Can two people fall in love just because it feels right or it seems convenient for the moment? The movie Passengers seems to support this very idea. I find this idea quite wrong, which unfortunately it is constantly being forced into people’s minds through songs, poetry, movies, and fairy tales. In general, the whole entertainment business is acting like Trojan’s horse, by filling up our minds with wrong ideas of love, destiny, success, and so on. It may seem as if the stories depicted in the movies, promote forgiveness and brotherly love, while in fact they are encouraging the abusers to continue their abuse, and with their sophisticated and covert ways they guilt trip the victims to forgive their abusers. Indeed, I would have not been able to find out that this is the case if I did not go through some pretty nasty experiences in my life. Now, after all I’ve been through, phrases like these, “I will never leave you,” “don’t forget who loves you more,” “You are/were my everything, so please forgive me,” “don’t go, I will follow you to the end of times/ end of world,” “I will become your shadow, just because I love you,” phrases that repeat in almost every song and we wrongly interpret them for love, are nothing but expressions of a possessive sick mind. The catchy music makes these abusive phrases acceptable to the mind, while the strong emotions, delivered through the intensive scenes from the movies, force the mind of the individual to accept the idea that being persecuted by abusers in such persistent ways is something normal, all in the name of love. Open your eyes my friend, that is not love, we’ve been deceived.
This mentality about love has blinded us for a long time, through fairy tale stories, and now through the entertainment business, and this has led the humanity to form the wrong perception about love, sex, and marriage. I believe that perceiving love as something that could be forced, forged, or developed in time, and even capable of turning friendships into love relationships, is the root of many other negative feelings and actions that follow when such love is not met. Believing in the wrong type of love leads to jealousy, anger, insecurity; makes people pursue the wrong partners, or look for other types of pleasure, including pornography, or even burying themselves with many responsibilities at home or at work in order to feel important somehow. Feeling important will compensate for the fact that these people failed to find true pleasure from what they considered to be true love. Believing that love has to do with the mind and reasoning more than with feelings, opens the door for the wrong belief that love is pure chemistry that can be artificially stimulated through made up stories. This wrong idea about love opens the door to the argument that love can develop between any two randomly chosen people, just by faking these emotions, or by putting a certain mask on, while behaving in a certain way that is acceptable and that can impress the potential lover. This mentality reduces love to some sort of forced and fictitious action, based solely on how the person behaves. This mentality denies love as a feeling, which leads to actions, and enforces totally the opposite perception of love, that actions can lead to the development of feelings, which we often mistakes it for love.
This type of reasoning, that any two random people can fall in love with one another under the “right circumstances,” is infused by the multi-billion dollar industry that focuses and encourages sexuality as the right action that leads to true love and happiness (actions lead to feelings). This type of mentality in regards to love can be classified under the same category as many other incorrect theories that support all the wrong ideas such as “destiny and fate are the same and therefore destiny can be changed,” “might is right,” “fake it until you make it,” or, the idea that was inspired by Edison’s definition of success, that success is “95% aspiration and 5% inspiration.” Instead I find that the opposite attitude, supported by Tesla’s example, that success is “95% inspiration, and 5% aspiration,” to be the correct definition of success. Tesla’s attitude on how he worked on building the models that he used to demonstrate his ideas, inspired team work. His attitude was a clear indication that he accepted the fact that inspiration brings ideas, but for these ideas to come to life a group of experts with the right resources needs to be involved so that success can be reached. Edison’s attitude toward success, in contrary, inspired the mentality of an individual who was afraid of accepting failure. I think it is not necessary to remind the reader how the fear of failure can lead someone to make all the wrong decisions if one allows fear to guide his (her) emotions and life.
