Saturday, July 9, 2016

Halt. Pause. Plunge.

Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. - George Santayana
In recent days this phrase has been more often paraphrased as, “Those who do not learn from the mistakes of history are destined to repeat them.” I cannot help but reflect on this notion as the year unfolds…

This past week has been full of tragedy and horror. First a shooting in Louisiana, then a shooting in Minnesota, then a mass shooting in Dallas. Just last month forty-nine people were slaughtered in a nightclub, a toddler was eaten by an alligator, and a well-known youtuber was senselessly murdered after a show. To state the obvious: quite a number of people have died.

Before these horrors, for the first part of 2016 we had the presidential nominating debacle. We watched as the parties that have come to frame politics and public discourse across the land almost literally ripped themselves apart and two of the most heinous people to have ever run for the office of president of the United States of America took the leads.

People compare Trump to Hitler but the same has been done to Hillary for many a year. Now there are those who are legitimately pointing out the flaws in such comparisons but others who have illuminated the uncanny similarities.

Public discourse is all over the place on the topic as the nation jerks on towards the inevitable nomination of these two, convulses violently as the FBI abdicates its role as a part of the justice system, writhes and roils as faction turns on faction: citizens on officers and officers on citizens, Muslims on gays and gays on Christians, and anti-gun fanatics on gun-rights fanatics.

Many are convinced the nation is imploding. Frankly, it would not surprise me. I've said it before and I will say it again (not a week after the 4th of July, mind you) that united we stood but divided we will fall. Nay, we shall plunge.

“But can't we stop it?” you ask. “But can't we, as reasoning people, look back on those mistakes made in history and move toward a brighter, better future?” “Can't we look past our petty differences and squabbles and turn and love one another as fellow human beings?” “Can't we all just get along?

My answer to you is simple, “Can we? No, we cannot.”

You see, cute little platitudes tweeted and re-tweeted by a general populace that on average only barely uses half their brain-capacity still don't carry any weight. But there is a sliver of truth there, shining like the speck of a star in a very dark sky.

That's what got me to thinking. Really, there is a lot more to the specks of stars in the night sky then one would ever guess, and I mean more than even the smartest scientist can see. Pray for wisdom on the subject sometime. But only if you're brave enough, because God will answer you.

I thought about the past as our future, the Germany of the early 1900s as the America of the 21st century. What could we learn that would change our course? So many people say one thing, and so many others another… What was the common theme?

The comparison that is most apt and terrifying is between the mindsets of those days and now. The schemas that allow for the undermining of who a person is:If you're black you're less of a person and probably a criminal.” “If you're gay you're abnormal, diseased and a lower class person.” “If you're unborn you're not a person at all and can be legally murdered.” “If you're a gun owner you're a psycho waiting to happen and should be feared.” “If you're a police officer you're a sadistic monster that should be hated or killed.” Not that these are actually vocalized very often, but they are the whispers on the prevailing winds as it were. They all sound an awful lot like: “Jews are less than human beings, they are monsters that ought to be eradicated.”

But then it hit me: As awful and horrid as these schemas are, they are not what the fundamental mistake is. The mistake, the flaw, the lie is underneath them, supporting and giving them sustenance, feeding them with a steady diet of poison.

The destruction of Germany's and America's societal understanding of what a human being really is came from three “great” people: Charles Darwin, Karl Marx, and Sigmund Freud. These gods of the marketplace have told us that we're little more than apes, have very little singular worth on our own, and are sexually depraved monsters to boot. They told us that we are the highest authority and that our desires are the highest good. They knocked their point home with the gavel of “science” and crowed that we have no choice but to believe. They are their ideas and their ideas are poison.

You see, their poisonous legacy has all but killed the old way of thinking, the old way of understanding human beings. Human Beings are made in the image of God! Human Beings are created, each one of us, by the one and only God! Human Beings are glorious works beyond compare in the physical world, a union of immortal spirit and mortal body!

“'And for your lifeblood I will require a reckoning: from every beast I will require it and from man. From his fellow man I will require a reckoning for the life of man. Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed, for God made man in his own image.'” - Genesis 9:5-6

If man is a work of God who is eternal, perfect, and righteous, then what happens when we forget that? Even worse, what happens when society's schema turns on those truths and buries them in favor of their lies? Hitler happens, people. Abortion happens. Slavery happens. Mass shootings happen and rampant, riotous disregard for human life takes hold.

