I just came home from watching First Man at the cinema, and my mind is bubbling with all sorts of emotions and opinions. I left the theatre with a heavy heart, and I am still exploring why this was the case.
PS, A Little Disclaimer - If you haven’t seen the film already, and you’re concerned about spoilers, you may want to stop reading at this point :)
First Man tells the story of Neil Armstrong, and his path to being the first man to have landed on the moon. To be honest, I didn’t know a lot about his personal life prior to watching this film, nor what critiques had to say about it and it allowed me take it all in, sans expectations.
It was interesting seeing how he journeyed through all the setbacks, losing his fellow colleagues and close friends (also astronauts) who passed away from multiple attempts and testing processes that allowed him succeed in the end. I admire his bravery, but one question I left the theatre with was - why he chose to charge on, after dealing with a few of his loved ones dying? I failed to understand what his personal connection with landing on the moon was. Perhaps it was tied to the final scene in which he lets go of his daughter’s bracelet (she had passed away some years before this scene), which utterly broke my heart :(. Perhaps he had that conviction to do it for her? And for all the people he had lost along the way.
I also admired the bravery and courage of his wife, to stay strong while supporting both him and their children. I often wondered what ran through her mind? If she saw as much importance in the mission as he and the rest of NASA/US Govt did at the time. I also fell in love with Claire Foy, the incredible actress who played this role.
To me, the journey to the moon, landing, and seeing the earth as a crescent “moon”, felt very humbling. It served as a lovely reminder that life is literally about having the right perspectives and being open to a shift in the perspectives we may hold so strongly. And what a shift in perspective Neil had the amazing opportunity of experiencing, and the gift I believe astronomy brings to us. It’s why I’m repeatedly amazed and placed in awe, by how vast our universe truly is, and how much we have left ahead to learn and discover.
On another hand, I wonder if we as a planet are ready. There is still so much that needs healing. So much pain and suffering, so much awakening that needs to be done. I believe we need a planet that is whole and grounded, before being ready for the facets of truth we seek after.
One analogy for this that comes to mind, is the work one needs to do on oneself, before truly stepping out into the unknown. The self is always evolving, and so this process I strongly believe is continuous and maybe that is the same approach we’re taking with an evolving earth. However, I think in both cases, there has to be a baseline of some self awareness amongst other things, before being ready to take the deep dive.
Without getting too deep into that rabbit hole, I wonder where we draw this balance, especially if we have a lot of focus on the power and status the winning country gets, which in my opinion takes away from the more important ideologies that could create greater impact on our humanity. We still have this power struggle on an individual scale that needs to be resolved, and it’s apparent in larger systems such as countries and companies being in competition.
I also see how this could be seen as a left brain approach to solving all of the mysteries of the universe, and I wonder what a more right-brained approach could look like? It’s interesting to think that before we scientifically had proof of the sun being a star and the earth being a planet that revolved around it, there was a young philosopher, Giordan Bruno, who offered intuitive suggestions.
Giordan was known for his cosmological theories and the dreams he had about the stars being distant suns, surrounded by their own planets. He also raised the possibility that these planets might foster life of their own. All of these theories he was killed for, have now been proven through science, and it goes back to my feelings on how there’s another world to be discovered if we gave room to other angles to approach discoveries in our universe, and see where these meet with Science.
In any case, I’m excited for what the future holds, and what else is out there to discover. I think as we move towards more discoveries, we should simultaneously invest as much to healing ourselves and our planet, and embracing other perspectives of discovery from Spirituality and Astrology, to name a few.