Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Thoughts on I'M OVER ALL THAT by Shirley MacLaine ; history, curiosity, self-sufficiency,

So I was watching Oprah a couple of days ago. I had forgotten about Oprah until they announced that the countdown to her finale was happening.  She's leaving the show after twenty-five years, and so once in a while now if there's a good story I'll try to catch it since she's leaving. I saw a commercial on this one particular show, about Shirley MacLaine, a famous and notorious Hollywood star.  I hadn't even heard about her until then, and even now I'm not particularly curious to know who she was, what movies she's starred in, or what she was notorious for.  I know all I need to know about her from this book I read. 

Anyway, I saw the commercial that she was going to be on Oprah and I began to be curious when I saw that she was talking about UFOs, and the emergence of a new world of enlightenment based on the 2012 extravaganza.  I guess I haven't really immersed myself in these two topics fully, but somehow I had an instinct that I needed to watch this woman, whoever she was, because she had peaked my curiosity.  Of course, I caught the Oprah show and I was just flabbergasted about what she had to say.  As I was watching her on Oprah I felt this sort of solidarity with what she was saying.  I connected to her on a spiritual level and I didn't even know this woman.  So as soon as I found out she's coming out with a new book, I said "that's it, i'm ordering it." So I did.  I got the book two days ago, and I immediately got started on it.  I just finished it today.  I can't quite describe the excitement I got from finishing this book.  It was a sense of satisfaction and wisdom that I haven't experienced in a while.

Why?  One of the reason is because it spoke to me.  She talks about some of the most profound things.  I was pleasantly surprised to discover she was discussing a LOT of the many things I find an interest in.  I have always been curious about a lot of things.  This book, beginning to end, was like a well of useful knowledge to me.  Some things, I have to say, flew right past me at times, but a lot of things I felt a bond with.  The tone of the book is really about all the things she's gotten over as she has aged.  She's now seventy-six and feels like a new phase of her life is beginning and so she's self-reflecting and self-evaluating and saying what she's over with, what she's not over with, what she'll never be over with, and sometimes wonders if she should be over some things or not.  It's sort of interesting since I can relate to that, and I believe a lot more people can, too.  There comes a time in everyone's life when we have to examine where we've been and where we are in order to know where we're going. I am at that place in my life, as well.  So I felt very close to the tone of the book.  It isn't just the tone of the book, though, that spoke to me.  The topics really rang true in my head and spoke to me.  She talks about fear on a personal level, on a political level, and on a worldly level.  She mentions a lot of 'Big Truths' but I feel like they're more 'Universal Truths', but they're exchangeable.  She talks about the contrasts between religion and the self-responsibility of every individual on Earth. She mentions how nothing is random in this life, but rather everything is synchronized (all the things we might take to be 'coincidences'), there are no coincidences.  She talks about how a big part of her journey in life, and the biggest lesson in her life has been to allow and surrender to the Universe, and to believe there is a higher purpose to life.  I admire her for considering other cultures and belief systems since one of my favorite times in life has been in my Anthropology courses and learning about different cultures. I found it interesting how she talked about the battle of materialism versus spirit, something many Americans have fallen blind to, and she came from a world of a materialistic and image oriented lifestyle.  This is a woman in her later seventies and she talks about the road to self-sufficiency.  She deeply discusses the avoidance of self-discovery and self-love in our culture through many gateways such as vanity, fame, materialism, 'success', 'setting goals', sex and power which all are in fact false god, and only get us further and further away from our true selves and our spirituality.  She mentions and talks about what great artistry giving the example of how bad the film industry has gotten and how we have deviated from making art but rather tending to the needs of mindless consumerism, thereby loosing our creativity and reason for making art in the first place, to make art for life.  She then mentions a little bit about the difference between a great artists and a craftsman, how a great artist lives in the past, present and future all at the same time.  Lastly, I found it heart-touching and extremely beautiful to hear her talk about how her dog guides her through life and helps her pace through time, the best companion, her dog.

Why?  The second reason is because it spoke about me in so many ways.  I found myself on a lot of the pages, felt a kinship to her.  Since this is a little personal, and so not to give too much away from the book because it is a must read, I'll say some things coded as if I would saying them to myself, when I can.  He's my non-civilian. I found myself there when she was talking about how it's exhausting to be in someone else's life when you're still sorting out yours. I found myself there when she was talking about the difference between twin-souls and soul mates.  I found myself there when she talked about how friendship without sex is much more valuable and lasting because I find myself at a place when that's all there will ever be for a while with anyone.  I found myself there when she was talking about the synchronicity of life and how nothing is random because I have felt that so many times, like my life is predestined to go some place and all the while I am being directed through these so called 'coincidences'.  I found myself there when she was talking about anger and self-image being intertwined because I have gone through so many phase of anger directed either at myself, someone else, or something else when it all had to do with my own inner self and nothing else that I was really angry about.  I found myself there when she was talking about how young people have lost curiosity and the eagerness to ask important questions, because I felt myself slipping down that road and it tore me apart to learn that I was becoming ignorant and without a path of knowledge.   I saw myself there when she spoke about seeking the truth because I think, like so many other people, the truth hurts but we have to keep seeking it even if it hurts-better to hurt in truth than be comforted in lies.  I felt like I was there when she was saying that when a dog won't budge that's when you have to look at yourself seriously because that's true with all relationships, and I found myself doing that, looking within myself when my significant other wouldn't budge, and it was rewarding.  I was there when she was talking about how happiness is having the journey of spirituality because the happiness lies within us, it comes from our personal journey of our spirit and soul.  I was there when she talked about stage fright because it reminded me about life-fright the points in life when we freeze and we don't know how to use what we've learned to get us through the show going down.

I guess I've said a lot!  But then again, there's a LOT to be said about this book.  I've just only touched the tip of the ice-berg.  I'm a much wiser person for reading this book.  It spoke to me and about me.

I thought I should also add the link to my other blog and how it all got started with this book.

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