Into the Wild (4½ Stars)

"Some people feel they don't deserve love. They walk away quietly into an empty space, trying to close the gap to the past".

Wow! That quote from the film is full of meaning. The film's main character, Chris McCandless, speaks the words to someone else, his friend and ersatz father Ron Frenz, but he's unknowingly speaking about himself. Maybe his parents were too involved with their personal problems to show him their love, but his sister definitely loved him. He left his home to get away from society and all its ugliness, but he was really running away from the people who loved him.

I don't want to describe the plot again. I said a little about it in my last review when I watched it in 2015. I didn't write very much then, but I didn't need to. The film is based on a true story. I've always loved films that are about real events, things that really happened. It's not just because I can relate to true events, it's because the films have a different pattern. In a fictional film everything is put together logically. A leads to B, B leads to C, C leads to D, etc. Films are often criticised if they leave loose ends. Films about true life aren't like that. Things happen at random. Things happen that don't reach a resolution. An existentialist would say that life is absurd. Even though I can't relate to existentialism in general, I have to agree with this statement. Life really is absurd.

That doesn't mean that life can't be steered. The decisions that a person makes have consequences. If Chris McCandless had decided to go to law school he would now be living in a big house somewhere surrounded by his children and maybe even his grandchildren. By walking away quietly into an empty space he had a much more exciting life, but also a shorter life.

I have sympathy with Chris McCandless. More than that, I have the greatest respect for him and what he did, even though it was something I personally could never have done. He walked out of the world in order to find himself. I've spent the last few years searching for myself. At times, particularly in the years 2000 to 2006, I didn't make any advances in self-knowledge because there were too many disturbances around me. Too much noise, both literally and figuratively. From 2006 onwards my thoughts turned in on myself. I discovered myself. I wouldn't say I've reached the end of my path. I still struggle with questions of morality, because I don't know whether Good and Evil are absolute or relative values. I'd like to think of them as absolute, but if they really are absolute my brain is too limited to encompass them, so it's easier to think of them as relative.

One conclusion that I've reached relatively recently, in the last 12 months, is that I have to look at the world relatively to myself. I am the measure of all things. I've come to accept that I'm a good person. I'm not perfect, I make mistakes, even in moral issues, but I trust myself to want to do good. For that reason, I can judge people based on their relationship to me. Anyone who thinks badly of me is a bad person. Anyone who thinks well of me is a good person. One step up, anyone who talks badly about me, putting his bad thoughts into words, is a very bad person. At the extreme end of the scale, anyone who does bad things to me is utterly evil.

I'm not saying people should like me. Tastes are different. I find some people boring, so why shouldn't they find me boring as well? However, I'm a strongly moral person, so anyone who thinks that I'm bad is a bad person. It's as simple as that. This isn't narcissism. A narcissist wants everyone to think good about him. I don't. I accept that many people in this world will think badly about me, and there's nothing I can do to change it because they're on a morally lower level than I am. Maybe they'll change, maybe they won't, but it's not up to me to educate them.

That's something I see now, since returning to Germany. My ex-wife thinks that I did bad things in the past. I know I didn't, but I won't argue with her. I'll let her carry on thinking whatever she wants to about me. Maybe one day she'll reach a point of enlightenment when she's able to understand. I have no need to be appreciated by others. I'm beyond that.

Order from
Order from
Order from

No comments:

Post a Comment

Tick the box "Notify me" to receive notification of replies.