“Awakening to evolution instills a super life-positive inspiration to be in this world as ourselves and, most importantly, to make sure that the world is a better place because we are here.” – Andrew Cohen.
Last night we saw the Danish movie A Royal Affair. It is billed as “A young queen, who is married to an insane king, falls secretly in love with her physician – and together they start a revolution that changes a nation forever.” A big film. The beautiful and talented Alicia Vikander and the much loved Mads Mikkelsen draw you deeply into their romantic connection.
The period of this piece of Danish history is during the arising of “The Enlightenment Movement”. The ideas of Voltaire and his friends were sweeping through Europe, also creating great resistance and cries of heresy from the ruling class. The pomp and circumstance, unconscious power and cruelty of the 1% is set against a background of the poverty, filth, disease and hopelessness of the rest.
The mad, childish king is touched by the kindness and understanding of the doctor who is a secret follower of the new compassionate way of thinking. A romantic connection develops between the doctor and the queen also because of their fascination with the new writings. It is the connection between all three of them that ironically creates the evolutionary shift in Denmark. It all sounds like a constructed fairy tale instead of a true piece of Danish history.
But there is no happy ending in this film. The resistance against the new thinking is too strong for things to hold and the bad guys gain the day. And yet the seeds are sown and the next generation manages to grow and harvest the fruits of their parent’s idealism.
I left the cinema drained and depressed. It wasn’t until this morning that I clearly saw the metaphors in this film that I am trying to share here. I see the current relevance of the film and the themes that mirror today’s struggles. We have come a long way since that time, but a new jump in human consciousness is still trying to happen and the resistance to it is also bitterly strong.
Just look at the twitters of disgust, frustration and anguish emerging from the Doha climate talks going on right now. We are in the midst of trying to move to a new commitment to the whole planet and its people. But the “New” always has to struggle to move into the present. That is how evolution works.
When we are up very close to individual people and events, it may seem as if things have failed. As in this film that concentrates on the small slice of time before the new ideas take hold. And yet when stepping far enough back, we can see a pattern that we can’t really grasp up close. This morning I realized how the unacceptable and illicit love affair between the Doctor and the Queen coupled with the madness of the King, played the perfectly pivotal role in the necessary development at that time.
They knew nothing of their role in this evolutionary game. But they were passionate: about each other, the new ideas and their desire to make a difference in their world. They followed their passions – taking big risks. Even risking their life. And they seemed to loose everything.
Who knows the role each of us may play in this current evolutionary shift. But we can follow our passion and deep desire for new cultural values. We can follow our hearts, take the risks we are called to take and through it all – be true to our self. Maybe we don’t even have to figure out our role. Maybe we just need to trust life. It is not always as it seems. This is a new thought and a challenge that this film offers.
We have come a long way from those days of ca. 1786. It is easy to miss the real progress made when we see how much more needs to happen, especially regarding social consciousness and awareness of the whole planet. But we are moving forward. And each one of us is part of the plan!
I am reminded of this poem by Mary Oliver, who urges us to trust that we are good enough to make a difference in the family of things.
by Mary Oliver
You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting–
over and over announcing your place in the family of things.