No one gives a rip about anyone else anymore because how can they? They have no reason to regard human beings as special or valuable at all! If God didn't make human beings then who the hell cares if they die? What difference does it really make if we're descended from apes and pond-scum?

In the prevailing schema of the times human beings are essentially worthless, pawns in everyone's individual game of chess, to be used, abused, or thrown away per the whim of the strongest, fastest, most “evolved” person on the playing field. They say the strong will survive. Too bad the strong don't seem to survive bullets very well.

Does my sardonic tone upset you? Sadly, if there is no intrinsic value to every human being I don't have to care about your feelings. This is why I say we cannot look to history and better our future and we cannot see past our petty differences to love one another and we cannot just get along. The lies that destroy human worth also make self service, self gratification, and self worship all so much more appealing and possible.

No one wants to admit that they were wrong, that society has been wrong, that scientists have been wrong. Too many people want it all to be true so that each and every one of them can play god in their own lives. Don't like guns because they are used a lot to kill and hurt people? Take them all away so we'll all live happily every after and never die again. Don't like black people because they supposedly make policing harder? Shoot them while you think no one is looking and claim self defense. Don't like babies because of the inconvenience? Simply abort them and don't think about it. Don't like police because they're all somehow evil? Pick them off with a sniper rifle while they're trying to protect you. Don't like gays because you think they are evil beyond all reason? Just go slaughter a few dozen for the cause! Don't like Muslims because they make you nervous? Let's just throw them all out of the country!

Sorry, this is making me sick just writing about it. We are about to take a plunge as a nation like we've never seen before, people. And without dealing with the root cause in each and every person's heart, the idea that human beings aren't created by God in the image of God, every evil you can think of is possible. Hitler, Hillary, Trump, who gives a rip? Let's pick a poison and die! All are from the dust, and to dust all return.

After all, who really cares if no one is worth a thing?

“Then the Gods of the Market tumbled, and their smooth-tongued wizards withdrew
And the hearts of the meanest were humbled and began to believe it was true
That All is not Gold that Glitters, and Two and Two make Four —
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings limped up to explain it once more.

“As it will be in the future, it was at the birth of Man —
There are only four things certain since Social Progress began: —
That the Dog returns to his Vomit and the Sow returns to her Mire,
And the burnt Fool's bandaged finger goes wabbling back to the Fire;”

- The Gods of the Copybook Headings.

 Proverbs 17:10 “A rebuke goes deeper into a man of understanding than a hundred blows into a fool.”

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Child of Woe

How deftly does the sorrow and flowing pangs of woe,
Tear my heart wide open, but where else will I go?
How to escape the clouds and raucous cares of life…
Where will you find happiness and no relation to strife?

If I just keep my distance maybe it won't be so bad,
Maybe with every progressive passing I won't feel so sad…
And hollow words don't echo, they fall dead to the floor.
So I must go out and seek an answer once more.

God, my soul is rending in pain!
Is the 'Why? that' it cries in vain?
Who am I to seek answers that the wise could not find?
Yet, to quell this agony as my heart unwinds…

All I know is who I know and He is Faithful indeed,
To my Rock and foundation I must go to plead.
For my Lord has the words of Life, to whom else can I go?
He is the only one that can comfort this child of woe.

For He is sovereign in all things, body and soul.
And He doesn't let a sparrow drop that he doesn't know.
Come to Him both weary and overburdened men,
For He will uphold you, He understands.

And I can count it joy, even as tears flow.
For passing pangs of life produce steadfastness you know.
Because Jesus is my Hope and I know that one day,
Every sorrow will pass and every tear will be wiped away.

Not forgotten but maybe crystalized, as silver glass,
So in their memory the joy and glory will overpass,
And triumph and trumpet and overpower beyond…
What the imaginative could imagine or put into song.

And child of woe will turn and child of joy become,
And mourning to laughter and rejoicing and then some.
Oh those without the Lord, how is it you cope?
For do you not know? We have the one true Hope.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Losing One's Grip

To have a focus for the written word one must have a grasp of what they are trying to say. To facilitate such a focused grasp one must learn to blend a sense of discernment with the ability to grip an idea and not let go.

