Thursday, 10 January 2008

The Golden Compass

(Warning: This post contain spoilers for the film The Golden Compass)

I saw The Golden Compass last night at the cinema: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0385752/ What the TavistockEnders omnibus have I been doing, sitting around for the last month, waiting and procrastinating over “finding time” to see this film!? This is one of the most outstanding movies I’ve seen since The Matrix! It’s as blatantly allegorical as my own story Earth Field, except in this movie the themes are presented in a much more poetic and stylish way. It is set in a parallel universe, similar to our own, but different in some prominent ways.

The film follows the adventures of a young girl called Lyra who lives in the parallel universe equivalent of my own home town, Oxford. In their world, people’s souls manifest as zooform spirits called Daemons that accompany them everywhere. Which animal the spirit appears as is fixed in adults, but in young children it is fluid and the Daemon continually shape-shifts from one animal to another; Lyra’s own Daemon, Pan, takes the form of a mouse, a ferret, a cat, a seagull and several other creatures. This is similar to the concept of totem animals in Shamanic societies and the characters’ Daemons always have aspects related to each person’s personality. When that person is killed their Daemon disintegrates in a flash of light; an interesting feature which made the film’s battle scenes very amusing. Lyra is an orphan who lives at one of the parallel Oxford’s colleges. She’s being brought up by her scientist uncle, Lord Asril, played by Daniel Craig. Lord Asril is head of a research project into something called “Dust”, and he makes it clear he is not talking about household dust. In the film Dust is an energy that resembles the Hyperdimensional Energy people like Richard Hoagland talk about. It’s energy that flows into the 3D/linear time plain from outside it. If you think this is all just fantasy then bear in mind that even serious scientists are contemplating the notion of parallel universes. It’s worth watching this Horizon episode that I posted earlier for a better understanding of the subject: http://video.google.co.uk/videoplay?docid=4183875433858020781&q=bbc+horizon+parallel+universes&total=2&start=0&num=10&so=0&type=search&plindex=0 (There were no Portuguese subtitles on the original) Lord Asril has found evidence for the existence of Dust in the far north of their planet, but there are people who don’t like what he’s investigating. There is a powerful organization called the Magesterium which could symbolize the Vatican, or an overtly-operating Illuminati (if the two are not synonymous!) The Magesterium try to assassinate Lord Asril and Lyra saves his life. Just like the religious authorities in our world, the Magesterium want to keep control and power and so suppress knowledge of science and real spirituality; this is why they kill “heretics” like the Vatican burned Giordano Bruno at the stake. This suppression also involves finding and destroying a magical machine called the Alethiometer which has esoteric divining powers and speaks in a right-brain, symbolic way rather than a literal way, a bit like Crop Circles. Of course the powers-that-be don’t want us finding out the truth that this world is not all there is, do they? Their power would crumble if the “common man” understood that Dust and magic are real! The film also hints that the Magesterium want to use the Dust to spread their power to other universes! This is very sinister and I'll come back to that subject. As it turns out Lord Asril secretly owns the Alethiometer and gives it to Lyra! Unfortunately Lyra has been passed into the care of a sinister woman called Mrs Coulter, played by Nicole Kidman, who turns out to be a Magesterium secret agent. She is also part of a horrific secret project called General Oblation Board, known as the “Gobblers”. There mission is to kidnap children and separate them from their Daemons. This is very symbolic of the education system or “Cow School” as I called it in my story and Satanic ritual abuse, like what goes on at Bohemian Grove. It’s also what happens when kids eat and drink additives like Aspartame. Credo Mutwa, the Zulu Shaman has told how when he was a child in South Africa, the black children were sold something called “Bonsela”, a pink, sugary substance that the kids all ate as sweets. After they’d eaten it they lost a lot of the natural psychic abilities that all children have. Such natural psychic ability is a threat to the control of the Illuminati, or Magesterium in this case.

I wanted to watch this film because Phillip Pullman, the author of the book Northern Lights on which the movie is based, is a friend of someone I work with. My friend is one of the Oxford “boat people”, the community that lives on the Oxford canal in boats. Pullman apparently based the group of characters called the “Gyptians” on the boat people and I wanted to see if any of them resembled my friend. I really must get the book! It is only the first part of a trilogy. I’ll also get the other two, The Subtle Knife and The Amber Spyglass. These books are aimed at younger readers and are contemporary with the Harry Potter series. They’ve sold reasonably well, but are not nearly as successful as JK Rowling’s blockbuster stories about the young wizard and his school. Of course personal taste is always a factor and what I’m about to say is merely my take on the subject, but in my view The Golden Compass runs circles around Harry Potter and deserves to swap places with it in the bestseller lists! It’s a shame that the mediocre and infantile ramblings of Harry Potter are read by more kids than a book that could really get them really thinking and feeling about the greater world that is hidden from their eyes. Could this world’s version of the Magesterium be working to keep The Golden Compass from becoming too successful?

Here is the official trailer for The Golden Compass: http://www.goldencompassmovie.com/trailer.html

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