On a recent trip to the movies, I made the mistake of arriving early enough to see each and every one of the previews that preceded the feature. Because the film was of the superhero variety, all the previews were in the broad genre of action and science-fiction. While the trailers were many, they were all selling the one same thing. They promised that they would blow your mind.
As far as I can tell, when movie people in Hollywood sit down to discuss making these popcorn action pictures (think this summer’s Star Trek, Man of Steel, Oblivion, or Pacific Rim), they have one basic goal: to create the most incredible, breathtaking experience you have ever had, period.
Of course, they never quite blow your mind. Even 2009’s Avatar left my cognitive powers intact. But this whole situation of a business enterprise all centered on amazement is a thing to consider in itself. Why is there is such a high demand for astonishment?
The answer is pretty simple. We put down money at a movie theater summer after summer because deep down we know that we were created to have our minds blown. God created us with minds that desire to know things, and the bigger and better the thing, the more we desire to know it. And it so happens that the biggest and best thing is so big and so great that the very experience of knowing It will blow our minds. From the start of our consciousness, we are longing to ponder the Unfathomable.
Of course, we don’t see God directly while on earth. In addition, because of our fallen state, the world around us, while continually speaking of its Creator, seems mute to us. Wherefore, our minds are restless, waiting for the Great Wonder which they were made to contemplate, like stomachs waiting for food. They can be pacified by watching Brad Pitt battle a global zombie epidemic or the Man of Steel cruising out of orbit, but when the credits start, our minds will always be all-too-intact, awaiting that Truth which alone will answer their desire for total awe.
Image: New York Movie, Edward Hopper