I imagine it would hurt to fall off a hundred foot cliff to the rocks below. I’ve tumbled head-first down a thirty foot incline that was very cliffesque (somewhere between 78°-80° rather than 90°) that had rocks below it. That fall hurt a lot. I’ve even had a branch of a tree I was climbing snap beneath me, giving me that sickening, surprising-drop sensation that lurches through you when you dream of a fall. But to fall… All that way…
The dread would most likely start as your fingers slipped. That piercing feeling to your very soul as the adrenaline rush kicks in and the hairs all over your body stand at attention. But it doesn’t matter anymore. You’ve lost your grip now. You’re falling.
The adrenaline has only served to make you excessively aware of every single second as they whiz by. There’s nothing to grab hold of, nothing but the wind and open air all around. It jabs and pulls and laughs at you as you fall, fall, fall to your imminent demise. Those rocks below, like colossal, unforgiving truths, stand silent sentry, awaiting your embrace. It is two seconds away now, and there is nothing else to focus on. Nothing else to grasp except your fall, how it happened and why, and how those rocks will destroy you now.
It’s funny, isn’t it, how one’s focus can be wrested away toward something pressing if that pressing thing tries hard enough. Or maybe it’s funny because the reverse is true: Some people’s focus cannot be changed no matter what until it’s too late; until the rocks they hate so much break them, or the waters of that red sea they ignored take them (more precisely they ignored God, but He used the waters to get their attention at last).
This topic of attention, focus, and grip comes to me at a poignant time. Or maybe ironic is a better word… Let’s use both: an ironic and poignant time. The thing is I’ve noticed my attention slipping. I’ve been losing my ability to track multiple conversations at once and even have trouble sometimes with just focusing on two at a time. That’s the ironic bit because I’ve noticed the rest of the world getting worse and worse with their attentions as well; the poignant part.
It’s not just how the world gives it’s attention but what they give their attention to. Right now, the world has gripped onto the story of poor Cecil the Lion’s death. If you somehow haven’t heard, the poor cat was hunted and killed by a dentist. Now, it seems, everyone and their mother wants the poor dentist’s head. All while ignoring other more pressing atrocities that they don’t want to think about.
Before you think I’m going the route of, “This isn’t that important and That is so important and you all should be spending so much more time focusing on That rather than This!” let me just say other, more eloquent people have already said what needed to be said on that front.
What I’m focusing on here is a little simpler than all that. I’m focusing on the fall when one loses one’s grip on the thing they thought they could hold onto, and the pain that comes with crashing and shattering down upon truths one has been trying to ignore. In that moment of the fall, as your world comes apart and your paradigm shatters, you inherit the wind and find the prince of the power of the air a very poor comforter.
Time would fail to tell of all the examples throughout history of people who thought they had a hold of something rock-solid, only to find themselves falling, grasping at air. I think of Pharaoh, Nebuchadezzar, Julius Caesar, Alexander the Great, and Nicholas, the last Czar. My mind flies to Oscar Wilde, Samuel Clemens, and Earnest Hemingway. There was Friedrich Nietzsche, John Lennon, Al Capone, Groucho Marx, and George Reeves.
All of these men fell. All of them trusted in something or someone that just did not come through. They paid their attentions to these false saviors in hopes that they could hold them up and keep them from falling. All of these attentions were paid in vain.
As I said before, it hurts to tumble head first down a steep incline with sharp rocks at the bottom. I was running and it was raining. If it had been dry the incident probably would have been avoided. It was a path I’d run a thousand times without falling, without tripping, without a single misstep. The rain changed everything, though.
The feeling of the fall is akin to the feel of betrayal. It’s like, “Why did you give out on me? I trusted you…”
See, it’s all what you focus on, what you trust in, what you grip onto. Today’s world is being trained to focus their attentions on meaningless, unsubstantial ideas, hopes, and dreams. They have temporal goals derived from fleshly minds and lustful hearts. They are taught to borrow from the future, think only of the present, and do what will make them happy. We are, as a culture, being tricked to focus on feelings.
Hardly surprising if you really are a student of history, but let’s focus on that word: Feeling. What are you feeling right now? What makes you feel good? How do you feel about Cecil the lion? How do you feel about a mound of dead baby parts? How do you feel now that I had you read that and perhaps envision something you didn’t like and don’t want to envision?
Thing is, though, life is full of raw deals and raw feelings and things you just can’t avoid. Even if you click away right now it doesn’t change reality, it just changes the part you’re paying attention to; what you’re focusing on.
I know! I know! Just change the channel to something uplifting and kid safe! Something that will never offend or upset, never shatter your dreams about the way the world should be. That will fix everything!
Except you still have that fall… It’s coming for you, you know. It will get you in the end. It gets us all. Sooner or later you’ll be standing at the top of the stairs or in the bathroom, or driving a car, and something will go pop in your head, and the stairs or the tile or the steering wheel will come rushing up to meet you…
Only you won’t see it. You’ll see blackness, rushing up and in and all around. Suddenly you’re falling but in a different way then you ever thought possible because your body isn’t there. You have no anchor to reality, nothing to shield you from those cold, unforgiving, bright truths speeding headlong toward you.
You can’t look away. You can’t click away. You can’t change the channel or even scoff the ideas into quiet nothingness because they’re blinding and overwhelming and roaring and tearing at you. Suddenly you’re exposed, the cheap treacherous wretch that you always were. A horrible being born from horrible beings and there’s nothing you can say or do to change it; Nothing at all because it’s too late. You ignored your chances. You’ve hit those rocks and broken into a thousand pieces and if anyone is crying you don’t know it and it doesn’t matter, you’re gone. For all eternity you are gone.
This is why I love little falls here in life. They keep me focused, keep me grounded, keep bringing me back to Jesus. He is my God and my only hope. He is the rock upon which I stand. I would be in for the same fall at the end if not for Him. But Jesus redeemed me and saved me from what I was. He fell on me and crushed me and saved me from myself.
You see, everyone will come to God in the end. It just depends on how. Will they fall, toppled from the heights of their own vain hubris and tumble on down on top of Him to be shattered and lost for all eternity? Or will they be taken into His arms and brought into His presence to be with Him for all eternity?
Everyone has to choose between the two. The former choice is easier, less painful in the present and you get to be happy for a little while. The later is painful and hard in the present but comes laden with joy that will last past the bounds of time and space as we understand them.
It’s all in what you grip onto, which way you choose. Will you grip tightly onto your own strength, or money or power or something else equally temporal and fatal to the human soul? Or will you give yourself up as nothing and grasp and cling to Jesus the Savior and cornerstone to be saved for all eternity? The choice is yours, my friend.

Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God. They collapse and fall, but we rise and stand upright.” – Psalm 20: 7-8

Whoever trusts in his riches will fall, but the righteous will flourish like a green leaf. Whoever troubles his own household will inherit the wind, and the fool will be servant to the wise of heart.” – Proverbs 11: 28-29

Jesus said to them, ‘Have you never read in the scriptures: “The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; this was the Lord’s doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes”? Therefore I tell you the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people producing fruits. And the one who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; and when it falls on anyone, it will crush him.’” – Matthew 21: 42-44

Truly you set them in slippery places; you make them fall to ruin. How they are destroyed in a moment, swept away utterly by terrors!” – Psalm 73: 17-18

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

A Journey

Let me take you on a journey, of the mind. If you don’t mind, that is.

First, a Fact: The entirety of my conscious life has been filled with vivid imaginings. I've dreamed of walking on clouds, sword fighting in libraries, and dodging along a cliff-side overlooking the sea. I've imagined reasoning with enemies, striving with friends, and dancing with my wife. If I were to paint you a picture, it might overwhelm: hence, I think, the reason I can't paint.

I've seen the impossible, the improbable, and the frightening. I have rejoiced at the glorious, the beautiful, the sublime. I could conjure images of twisted, gangly black beasts leaping from the shadows and imagine rappelling out one of the grand library's windows.

I used to take such great comfort from my daydreams. Now...

Secondly, a Question: How many of us care to admit the depths of the pain we may find ourselves going through? How many of us have let or will let our children see us cry? Children...

I told myself once that my daydreams were not a way of escaping reality but of dealing with it, of processing it. I believed that thought as a profound revelation. I was lying. See, life is full of pains. It is a bitter truth and one that some (including me) can sometimes too easily focus too much on. In that focusing we feel the need to run, to dim our eyes to reality and imagine our way out.

