Tag Archives: documentary review

621. Embracing The World at Distance

I went to watch a meaningful documentary for me a couple of days ago which is called “Llévate Mis Amores” – translated ‘All of Me’ which led me to experience a certain renewed ‘hope for humanity’ as it is said, but not in an airy fairy way. I mean it in the ‘love is work made visible’ way where a group of women have given themselves the purpose to daily cook for hundreds of migrants that hop on the train called ‘The Beast’ or ‘La Bestia’ which comes from southern México and passes through their hometown in a place of Veracruz, México, on their way to the north. They use their hands, their strength and will to make this daily routine work because they understand that one meal for them is a matter of life or death – and that life takes no ‘days off –  in their quest to get to ‘the other side,’ which is migrating to the US.

I’ve heard of this documentary a couple of years ago and couldn’t make it that day to watch it during Ambulante Festival and only yesterday I got to watch it and even the showing in itself was again, a sort of simple yet remarkable decision coming from a lady at a corporate facility that bought the documentary DVD after meeting the creator of it and setting up a showing at the office where they work. This is the first time I don’t go to an ‘established’ or ‘well known’ place to watch a documentary, but instead go into a more private showing where most of the people knew each other – lol – and a few of us there got to know of the event through Facebook and showed up, giving in exchange a couple of bags of rice and beans that will be given to the ladies that appear in the film to continue doing their work. 

It was also great to have the photography director there to share more about the way that they made the documentary. What I liked the most is that he shared how he is a human being first of all, which meant that at times he had to throw the camera to the ground to support the handling of the food to the people hanging from the train, who eagerly prepare themselves to grab the plastic bags with food and water bottles on a moving train, which means there’s only a split of a second to grab their meal.

That moment right there of seeing the handling of the food after seeing the whole process of preparation, the quantities of food, the logistics of making these lunch bags for them was heart wrenching if that’s the saying. I held back my tears because I didn’t want to start crying in that moment, but it was that touching considering that these people aren’t ‘well off’ themselves, it’s rather the other way around, which is quite common to find in this country: those with the least tend to help the most.  

How did they do it? They go and ask for food or leftovers in the market, in stores that give them stuff for free to make the food they know they provide to the migrants. Now they are recognized by human rights associations and have won international prizes, I’m sure you can find info by searching ‘Las Patronas’ which is the name of the group of females that have done this work for over 25 years now. Yes, daily, yes, including Christmas and New Year’s Eve and day, and yes, they are not paid at all for that – but their society recognizes their work and provides them with the food they produce or sell in order to be part of the cause. 

I stood for almost an hour after the documentary ended hearing the conversations and reactions from everyone else there, I asked the question of how they were able to afford it and got it answered – food donations, food that was going to be wasted, their own town assists now, etc. The documentary makers knew they had to tell this story, they gained recognition themselves and so forth, but the most relevant thing for them is for people to watch it and to have been able to work there, because he said that it was like a little utopia, to be able to work doing what they love, to assist with the cooking and support others in exchange of having a place to stay and food to eat. Simple.

I wondered how many of these projects would be able to be done if people decided to actually do something about it, instead of only looking at the problems that ‘the system’ apparently has. Sure, migration has become a consequence and I’ve written about it before, but if it is already happening, then some actions can be taken to at least make it easier for some to go through it, and these women are an example of that.

Their character showed such determination, will, discipline and an unbreakable spirit so to speak, which seemed like ‘a lot of work’ for most of us in that room, but then we all realized that THAT work made visible was their strength, their will, their courage, their determination and motivation to keep going in their own lives, and I’m talking about generations of people from the grandmother, daughters and granddaughters working on the same project. Well, yes, I take off my hat for these women for sure, but then the question came of ‘What can I do? What am I doing that can stand in a similar point of support for others?’

Times before when asking myself the same question, I’d become paralyzed, thinking I’d have to now go to shelters and save others, change people’s minds and kind of ‘shake them up’ to understand there’s more to life than limitation and struggle – or try to convert them to my newly found ‘path’ so to speak, which never worked lol – yet I was myself still very much living in such self-limitation in several aspects that I’ve come to identify over the years of walking this process. But it’s good that I had such intent anyways, I just wasn’t focusing so much on myself and I was too much focusing on the world ‘out there,’ well, I already told that story in the previous blog to this one.

