"We stand for something. To those dead souls inching along the freeways in their metal coffins—we show them that the human spirit is still alive." —Bodhi, in the original Point Break
This weekend I saw a remake of the cult classic Point Break. I'm quite fond of the original film, so I wasn't holding high expectations for the second version to rise to the level of majesty achieved by its predecessor.
The original version has a certain kind of grittiness and simplicity, along with a cinematic continuity that blends the plot and characters together delightfully well. The remake, it turns out, is more like a fragmented highlight reel of stunts and extreme sport demonstrations, lacking the depth of character development and emotional potency contained in the original. I don't regret seeing the latest release though, and there is some good material for self-inquiry within both movies.
In 1991, Patrick Swayze played the character of Bodhi (derived from the word bodhisattva, which is a term describing someone on the path of enlightenment). Bodhi is a surfer who, along with fellow surfer accomplices, robs banks—not just for the money, but, as he says, to rebel against "the system that kills the human spirit". He is a criminal with high ideals. He has a great love for the ocean, as well as the thrills and calmness that come from riding waves. He is a mischievous saint: the perfect hybrid for a Hollywood production.
So, why is it that some villains are secretly liked by the viewers, especially in caper stories involving intricate heists and charming conspirators?
Well, I have a couple ideas. First, there is something deep within the human psyche that wants to penetrate the veils which obscure hidden treasures. That impulse cannot be denied. Second, there is a natural desire not only to bask in abundance and wealth, but to share that wealth with the community at large. The archetype of Robin Hood is the classic embodiment of a hero that re-distributes previously hoarded gold to the deprived and unprivileged lower class, who are victims of the monarchy's greed. Through his noble thievery, balance is restored.
In fact, in the newest Point Break, that's exactly what happens. The athletic thieves hi-jack a plane full of cash, then strategically dump the cash onto an impoverished village far below. Millions of dollars rain down from the sky and get scooped up by the jubilantly surprised villagers on the ground. Alas, it is like manna...from heaven.
Believe it or not, these fairy-tale scenarios can be related to the practical aspects of enlightenment and awakening of the nervous system. While implementing AYP may never result in a bundle of money falling from the sky, what will result is the descending of divine energy into the receptive channels of our organism. This has been called grace, and there is a reason why the gift comes from above. We are designed to start from the bottom and reach to the top, and to let the top pour down its contents into our medium of fertility, for the purpose of growth and illumination. Spinal Breathing Pranayama in particular takes advantage of this dynamic.
Similarly, Deep Meditation grants access to the hidden aspects of consciousness. The mantra becomes like a key to unlock the vast regions of inner space. And when it comes to giving away the goods, samyama is the icing on the cake—the movement of stillness outward into the environment.
So, while I'm not plotting any bank robberies, I do enjoy how Point Break has motivated and inspired me to plumb the depths of my own consciousness, and to bring something back to the surface that is worth giving away.
Vaya con Dios.