Friday, September 12, 2008

Field of Dreams

It's been a while since I've posted. So, I thought that while Trevor is occupied I would continue my discussion of spiritual lessons that I'm learning from the cinema.

The spiritual implications of Field of Dreams have probably been discussed quite a bit, but I can't help but mention a few important principles that I'm learning from the film. First, the film obviously addresses personal revelation--that an individual can receive personalized spiritual direction from God. One of the scenes that I like most is when Ray discusses a spiritual prompting he has received with his wife, who is (understandably) skeptical. But having both shared the same dream the previous night, the husband and wife receive a mutual confirmation of the importance of this prompting. This shared spiritual confirmation and the immediate show of support that follows, I think, offers a powerful lesson in the process of spiritually-directed, family decision-making.

I also appreciate the representation of heaven as situated in rural Iowa. Not only does it echo the doctrine of a celestialized earth, but also it implies the need for us to work to prepare our earth to receive its paradisical glory--If we build it, He will come.

And lastly, I love that as Ray follows the promptings to build a field for Shoeless Joe, ease Terrence Mann's pain, and allow Doc Graham to live his dream, he is given the opportunity to-- with his family--become reconciled with his estranged Father. As he follows the Spirit and serves others, his own salvation is made possible. I find that very profound.

So, I will continue sharing some of the things that I'm learning from films, but I would love to hear about your experiences as well. Are there films that have offered you spiritual insights that you'd care to share? Maybe we can learn together.

1 comment:

Adam K. K. Figueira said...


Great post, as usual. I was unexpectedly uplifted by Joe versus the Volcano. I watched it on assignment from a professor in the context of comparing it to religious concepts found in various Eastern religions, but my professor in that class said a friend of his had written an article comparing it to Hugh Nibley quotes about the temple. I wish I could find that article, because I can see some definite parallels.

One of the primary symbols in the movie is the crooked path or broken road, which means to me, essentially, that the Lord works in mysterious ways. There are also lessons about how the adornments we choose determine our eternal identity and, of course, there's the obvious teaching that faith (less obviously coupled with family bonds) is more powerful than death.

I consider the film a spiritual allegory from which any number of lessons can be drawn, but the theme of which is our essential but often neglected journey "away from the things of man."