After I left the documentary show, I realized that I cannot suddenly decide to go and live somewhere else to do the work that those women are already doing, nor do I see handing food for the poor as a solution either. It is a noble act, but I understand that my position and awareness of the totality of the conflict and situation we’re living in has an origin and starting point that needs to be understood and needs to be disclosed in the form of personal stories that relate to personal change, learning to change our values, our ways of perceiving our reality and making things work without simply falling into consequences or believing there is no way out.

As I was walking away from the place, I realized that I needed to stop rushing in my mind trying to ‘go and do more here and there’ because that has been a pattern in me that only becomes a nuisance, a worry-wart type of experience, and instead looked at how to me being part of Desteni and the work that I’ve committed to do for myself and to extend as a point of support for others walking the same process is my ‘grain of sand’ that I contribute with for now, which is what I can honestly do and can do based on what I’ve also learned and gained through the Desteni Process which is a whole new way of understanding our minds, the problems we face and create in our lives, to create a more meaningful and supportive life that in turn, can impact many more around us and I’m only now starting to see how that works, yes, after a decade of being ‘on it’ consistently.

To me even if the community is not physically together except for one place on Earth, being an interconnected community in the internet over these many years has been that pillar of support where we know we can always count on each other to share, to gain perspectives, to learn more about each other and in doing so, being able to reach out to more people that may resonate with what we do and the tools we live and apply, so that’s what I see has become my motivation, my response-ability, my contribution to the greater changes that need to take place in this world.

So, this way, I also remind myself why I like watching documentaries, I like embracing the lives of others, I like using them as a way to place my shoes in their lives and find a way through in it, to create my own solutions to it even if it ends ‘without a way out’ at times. I’m extremely grateful for documentaries – which is one of my favorite past times and activities – and currently there’s a burgeoning culture for them in my home city, so I’ve watched them not only by myself on my computer, but it’s become a collective meeting of sorts to go downtown to the theatre, watch the documentary, discuss them with the creators – when available – and with others watching and that is extremely cool and I enjoy that a lot. For a moment I also pondered how I can contribute to this ongoing cycles of documentary showing for the people because it is great, it assists a lot of people to create awareness about seemingly distant situations that we would not be able to otherwise face or confront if it wasn’t for the work of documentary makers.

For now, I’m simply disciplined myself to attend to those events and invite others whenever I can, it is a point of self-enjoyment but also of self-education, because not all stories are la-la-land and rosy, most of them are not. I realize I should have done a little commentary on a lot of the documentaries I’ve watched over these past months and I’ve drowned this idea within me because of thinking ‘well, people can’t watch them because the docs are only available to be watched in film festivals – most of the time’ but I realize that I can share what I gained from it without ‘telling the whole story’ so, this is a first point of it and will look at sharing some insights and perspectives on the stuff that I watch and listen to. I say listen to because also long format podcasts have become a constant in my day to day while painting or doing anything that doesn’t require me to read or write – cleaning, cooking, laundry, walking etc. It’s amazing to have the internet, to have this media, these documentary festivals and that is really what ‘moves’ me so to speak, to see more and more people speaking about change, bettering themselves, overcoming their difficulties and troubled backgrounds in life, that’s just amazing that I can get to ‘know’ a bit of a person through a long podcast.

One of my favorite ones is Joe Rogan’s podcast which I appreciate a lot, even if I don’t entirely like or relate to all of the discussions going on at times – and even if I discredited it some 9 years ago or so – listening to the people there and the questions asked allows me to check my reactions, prejudices, my ‘dismissive’ way of being with people that I believed I would have ‘nothing to learn from’ and then, bam! I end up really taking a lot of what they shared and realizing how much I was assuming about them and their life stories just because of how they talked or dressed. That’s a sure kick back at my own ass-umptions and ego there, and I love doing that for myself J because it broadens my perspectives about life and it assists me to embrace different mentalities, ways of getting to the same solutions I am aiming to create in my life and learn from a variety of people that it’s quite difficult I’d get to meet otherwise in my reality.

So, the word here is embracing, embracing more of my reality without having to ‘go somewhere else’ like traveling to ‘get it’ because we know how expensive it is and sometimes even dangerous like in some areas of this country nowadays– but we have the possibility to do this, to learn from other cultures, ways of living through the internet and all the media created by you’s and me’s. So that’s something I commit myself to share even when I believe ‘there’s nothing to share’ – I’ll share more of what I like sharing to myself as well as a point of support, of broadening the confines of my mind and learning to step out of prejudice and embrace another human being as myself. Each documentary I watch is like stretching myself a little bit more, expanding my awareness of the lives of people in this same world, and that’s a priceless opportunity.