(Side note: daydreams never, ever trumped reality for me. You see that in Hollywood movies and it’s completely ridiculous. I could never disengage from real life. Daydreams happened in the gaps between, giving me what I supposed was a much needed breath to help me deal with life.)

Third, a Vision: Imagine for a moment dust, everywhere. There is a roaring sound, gripping, tearing at your hearing. There are white bones of structures sticking up out of the debris. For miles and miles you can see because there is nothing there to see; nothing except the billowing, pluming cloud that looks like cotton candy and smells of acidic end. Everything is unrecognizable and dust, and death.

I won’t dwell on that, because it’s only part of the journey. It’s only the halfway mark. Sure, I had some hard days and nights. I’ll never be the same, really, but I don’t really want to be. And I didn’t share it for pity or help. Frankly, I shared it for the conclusion.

For home is made all the sweeter by the journey, and Easter Sunday made brighter for the darkness of the Friday before.

Fourth, a Hate and a Hope: I cannot share my journey without these two, my constant companions. The dust in my mind settled and my bitterness realized. I have hated not life, but my life, for all the time I have spent trying to escape it, trying to make it better. Now my daydreams lay in a wreck around my feet. Now I couldn’t escape.

If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.” – Luke 14:26

All I could see through all that dust was a sliver of silver light: A silver-lining for the mushroom cloud. “Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen…” – Luke 24:5-6

My hope that has steadfastly followed me for years and years now; held me in the palm of his hand. Let me share Him with you:

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be propitiation for our sins.” – 1 John 4:7-10

Fifth and Final, an Answer and an End: I prayed just recently that God would rekindle my first love; remind me of my hope. You may have noticed that I’ve mentioned the 1 John verses before. That’s because they mean a lot to me since loving people is what I find most difficult in life, but when God helps me love is when I know I am most alive.

See, I love and live (they are really inseparable concepts) through the Son who grants them both to me. The world often confuses what love is because they know not God. If you don’t know God you can’t know real love. Loving other people and caring for them above and beyond myself is what was my first love. It is what He brought back to mind for me recently.

So the answer is yes, I want to share my pain with my children and others, but only under one condition: That in doing so I can help and care for them, showing them the love of Christ. More then that, though, I want to share in other people’s pain, in order to better care for and love them.

In the end it is how I find life tolerable, even joyful. Yes, believe it or not, it is a joy to lose yourself in love for others. Ask God to let you try it sometime. If you’re courageous enough, that is...

Thursday, November 27, 2014

The Gentle Die

Twin fires danced beyond his eyeballs,
As molten lead was poured on his heart.
He felt it going solid,
As his soul fell apart.

Can one describe the rage without knowing?
Drink deep the black rivulets of night?
Know hopelessness without hoping?
And darkness without the light?

‘Don’t go gentle,’ someone once said,
But what good does fighting really do?
Can you get even a moment more,
Before that moment they all rue?

He knew better, once upon a time,
His own old words gave hell.
Yet, wrathful, he did the crime.
The purposeful stride and fell.

In his heart he railed well,
‘If they all go, why not I?’
‘Should I alone suffer,
‘The fightless life and, gentle, die?

Then he was let to fall,
A granite pinnacle allowed to rise,
His heart was pierced asunder,
And the fire left his eyes.

“Who are you to wonder?
“Who are you to ask why?”
Let his sweat bring forth thorns,
As the gentle get to die.

Remember words shared in your youth,
It’s what I can recommend.
For to wrestle with death is futile,
Your heart will break after it bends.

Then he was brought to mountaintop,
The world below to see.
Watching as people ran without stop,
And their efforts cared them out to sea.

“Observe all of their ragings,
“Against who they do not know.
“They try to forget, pursue happiness,
“Do anything to replace my Glow.”

Tears quenched the final embers,
As his heart broke open anew.
A flower rebirthed from winter death,
Recalling what he once knew.

The hole his heart had suffered,
Would be with him till he died.
But remembering his soul was gentle,
He had no reason now to ask why.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Life, Writing, & More!

Where to start… I guess feelings, then updates, and thoughts. We'll go from there.

