Groundhog Day and The Razor’s Edge—Two Tales of Rebirth of the Hero

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The film Groundhog Day provides a wonderful story about reincarnation though based on a fantastical “time loop effect” whereby the weatherman protagonist, Bill Murray’s Phil, recycles through the same day, a Groundhog Day in small town America.  This man who starts out this day as a crass, cynical boor of a person, learns through trial and resurrection—again and again, gradually—to reorder his priorities and strengthen his  Self. Phil transforms as does a caterpillar to a butterfly, shedding his old, earthbound self to emerge as a spiritually enlightened Being.

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This story reminds me of another that Bill Murray also starred in a version of: Somerset Maugham’s The Razor’s Edge, which is one of the greatest spiritual novels of all time. In The Razor’s Edge, a man, Larry Darrell,  disillusioned by classism, modern urban squalor and insincere human relations makes a personal pilgrimage to India, where he gains enlightenment and then returns to Chicago. Played originally by Tyrone Power in the 1946 film version of the story, Darrell’s (Power’s) eyes are blazing with the enlightenment or ‘holy fire’ he has gained after his Return, bringing the opportunity of mercy, growth and healing to his former fiancé and other ‘ugly American’ types.

So, resurrection and rebirth does not only apply to spiritual giants or exceptional Souls. Each of us, all of us—human and animals too—have the capacity for growth and learning, for trials and transformation of our life conditions and our very character. For it is character, not ego or personality, that we may aim to develop as we reflect deeply on our dispositions, forged through habit often, and make conscious choices to amend and improve our state.

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Currently I am dealing with a diagnosis that my dear Soul friend, my dog-friend Sophia, is now diabetic. The doctor I have been led to promotes a healthful, radical change in Sophie’s diet, to virtually a vegetarian diet. This is hard for both myself—not a vegetarian—and for Sophie (but probably mainly hard for me to accept and fully administer). My goal of course is Sophie’s longevity and for her to beat this disease altogether.

Change is always challenging. But active change allows great opportunities for personal growth, spiritual advancement, and improvement.

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images are from pixabay.com

What about you? What transformative change have you experienced or do you seek to undergo? Go for it!

I welcome YOUR comments and story!

Movies I Love, Except for Their Endings!

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The list below includes a few of the movies whose endings I would re-vision.  A few of these films I would not even want to watch again because of the way they end.

  • Mr. Holland’s Opus — Mr. Holland gives up on his dream, settles for less.
  • What Women Want (the Mel Gibson film) — A strong-minded career woman gives up her career to marry.
  • Romeo and Juliet — Do they really have to die?
  • Brokeback Mountain — Does it really have to end with a hate crime?
  • Groundhog Day — Wouldn’t Phil arrive at higher aspirations than to marry Rita and settle down after such a deep transformation of his character?

And here are some films that seem to me to be calling out for Better Ending sequels:

  • Close Encounters of the Third Kind II (or, Mr. Neary’s Return) — What has Roy been exposed to on the aliens’ planet or space voyage; what will he bring back to enlighten humanity?
  • Lost Horizon II — After Hugh “Glory” Conway returns to Shangri-La and his soul mate Sondra to assume the spiritual position of High Lama, what happens in the outside world and how does Hugh respond from Shangri-La to bring a New Dawn to humanity after a major catastrophe?
  • Contact II —  Once the President’s Secretary goes public to reveal that Eleanor Arroway’s trip through a wormhole was indeed real, what are the next ‘small steps’ in store for humanity as it joins with the larger intergalactic community? Certainly the technology will need to be protected from those who would use it for harm or personal profit.  Will science and religion be finally reunited in Eleanor and Palmer Joss’s marriage and co-authored books?
  • Harry Potter 9 (-?): The ‘New’ Generation — Now that Voldemort (yes, we can name him now), and all he represented has been cleansed from the world, might Harry / Ginny’s and Hermione / Ron’s progeny lead the way to helping Muggles themselves to become aware of and begin to learn from the Wizarding world? (or, not…)

    Now then, of course these lists are only my own, and as such they raise an interesting question: Why these? Are there certain kinds of endings to certain kinds of films or stories that I or you simply “cannot abide”?  Let’s look at this on Friday. For now, exercise your imagination, write your own list.What movie endings would you like to re-vision, why, and how? Please share your Comments or your own list in the Comments box below. You can submit your Better Movie Ending Story (by Saturday, if you would wish to be considered for Story of the Week) by Submitting your story.