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In the famed film “Being There” Peter Sellers, best known for his comedic roles in the Pink Panther film series, now plays the serious and dramatic role of Chauncey Gardiner, an adult savant who lives under the protective care of a guardian who will soon, after the movie begins, suddenly die and leave him homeless and on the streets of Washington D.C. (WCD). We learn from the film that Chauncey’s daily life existence consists of gardening around his protective home setting and watching TV. He has no other exposure and knows no other world.
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Shirley MacLaine, the Academy Award-winning actress widely known for her ground-breaking metaphysical film, “Out On A Limb”, plays the character of Eve Rand, the wife of an uber-wealthy businessman and a political kingmaker named Benjamin Rand, who is an aging, dying, and long-esteemed mentor to numerous U.S. Presidents.
Chauncey and Eve’s world will soon collide after he is informed of the death of his guardian and he must now leave his sheltering residence since an early age. As a mentally unequipped adult, Chauncey is now turned onto the street with only the clothes on his back, no money or a bearing of where to go or what to do next.
As Chauncey wanders lost and alone on the dark and strange streets of WDC he eventually comes across a TV storefront whose display window beams a wide array of broadcast content that captures the familiarity of his attention. There, Chauncey becomes entranced and mistakenly steps backward off of the sidewalk and onto the curb of the street behind him. At this same time, and unknowingly to Chauncey, there is a limousine that is in the process of backing up. Eve’s driver, unaware of Chauncey, accidentally backs into him and knocks him to the ground. Hearing the thud, Eve and her driver immediately attend to Chauncey to see that has been left with a broken leg.
Eve, assessing the situation, the potential ramifications of this occurrence and a knowledge of the virtual hospital that attends to her husband at their estate invites Chauncey to join her in the Limousine and be privately cared for at their home. Chauncey, not having a concept of the serious nature of his injury other than being in severe pain and having no other place to go accepts Eve’s offer.
Now in the Limousine, Chauncey, Eve and the chauffeur all enter the sprawling estate of her husband’s home. A doctor and nurses are there to meet and care for Chauncey at the door of the home. He is wheeled into the ER wing of the home where is leg is attended to and treated. Eve informs her husband of the background and details of the situation and Benjamin openly welcomes their new guest.
After being treated Chauncey is shown to his beautiful living quarters, made comfortable and provided with the controls to the TV set. As he recovers day by day, is well provided for and watches TV constantly. Eve continually checks in on him. Their friendship develops with each conversation and Eve begins to perceive that his insights about life are both metaphorically deep and philosophically profound. Eve discusses these insights with Benjamin who decides to invite him to the hospital-like wing of the estate to meet, talk and get to know each other better.
During their conversation, the wise businessman and kingmaker askes Chauncey a wide range of questions about the meaning of life and the landscape of politics. Chauncey, answers in simple metaphors that relate to the world as he knows it, from a gardening perspective. With each of these encounters and conversations, Eve’s husband becomes convinced that Chauncey is a genius scholar and guru-like philosopher/teacher.
Shortly after this conclusion, Benjamin is called to the White House to consult with the current President. He declines the meeting due to his ill and fragile state of health. Instead, he recommends that Chauncey attends in the meeting in his stead. White House staff take the recommendation under advisement, do background research on Chauncey and find nothing. The President’s chief of staff conducts an in-person interview with Chauncey and concludes that he is a foolish moron. Benjamin remains steadfast in his recommendation for the President to meet with Chauncey.
The President and Chauncey meet to discuss world issues to which Chauncey responses innocently and apparently, from a metaphorically deep perspective. The press and world weigh in on the new Presidential advisor as either a being a true genius or a fraudulent moronic charlatan. As Benjamin’s health declines he turns to Chauncey and requests that in his passing he will look after and take care of Eve. Chauncey agrees and Eve’s relationship deepens romantically with him.
Benjamin passes and at the funeral, the President and other world leaders attend the service which is held on the estate’s property and near its large lake. Chauncey also attends the funeral and appears to be seemingly disinterested and/or unable to comprehend the significance of the event. During the ceremonial proceedings, Chauncey begins to wander away from the gathering and makes his way to the opposite side of the lake. There, the funeral which is still underway can also be seen in full view.
Observing the vista of the grounds, lake, and funeral Chauncey now begins to walk toward the water at the edge of the lake. Standing at the water’s edge, he pauses for a moment and then proceeds to walk into the lake and does not sink into the water with any of his proceeding steps. Chauncey appears, like a Christ-like figure, to be able to walk on top of the water.
After walking for what appears to be some fifty or more yards towards the center of the lake Chauncey comes to a stop. He now appears to be standing still, on top of the water and still not sinking into the water. At this moment Chauncey then takes his walking cane and pushes it into the water and near up to the length of its handle. He then pulls his cane out of the water to leave no question to the moviegoer about the depth of water that he had been walking on and now stood over.
Was Chauncey a true Christ-like figure who philosophically and metaphorically rose to the truisms of the Divine and the power of mind over matter, or was he an idiot savant who was seemingly able to defy the law of physics because he lacked any knowledge of them? Is the power of pure innocence the equivalent to the power of mystical clarity, that of being an Avatar? The Being There provokes this fascinating philosophical question to explore.
Respectively and from this film’s metaphor of gardening and the metaphysical teachings of the Buddha he wisely concluded that “All that we are is a result of what we have thought” and that “It is our attachments that causes our suffering.”
You see, the desperately clutching part of our fearful mind attaches to certain thoughts which only draws us into perpetual pain, suffering, and sorrow. Each fearful grasp at the drama of our projected imaginings stops the flow of our breath, our connection with source. Then, and as we wildly exhale our most dramatic thoughts onto the mirror of our present moment… we find that the fog of our breath now obscures the truest image of our self … the image which only seeks to reflect the love, beauty, and peace that we Divinely already are.
Know that the ego is always quick to project and/or paint the most horrid of our most wounded, unresolved thoughts of unworthiness and self-loathing onto the personality to form a distorted and mirrored self-portrait. Such precision of such brush strokes are designed to fill the landscape of our creativity with frightful and blinding images that hide the truth of our beauty and inner gifts. Instead, our fearful mind always seeks to disguise the purity of our truth with the mask of permanent fear.
Be sure that the unbridled imaginings of fear do draw to them specific forms and outcomes. So, be ever mindful of any unchaperoned thoughts which wander ever dangerously to take root in the fertile soil of fearful curiosity.
Be ever mindful of all such fearfully projected thoughts and more importantly, be quick to examine and pluck the roots from such seeds before the beautiful garden of your mind is overrun with weeds of bitterness and a stunted growth.
Give instead your most considerate toil and stewardship to the seedling thoughts that you lovingly sow and cultivate. Bring ever grace to that which you know to be of the truth of the loving Divine. Let the joy of this wisdom sprinkle loving peace over each thought so that these roots sprout an ever deeper and stronger blossom in the beauty of your soul.
May the flowering of your wisest and most loving intuition bring sweetness to your life so that each moment reveals the celebration of your innermost heavenly kingdom and the Divine beauty you can always choose to behold.
Thank you for reading my article. I trust you found value in it. If so, please consider supporting my work and that of Project Peace On Earth by: