I attended the screening for “The Nature of Existence” tonight. Since I blogged about the film last week, I wanted to follow up with my thoughts and reactions.
Director Roger Nygard interviewed over 100 people of different nationalities and beliefs. I heard the views of scientists in the same minute as Jainists, Native Americans, and New Age gurus.
Everyone answered the same 85 questions. Much of the insight I’ve heard or read before, but the most striking part of this documentary was the cacophony of thought and theory made up by all of these radically diverse groups. At first, It just felt like a mess of totally unrelated beliefs. I laughed quite a bit–both at the absurdly delusional and the fabulously comedic. Not until the very end when I had a time to reflect did I see the larger point.
It may seem simplistic, but I came away from The Nature of Existence with a renewed compassion for spiritual and religious people. My curiosity about world religions and the individuals that follow them has ballooned once again. Becoming an atheist may have brought a new realization that religion is based on delusion and unnecessary, but hearing people of all different philosophies ponder why we exist and what it means to live a good life just makes me want to be kinder and more open to those who are on the same journey as I am. The difference between us is which path we choose to get there.
There may be a larger truth, but no one religion has it. Even science doesn’t fully understand yet. We search for meaning because it’s part of our natures. Let’s just be kind to one another along the way, ok?
P.S. Go see the movie! Support independent film makers!