The Passengers movie, unfortunately, emphasizes just the same wrong idea about love, as many other movies and songs do. It inspires the idea that love is something that can be forced by the circumstances, and it can be artificially induced. Hence, the multi-billion dollar industries developed that would constantly feed the wrong concepts of love to the masses, through entertainment, media, and marketing. They constantly promote the wrong idea that love can be easily obtained and just as easily lost. Therefore, one has to constantly keep oneself in good shape, constantly updated with the new trends, learning how to reveal their sexuality, buying the right brand of clothes that would make them look sexier, hooked on programs on TV and internet that can teach us different ways of making love, listening to YouTube tutorials that teach you the right ways on making men (or women) fall in love with you, that can teach you how to apply makeup to make you more attractive and feel sexy, on how to do this and how to do that, which then will obviously lead to requiring more and more excitement through pornography. And then pornography will lead to human traffic business and to some other underground connections to satisfy a certain elite of people who have enough money to pay for all the networking and ties that keep the simple and ordinary people like you and me hooked up on the idea that one day, we too will find true love if we follow the rules these industries promote.
The idea that love can be reduced to sex and pleasure, if one knows or learns the right way of making love is simply a rudiment inherited from our ancestors. Our ancestors needed to reduce love to a simple physical pleasure in order to reproduce to secure the existence and survival of their species. But, as humans became more reasonable, love too became more intangible. Love became more of a feeling than an emotion derived by momentarily pleasures. True love is in fact the ability of human soul, a characteristic of a reasonable being, but not a result of reasoning. On the other hand, love is also felt using the physical body’s sensations but should not be reduced to just pleasing the body through the act of sex. This movie, “The Passengers,” can be used as a symbolic expression of how we inherited this wrong idea of love, mixed with the sense of duty. True love is felt without any moral obligation, or sense of duty, because in fact, moral obligations is what kill true love. The wrong definition of love represents the core of all the human troubles that we face; troubles that derive as a result of feeling unsatisfied and unfulfilled, and always in search of true love, which can never be found if we keep following the wrong tutorials on internet, and listen to the wrong ideas that music business and movies force onto us. In the following I would like to analyze of how the wrong idea of love is forced onto us, through the media and entertainment business, in such a covert way that we would accept that idea as an example of true love if we do not become aware of these manipulations now. For this I would use as an example the recent movie, The Passengers.
Spoiler Alert! In the following I will reveal some details from this movie, because it is through these details that one can find the key to distinguish between two kinds of love, the love for another human being in the form of obligation, and the true love between two love partners. This movie starts by showing the intergalactic spaceship Avalon transporting 5000 passengers through space to another earth like planet. Earth’s technology has developed to a point that not only humans were able to discover other potential earth like planets where human life could be easily supported, but also, with such advanced technology, humans could travel through space. It takes approximately 120 years to reach this other planet, therefore some form of hibernation is needed, and all 5000 passengers are put to sleep. Hibernation slows down the cells’ activity, which makes the travel of 120 years through space, quite possible. The ship is equipped with such advanced technology that not only it travels through space using an autopilot, but it also diagnoses the technical problems and it repairs itself on the way to its destination. However, during the first 30 years of the trip, the ship is hit hard by some meteorites, which caused a power failure in one of the sleeping pods. Due to this power failure passenger Jim Preston, a mechanical engineer, is forced to wake up, a bit too soon, from his trip. He realizes that he is the only one awake, and gathers that he would be forced to spend the next 90 years of this trip in total isolation from the rest of humanity, completely conscious of being alone for the rest of his life, and he also realizes that he will never reach the destination alive, either because he will run out of food supplies at some point, or because of ageing. In such a desperate moment Jim decides to take his own life, but finds no courage to do so. Then Jim decides to live and somehow he falls in love with one of the sleeping passengers. Her name is Aurora, and she is a journalist who dreams to write a book about her experience in this journey to the new colony of earth and share her story with the rest of the humanity left on earth. After one year of much inner debate (assumed but not realized very well in this movie), Jim decides to manually cause a power break in Aurora’s sleeping pod, which would wake her up. The analogy with the fairy tale of the sleeping beauty is obvious, as the main character is also called Aurora. In this movie Aurora is also woken up by “the kiss” of a handsome prince who fell in love with her while she was asleep and totally unconscious to decide for herself whether she was in love with him or not.