I've been feeling eclectic, enthusiastic, vaguely nostalgic, rather productive, and even more worn out. It's made me an interesting person to be around lately, let me tell you. To give you a sampling my lunch today was a hotpocket which I slit open and stuffed with taco leftovers, cheese, and tabasco sauce. If that isn't eclectic I don't know what is. From there I left for OCC volunteering (Operation Christmas Child), enthusiastically leaping into carton stuffing and stacking (these cartons average about 50 lbs).

Being there doing OCC stuff is nostalgic for me, bringing me back years to when I was more involved. I can remember the fun we all had and how tough it was too… During the downtimes I've been alternating between paying bills, writing my novel, and doing homework (this counts as productive, I swear). By the end of it all I am every bit as worn out as it sounds like I ought to be (plus a little more so, since I've been working early mornings as well.)

It's great though and I wouldn't change any of it for the world. To update y'all: I'm already nearly halfway to my goal for my novel (I want 25,000 words from just writing in November). Plus, the semester is rapidly drawing to a close, meaning that college is as well! Yippee! From there who knows what could happen! It's all very exciting.

My thoughts on it all are very scattered… Theres a bit of trepidation about what God has in store, really. Then again, when isn't there? Part of the fun of life has always been the surprises and seeing His working through it all. Whatever comes next I am so very excited for it and for the good that He will accomplish.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Rage, Rage Against the Dying of the Light

