Wisdom in the Whisper™ Lesson #2: What I learned from Tom Shadyac’s I AM

WITW™ Lesson #2 – 1/1/2012: Learned while watching I AM! The Film, by Tom Shadyac

Although there are competitive aspects to nature, it is largely a cooperative and democratic system, an ecosystem (defined as a biological community of interacting organisms and their physical environment).
One of the fundamental laws of nature is that nothing in nature ever takes more than it needs to survive and thrive. When it does it, becomes subject to this law and dies off as unnatural. For example, a single redwood tree doesn’t take ALL of the soil in its vicinity, only what it needs to grow. In the same way, a lion doesn’t kill ALL of the gazelle at the watering hole, only what it needs for sustenance and to support the pride.
We have a term for something in the body that takes more than its share to the detriment of everything else that surrounds it. We call it… CANCER.

January 1, 2012

Today I yawned, stretched and opened the shades to invite the beautifully warm sunlight to baptize my room. I woke up content with the way I ushered in the New Year and eager to do everything and nothing, depending on where intuition led me.

Then I remembered it was Sunday! And not just any Sunday, but Super Soul Sunday on OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network. An all new episode was airing. I remembered how much I wanted to see this episode but couldn’t for the life of me remember what it was about!

I went to the kitchen to get my coffee started, then turned on the TV and fired up my laptop to live tweet with the other Super Soul Sunday fans. I’d already missed the beginning of the show, but I jumped right in ready to social network & blog my way through the morning.

Tom Shadyac’s brilliant film, I AM! was on. Instantly I remembered why I was supposed to be watching at 8 AM sharp!!

This film is so full to overflow with wisdom it’s a challenge to take it all in or distill it into a single blog post or sound bite. But I’ve attempted to paraphrase one of the essential threads of wisdom that connect the various swatches of insight in today’s WTIW Lesson.

I AM is the story of a successful Hollywood director, Tom Shadyac (Liar Liar, Nutty Professor, Bruce Almighty), who experienced a life threatening head injury, and his ensuing journey to try and answer two very basic questions:

What’s wrong with our world? and What can we do about it?

Tom traveled the world to connect with and gain insight from some of our greatest enlightened minds, including authors, poets, teachers, religious leaders, and scientists (Howard Zinn, Lynn McTaggart, Desmond Tutu, Thom Harmann, Coleman Barks) searching for the fundamental endemic problem that causes all of the other problems, while simultaneously reflecting on this own life choices of excess, greed and eventual healing.

The film begins by asking what’s wrong with the world; it ends by identifying what’s right with the world. And here’s the basic point. Science is now catching up to what indigenous populations and Eastern spirituality and culture has always espoused: we are all connected.

And the “we” is every living thing that exists in all of the world. From the atom to the Universe and everything in between.

In addition, “we” are more than frail, robotic drones consisting of skin and bones. We possess within us the same essential spark that causes flowers to bloom and the sun to shine. Once we understand this reality, the story about who and why we are changes. And the focus of our thoughts and actions necessarily changes as well from one of separatism and competition to oneness and community.

The “change” we seek is found in each of us recognizing our connectedness and seeking more of the same. And that coalition, as Desmond Tutu says in the film, leads to a single-minded critical mass … and that leads to change. The idea that we are the change we seek is real. The power of one equals the power of ONE.

So rest assured that although this is my first post about I AM! it won’t be my last. I AM! is currently available On-Demand and now on DVD so invest in a copy or three today!

I’d love to hear your thoughts about this WITW lesson, about I AM! and even about Soul Sunday (my church away from church!)

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Wisdom in the Whisper™ lessons and WisdomintheWhisper.com by Tonya Marie Ray is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. Based on a work at www.wisdominthewhisper.com.

2 thoughts on “Wisdom in the Whisper™ Lesson #2: What I learned from Tom Shadyac’s I AM

  1. That is so true. The “focus of our thoughts and actions” desperately NEED to change “from one of separatism and competition to oneness and community.” I read an article last month about how R&B singers aren’t singing love songs anymore. Too many people have no interest in being part of a loving relationship, i.e. something bigger than themselves. They no interest in romance and real intimacy and are more concerned with their own individual and selfish needs — with sexual conquests being at the top of the list.

    I’m thinking that if we are the spark, then the basis of that spark has to be rooted in love for fellow man (and woman). But the lack of connectedness we live with suggests that what’s wrong with the world is simply a byproduct of the lack thereof.

    • I agree 100%. With such a focus on being an “individual” the community has suffered. And rather than focusing on external fixes, returning to a the idea that we are all connected and to the fact that we are all stronger when we have a strong sense of connectedness seems like what the world needs now. My sense is that we all intuitively know this because we are hard-wired for community. Use of social networking and establishing “community” any and everywhere shows that people have a strong desire for connection. So there’s hope! Thanks for the comment.

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