Documentary “I Am” Explores The Unity & Interconnectedness of All

The documentary “I Am” is the surprising work of Hollywood director Tom Shadyac, better known for slapstick comedies. “I Am” is about his own personal journey and transformation from the typical Hollywood elite with a 7,000 square foot mansion to a gnawing feeling that there is more to life.

Shadyac’s sense of humour still shines through as he doesn’t take himself too seriously even when he is asking essential life questions.

The film starts off by asking, What is wrong with the world and what can we do to fix it? What is humankind’s basic nature?

At times the film veers into new age pseudo-science like the Global Coherence Initiative or yogurt in a petri dish being affected by Shadyac’s emotional state. But the main thesis is the interconnectedness of all things and the consequences that has for everything.

As a Baha’is the documentary was both maddeningly frustrating to watch and uplifting. Frustrating because the unity and oneness of manking, and therefore, its interconnectedness is self-evident to us through our theology and to see it require exposition seems a tad pedantic.

Uplifting because through efforts like this, it is evident that while there are many things wrong with the world, an ever advancing civilization is slowly becoming cognizant of this truth. While it may seem imperceptible at times, such an enlightenment is gaining momentum and will inevitably envelop every single human.

Watch the full documentary “I Am”

  • TahirihStarr*

    Baquia, It wasn’t possible to view the documentary, but your discussion did make me think of the recent youtube video that also deals with the the “I Am” theme which explains that we are all Source, and this is our I Am Presence in Unity which is realized when we the Divine Attributes are Awakened in the individual. One becomes in harmony with Divine Will. It’s like the Baha’i writings say, anger is inherent in the individual, but it is meant to be used for spiritual progress not destruction – so all these I Am Source Attributes (the God within) are meant to be used in their spiritualized form, just as Tahirih had prophesied- the Law is we are all Source.John 10:34 Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, You are gods? King James 2000. Anyway here is the video in case it ties in with Shadyac’s investigation into the Great “I Am”. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tW1v3dji298

  • Baquia

     I’ve fixed the video now. Thanks

  • TahirihStarr*

     

    Great movie
    Baquia!  Appreciation expressed in this
    video entitled ?The Attitude of Gratitude for the Multitude:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YPV4ztEiAmc 

     

    Shadyac
    started out by realizing he wasn’t happy and set out to find the way to being happy
    (the key of Love and Bliss and knowing one’s own Divine I Am).

     

    What he
    discovered is that there is an Energy Field Essence connecting All and the
    Heart is a physical modality for that connection. Shadyac also discovered in
    his movie that the way we direct that Energy determines outcomes. If we harbor negative
    thoughts we will be plugged into the negative energy of the illusionary world
    of cannibalism where everything preys on the other to live Or we can choose with
    our I Am Consciousness positive loving Thoughts, which in turn invokes an
    Emotion automatically linking us to the Great I Am Co-operative Loving Energy (Truth).

     

    So it only
    makes sense for those who want to experience happiness to use the ?Science of
    Happiness ?to connect with Truth vs illusion in order to create this peace for
    individually and for the Consciousness of the human world at large. Shadyac’s
    investigation makes us aware that we need to know what the Tools of the Mystical
    Quantum Entanglement are, and his movie points to our learning how to actively use
    them so we can all transcend into the real world of heaven on earth.

     

    Here are two
    videos also sung  by our own Brian Taraz
    that provides ?simple? but fundamental Tools and Vision for living in Wholeness
    vs. separation and duality.  

    Creating
    Happiness in Your Heart:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EDTcuI55Wng

    Train of
    Accord: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q2qGwL7ZPIY

     

    ?With the
    Power of Equality injustice become evaporated? ~ Tahirih Qurratu’l-Ayn

    * hope I am posting int the right comment box.

  • Fubar

    The video was so choppy, it wasn’t very watchable due to ads popping up. Thanks anyway.

    The bahai concept of “spiritual unity” does not apply to all human spirituality, only to the spiritual archetypes typical in western, imperialistic (war-slave) “horticultural” societies. The idea of interconnectedness is ancient, and not unique to bahaism.

    I hope this helps people make sense of the issue:

    Three Faces of God.

    http://integrallife.com/editorial/three-faces-god

    excerpt:

    Brother David Steindl-Rast has
    been a practicing Benedictine monk for over half a century and was one
    of the first Vatican-sanctioned delegates to participate in
    Buddhist-Christian dialogue. He is a recipient of the Martin Buber
    Award, and serves as a senior member of the Mount Savior Monastery in
    Elmira, New York.
    Written by Corey W. deVos

    Just
    as human beings intrinsically possess 1st-, 2nd-, and 3rd-person
    perspectives of the world, so do we possess those same perspectives in
    our experience of spirituality.  And while these dimensions of the
    divine can be found in just about any spiritual lineage—Christian,
    Buddhist, Jewish, Hindu, Islam, etc.—many of these traditions only
    explicitly emphasize one or two of these perspectives, resulting in one
    or more important aspects of spirituality often being left out of their
    conceptions of God.

