Greed On The Big Screen
The Changing Money Consciousness In Movies Recently I went to two American movies, they were both about money and the effects of greed on our world. What was encouraging to me, was to see movies used as vehicles -intentionally or unintentionally I don’t know- to wake people up to what is actually happening. If it is unintentional, then at the least it is a reflection of the growing consciousness around greed and its impact in the general populace.
The first was White House Down with Tatum Channing and Jamie Foxx. Tatum Channing plays a US Capitol Police officers who is instrumental in foiling an attack by a paramilitary group on the White House and the President (Jamie Foxx) who is in the process of brokering a peace deal between allied countries that would remove military forces from the Middle East. The paramilitary group turns out not to be Islamists or other “enemy” terrorists, but rather an instrument of the military-industrial complex who will lose big-time, both in money and in power, if there is peace. The American people were first warned about the military-industrial complex and the possibility of the devastating consequences of a power grab outside of democracy by President Eisenhower in his farewell speech on January 17, 1961. The term used to refer to the relationship between the government and armed forces, but is now often used more broadly to include the entire network of contracts and flows of money and resources among individuals as well as corporations, and institutions of the defense contractors, The Pentagon, Congress, and executive branch. I have included a video link to the speech if you would like to see it first hand.
The second movie was The East with Brit Marling and Alexander Skarsgard about the corporate espionage penetration of an ecoterrorism group whose members have each been harmed in some way by corporations including a chemical dumping manufacturing plant and a pharmaceutical company whose sole motivation is the accumulation of money while harming their customers and the environment. It is unfortunate that we live at a time when such corporations are never mind unusual, but more and more the norm. It’s a n intelligent and thought-provoking movie that I highly recommend.
What reflected the change in consciousness in these two films, was the movement away from some faceless enemy not residing in our country or even our hemisphere, such as Islamic terrorists or stockpilers of weapons of mass destruction, who have been blamed, and continue to be blamed, for the diminishing returns in our standard of living and our quality of life, but seeing the “enemy” as someone in our own backyard. It is a movement closer to us, toward ourselves, and that turning away from the external and gazing back toward ourselves is a requirement for an increase in determining the truth of our situation and increasing our consciousness. I am reminded of a quote from author Walt Kelley through his comic strip character Pogo “I have met the enemy and he is us” that was used in the first Earth Day poster in 1971. The problem with both movies is that the solution to the violence is violence, still an external solution and won that perpetuates harm. So although I do see a movement in consciousness, it does not go far enough. Fighting and resistance merely drain our life energy, resources, time, and creativity, and they crystallize the current split between the haves and the have-nots, between others and ourselves, or any other lens that looks at us as separate individuals in competition, rather than what we are, Beings connected at the Source. If we were deeply aware of what harm we are actually doing in our lives, we would no longer be able to do it. Grappling with problems only externally will not yield the solutions the world is desperate for. What is needed is to come into balance within ourselves. The best moment in The East, which was such a moment of self-reflection, was when the chemical-dumping entrepreneur who had dove into the contaminated water supply, came up spouting and saying he was truly sorry, and meant it.
This is what I say in my book: “For if we each participate and take responsibility for our part in becoming conscious about the money in our lives, money can be restored to its true purpose—not as a measure of success, or intrinsic personal value, or as a way to collect fame and recognition, but as a tool of support for who each human being truly is and as a reflection of the legacy each of us can leave for the planet.”