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I am a writer in Central Florida with strong interests in the ways in which religion and philosophy intersect in popular culture. I especially enjoy examining how this is expressed in film, literature, music, and art.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Oogway says...

I saw Kung Fu Panda last new year's eve (2008) on demand.

(Quite the exciting life, I know.)

Since then I have seen it several times and more and more, I am convinced that the movie holds the key to living a good life. This coming year I hope to continue incorporating these tenets into my daily life and my worldview.

The characters in the movie learn to look beyond the surface of things and to realize that the greatest accomplishments can indeed come from the unlikeliest person. Patience is a virtue and perseverance is key to success. You must live in the moment and seize every opportunity. Learn to be in awe of your life.

Oogway is a wise figure and though he dies much too early for my satisfaction, I must say his impact is felt in every subsequent scene. Below are the two main statements I would like to apply to my life in the coming year.

Oogway says, "One often meets his destiny on the road one takes to avoid it."
He says this in a peaceful, dalai lamaesque way as if letting Shifu know that he needs to relax and just let life unfold as it may. After all, what's the use in worrying? What is meant to be, will be and what is, is meant to be.

Oogway says, "The past is history, the future's still a mistery, but today is a gift. That's why they call it the present."
Oogway says this to Po during Po's lowest moment when he feels so completely out of place that he wants to leave. Oogway reminds Po that he is currently living his dream and rather than worrying about whether or not he is good enough to be there, he should just enjoy it as long as it lasts. We all struggle with feelings of unworthiness, but if we could just learn to let go and live in
the moment, I think life could reach new heights of authenticity and joy.

When the dragon scroll is finally opened near the end of the movie, we are shocked to learn that it is blank. This brings me to the most important point in the whole movie. Reality is not something concrete and tangible. Rather, it is an abstract notion that is unique to each individual. Our perception shapes the reality we find ourselves in and our mind is a powerful tool. It is imperative that we learn to conquer our thoughts and emotions and submit ourselves to constant digging through our psyche so we can iron out any issues before we become victims of our own mental inadequacies. Believe and you will succeed. That is my new mantra.

1 comment:

Dawn said...

Yeah, my favorite line in the movie (and I've seen it in bits and pieces more times than I'd like to admit -- Sidharta is quite fond of it) is

"You know what the secret ingredient in my Secret Ingredient Noodle Soup is? Nothing!"

A large portion of our power (or lack thereof) is, indeed, in how we are perceived and in how we perceive ourselves.