By common consent, his first film, Badlands , was one of the most remarkable first feature films made in America. The contest in that category is fierce. At first, that beauty seemed the natural bloom of an original vision.
This looked like another story of wild kids on a rampage. But they were both so naive in fresh ways — Kit Martin Sheen eager to exist in a movie, and Holly Sissy Spacek like a girl watching his movie, swept away but knowing it wasn't real and would have to end.
The melodrama was offset by her deadpan narrative of crazed events, and by the way Malick made the flat and desolate territory seem like Eden after a bomb attack. In the wilderness, freedom meets the empty imagination — is this America? Badlands had been made with private money, as a speculative venture, but after it opened at the New York film festival, Warner Brothers took it up and the film got into profit. It would be five years before Days of Heaven appeared.
When it did, many critics gasped in amazement — was it possible this was even better? It had three people Richard Gere, Brooke Adams and a teenage Linda Manz escaping from a hellish steel town after Gere has killed a man. They take refuge on a vast midwest ranch where a lonesome rancher Sam Shepard falls in love with Adams, and trouble builds.
But such beauty is a tricky thing. That's why so much advertising is so good-looking; it makes us want to purchase. Thus, beauty sometimes can smother meaning. It's as if one of the ranch hands desperate to save the ranch's crop had suddenly stopped in his efforts and his hostility to the locusts and said: "Gee, have you ever really looked at a locust before? They are amazing and so beautiful you feel there must be some design in their making.
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So why are we trying to hinder them? Days of Heaven was widely acclaimed. It won for the prize for best direction at Cannes. I met him in the 90s and it turned out that there was nothing reclusive about him. I expanded to the actual size of myself no longer confined or conformed to the biological body I left behind. When I said I could not stay because my parents needed me, Creator instantly swept me to see all of the earth and every human being living on it to show me why I should stay.
I saw Truth. I saw all creatures and every human being living unknowingly under a veil of blindness even as the Eternal Infinite Intensity of Love absorbed me, and yet somehow I remained an everlasting consciousness unto myself. I Love each human being with My Same Infinite Merciful Universal Love, and because of My Love, because of My Being, all was well, all is well, and will be well with every living human being when each leaves living in blindness, just like you were, and comes Home to Me, just like you have. Just as you are my dear, and now know My Love, in the same way, I love every soul living on earth.
Fear not for the well being of your parents, though they suffer now, all will be Eternally well for them, too. Stay here with Me. My parents needed me. The Voice welcomed me to stay but said I could leave, if I asked. I asked if I went back if I would and could return to this heavenly bliss of infilling oneness. I entered the same DNA body I had left behind, with the same memories and relationships, but as a completely different person.
I knew I inhabited my body. I knew I was not my body. I knew I belonged to God alone. I regretted coming back immediately.
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I felt like an alien who had crash-landed on a strange new world in another star system, marooned among the strange inhabitants, with no way off the planet, desperate to blend in and hid, and more desperate to go back Home. A year later, I abandoned my acceptance for graduate school in architecture and quit the plan to join the family firm.
I sought my answers where I could find them, at Yale, by creating my course of study using campus-wide resources—in the books of long-dead mystics. Make your eye single. Seek Heaven above all things. The ancients had learned to glimpse through the veil of blindness, by opening themselves and becoming available to Divine Ecstatic Visions of Heaven, and not one of them was a near-death experiencer, as far as I could tell.
If they could reach a Unitive state of beingness, I could, and I have over forty years of practice, and you can too, because the veil of blindness is thin, and the ancients left valuable tools behind. The techniques work. I am living proof that with the effort we can train our minds and hearts to gain a glimpse the Light Love, through the practice of single-mindedly opening the inner door, and let the Light that waits on the other side to shine through us.
Meditation polishes the lens of the heart, dissolves the false self, and makes room in the vessel of the body for the flow of Light. What is this Light?
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To know the Light, you must see it for yourself. There is no way around this. We help each other on our spiritual paths by we walk alone. Words never capture the essence of the Ineffable.
God’s Presence Is the Essence of Heaven
Words can only point toward it. Humans use story, myth, symbol, and metaphor when we speak of the Light. It is the best that we can do. The Light Above is the Light Within and is not made of photons; it is not the natural light that we see with our eyes and process into meaning in our brains, although light is an apt metaphor.
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Think of our star as the source of all light in the center of our solar system radiating individual photons of light each of which is both particle and wave, without mass or volume, and each equal to the other, from the same Star, light from Light, coming from the Source of Light--illuminating all.
When we see or sense living light in another person, or radiating from them, we detect the Light Itself seeing Itself. After all, aren't we made in the image of God? Photons make images. I am in you, and you are in me because we are in and of the Oneness. So when we love each other, when giving away love and gather love together, it is Love Loving Itself though us.
We share love and love is how we know God. Do you want to feel safe and beloved? Do you want to cultivate your spiritual transformation? Do you want to open up to the possibility of an ecstatic mystical experience that comes through Grace?