posted on January 26th, 2016 | in Musings, The Emotional Landscape

The Honesty of Brutality

Cassandra Struthers


Just in case we weren’t feeling the rawness of winter enough I recently “enjoyed” seeing the two films, “The Hateful Eight” and “The Revenant”.


The first was a kind of Tarantino Agatha Christie where the blazing fire was the only warmth in a setting of freezing snow  and bitter winds and shifting psychological sands of distrust amongst the three groups of the protagonists. “The Revenant”also had us freezing in our seats as we watched scene after scene of freezing waters and snow storms and pouring miserable rain. This second film I thought of as rather like a very dark kind of Mark Twain meets Bear Grylls (an outdoors survivor expert), where also emotions ran raw; there existed only the violence of survival with any sense of love being replaced by distrust and betrayal.


Cassandra Struthers


To continue this theme of the novelist (Christie and Twain) I am reading F. Scott Fitzgerald at the moment, having received this tome from my daughter for a Christmas present. Reading “This Side of Paradise”, strangely connected me with these two films I have mentioned. In his writing there is the sense of gathering disillusion about the beauty of the world; about the falsity of people and society.


You might think that after all this, in this wet and dreary January , I may be  feeling less than buoyed up with joy …. but strangely, I have found it rather bracing to be looking at some of the worst aspects of mankind. There is something honest in all this brutality.


But that is only my starting point, not the finish point as these two films would have it.


I wonder what a world of such honesty would be like. But a world where there was belief in REDEMPTION. A world where you coldly faced yourself … and then believed in better.


Could such brutal honesty, like those freezing and blasting snowstorms in those two films, somehow blast away our cosy self deceptions and cloying illusions?


I turn to my old friend J Krishnamurti here. One of his lines of thought throughout his teachings is concerned with “mutation”. He states that insights, arising from a state of great mental energy and passion, can change our brain cells. This is also  now backed up by modern research into the brain and nervous system.


So, the bottom line here is that we are capable of great change … if we feel strongly enough and honestly enough.


Well, that is a  pretty darned good message for the New Year as far as I am concerned.


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