M Night Shyamalan On How Powerful You Are

Universal Pictures Films Glass blog
Photo: Universal Pictures (via YouTube)

I watched Glass last night. I walked away astounded. You should see it.

(There are no spoilers here)

Glass is M Night Shyamalan’s latest movie. It is the final piece of a trilogy chronicling superheroes’ origins. Unbreakable was part one. Split is part two.

Shyamalan made his name famous with stunning plot twists in his early films. His most successful back then being Sixth Sense.

Later his name got associated with crap. That’s what he produced in the middle of his career.  He got lost, producing flop after flop.

Somewhere in there, though, he made Unbreakable. It showed Shyamalan still had something to say. In Glass, he said it.

Shyamalan told Rolling Stone Disney heads dampened Unbreakable’s box office success billing it as a “spooky thriller”. It was not that. It’s a superhero movie. But nothing like DC or Marvel movies with all that action and mayhem. Unbreakable is subtle. It reaches into your soul. Using no special effects, it makes its superhero real. 

Like you.

Had Shyamalan had his way, Unbreakable would have done much better. He wanted it billed a comic book movie.

Unbreakable- split blog
Split Poster: Universal Pictures Unbreakable: Touchstone Pictures

I saw Unbreakable seven times. It calls to me. It calls to all of us. Can you hear it?

It describes how I feel about humanity: humanity itself is unbreakable, untouched by life’s circumstances. I know humanity is far more than its circumstances and far more than human. Every one of us are creating everything we’re experiencing, including each other. And we are doing that ongoingly and co-creatively.

That’s Shyamalan’s message too. It runs all the way through Split and spurts out in glorious form at Glass‘ finale. Far from making “spooky thrillers”, Shyamalan is speaking to all of us. What is he saying? You are unique, shine your life. Create the reality you want. The Universe actively supports you.

I know this because he says as much in the Rolling Stone article. He spoke it plainly again on Stephen Colbert’s The Late Show.

 

If you read what I tend to write, I usually write from my broader “we” perspective. I also write a lot about experiences I have in my life. Experiences exactly like Shyamalan told Colbert. Such experiences happen today more than ever. I don’t dismiss them as coincidence because they aren’t.

I know through 30-plus years practicing what I know –– first through meditation, amplified through esoteric martial arts, then briefly through Christianity and followed by 10 years practice with Nichiren Daishonin’s Buddhism.  Then again through esoteric martial arts and more meditation before aligning with Abraham for the last 10 years. All this background and experiential evidence, told in my writing, convinces me this is how life works.  I share my experiences knowing others want clarity I have.

That’s why I resonate with Shyamalan’s movies. He’s sharing what he knows. What I know. And he’s doing it in a beautiful cinematic way.

Which brings me back to Glass. And to you.

Glass‘ grand message is: you’re special. The Universe knows it. And it wants to show you how special you are. But you have to live your authentic life. You have to stop worrying about what others might think about you or how you look.

And though a lot of forces try –– and often succeed –– in convincing you otherwise, everything you want, including a future matching your wildest dreams you already have. And you can make them real. Starting today.

You only have to believe.

· · ·

“Belief” is action. It is born from faith and leads to “knowing”. First a person has to not believe, but want to. That’s faith. “Wanting to believe absent proof”.

Faith tested, births belief if the teaching is accurate. If one persists, the faithful’s life experience rewards faith with corroborating evidence. Guidance and support from someone who demonstrates the teaching’s efficacy through their life experience is crucial. Their experience helps you see evidence you’d otherwise miss. With their help faith turns to believing, which is “intellectual understanding born of evidence”.

Belief isn’t the same as knowing. Knowing is becoming the teaching. It is borne from so much evidence in one’s own life experience, that life experience and the teaching become one.

“I can ride a bike, although I’ve never done so.” That’s faith.

“I can ride a bike because I understand the steps to doing so, even though I’ve never actually done it. I see others doing it. They can. So can I. Teach me.” That’s belief.

“I ride bikes. I do it all the time.” That’s knowing.

As a child, I knew I was the center of the universe.  All points of consciousness are the center of the universe. But like nearly all of us, I let my parents and my life experience at the time convince me otherwise. I lost the knowing. I became a common mortal.

I lost knowing I create the world around me. Life experience mirrored that belief. My life got chaotic and disorganized. My parents divorced. My mom forced me to relocate. In this new place I was teased and ridiculed for how I spoke and behaved. I was assaulted and threatened and robbed.

But my Broader Perspective kept sending signals, calling me back to my knowing. I heard these. But everyday reality had me dismiss them as coincidence, fleeting or random events back then.

Me in the Marines blog
Me in the Marines.

In my 20s, as a US Marine, surrounded by toxic masculinity and the ever-present possibility of combat, I fit in with the guys. Be normal. Which is to say be ignorant of my knowing.

I avoided my gender-neutrality, my transamory and my spiritual clarity. I traded my authenticity for the Marines’ Esprit de Corps, and everything else it meant to be a Marine.

There were cracks though. Through them my Broader Perspective reached me. As did my authenticity. I had dalliances. Spent late nights in gay bars. I fantasized. I met and befriended transgender women. And yearning for spirituality continued.

One night, fed up with life as it was, the young Christian me woke up. It was 3 a.m. in the Barracks at Camp Pendleton, California. Filled with loneliness, despair and an internal existential conflict, I challenged the Christian God. I said if he didn’t show himself or evidence of himself by sunrise, I wasn’t believing in Christianity anymore.  I lit a candle and prayed.

Reveille came. The candle long burnt out. No sign.

I kept my promise.

About a year later I was walking through streets on Okinawa. Living in Japan had been a childhood dream. Being there fulfilled another dream: training alongside the founder of the Bujinkan. Little did I know though, being in Japan sowed seeds that were the end of my Marine Corps identity.

A black car careened off the road onto the sidewalk. It came to a screeching stop right in front of me. Its black windows reflected my surroundings rather than allowing me to see who was inside. A door on the far side flung open. Out of the car came a beautiful older Japanese woman. She ran around the car and nearly collided with me.

She looked me in the eye. “You want to go to a buddhist meeting?”

I said yes.

Buddhism brought more meditation. Chanting Nam Myoho Renge Kyo, studying the sutras and paying attention to my external reality was the first time in a long time I felt the knowing I felt as a child.

More cracks surfaced while working as an electric utility executive, then as an Intel Corporation manager. Authenticity’s voice got louder.

Then one day I realized I had enough of jobs. I had enough of compromising who I was to fit in…

Universal Pictures Films Glass insta blog
Samuel L. Jackson (top), James McAvoy, Bruce Willis in Glass. (Photo: Universal pictures promo)

Twelve years later, here I am. Tuned into my Broader Perspective. Seeing continual signs in my life experience that all people are gifted and glorious and reality creators.

Super human in other words.

Super heroes in Shyamalan’s words.

Abraham once told me in front of over a thousand others in the room: “There’s a reason you chose to come here as a human instead of a clump of dirt.”

We humans are special. We are above human, aka super human. This is what Shyamalan makes films about. This is what I write about. And that’s what resonated so deeply with me after watching Glass last night.

Shyamalan and I are of the same stream. Abraham once told me we humans are not so much individuals, separated from everything and everyone else, as we are a stream of consciousness composed of many others sharing our life experiences and we sharing theirs. I know this now. Which is why I usually refer to me as “we”.

What “we” are includes who others are.

I know this. Shyamalan knows this. In Glass, Shyamalan shares what we know. Go watch Glass. You may come to know too.

 

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