    … consider the words of another NASA hero, Apollo 14 astronaut Edgar Mitchell: “On
    the way home from the moon, looking out at the heavens, this
    insight—which I now call a transcendent experience—happened. I realized
    that the molecules of my body had been created or prototyped in an
    ancient generation of stars—along with the molecules of the spacecraft
    and my partners and everything else we could see including the Earth out
    in front of us. Suddenly, it was all very personal. Those were my
    molecules.  It was an experience of interconnectedness. It was an
    experience of bliss, of ecstasy… it was so profound. I realized that
    the story of ourselves as told by science—our cosmology, our
    religion—was incomplete and likely flawed. I recognized that the
    Newtonian idea of separate, independent, discreet things in the universe
    wasn’t a fully accurate description.” 

    —end excerpts—

    Also see Buber’s “I-thou” construct for the underlying archetypes:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I_and_Thou

    Ibn al-Arabi described the “god within” in the 1200s and his ideas were reflected in Sufi, babi and bahai theology many hundreds of years later.

    Recent theories in gene-culture coevolution support the idea that “religion”, moral structures and other related areas of human culture are part of an adaptive regime which conferred benefit to our evolutionary ancestors. All such culture is tribal, and what science seems likely to tells us from such theories is that rather than that moral or “spiritual” absolutes being valid, the only thing that probably really matters about any moral/belief system is that most of a tribe followed it and received the subsequent benefit of increased group cohesion, ritual bonding and an intensified sense of “meaning” from life in a tribe.

  • Baquia

    Fubar, I didn’t mean to imply that the Baha’i Faith had a monopoly on the idea of unity nor do I think that I did. Thanks for letting me know about the video quality, I’ve replaced it with what will hopefully be a better alternative.

  • Fubar

    B-

    Sorry if I sound cranky, I greatly appreciate the effort you are making to open communication with a variety of people.

    I still can’t see the video. The web site pops up when I click the link, but it stays on “loading” for a long time. When I click anything, I see prompts for registration.

    Anyways, you have raised some extremely insightful and important concerns and issues in your commentary.

    Specifically, you indicate that some developmental-evolutionary [my term] process is at work moving humanity toward a more interconnected, spiritual state (unity). As an Integralist, I agree. The question is: what is the nature of such development? What specific, actionable religious, or scientific, ideas are useful in society, religion, economics, politics, etc.?

    As an ex-bahai, I have to ask about the same basic problem that bugged the poo out of me for 30+ years as a bahai:

    What specificically is the bahai community doing ( beyond what is certainly an almost useless “missionary” project) to model social change that is beyond  “lip service”, or “feel good” stuff?

    For example:

    Here are the ideas of an academic that recently arrived on the scene in the Integral community, who is trying to chart a course away from some of the problematic ideas of Ken Wilber:

    http://integralleadershipreview.com/5467-feature-article-integral-leadership-as-supporting-epistemic-sophistication-in-knowledge-building-communities

    excerpt:


    However, cosmological stories, perennial philosophies and integral
    theories are models. They are, as their authors will readily admit,
    imperfect maps of a complex reality as seen through particular lines of
    inquiry. Leaders from many corners of contemporary thought advise us to
    take a multi-perspectival approach and to have the cognitive
    sophistication to ?not confuse the map for the territory?—but how does
    one do this? What does it look or feel like? It turns out to be quite
    difficult in practice and, for the most part, we lack tools, methods,
    norms and instructive examples for doing so. Gaining this distance from
    our beliefs can involve deep cognitive, emotional and even
    ethical/spiritual challenges. But as we will see recent research and
    scholarship have produced significant results related to this end in
    terms of the workings of the individual mind/brain and in terms of
    collective thought and behavior.

    I will argue that while humanity
    unquestionably needs more adequate models, it is a deeper understanding
    of models and the modeling mind that is essential to
    cognitive/ethical/spiritual evolutionary development.

    Conclusion

    Current and emerging leadership theories focus on issues closely
    related to epistemic sophistication (Wheatley1999; Argyris 1985, Bennis
    2003; Torbert 2004; Senge 1990). They suggest, for example, that leaders
    help people and organizations:
    [1] Respond to the complex,
    dynamic and chaotic nature of natural and social systems (using ?agile
    methods? and ?change agency,? creating ?learning organizations,? etc.);[2] Organize
    people, power structures and information flow to allow for dynamic
    flexibility, self-organization, evolution and growth;[3] Steer with ethical, values-based, or ?multiple bottom line? goals and missions;[4] Engage
    and empower all stakeholders in decision-making, design, and planning
    (?early and often?); address the diverse set of needs and perspectives
    of management, employees, customers, suppliers, the community, the
    environment, etc.
    These concerns, appropriate and essential in the post-modern context, must be taken up:
    [5] Without loosing sight of the traditional goals of efficiency, productivity, character building, and motivation.

    re:
    “interconnectedness is self-evident to us through our theology and to see it require exposition seems a tad pedantic.”

    I don’t see why exposition is a problem. It seems to me that exposition is of great importance. Humanity should be on a ruthless search for all forms of truth that can contribute to some path forward – away from the increasing crisis in the world, and the spread of evil.

    Here is a bahai quote on the topic that might be useful:

    http://bahai-library.com/suggs_common_threads

    “It is hoped that all Bah??’? students will.. Be led to
    investigate and analyze the principles of the Faith and to correlate them with
    the modern aspects of philosophy and science. Every intelligent and thoughtful
    young Bah??’? should always approach the Cause in this way, for there in lies
    the very essence of the principle of independent investigation of the
    Truth.”

           Aug. 6, 1933 Shoghi Effendi
    to an individual believer.