• “I suppose in the end, the whole of life becomes an act of letting go, but what always hurts the most is not taking a moment to say goodbye.” – Adult Pi Patel.

Holidays mean a bit more time to catch up on some holiday entertainment. Lori and I treated ourselves to our first cinema trip in some time to catch the ‘Life of Pi’ in the 3D, and happy we did since it is the most magical use of 3D since ‘Avatar’.

It is also a magical use of storytelling. A story of failure and redemption. Redemption in the form of discovery. What appears to be the discovery of a vast, unchartered ocean from horizon to horizon. And the embrace of spiritual failure which lies at the very heart of the film…

  • Adult Pi Patel: Faith is a house with many rooms.
  • Writer: But no room for doubt?
  • Adult Pi Patel: Oh plenty, on every floor. Doubt is useful, it keeps faith a living thing. After all, you cannot know the strength of your faith until it is tested.

Life of Pi is the embodiment of religious scepticism. Too often ‘Scepticism’ is akin to ‘Anti-Religion’. But, as one of my favourite books is Chet Raymo’s ‘Skeptics and True Believers’ clarifies, the spirit of scepticism lives just as vibrantly in the heart of healthy spirituality as in the scrutiny of scientific method.

The eponymous Pi embraces the positive messages of seemingly all religions flitting from Hindu to Christianity to Islam in his childhood. Then his spiritual quest culminates with the most arduous soul searching one can imagine. As with religion, the story reveals itself with majesty, wonder and meaning even if it belies the most troublesome horrors. In the end, he concludes a bit enigmatically…

  • Adult Pi Patel: So which story do you prefer?
  • Writer: The one with the tiger. That’s the better story.
  • Adult Pi Patel: Thank you. And so it goes with God.
  • Writer: [smiles] It’s an amazing story.

 

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