Thursday, August 19, 2010

Up OR Down (More): Up AND Down (Enough) + A Torah Goes To The Movies 'UP'

Up OR Down (More): Up AND Down (Enough)

Did it (the stock, the bond, etc) go Up OR Down?’ is the game of More. In contrast, Enough is concerned with Up AND Down relative to the goal.

· More is outside in relative to an external scoreboard; Enough is inside out – internally comparative.
· More is concerned with the Dow Jones whereas Enough is interested relative to progress toward or maintenance of a goal.
· More is ‘more, better, now’ which usually becomes ‘less, worse, and later’
· More is never ending as there is never Enough.

Societial external validation of worthiness, compounds the anxiety inducing Ups OR Downs of More. Then add for good measure the fear of not having Enough, and More becomes a hardwired almost instinctual autopilot. The More Up or Down result: - upsy daisy - upended.
And that’s the MOREal (‘upshot’) of the story – ‘enough’ to make one Up-chuck.

Up OR Down = More (Moreon Behavior)
Up AND Down = is achieving Enough – regardless.

And now an Encore Presentation of an UPPER (Fixer UPPER)

Up – Paradise Falls – Lost and Found: A Torah Goes To the Moves
By Uptrodden (1)

All lost; whole find
e.e. cummings

Up is two stories.
First there is the montage of the love between Carl and Ellie (from childhood where she attaches a grape soda bottle cap to his jacket signifying each other’s club membership) through the crushing weight Ellie’s passing with now 78 year old Carl being left behind to being crotchety and a curmudgeon in the Walter Matthau sense)
Set by Ellie predeceasing Carl, the second story, has Carl, now the homebody, pursuing his & Ellie’s lifelong dream of their youth: an adventure to South America’s “Paradise Falls” following the footsteps of famed explorer Charles Muntz.
In a last-ditch effort to save himself from becoming an inmate in a nursing home, homebody Carl harnesses thousands of helium balloons to his ‘abode,’ uprooting and literally takes flight to Paradise Falls (grape bottle cap still adorning his lapel)..

An underlying theme in Judaism (and Original Incompletion) is the cyclical circular process of down (descend) to go up (ascend) and up to go down. This process of our soul’s curriculum perfects oneself (Tikkun Atzmi) via developing one’s portion (chalik) thus completing one’s incompletions and meriting Teshuvah (return) to the world to come. (the hidden that awaits – temporally?). The metaphors for this up down, down up – comeuppance/uplifting – is often masked in tests (nes), choices, and dialectic tension masked symbolically between:
· clean/unclean,
· blocked,/unblocked (uprooting/uprighting),
· chamatz (‘uppity’ arrogance – puffed up /unleavened acknowledgment) and humility (balloon bursting - upchuck)
· light/darkness (down) – upsy daisy
(It should be noted that in ‘the perceived down’ can be an upshot revealing the concealed light if reframed properly – it’s a prism/prison refracting .)

There are three basic interpretations of the circular cyclical process:

· Down To Go Up -(descend) to (ascend) – (exile to redemption/deliverance) like the material (down) and spiritual (up) engaging in a process of dance spiritualizing the material, materializing the spiritual
· Uprising- ascension for descension. Man elevates first (ascend – up) for the spiritual to descend (come down) per the Tanya.
· Engagement – the material and the spiritual like the paraffin and the light of the candle INcounter (not old T groups) for illumination in a dialectic

May you have the strength to struggle with your dreams and when you fail, may you always fail forward
A Jewish Blessing (somewhat modified)

Carl, now with walker – an elevator on his stair, falls – forward ‘up’ward. Though his house is in good repair (Tikkun Bayit), the house has become his Egypt – comfortable though resigned memories and the adventure of his & Ellie’s youth unfinished. Rather than be taken to the nursing home, with the house affixed with the hundreds/thousands of helium filled balloons, Carl begins his Exodus from his Egypt (limitations) repairing himself (Tikkun Atzmi).
Carl’s mission: to finally fulfill the desired journey of his & Ellie’s childhood to “Paradise Falls” – ‘the promised adventureland.’
On this journey, Carl is accidentally accompanied by Russell, the Wildlife Adventure scout, who has a pursuit as well: his final ‘merit’ badge and recognition by his dad.

The pursuit for “Paradise Falls” reverses Carl’s Paradise Lost (Ellie) reigniting his candle. This quest also yields (hod) a kinship between Carl and Russell in part filling the hole in each other’s soul. (Carl’s caused by the loss of Ellie, and Russell’s levado (2) from absentee parents which no amount of merit badges fulfill). Carl and Russell, through their adventure, repairing a part of each other’s world – Tikkun Olam – inside out ).
The voyage to “Paradise Falls” is para-dicey with tests (nes – in Hebrew also means miracle) in Carl’s journey ‘upward’ Tikkun Atzmi (repairing perfecting oneself) (3)
Up, down, down Up.
Up, descend, ascend – to Paradise…Falls.

Not outward bound – but inward bound
The process of UpGrade:
Tikkun Atzmi, Tikkun Bayit, Tikkun Olam (inside out) completing one’s soul curriculum assignment.

The film concludes with Russell adorned with the grape soda top awarded by Carl.
And that’s the ‘merited’ badge.

“On ‘word, ’ & Upward – Olam Haba regained & Upheld: Upsy-daisy (4)

(1) Uptrodden has been my aol email name for 20+ years. As a fee only financial planner, I represented ‘the few, the proud, the rich, the former rich – The Uptrodden).
(2) Russell’s levado – the inability to share (symbolically) his merit badges with his dad.
(3) Note: there was no product placement for 7UP in this movie – though Refreshing & ‘the uncola’).
(4) No puns were harmed and all pun labor laws were complied with in the writing of this ‘screen’ play on words – The Punisher.

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