Ok keeping it short this time. Thanks for reading and check out these recordings which are supportive and related to some of the things I’ve shared here

Meeting as Beliefs vs Meeting as People

What the Mind Can Teach Us About Sharing

 All-Of-Me-llevate-mis-amores-Mexican Documentary

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383. To Forget to Self-Forgive

First Cousin Once Removed Preview (HBO Documentary Films) (2012) by Alan Berliner

Remember to Forget’ were the words chosen by a poet with Alzheimer as his last statement to the potential million viewers of the documentary ‘First cousin once removed’ by Alan Berliner, which depicts his life in his last months of living with this mental condition, and it is interesting that the words ‘For-Get’ and ‘For-Give’ can be a bit similar, but there’s a world of difference between both, where the act of merely ‘wanting to forget’ can lead us to experience something like Alzheimer, in an attempt to let go of the memories, the identity, the past, the load of experiences with which we created and inflicted the most trauma/harm/abuse within ourselves, and so wanting to forget as a way to ‘cope with the past,’ and that’s how such forced ‘eraser’ move in the mind can lead to this memory-loss problem.

 

I enjoyed this documentary, it’s very well made and I recommend it to see first hand what Alzheimer is like, and the reasons that usually lead to it, along with the genetic disposition that can exist – which as we now understand how the memories of those that have gone before us are integrated within/as ourselves as the mind in the womb, as the information we have ‘pre-loaded’ within us as the ‘sins of the fathers’ – then it makes sense that Alzheimer can ‘run in the family’ as a trait developed to want to forget about one’s deeds, one’s traumatic past, one’s wrong-doings and essentially take the forced road to a ‘way out’ of it all, a way to not face one’s inner demons.

 

The documentary could’ve had a subtitle – in the words of the film’s director – a Poets’ Alzheimer, since the documentary is about the ‘first cousin once removed’ from the director of this film who happened to be a poet, a writer, a translator, a man of ‘great achievements’ only to get to the last days of his life forgetting about it all, and it for sure brings us back to this point of our Journey To Life and the route to Nothingness. Edwin Honig – the protagonist of this documentary – gets to such ‘nothingness’ though not in a self-aware and self-directive manner to it and this is what I’d like to discuss here because it doesn’t make sense to get to this point of ‘Nothingness’ as in remembering – apparently – nothing through simply deciding to block the memory, to forget.

 

The things that Edwin could vividly recall – at times, when it seemed he wasn’t unconsciously deliberately ‘wanting to forget’ – were traumatic moments in his life: being blamed for his brother’s death when he was a child, having been to the army and shooting others, and maybe some family member he was fond of, but that was it. He is shown recordings with traces of the achievements throughout his life explained by himself at an earlier stage in his life, all his books, his poems, his translations of some ‘great writers,’ and so forth, and it was quite amusing to see how he would watch these recordings of himself explaining all his studies, his achievements and saying something in the lines of ‘He’s trying too hard to be someone’ and so yes, this is most of the things we put all our time and effort to, to build up the idea of ‘who we are’ as our mind, our ego – not realizing that life is not memories and how when one has no more memories to ‘hold on to’ then all of these lifetime achievements are reduced to nothing but pretentious additions we identify ourselves as, which can be later on absolutely forgotten and ultimately end up at death. Edwin had kept journals on a daily basis for over 50 years, so he also tried too hard to remember, only to end up forgetting it all. It seems like an ‘overload’ of too many memories, too many things he wanted to keep but eventually forget that he ended up ‘forgetting it all.’

 

I liked the fact that at some point, due to being asked many questions by the documentary maker (his cousin) he would just ask him to be forgotten, to not exist for some days, weeks, months and so in a way it could be him realizing that he was just telling his-story, the tale we all become as a bunch of memories we then believe is ‘all we are’ which is absolutely limited. We have reduced ourselves to become a curriculum, a data base with memories, experiences, feelings, the ideas we believe others have about ourselves, the feelings and constructs we impose onto reality, our entire ego that we accumulate throughout time, and how when we eventually ‘want to forget’ due to the emotional load that it creates within us, maybe that’s when Alzheimer emerges as an absolute ‘shutdown’ of these memories, which I interpret as a decision to Not Forgive, but Only Forget.

