Go see the fourth Indiana Jones and ride a motorcycle through city streets, escape man eating ants, fall down not one but three waterfalls, dodge bullets, poison darts, even an atomic bomb, and hunt for the mystery of the Crystal Skull.
We have been on many great pilgrimages with Steven Spielberg and Harrison Ford. We’ve chased after the Ark of the Covenant, the eye of Shiva, and the Holy Grail. And in this movie we are after omniscience, the knowledge of God, the Crystal Skull. Of course, in our quest we have had to contend with a host of Nazis, temple cultists, and (in the fourth one) a crazed dominatrix who wants the knowledge of God so Russia can get a trump card on the Americans who think their atom bomb is the winning hand.
The Indiana Jones series, however, is more than just a roller coaster ride of near escapes. Spielberg has mapped for us and then hidden that map—just like treasure maps are always hidden—in the folds of his movies for us to discover. To find the map we have to look at the formula instead of the content that each movie provides. Like Indiana, we have to use our creative insight in order to unravel the mystery of the quest for God. And like Indiana, we have to be willing to go beyond the expected, to reach behind the obvious—in other words, to drop the thinking bound mind and leap into the unknown.
The dance of these movies is between Indiana (the soul) and the self-interested ego. You can’t have one without the other. And if you notice, the evil ego is always stronger than Indiana, and it is the will of the ego that drives the movie to its conclusion—which (and it’s always a surprise to the ego) is the self-destruction of the ego. Indiana never destroys the ego; the greedy one always gets what it wants, and it is that desire that destroys the ego. Ego is a death wish. The soul is the life wish. And in the Spielberg movies, the soul of life always wins.
So what is the lesson of Indiana Jones? First, always be ready for the quest. If your heart hungers for the living experience of God, then you are ready. God will come knocking on the door of his devotees. Oh, and don’t worry, your ego will come along. Remember, you are dance partners in the quest.Okay, now some stranger has given you a mysterious package, or you may have read a powerful book, or you suffered some terrible loss, whatever it is, something out of the ordinary expectations of your life has awakened something in your heart. Something has moved within and you suddenly feel alive!
Now here are the two motivating drives in your quest; your ego wants to be special, to arrive at something or some state of joy and peace, and to have credentials. Your soul wants above all else balance with existence. To the soul balance is knowledge of existence. You have to let your ego drive the quest because souls have no power in the flesh. But your soul has something ego doesn’t possess: Wisdom and transcendental awareness. If you don’t want to end up like the villains in the movies, your soul will have to be there when ego reaches for the prize; you will have to be awake and separate—like a space capsule leaving its booster—from the grasping hand and say, “Let it be.”
The quest for God is a story of divorce. The soul must learn how to separate itself from the dominion of ego. And this separation can only occur through the dance of the eqo’s quest for dominion.So all through the quest, your soul will be gaining strength in the dance with ego. As in the movie, soul’s only strength is its balance with natural forces. It grabs a tree limb just at the right moment, it jumps and a rock appears under the foot. The soul learns how to trust the universe to support it. Notice how Indiana escapes the ego’s grasp at every turn through this powerful trust. Indiana trusts his actions. Even when he makes a mistake, it is the right action. Indiana, as the soul, has already arrived at the knowledge of God, but he doesn’t know it. Indiana is the knowledge of God in action.
But the ego thinks it doesn’t have the knowledge of God, so it wants it. The ego wants what the soul already has, but the soul can’t know it. All the soul can do is BE it. When ego thinks it knows, it doesn’t. You see the game here?And Indiana Jones ends with the restoration of balance to the universe. Ego has been defeated and the quest for the knowledge of God was like a dream. We never needed it in the first place because we always already had it! But we can’t know this until we try to find what we never lost.
The quest movies of Indiana Jones are most likely done now, but the search for God is never over. God is the search and God is the finding, and He is all the moves in between. This is the greatest story ever told.
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This post was written by ed on May 25, 2008