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"When we are building from such a consciousness of Love, wonderful things start happening in our lives and in the lives of those whom we touch."

 

Raymond Teague is the author of Reel Spirit: A Guide to Movies That
Inspire, Explore and Empower
, from Unity House. 

He is an award-winning
journalist, an editor of spiritual publications, a popular New Thought
speaker, and a lifelong movie buff. 

His book is available by clicking the "Buy the Book" link above or by clicking here.

  Raymond Teague, 
"Reel Spirit" Movie Reviews

Life as a House
(2001, 126 minutes, R)

Its title doesn't leave us guessing about the general purpose of this film. Obviously, the story reflects the metaphor that life is like a house. But what kind of house? The answer is revealed in the film - it's a house that the individual is responsible for constructing out of Spirit-supplied materials.

Two apropos biblical quotations come immediately to mind:

"Set thine house in order." II Kings 20:1

"Except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it." Psalms 127:1

The first thought makes our responsibility as builders clear, and the second quote suggests that unless we are consciously co-creating with God energy, what we build won't be worth anything in the long run, in the Big Picture.

What is the first thing that must be done to build a "life house" properly? A person must become aware at a deep level of what it means to live a truly worthwhile, meaningful life -- namely, knowing the spiritual unity of all life and sharing unconditional love. How does one become aware? The movie gives one example.

In the film, written by Mark Andrus, George (Kevin Kline) has been working in an architectural office for twenty years. The work has not been soul-satisfying, and when he is fired, George admits, "I hate this job." Outside of his job, George's life also is less than satisfying. He is divorced, but still loves his remarried wife, Robin (Kristin Scott Thomas), and he is estranged from their teenage son, Sam (Hayden Christensen).

The mental, emotional, and spiritual dimensions of George's house are in shambles. Physically, too, George's house is falling apart: he is diagnosed with cancer and given only three or four months to live.

The shock of losing his job and the diagnosis, however, spur George to change his consciousness and to think about what is truly important to him. Often, as in George's case, it takes a shock or a tragedy to get us to reevaluate life. George realizes that what he most wants is to fulfill a lifelong dream of building a new house on his Pacific Ocean-front property, to let Robin know the depth of his feelings for her, and to help and love his son.

George is figuratively and literally setting his house in order. And he is building his new house, his human life or self, with "the Lord" or the consciousness of Love.

When we are building from such a consciousness of Love, wonderful things start happening in our lives and in the lives of those whom we touch. As George works to transform himself, he helps to transform others.

After firing George, his boss tells him, "You're a miserable human being." Actually, George has been miserable for many years, even going back to his childhood and his father's successful efforts to make him feel "small." In his new awareness, however, George starts proclaiming that he is happy.

George shares his own realizations in an attempt to help Sam: "I don't want you to be smaller. I want you to be happy. You're not... You're barely alive." George knows that feeling all too well.

This story is frequently emotionally painful to watch, but it provides a lesson that out of 'bad" things that happen to us, "good" can come. "Everything happens for a reason," George says.

The wonderful joy of the film is in seeing an unhappy, unsatisfied person turn his life around by waking up to what is most important in life, so that as his earthly life draws to a close, he is proud, happy, and full of love.

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