Despite the fact that this movie has nothing original to tell us, despite the moral dilemma that it raises, despite the many ethical questions like, “Are all men selfish like Jim? Would a woman do the same thing a man would do, force a man to wake up to keep her company, just because she cannot stand being alone for the rest of her life? Can we consider Jim’s action a sign of love, if the result of this action is a death sentence for Aurora, which will never reach her destination as she had previously planned?” despite all these issues that this movie raises, I believe that the biggest problem that needs to be taken seriously in consideration is the fact that this movie creates the illusion that love can be forced by circumstances. In other words, love as a feeling can be forced by actions, and since actions can be forced by reason, then reasoning can force love. It is true that for a short period of time, reasoning and fantasying about certain love case scenarios can trigger excitements in our private moments, however, none of these scenarios can lead or be considered love, because love is not an emotion. Therefore, love cannot be stimulated artificially. Love is a feeling, and feeling is a characteristic of human soul just like the reasoning is. I have discussed the seven dimensions of the human soul in my book The 12 Laws that Define a Human, in which I discuss what these seven dimensions of our soul are, and why I have decided to call them dimensions instead of characteristics of the human soul. Therefore, I would not elaborate any further in this post the idea of seven dimensions of a human soul but I can quickly summarize that: We can enhance love just like we can enrich our reasoning through experiences that we go in life. However, love cannot be forged, just like intelligence cannot be faked. (Intelligence and ability to love are two of the seven dimensions of the human soul).
Back to the movie, after Aurora wakes up and realizes that it is just her and Jim, a man and a woman, both very attractive and isolated from the rest of humanity, in a ship that is not expected to reach its destination for at least another 89 years, she decides to enjoy life by adapting to a mental attitude of making the best of every moment. She accepts Jim’s invitation for a date, and clearly indicates that she is accepting Jim’s advances as a way to fulfill her needs, not because she is in love with him. This fact is made obvious through the dialog that develops between the two, where Aurora asks Jim, “Took you so long to ask?” to which Jim answers, “I wanted to give you some space.” Aurora is completely in dark of the fact that Jim is the one who cut the power of her sleeping pod that caused her to wake up. Therefore, considering this event as a random occurrence she answers back to Jim, “Space is the least thing I need in space.” Clearly, she is trying to make the best of the situation in which she finds herself in. However, the truth comes out as the robot Arthur, the bartender on the ship, tells Aurora about Jim’s decision to wake her up. She has all the rights to hate Jim and their love story ends right there at that moment. However, in a twist of fate, malfunctioning of the ship continues, and this forces these two to cooperate and work together. Jim and Aurora realize that not only their lives but the lives of all other passengers are in danger if these two don’t act quickly to find out what is wrong with the ship and repair it manually before it blows up the entire ship, and all goes to hell. It is in these moments that Jim acts heroically and takes actions that would require him to risk his own life to save the life of Aurora and other passengers. Aurora hesitates in following Jim’s orders in pulling a lever, which action would deliberately kill Jim, but would save the lives of others. The fact that she hesitated for a moment to pull that lever and the fact that she announced to Jim, “You die, I die with you” had nothing to do with the love between two partners and has everything to do with human love for another human being.
