I had the chance, to see M. Night Shyamalan’s latest movie, Split. Now, I do have to say, I truly appreciate the way he tells a story. I have not been entertained by every story he has told, but I have been, for most of them. The premise of the movie, is a man who has Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID). James McAvoy, the lead actor, did a very good job, playing multiple personalities (Dennis / Patricia / Hedwig / The Beast / Kevin Wendell Crumb / Barry / Orwell / Jade – Hedwig to me). I knew M. Night would bring a certain flavour to the telling; he has a spiritual bend, I find most critics, do not get.
Movie sets, and designs, intrigue me. I look for symbolism. I search for clues of spiritual messages, or pieces used to create, an ambience, or understanding. The use of a beautiful curved staircase caught my eye.… long camera views allowing the *seer* to feel captured by the spiral. Spirals have been explored as doorways between worlds, and levels of ourselves, for millennia. The Spiral, from a historical perspective, has existed in art for thousands of years. The Spiral, a path inward & outward, in the same form. A scene was shot from the bottom of the stair – the ceiling was a mandala. I love the attention to detail M. Night has. I, at times, love the exquisiteness, of another person’s view.
At the top of the staircase, was the office of the, very Crone, Psychiatrist. The Crone, clearly advising and healing, the fractured psyche. She was attentive, wiley, intuitive… a clear and strong character. To reach back into “the middle world”, Hedwig had to walk into the lower parts of himself. Hedwig was a part of the 23, who shared the Light. (not an uncommon phrase referring to the conscious part’s location). They were awaiting a 24th personality. So, unfamiliar to the others, even the Crone, could not envision it.
I was reminded of the book I read, The Minds of Billy Milligan , who had 24 personalities. In the early 80’s, I was a teenager intrigued by some of the early writings on, what was then referred to as MPD, Multiple Personality Disorder. I was very fascinated with Trudy Chase& . They made a TV movie event, about Trudy, starring Shelly Long, who surprised me with her acting chops. One scene replays in my mind occasionally… Trudy bursts into her Therapists office, and flashes a T-shirt saying “2, 4, 6, 8 we don’t want to integrate”. Integration, and Separation, became life long interests, for me. I never had to be convinced the soul could shatter, the question, for me, was always…. In what manner will it manifest. And later, the added question became… and how do we Heal Soul.
Orphan Black deals with a different perspective of multiple personalities, by exploring clones. The *connection* between the sestras is beautiful. Written, to draw the observer, into the truth.They are genetically identical, with very different manifestations of Self, connected, therefore They share, Connection. Matter, Body Space, and Time; Connected. Even separated, they are influenced by their shared isolation, from the rest of the world. Much like Hegwig could not share, with the outer real 3D world, further isolation. Separation and Integration. Different in the telling, but an interesting thread.
In Norse Mythology, Odin, has a friendship/relationship…. With Huggin and Muninn, two Ravens who sit upon the right and left shoulders of Odin. They are commonly referred to as Thought and Memory… I am not convinced, they are both. In my journeys with Raven, I have been visited by Thought. Odin doesn’t need memory. Odin is… well ODIN… But Thoughts gathered from around the world… different eyes, told in different ears, different perceptions ~ filling Odin. Odin has different voices whispering in his ears, sharing different information.The multiplicity of experiences. This too, has been explored in our Myths.
Durga, Mother of the Universe (The Prime Psyche, the First Person, Primordial Cosmic Energy) had eight arms, often referred to as her 8 eternal companions. The Myth emphasizes the many sides, and many aspects of Durga. They, in turn, are interpreted as the 8 quadrants in Hinduism. This suggests, that She protects the Devotees from all directions.
To comprehend Primordial Cosmic Energy as One, sounds simple, but, really, it isn’t. Our ancestors, in a sly about manner, constructed a Cosmogony, an understanding. Which grew, and matured, into a Cosmology, Which then, became our Myths, which became Stories to speak to the individual tribe member…. The Ancestors remind us, even our own selves, have Divine permission to crack into many different pieces… and sometimes, it is a way of Being, enabling the One, to just to get the day done. The mind fractures, the soul fractures. We are reminded of our absolute humanity, in our Myths and in our Lives.
M. Night retold this story, in a tense way… I found myself rooting for the naive selves ~ Hedwig, and the Young Strong Female, Casey… both fighting for their Survival… far below the High Stair case blocks away (the outer reality), deep within the Soul of Self (inner reality). The soul struggles in many ways.
The coming of the Beast, the 24th personality arising ~ the unknown, incomprehensible, aspect of Self is, going to emerge. The tension of the Story, is the impending doom of the Unknown. The Beast rises and with it a shapeshifter emerges. I was captivated by the Shapeshifter. I suspect, a person not versed in mythology, shamanism or… May not have identified the rising Beast, as such. The clincher, was the whole story, took place in the deepest parts at the very end of restricted and unused hallways of the Philadelphia Zoo. The Story teller is asking us to, at the very least, give consideration to the mere Idea, The Psyche, in it’s self of many eyes (23 pairs), could merge with the Spirit of Animals, and have the ability to change form in 3D reality.
In stories of Old, Our Ancestors, and even some practised Shamans today, shift and transform, into a whole other expression of the Primal Cosmic Self… 😉