 

Dullness

 

Alzheimer seems to be the result of Forgetting to Forgive, but not only ‘Forgive’ in itself, but to Self-Forgive. It’s interesting that Edwin hadn’t been such a good father after all and how his ‘children’ – now grown up males – hold a grudge against him due to what he would do to them, which they interpreted as abusive, as him being an a*hole. And so, Edwin could not remember at all that he had children/sons, and even when the time comes for one of them to visit him, he shows exhaustion, maybe because memories would come back and so the load of remorse, guilt, the entire emotional experience created throughout time could come back, and so he’s left alone. Alzheimer seems to be a way to evade reality, to evade looking at one’s demons and learning how to self-forgive ourselves for it all, a way to escape from facing self-responsibility and as such wanting to ‘put memories down’ not realizing that the level and extent to which we are tied to as our memories and our mind cannot be ‘shut down’ or these ‘side effects’ emerge.

 

This is also another way to see how without walking this process of Self-Forgiveness to learn how to recognize our thoughts, words and deeds that could have caused ourselves inner-conflicts and struggles that we eventually lashed out onto others, affecting them and learn how to self-forgive ourselves for it all, bit by bit, word by word, and we only try and ‘forget it all’ causes an illness, because one is attempting to ‘get rid’ of the memories instead of actually understanding how we created such problems, how we participated in them, why, why did we allow it to become an emotional burden, who did we affect with our deeds too, what do we feel incapable of forgiving ourselves for that we instead choose to simply evade and ‘forget’?

 

And if we were able to remember who we have been from the beginning of our existence, we would have all gone through the same ‘deletion’ process as Alzheimer to go back to ‘ignorance is bliss’ mode, which is in fact what we do whenever we attempt to forget our past, our history and recreate the same abuse and harm because we don’t want to remember and take responsibility for our lives, our world as our creation and change the patterns for once and for all.

 

It’s interesting that one documentary that shows the actual nature of the memories left in a person with Alzheimer can shed more light than any scientific study attempting to understand the origin of it, which once again is also confirming what has been explained at Desteni in relation to Alzheimer Syndrome which I suggest to anyone to investigate and get rid of these ‘enigmas’ that still exist in humanity, while it’s already been 7 years of having the opportunity to learn about the totality of who we are as human beings, as preprogrammed mind consciousness systems that can create a short-circuit process in order to not have to confront one’s own inner demons all the time, creating things like Alzheimer or the usual anxiety, fears, phobias and general stress that we impose onto our physical body every time we are ‘living’-through-the-mind.

 

An aspect I enjoyed is seeing how Edwin only expressed appreciation for the expression of a child – the director’s son – because he was a child, expressing himself with music, in the moment, not questioning him about ‘who he was’ or who he could remember, but just being in the moment, which is also another point to consider about this ‘nothingness’ that we can all exist as, as a self-created result of learning how to self-forgive, to correct, to let go within self-responsibility and full awareness of choosing to be living in the moment – which is different from this form of Alzheimer’s ‘living in the moment’ as an accidental result of wanting to evade one’s memory, which is why in this case someone that doesn’t represent a ‘threat’ to one’s self-definition can become someone we enjoy too.

 

 

This documentary should also support with the realization that who we are and who we define ourselves to be is nothing else but a collection of memories and experiences that we build up as ‘who we are’ and we indeed put so much ‘effort’ onto it, without realizing that it is only the ‘who we are in the mind’ that we are valuing and accumulating as knowledge and information, while we forget about the words that we can live and become as an essence of ourselves – not the titles, not the money, not the recognition, not the studies, not the professions or definitions that others can give onto us – but the words we decide to live in full self-awareness. Just as the point we hear a lot about in Desteni on ‘stopping the mind,’ it doesn’t mean: forget about who you were and be ‘living in the here now moment’ absolutely oblivious of everything, as if one could simply ‘turn the page’ and have a blank one without any consequence. So if anything, this film depicts the consequences of not being able to cope with our mind, our memories, an entire life of wanting to ‘cherish all memories’ and the outcome when you realize the fiction you’ve become as a character and eventually just want to throw the character out of the window and remain as the flesh and bones we are… that’s what creates the consequence as a forced de-egofication process.

I am able to relate to the idea of wanting to cherish every moment as the ‘old me’ that was on my way to do that all the time, and having that mentality of wanting to be a writer someday that could use those memories to create more fictional characters through which I could live through as well, and I’m glad I stopped myself, which to myself as my ego it was the same as some form of egocide, because stopping ‘cherishing memories’ – even with the compulsion I had to be taking pictures all the time – I was on my way to fill memory cards and entire notebooks of my own personalities with no direction – which is also the type of writing I was doing before this process, using art as just another way to convolute the perception of who we are as human beings: point-less, self-referenced, self-interested beings seeking this something to ‘fill in the void’ with and ending up in some kind of nonsense with a life wasted in this perpetual ‘search’ which I now see that we all as human beings have, nothing else but the gloom created as the result of separating ourselves from who we really are as life, as the substance that unites us all as one and equal.