I went to see interstellar last weekend and it has taken me nearly a week to collect my thoughts on the matter. On the whole, as a movie, it was a great one. It had a fantastic cast that acted superbly, it was mind-blowingly beautiful, and it had one of the best scores of music I have ever heard in film. Sounds like I should be raving about the movie, telling all my friends to go see it right? Sadly there was one fatal flaw with this particular movie that soured the whole experience for me. It was like a delicious apple, up until the moment you realize it harbors a worm that is rotting out the core.
Let me be perfectly clear: the denouement fell flat. In other words the climax of the movie ruined it. It is hard to say that because I so love so many of Christopher Nolan’s movies and I wanted so badly for this one to come through as well. And it really seemed like it had a chance, like it was going to make it, like everything could still come out okay, right up until the main character, Cooper, drops himself into a blackhole.
“Do not go gentle into that good night…”
The set up is that (yes, I’m about to spoil everything for you. Run and watch the movie if you don’t want me to, but then come back and read what I have to say) all of mankind is on the brink of that good night. That they have come to the end and that without another planet to survive on mankind will disappear for good. But as luck (or is it fate?) would have it a wormhole opens up nearby and enables interstellar travel to a distant space galaxy with possibly habitable planets.
So the main characters need to find out if any of them are habitable and come back and let everyone else know. From there they have two plans. Plan A is to actually get a huge space-station that they’ve already built off the ground and out there with the rest of humanity on board and Plan B is to colonize the world with banks of fertilized human eggs waiting to be born and raised (If you’re having trouble with that one as well, I understand, but suspend your disbelief for a little longer. It gets a whole lot worse.)
Plan A has a fundamental flaw: humans haven’t yet harnessed gravity, so they can’t get the huge space station off the ground. The old man scientist (brilliantly played by Michael Cain) is working on it, but his formula isn’t complete. The main characters fly off anyways to find out if any of the planets are habitable while the scientist continues his work on the formula. Epic trials occur that try all the characters and we get to see some pretty amazing stuff. Through a series of bad decisions, though, they are left with a damaged ship and only half the crew they had at first, with not even enough fuel to get to the last possible planet.
Luckily there’s this huge blackhole very close by that they’re getting sucked into and that they figure out that they can use to slingshot themselves away to the last planet. They have to expend every last ounce of fuel in doing so, though, and they have to lose both shuttles to make the ship lighter. The shuttles need to be manned because they are being used to aid in the flight until their fuel is gone. After that the shuttles get dropped and make the ship lighter, enabling the slingshot thingy to occur.
The main character is in one of the shuttles manning it (a robot is in the other). The other character, Amelia, thought he was going to come join her after the shuttle needed to be dropped, but last second he says bye and drops himself with the shuttle into the blackhole.
Now, in order to fully understand this decision I need to explain some background. Cooper left earth promising his daughter, Murph, he would be back. He gave her a watch, saying that it didn’t matter how long it took or how old they were when they saw each other finally; he would come back. After that they get out into space and near the blackhole and the main characters start talking about the theoretical possibility that they can use the blackhole as a means of travel back to earth. They start talking about the possibility that gravity, like time, transcends space somehow and that they can harness it to get back home.
Rewind back to the beginning, to what got Cooper into space in the first place. There’s a weird, unexplained phenomena that his daughter is calling a ghost pushing books off her shelves and playing with the dust in her room. It reveals through binary the coordinates of the secret NASA base where Cooper finds himself asked to save mankind. When he decides to accept, his daughter rails against his decision, telling him to stay; telling him that the ghost was trying to communicate the word “stay” by dropping the books. The best explanation that they can come up with for this phenomena is “gravity.”
Such a pathetic explanation will never, ever do in a Christopher Nolan movie, so I knew that a better explanation had to be coming. The scientists believe some sentient life form placed the wormhole because that is the only possible reason for its existence and that some sentient beings are using the gravity phenomenon to get their attention and bring them out to these habitable planets.
Such sentiments about higher sentient beings got my attention and I started wondering if a Hollywood blockbuster might actually include God in the plotline. I should have thought twice; should have considered the history of Hollywood and their disrespect for God. Remembering that, I might not have been surprised at the ending.
Cooper falls into the blackhole. His space shuttle gets destroyed, crushed and torn apart. He himself, though, survives somehow. And suddenly he’s in this weird plain of colors that can’t really be described at first. Then, as he starts exploring, you realize they are bookshelves, that he’s trapped behind bookshelves. Cooper is somehow trapped trans-dimensionally behind his daughter’s bookshelves years and years ago when the ghost started occurring.
The robot that was in the other shuttle and that is now trapped with him declares it fate, saying that the sentient beings must have set it up this way. Cooper rejects that, though, saying that the sentient beings are them, humans, in the future that have evolved. He then proceeds to do everything the ghost did, spelling out the word “stay” and writing the coordinates in the dust that led them to NASA.
Taking it a step further he asks the robot for the Quantum data that will help finish the old man scientist’s equation that is somehow magically observable from just being in the blackhole. He then has the robot turn said data into Morse code which he plays out on the secondhand of the watch he gave his daughter, communicating the mankind-saving message to his now grownup gal (who just happens to be a NASA scientist who studied under the old man).
She rejoices and uses the newly finished equation to harness gravity, building space stations big enough for all of humanity to escape earth. Magically, years later, Cooper is found floating out in space near where the wormhole is and he is rescued. It’s only been a few months for him, but his daughter is an old woman now, having saved all of mankind. But they get to see each other, just like he promised. It’s so touching.
Sense any sarcasm? Everything beyond the “explanation” of the ghost really soured for me, because the higher sentient beings turned out to be evolved humans. This is not just Cooper’s theorizing. We’re shown that he is, in fact, the phenomenon that the other scientists observed and called a “higher sentient being.” It is exactly what the filmmakers had in mind: That humans are great enough to succeed on their own, if only they just try hard enough.
They said, “Rage, rage against the dying of the light!” that somehow humans can make it if they only put forward enough effort. Sorry to sound critical here, but that’s a paltry, stupid excuse for a message in a movie of this caliber. It’s a copout, typical humanist Hollywood trash.
What led up to the end was mistake after mistake after mistake after mistake made by the main characters, humankind’s last hope. Lies were told, one scientist tried to murder all of them, and two others were killed by bad decision on the part of Cooper and Amelia. We are shown over and over again that human beings are frail, flawed creatures, which is so true! To have the ending be those same humans succeeding on their own steam, after trying hard enough and long enough, is just so wrong.
We need God to succeed, the hand of Grace to wash away our mistakes. That is what is true. Interstellar was a wild and fun ride most of the way through. But the humanist baloney at the end ruined it for me.
Maybe I shouldn’t have shared, since my opinion is so negative. But a Welsh poet once wrote, “Do not go gentle into that good night … Rage, Rage against the dying of the light.”
I saw this humanist foolishness put forward in interstellar and it disappointed me. But it also made me wrathful. Who are they to say these lies, and bring us closer to that “good” night? I shall rage and rage again, in hopes that the light might not die from the eyes of those around me; in hopes that the Truth get through to those that need Him.

It is a small thing, perhaps. Maybe it doesn’t even matter. But I beg of you, do not go gentle into the well-told lies of that good night. Rage, rage with me! Me might see a few more hours in the day…