Suzanne E. Hassanein — Canada
Suzanne is the President of the Canadian Theosophical Association. She lives in Beaconsfield - Quebec, and has been a member of the TS since 1981.
Being aware of outside forces working in the world of technological wonders and innovations—and with more to come, I am sure—we have been bombarded with new ideas coming in through unusual movies. Hardly advertised, these movies show a new way of dealing with issues of occultism, magic, and psychological or spiritual dramas. But often they are more about moral lessons. I can list only some of such films that I have observed.
It is possible that these movies have affected the old ways in which Theosophy has been presented. I only list some movies below—and they are described as succinctly as possible for the interested reader, who may not have been exposed to them.
However, all other media—like the Net (including YouTube, Theosophical web-sites, and occult web-sites in general) and videos presenting half-truths and information of a spurious kind—give enormous amounts of information about any ology or ism out there. This is good and bad. For the non-discriminating person, it is a nightmare; for the discriminating, a blessing.
Harry Potter books and movies: These expound magic and mystery and present training and character development by taking young people to a magical school. Good and evil are dealt with, showing strong contrasts between them. A boy hero is tested, and mysteries of one kind or another are solved to some degree—though it is obvious that good and evil will always be opposing forces that challenge growth and understanding and impel individuals to grow.
Spiderwick, The Golden Compass, and Inkheart: Each of these movies provides children with some excitement and mystery and with occult ideas about the mysterious, but they could be considered overbusy so that the subconscious message, which may show an admirable point, is most likely lost. Special effects of the occult are powerful, but they can be overwhelmingly intense, and the message may be lost for some viewers, but perhaps not all. Who knows?
The Seeker: The story of a teenaged boy who discovers that he has inherited certain responsibilities and occult powers from his family line. He is initiated into the concept of good versus evil in quite a dramatic way, and there are hints about occult magic and traditions of which he discovers he is a part. He has guardians who live in the timeless and come to him at key moments for his tests; he has to decide if he will back the good and fight for what is right. The story may appear to be a setup, but it may have a wonderful effect on teenaged boys, for a good purpose. Artistically, it is well-done and may advertise Celtic magic or the mysterious or be a story of good and evil.
The Last Mimsy: A young middle-class brother and sister in America find a mysterious ball sitting in ocean water near a beach where they are playing. This ball is outwardly shaped of pentagons, and strange occult effects come off of it, and mysterious objects are lifted out of it. The children are affected; e.g., clairaudience and clairvoyance develop in both of them, and a type of automatic writing in the boy, who draws advanced mandalas. There is much imagination, science, geometry, and occult force shown in this movie, which was partly created on ideas of some leading physicists of our day. The acting is believable, and the story is convincing and imaginative, with power to influence.
The Sixth Sense: This film is another attempt to teach the public about sensitive children who have been coming in periodically through history. These young people can see the astral bodies of the dead, and the dead try to reach them with messages and perhaps to influence the sensitive living ones to help the dead correct and reveal injustices done to them by evil perpetrators. One character is a young boy who is a sensitive—and we watch the painful process he and his mother go through because both are ignorant of that other world, as is everybody around them. This is a teaching movie.
Part Two: Adult Movies, in the next issue of Theosophy Forward