Why Would a Three-Star General Charge for Free Snacks? Unlocking the Hidden Riddle of Don’t Look Up
This short introduction is taken from a spontaneous live talk given on the weekly broadcast of One Mountain, Many Paths. These are unedited and unplugged excerpts of Dr. Gafni’s talk created by his students.
This is part 2 of a 3-Part Series reading the Movie Don’t Look Up as a text of culture. Read Part 1 here.
W e are deep in a mind-blowing series of uncovering the deeper meaning of the movie Don’t Look Up. Both the conscious meaning and the unconscious meaning, of which the filmmakers themselves are probably unaware.
Join Dr. Marc Gafni in this deep spiritual practice of sense-making; reading the movie Don’t Look Up as a sacred text of culture. We are looking at different scenes of the movie that were completely unnoticed by all critics.
What does the movie tell us and not tell us about existential risk? What is the movie getting right? What do they get wrong?
In this week’s episode, we will unlock the hidden riddle of Don’t Look Up.
Why Would a Three-Star General Charge for Free Snacks?
Unlocking the Hidden Riddle of Don’t Look Up!
We’re poised between utopia and dystopia. There’s an unimaginably beautiful future that awaits us. We can create the best true and beautiful world that we know is possible. At the same time, we are poised at the brink of dystopia.
As we are reading this text of culture, we’re not claiming that the makers of the movie had this in mind. It’s often the case that the makers of a movie are unconscious about the deeper layers of meaning. The Director of the movie, Adam McKay created this movie about climate change and that is great. But once something’s been created, it’s created from something deeper than the conscious mind of the creator. It emerges right from the field of culture itself.
There’s this invisible thread that weaves through the movie about this three-star general charging for snacks. This symbolizes something important. It’s an intuitive realization by the makers of the movie, which they don’t quite know how to explicate. It’s not quite formulated even in their own minds and hearts, but they’re reaching for something. They’re reaching for something Good, True and Beautiful. That is: Reality is made up of billions of micro-acts. This small, minor, irrelevant act is everything, because it’s exponentialized across the system when the system is sans “First Values and First Principles.”
There are billions of micro-acts that make up the social fabric.
All of our unconscious, habitual and automatic actions determine these micro-acts and form the fabric of society.
What informs our billions of micro-acts is always the story we’re living in. We’re embedded in a hidden story. We’re actors in that story.
Once we remove — what we at the Think Tank of the Center for Integral Wisdom have called — First Principles and First Values from that story, then we create a structure of society where billions of micro-acts take place, but they take place without First Values and First Principles. So you introduce a kind of insidious undermining of the fabric of Eros that animates reality itself. There’s a violation of trust, and there’s no Eros without trust. Eros is always built on trust which is the core of all intimacy.
First Principles and First Values
“First Principles and First Values are the inherent framework, the source code story which, iterated exponentially, drives the whole system. It is only First Principles of Value or First Values (or Ordinating Values) that evolve the source code of consciousness and culture.
First Principles and First Values express the underlying — eternal yet evolving — universal principles of value that need to be the rudder of civilization’s next stage.
First Principles and First Values are ancient, time-honored, and venerable, even as they are evolutionary, emergent, and new.
First Principles are a weaving together of the most crucial validated truths from all the wisdom streams — premodern, modern, and postmodern — into a new whole greater than the sum of its parts. “
First Principles and First Values Embedded in a Story of Value
The great movement of science was based in First Values and First Principles, the value of truth, the value of facts, the value of the pursuit of knowledge. Once we deconstruct value, we deconstruct the pursuit of knowledge. We deconstruct facts, we deconstruct the nobility of science, science becomes hijacked and the Information Ecology breaks down.
So we’re precisely at a moment when the Information Ecology is broken down. Look at the huge conflict over vaccines, in which there are two very clear positions, each claiming to represent scientific fact, but the two sides actually don’t speak to each other. Of course, there is validated information on both sides. But the conflict is not being driven by fact, it’s being driven by other hidden meta-narratives of identity and Universe Story, which actually collapse the system.
When you don’t have First Principles and First Values embedded in a story of value animating the life world, there is a failure of Eros. In the breakdown of Eros, pseudo-Eros always appears, often in the guise of a pseudo-Erotic story. So when Eros of First Principles and First Values breaks down it is replaced with a superficial success story. The success story is driven by rivalrous conflict governed by win/lose metrics.
It is the insidious “us vs. them success story” that causes the three-star general — in our movie Don’t Look Up — to charge his Whitehouse guests for what are supposed to be free snacks. It is also what moves the Nobel Prize winning scientist to sell out and work for BASH instead of being involved in the First Principle and First Value of the noble pursuit of truth and facts.
Value itself collapsed, and the collapse of value is at the core of existential risk. So we need to actually reclaim First Values and First Principles embedded in a story of value.
Eternal and Evolving First Principles and First Values
W e need Eternal and Evolving First Values and First Principles embedded in a story of value.
First Principles and First Values are eternal and evolving. Meaning, First Principles and First Values are eternal, they’re rooted in the very structure of Kosmos. But by eternal, we don’t mean unchanging. By eternity, we mean beneath time. Beneath the spacetime continuum. Intrinsic in the fabric of Kosmos is meaning. Meaning lives in Kosmos.
And; meaning evolves. The nature of Reality is that meaning evolves, love evolves. The story of Reality is the evolution of love. Evolution is not just the move from simplicity to complexity. Evolution is the progressive deepening of intimacies; the evolution of love. Love itself is a First Principle and First Value. Love moves. It gets deeper and deeper, and it gets wider and wider. Therefore First Principles and First Values are both eternal and evolving.
We must reclaim love, integrity, intimacy, and the irreducible uniqueness of human personhood as First Principles and First Values embedded in a story of value.
A New Story of value is the overwhelming moral imperative of this time.