Are you flexible enough?

How malleable is the water?

Such should be our soul's response to adversity.

Confucius was an ancient oriental scholar, nomad and teacher.  Chow Yun-Fat plays Confucius in the (most recent) movie titled after his "sage name".  In the movie Confucius' life is portrayed as one attempting to unite humanity and restore "what was".  He seeks "unity" and a return to a time of "harmony".  He fights wars with his mind and words, and weeps for every life.  Because he has such a deep love and great vision, his choices accompany hardships and eventually exile.  His is the journey of all great teachers, although their degrees of sacrifice vary; all suffer acceptance, rejection and betrayal by those who followed most closely.

Confucius` desires are much like those of teenagers: adherence to fellowship and the search for the great virtues to be manifested in humanity.  Unlike his teacher, Confucius is stubborn and struggles to grow into becoming as "yielding" as water.  In his search for eternity, which is the deepest consciousness and our actualized capacity to hold to benevolence--that which is truth and charity--he falls in-love, avoid temptation and learns that all men have a nature that they follow. 

As we become deeper in acceptance of the spiritual world, can we release forcing a water upstream?

 

Why watch it?

If you enjoy theological/religious/spiritual movies that show human loyalty and compassion then this is for you. The purpose for watching this movie is to understand how love is lived, and how great visions accompany great suffering. 

The movie is well-done because it captures how human Confucius was, and also that spark of divine that keeps him striving forward.  This spark of divine follows him every time he looks at humanity and finds himself disappointed by the pain.  He is compelled by their sufferings to try harder to help them resolve their immorality: unnecessary violence, greed and power.  His teacher tries to explain the nature of humans but he does not give up.  He has invincible hope, much like many revolutionaries as well as religious nuns.

The movie does not attempt to make him a God, but simply a man who recognizes that there is a higher Truth which can pierce the heart; it is this higher Truth Confucius wants to possess within him. His cry is truly one of "conversion" through awareness of self and others, and education. He is a man seeking morality in society, but a man who speaks from today's lens of a social worker for feeding the people and letting the slaves go free, and a scholar for stressing educate the people and they can be free to be the best of their capacities.

This movie is not "easy thinking".  It is worth watching because it is deeply philosophical (which means it is based on ideal principles which give rise to hope and transcendence) and theological (which means it is based on deep universal truths of how love is to be lived: in freeness, acceptance and openness to receiving that which is at peace).  The movie is about letting your friends be themselves, becoming the authentic you, and being as flexible as water when other men make their choices.  It is about learning to control your anger and your deeper self before all else.

The movie's journey parallel's other great teachers but there are many unique points.  Confucius and Jesus may have been friends if they were around today; they were both like water on the outside and iron on the inside.  They both wept at the lost of a faithful disciple, who was their true friend. There is even a friend who has more trust in Confucius than he at times has in himself; a friend who gives up his life to protect his written teachings.

 

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