 

Today we discussed about this existential anguish in relation to ‘losing all hope to humanity’ not realizing that I was maybe on my way to creating yet another ‘disorder’ to simply evade facing reality – which we all do one way or another by creating any form of emotion or feeling to make the whole thing turn into a ‘me-myself-I’ experience rather than taking responsibility for the problems we create in our lives and this world and turn it only into a ‘concern’ – and how if I hadn’t discovered Desteni and the ability to Self-Forgive, I would have probably continued down the spiraling road of using art as a way to express this absolute ‘lostness’ that I experienced for great part of my life up to 6 years ago when everything started making sense.

 

All I can say is that it is quite a relief to no longer be drilling my mind with the usual existential-queries and ‘enigmas’ that used to also occupy my-time here, thinking about time, and death, and memories, and identity, and fictional characters, and this life as a dream and so forth… all of which has existed as part of our philosophy with no concrete realization to simply see the direct reality of it all: we have used our mind to divert our attention from reality, from the actual consequences and physical existence that we tend to cloud or ‘paint with other colors’ through thinking about reality, through ‘feeling’ or ‘becoming emotional’ about it and pondering these energetic flicks as ‘more’ than what life really is.

 

After the film ended, Alan Berliner had a Q&A session with the audience, and he ended up saying that ‘Memories are the glue to life’ and I couldn’t disagree more as this mentality is what has kept us since the beginning of our existence as human beings tied to a past that we then ‘choose to forget’ proving that we haven’t moved an iota from the very initial problems we were programmed with, just because we have accepted our mind to be ‘who we really are,’ forgetting or not even being aware of what Life really is, which is not and will never be knowledge and information, and memories. Just like in all our devices – memories are nothing but part of the system that enables us to function as clusters of space and time in a disk drive that sometimes gets full and overloaded and requires some ‘rebooting’ because there’s just ‘too much to info to handle,’ and that’s also what Alzheimer seems like.

 

Memories cannot be the ‘glue of life’ as they are only invisible bits of information we believe is who we are. Life doesn’t require a glue, life is not divided, life is all that is already here that we have separated ourselves from in every moment that we define ourselves as a picture, as an emotion, a thought, a feeling, a memory, all of it part of the masks that we craft and can end up driving us crazy if we continue to overlook the reality and simplicity of who we are here as breathing flesh and bones physical beings that have to now use our memory practically and constructively, to go self-forgiving each thought, word and deed that we’ve acted upon and created in order to ‘forget about who we are’ and as such, not take responsibility for who we are and have become. Look at this world, read the news, talk with people on the streets, look within yourself in your mind and see how this world is our reflection.

 

Learning how to Self-Forgive is the greatest gift one can give to oneself if one does not want to end up driving oneself absolutely insane, or mentally kaput for not having the courage to stand in the face of ourselves, of our past no matter how ‘bad it may seem or how ‘overwhelming’ the consequences of it already are, there is no other way but to stand up for it and face it. Self-Honesty takes Courage and that’s something one has to develop in order to not end up mentally ill due to wanting to forget. My suggestion is to then do this: learn how to Self-Forgive, Remember to Self-Forgive instead of compounding the inner turmoil and the cowardice to recognize who we are and have become, not only as individuals, but as humanity – and so, whenever we see ourselves feeling guilty, ashamed, embarrassed, overwhelmed by our past, our memories, our mind, it is that moment where instead of remaining in the victimization of the experience: we stand up, take a deep breath and decide to self-forgive the experience, the memory, the thought, the deeds and correct ourselves in the moment in the realization that no one did this to us but ourselves, and no one will ‘forgive us’ as there is no God, but ourselves, our own creators.

 

The one last mercy we can give to ourselves is Self Forgiveness, let’s use it and become physical living breathing beings that can stop pondering too much about what life, death, a thought or memories are and rather learn how to live in every moment of breath directing our lives to be and become an example of what we all know we can be when correcting all the mess of the past to stand as self-directive and self-honest individuals, always considering what is best for self and all as equals: no memory required but only as a remembrance of a past to never repeat again.

 

To learn more about Desteni’s perspective on Alzheimer and Memories:

 

To stop being defined only as a memory chip of emotions and feelings:


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