Thursday, June 30, 2011

The Mother on “Cinema”


      I remember that whenever the film "The Wizard of Oz" was screened in
the Ashram Playground, it used to rain.
     Earlier, the Mother also used to watch films (censored) with chidren and
Ashramites in the Playground. If it rained, the Mother would not get up. And
nobody would get up unless the Mother got up.
   It also reminds me that at times, when children requested Her for the success of their open-air functions, She would stop the rain for that period. After that, it would rain with double force. Ms. Tara Jauhar has described in one of her books how the Mother would tell childen to pray for rain.
   During that period we had many films in the Ashram. The Mother commented jocularly, " We are becoming filmsy ! "

- Jitendra Sharma
                
The Mother on “Cinema”:


Q. :We see too many films these days and I do not see how they educate
us!

Ans.: When one has the true attitude, everything can be an occasion to
learn.
In any case, this excess should make you understand that the
imperious desire of certain people to see films is as pernicious as
all other desires.
-      The Mother

(11 May 1963)

* *
We would like to be able to show the children pictures of life as it
should be, but we have not reached that point, far from it. These
films have yet to be made. And at present, most of the time, the
cinema shows life as it should not be, so strikingly that it makes
you disgusted with life.
This too is useful as a preparation.
Films are permitted in the Ashram not as an amusement but as part of education. So we are faced with the problem of education.

If we consider that the child should learn and know only
what can keep him pure of every low, crude, violent and degrading
movement, we would have to eliminate at a stroke all contact with
the rest of humanity, beginning with all these stories of war and
murder, of conflict and deception which go under the name of
history; we would have to eliminate all present contact with family,
relatives and friends; we would have to exercise control over all
the vital impulses of their being.
This was the idea behind the enclosed monastic life of convents, or
the ascetic life in caves and forests.
This remedy proved to be quite ineffectual and failed to pull
mankind out of the mire.
According to Sri Aurobindo, the remedy is quite different.
We must face life as a whole, with all the ugliness, falsehood and
cruelty it still contains, but we must take care to discover in
ourselves the source of all goodness, all beauty, all light and all
truth, in order to bring this source consciously into contact with
the world so as to transform it.
This is infinitely more difficult than running away or shutting our
eyes so as not to see, but it is the only truly effective way the
way of those who are truly strong and pure and capable of
manifesting the Truth.
-      The Mother

(29 May 1968)

*       *
Mother,
Q.: How should one see a film? If one identifies oneself with the
characters and if it is a tragic or detective film, one is so much
involved that one weeps or is frightened. And if one keeps aloof one
cannot appreciate it very well. What is to be done then?

Ans.: It is the vital that is affected and moved.
If you look mentally, the interest is no more the same; instead of
being moved or troubled, you can judge quietly the value of the
film, whether it is well constructed and well acted and whether the
pictures have any artistic value.

In the first case you are "good public", in the second you are more
peaceful.
Blessings.
-      The Mother

(30 January 1970)

* *
(Concerning cinema in Auroville)
Children below fifteen years will see only educational films.
Care should be taken in selecting films to be shown in Auroville.
All that encourages the lower movements and actions must be
avoided.
-                   - The Mother

(25 February 1972)

* *
Learn to be silent
The cinema is given for those who like to look at pictures and to
listen to the music and the words, and they have a right to look and
to hear quietly.
Those who cannot stop talking, chatting, laughing and making a noise
or even running about, ought not to be there, because all what they
do, they can do elsewhere without spoiling the pleasure of those who
are not like them.
So here is the decision: a silent audience or no cinema.
-      - The Mother

(12 October 1962)

* *
Film: "The Wizard of Oz"

A short explanation will surely increase the interest of the picture
to be shown to you tonight.

(The first two paragraphs are based upon the Mother's comments; when the notation was shown to her, she wrote the final paragraph.

The Mother made this statement over the loudspeaker when this film was shown at the Ashram playground.)

This picture is in three sections, two black and one, the most
extensive, in colour. The two black sections (first and last) show
how things appear in the physical world; the coloured one expresses
a similar sequence of events and similar characters in the vital
world, the world where one can go when the body is in deep sleep,
when one gets out of the body. So long as you have a physical body,
no true harm can happen to you in the vital world, for the physical
body acts as a protection, and you can always return into it at
will. This is shown in the picture in a classical way. You will see
that the little girl wears on her feet some magic ruby-red slippers,
and so long as she keeps the slippers on her feet nothing wrong can
happen to her. The ruby-red slippers are the sign and the symbol of
the connection with the physical body, and as long as the slippers
are on her feet, she can, at will, return to her body and find
shelter therein.
Two other details can be noted with interest. One is the snow shower
that saves the party from the influence of the wicked witch who by
her black magic has stopped their advance towards the emerald castle
of beneficent vitality. In the vital world, snow is the symbol of
purity. It is the purity of their feelings and intentions that saves
them from the great danger. Note also that to go to the castle of
the good wizard they must follow the broad path of golden bricks,
the path of luminous confidence and joy.
The second is: when Dorothy throws water on the straw man to save
him from burning, some water falls on the face of the wicked witch
who lit the fire and at once she gets dissolved and dies. The water
is the symbol of the power of purification and no hostile being or
force can resist this power handled with goodwill and sincerity.
Finally, when the good fairy teaches the little girl how to go back
home by knocking her red slippers one against the other, she says
that nothing is better than home; by "home" she means the physical
world which is the place of protection and realisation.
As you see, the subject of this picture is interesting and not
altogether devoid of knowledge. Unhappily the rendering is not as
beautiful and harmonious as it could have been. In the setup there
are some serious faults of taste and many regrettable vulgarities.

-The Mother, On Education Volume 12 , pp. 244-248

(14 September 1952)


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