What Has “Interstellar” To Do With NLP Thinking
Let’s go to the movies for this one, shall we?
This is a little analysis from NLP point of view of some of the memes in a recent movie. I recently watched the new movie Interstellar. Don’t worry there are no spoilers in this article! Aside from engaging a host of extraordinary actors, the movie was very informative (if you can watch it with a trained mind, and that’s not a small task). It was also a very interesting movie especially when – with a NLP trained mind – you’re able to observe the social memes, some of which I addressed in previous articles and blogs. And what a better way of inserting memes into the culture of a society than movies. Most people watch movies for entertainment not for information and this leads to a relaxed (read trance-like state) state of mind where the information from the movie goes straight to the Unconscious Mind affecting change, all – of course – without the knowledge or the control exerted normally by the Conscious Mind.
So since we’re talking about memes, what is a meme?
“[…] memes are a viral phenomenon that may evolve by natural selection in a manner analogous to that of biological evolution. Memes spread through the behavior that they generate in their hosts.
“[…] Memes that replicate most effectively enjoy more success, and some may replicate effectively even when they prove to be detrimental to the welfare of their hosts.”
I hope you caught the importance of the italicized words: (1). The words “natural selection” sound very much reminiscent of Darwinian theory of evolution with the survival of the fittest in the struggle for survival. (2). Spreading through the behavior generated in their hosts (these are our bodies folks), memes serve the function of modifying behavior. So behavior modification can be achieved through the purposeful spreading of memes. (3). The sentence “prove to be detrimental to the welfare of their hosts” is worrisome for the untrained minds. What it says is that if the organism refuses to adapt to the new meme, there could be bad consequences. Bad consequences in terms of physical, mental, emotional or spiritual health? The answer could be yes to all of the above.
So let’s see what are some of the memes inserted into the movie “Interstellar”. As an aside some of these memes are not new, they have been around for a while others are relatively recent.
- Earth has been devastated by drought and famine.
This is a future meme very strongly inserted for a while in the movies we watch, in the games and other types of entertainment as well as in “scientific” articles; in the mass media and pretty much everywhere you look. Whatever the reason for this meme, what we are being given does not quite stand to reason – at least it is not the complete picture – and the measures adopted to “correct” it seem to lead only to worsening of the situation. It is almost a case of “we’re-making-it-happen-even-if-it-did-not-happen-all-by-itself”.
- One individual does not count. The individual should be sacrificed for the benefit of the species (homo sapiens that is).
This is a communitarian meme. “We” replaces “I” where the individual, his goals, wishes, choices do not count. Only the benefit of the “masses” has any meaning, conveniently forgetting that the “masses” are nothing else but a collection of individuals. The fact that the masses of people have no say in the decision making process determining their future is not discussed. This denotes a certain type of thinking as in values level 2 and values level 4 – a sacrificial type of thinking. If you don’t know what values levels thinking are see my series of articles here. In a nutshell, the values levels are different types of thinking present on the planet today.
In this type of thinking the individual freedom of choice is sacrificed for the benefit of the “group” (Values level 5 thinking person is sacrificed for the group as in values level 2, 4 and 6). Good bye individual goals, objectives and freedom of choice, although the hero saving the day is displaying exactly these traits of character – individual thinking, personal objectives, human love and compassion, desire to succeed in spite of obvious obstacles, etc. In “group think” or communitarian “we-as-a-species” type of thinking, you don’t count. You, your family, your children, your love and passions do not count. Only what is useful to society at large bears any meaning by the decision of somebody else – your contribution is defined by somebody else at the top of society. The “individual” could be anybody who does not conform physically, mentally, emotionally or spiritually to the dictates of the time. This meme is not new – it spawned regimes like socialism, communism and even fascism.
- Humans are liars, cheaters and not to be trusted. Even the best of the best don’t really care, are very selfish in their objectives or exhibit weakness of character.
I don’t know about you but I am tired of being beaten over the head with how inferior we are as a species. The importance of this meme is reflected in the NASA pilot and main character Cooper’s words:
“We used to look up at the sky and wonder at our place in the stars, now we just look down and worry about our place in the dirt.”
This meme is not new; in fact it is as old as our known history. For those of you trained in the understanding of NLP Values from the NLP Master Practitioner training it should be obvious that the most contemptible kind of characters which we should be able to trust including NASA’s famous Dr. Brand played by Michael Caine and the “brave and fearless” explorer Dr. Mann played by Matt Damon reflect values level 3 type of thinking. Again, for those of you trained at the Master Practitioner level of NLP, it should be plain that values level 3 thinking does not make up the majority of humanity. If one of the men who was supposed to find a new place for human species to survive is shown as such a coward plagues by selfishness and egocentricity, who can we trust then? Because the characters we should trust implicitly with our safety and well-being on this planet denote such objectionable lack of morality and weakness (values level 3 for Dr Mann and values level 4 for Dr. Brand), left me with a non-promising feeling. Are our scientific leaders of such objectionable character? Is this what the movie is telling us? Or is it a value judgment taken from certain individuals in society – who display these traits of abject behavior – generalized?
- AI is present and here to stay.
Of course we have the benevolent AI who just “executes” the “orders” of the human pilot even if they lead to self-destruction. AI is here to stay! If we are to heed the warnings of Elon Musk, Stephen Hawking, and Steve Wozniak things may go really bad for humans in the case of an super-intelligent, self-conscious AI; so bad that it could lead to human extinction. Let’s just hope they are wrong and the benevolent for of AI is here for our benefit.
- Mankind was born on Earth. It was never meant to die here.
This is a new meme regarding the space programs run by DARPA, NASA, and a host of private contractors like Lockheed Martin, Boeing, General Dynamics, Raytheon, and the like. Whether you are aware of it or not there is a fight to the finish line between major corporations to provide the equipment and technology necessary for colonizing other planets. The space travel and retrieval of resources from other planets, asteroids, is not a science fiction concept and it has not been this way for a long time. If you’re not aware of it I suggest you use your browser to do some research. The information is literally at your fingertips
- The salvation comes from the 5th dimension (a New Age concept).
This could be irritating to some of you. It is not that all the concepts of the New Age movement are wrong – many are extremely useful, however the overall premise of this movement is placidity – as in values level 6 thinking. No reason to do anything, or attempt to be in charge of your own destiny, “they” watch form above and will help you. And I am sure many people will not notice that the hero, Cooper, helps himself, makes some very tough decisions including the as-old-as-time meme of self-sacrifice, and only then he is helped by “them”. This, as reassuring as it may seem, (salvation comes from somewhere) is actually a meme leading to placidity and apathy. There is nothing you can do, or should do, no action to take, humankind is doomed, the earth is doomed so you might as well lay down and accept the facts. My NLP trained mind asks “Who says so?” Who decided that an individual cannot do anything to help his/her fellow human beings? If we all stay placid and wait for salvation, nothing will get done. The hero, Matthew McConaughey is not thinking inside the abovementioned memes. All his actions denote outside the box thinking (as in the NLP lateral chunking) as well as the importance of the individual. Individual love for his daughter makes him the hero.
Of course these are just a few of the many memes in this movie. Go watch it. It is a very good movie indeed!
I’ll leave you with a positive albeit partial quote from the hero of this movie:
“We’ve always defined ourselves by the ability to overcome the impossible. And we count these moments. These moments when we dare to aim higher, to break barriers, to reach for the stars, to make the unknown known. We count these moments as our proudest achievements. “
Until next time, be well.