I decided to put myself in Aurora’s situation in order to understand her actions and decisions, and I saw nothing special in her actions that would qualify as true love between these two. I would have done and said the same thing, in similar situations, and indeed I have done that. Aurora’s story parallels, from the emotional point of view, a certain period in my life, during which I found myself a victim of physiological and mental abuse of my fiance. Nevertheless, just like Aurora, I could not kill the man lying there on the floor of my living room, 26 years ago, begging me not to leave him, because he had made a bet with friends that he will make me his wife, and if I had to call the wedding off they would make fun of him. He didn’t say, “don’t call the wedding off because I love you.” For him, not looking ridiculous was more important than love. His pride was more important than my pride. Realizing that he had not much going on his life, and calling off the wedding would have been a psychological murder for him, I let him feast at my own expense, on the idea that he had won the bet. I felt sorry for him in that situation, because my heart could not handle seeing a man 14 years my senior crying like a child and begging me to not leave him, because he would be finished as a person if I did. That wedding was later cancelled, when my father learned about the mental abuse I went through during that year, but at that moment I was unable to kill a man in cold blood. I did exactly what Aurora did too in the movie, because I could not live in peace with my consciousness by condemning a man to a moral and psychological death, even though this very man had condemned me earlier to my death, the death of my values, when he made the object of a bet with his friends of winning me over. Being won by him as a result of the bet, reduced my whole existence into a trophy wife. With his action he had killed my values as a person, killed my dignity, and made me realized that I was nothing more to him than a display of his ego’s triumph, of a man that was able to deceive me into making me believe he was in love with me and said yes to his proposal. I had all the rights to hate him and kick him out of my life, right at that moment, but I felt sorry. I could not do while he was crying and begging. I forgave that man, just like Aurora did, but not because I loved him, but because I felt sorry for him as a human being, that needed help to recover from his many psychological issues and insecurities accumulated over years.
I forgive people because I do not believe in revenge. Revenge can never bring the peace of mind. In contrary, revenge makes things worse. In Aurora’s situation, any intelligent person would have quickly gathered that continuing to hate Jim and not forgiving him for his selfish action, would have meant a disaster for that person too. Not only one had to live with this uncomfortable feelings of hate for the rest of her life, and live with the delusion that love does not exists, that she was deceived, used and abused, but also for the rest of her life one would been forced to live with the guilt in her consciousness of killing someone in cold blood. Therefore, Aurora’s decisions to stay awake and becoming Jim’s life partner, and Jim’s decision earlier on risking his life to saving Aurora’s and other passengers’ lives must not be mistaken for love between two love partners, but must be considered as heroic acts of two heroes that destiny, not fate, brought them together, to save the ship from a total disaster.
Looking at the events in the movie and the story it portrays from this new perspective on the greater scheme of things, we can reach the conclusion that even though Jim’s and Aurora’s union became possible through some moral mistakes and power glitches, that union and their cooperation was crucial in saving the mission and the lives of other passengers. I find that these two were the perfect match to complete that mission not because they were in love, or that they found true love in their union, but because of the psychological profiles, which made them a good team for that mission. Obvious questions can be raised, such as, would that journey been successful if Jim did not feel responsible and guilty for waking up Aurora? Could it be that it was this guilty feeling that caused him to decide to sacrifice himself later on when the situation arrived in order to make up for his previous mistake? Would that journey and the mission have been successful if Aurora was just another random sexy girl, and not someone who loved understanding and reading people’s stories and being able to see behind what their words could tell? I believe that it was Aurora’s personality and her ability to forgive, one of the crucial factors that played the main role in inspiring courage and goodness in Jim which allowed him act heroically in the end, and saving the ship. It was because of Aurora that Jim felt the human love again when she said to him, “You die, I die with you.” Aurora was the right person to be the right companion for Jim in that journey, but we must not mistaken their love for a true love story.
It is hard reaching the right conclusions of what love truly is, especially after watching these kinds of movies. How can one realize that such love connections that hide some forms of obligations, or occur as empathy for others, love unions that are forced by norms of the society or pressured by others’ expectations, do not represent true love stories? Emotions derived during the movie, the anticipation and fear, and all the ups and downs, make one to long for some peace in the end. And so it goes for us. Watching these movies and anticipating a good ending because it is too emotional for us to handle it, we ourselves start longing for that fake love to be turned into true love story. In those moments of anticipation, when we look forward to heal our souls with a good ending love story, we reprogram our brains to think that love can occur at any time, between any two people, due to circumstances. But I know better than anyone else that this is not the truth. Three times I ended up saying yes to the wrong type of love, due to the moral obligations, and three other times said no to true love, exactly because of the moral obligations and restrictions. But now, I understand better the ways a possessive mind and abusers act. We’ve been deceived, and now you know why. Believing in the wrong idea of love makes someone very rich and makes some perverts very happy.