Sagan's theme reflects my personal development to give consideration to others on my planet, by virtue of having to consider the idea of "life out there". I was also able to reflect on my day-to-day consumption and lifestyle behaviors and to be more aware of the impact my decisions and actions have on the world that I share with others.
It also made clear to me that while we focus on the concept of there being only us (Earth) as being the only inhabited planet that we are more motivated to squabble between ourselves, as nations and societies, rather than realize our potential as one species amongst numerous possible others. For me, the idea that other life could exist in the wider universe motivates me to reflect on how I treat 'others' in my day to day life, how I perceive cultural differences, and how I tolerate these differences. I like to think that if other life forms exist 'out there' that they would have advanced social practices that would inspire us here on Earth to respect each other more, to be truly multicultural, to not be focused on attacking each other, and to lose our interest in making consumer items, profit and social power the motivation to explore, enjoy, destroy or subjugate.
A question that the film raised for me was: Do I think that technology is the path to survival of our species To date there is a lack of evidence to suggest that technologic advancements will ensure our species survival, considering our present situation of diminishing natural resources, poverty and global warming as examples.
The Seventh Seal: The quest for meaning of life; Faith vs. Knowledge.
Questioning the existence of God is something that I have done a lot of in my life recently. I too feel disillusioned when I look at the world around me, at the poverty, sickness and resource destruction brought on by a capitalist philosophy that spouts claims of democracy and equality for all (crusaders), epidemics brought on by lifestyle, such as obesity and diabetes in the West, reflect the plagues of the Middle Ages, the idea that our world is at its end of days (especially as today is 06/6/06 !), and the burning of witches replaced with the hunt for terrorist suspects.
Especially with my religious upbringing, when I see others of my 'kind' practicing manipulation and profiting at the expense of others, I began to question what it was I actually believed in. I have noticed that as I have cultivated my knowledge of other scriptures of other 'religions' or personal philosophies, such as Buddhism, Krishna beliefs, other interpretations of the message of Jesus, the Hindi scriptures, poetry of Sufis and American Indians from the North and South of the continent, and the dreaming stories of the Australian Aborigines, that I have come to appreciate a repeating world view of tolerance, the interconnection of all life, and the cycles of a lifespan caught up in happiness and tragedy. Importantly, like the knight in this move, I have come to realize that what is most important is to explore life, and to enjoy the people I am with, such as the juggler and his wife and child enjoyed the presence and interaction of each other.
Questions raised for me by this film were: Why do we strive so to convince others that one point of view is the "right" one, and that consumption leads to liberation Is the