The Spirit of the Beehive :: Victor Erice

When the movie first started, and I heard the music playing during the opening credits, I said: “This reminds me of Grave of the Fireflies.” The music seemed very similar–sad, but beautiful.

Then, when the girls first went to the abandoned house out in the field, I was again reminded of Grave of the Fireflies, when brother and sister lived in an abandoned bomb shelter. Both structures had the same remoteness, the same shelteringness, and the same two black, adjacent entrances.

Both movies also had a scene–otherwise disconnected from the plot in general–where the siblings are simply happy. In Spirit of the Beehive we see the two girls playing with their fathers shaving set. In Grave of the Fireflies the siblings are sharing a bath. Both scenes served to offset the otherwise somber nature of the films.

At the end of the movie–it reminded me of Grave of the Fireflies. In the one film the girl dies, but dies with happiness and innocence, oblivious to the tragedy of her surroundings. In “Spirit of the Beehive,” the girl lives, but is traumatized.

Both of the older siblings are blessed with a greater understanding of reality, while both of the younger siblings live in their own realities.

Fernando Fernán Gómez, who played the father of Ana and Isabel, described the film as “poetic cinema”–a truly fitting summary.

Just A Thought

What goes on inside other peoples heads? What goes on inside our own heads? It’s easy to justify that such things don’t matter; it’s hard to realize exactly how much power our thoughts have.

David Burns states in his “Feeling Good”: “Your thoughts create your emotions…. modifications in illogical thinking patterns will have a profound effect on your moods….” This is only the beginning, only a single example. James Allen’s “As a Man Thinketh” discusses further the affects of mere thought–is topics include “Thought and Character,” “Effect of Thought on Circumstances,” “Effect of Thought on Health and the Body,” “Thought and Purpose,” “The Thought-Factor in Achievement.” More on those here.

Your thoughts literally take you places, where you can experience different things based on what kind of places those are. As you spend time in different places you change, becoming more like those places, influenced by the worlds you create in your mind.

[7] For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee. (Proverbs 23)

[27] Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: [28] But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart. [29] And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell. [30] And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell. (Matthew 5)

[20] And he said, That which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man. [21] For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, [22] Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: [23] All these evil things come from within, and defile the man. (Mark 7)

[3] For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: [4] (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) [5] Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; (2 Corinthians 10)

[30] But this much I can tell you, that if ye do not watch yourselves, and your thoughts, and your words, and your deeds, and observe the commandments of God, and continue in the faith of what ye have heard concerning the coming of our Lord, even unto the end of your lives, ye must perish. And now, O man, remember, and perish not. (Mosiah 4, emphasis added)

[14] For our words will condemn us, yea, all our works will condemn us; we shall not be found spotless; and our thoughts will also condemn us; and in this awful state we shall not dare to look up to our God; and we would fain be glad if we could command the rocks and the mountains to fall upon us to hide us from his presence. (Alma 12, emphasis added)

[68] Therefore, sanctify yourselves that your minds become single to God, and the days will come that you shall see him; for he will unveil his face unto you, and it shall be in his own time, and in his own way, and according to his own will. [69] Remember the great and last promise which I have made unto you; cast away your idle thoughts and your excess of laughter far from you. (D&C 88)

As a Man Thinketh :: James Allen

I’ve heard so many quotes from this work that I was really surprised by how short it is–it’s less than 7,000 words, whereas the book of Genesis is over 38,000. It’s pretty packed with good stuff, though. If a few of Allen’s individual arguments seem weak it is only because of the completeness with which he treats the topic. His message is clear and well-supported: thoughts are much more powerful than most realize, with a reach far beyond the limits of the mind.

The table of contents reads:

  • Thoughts and Character
  • Effect of Thought on Circumstances
  • Effect of Thought on Health and the Body
  • Thought and Purpose
  • The Thought-Factor in Achievement
  • Visions and Ideals
  • Serenity

Some choice quotes:

As the plant springs from, and could not be without, the seed, so every act of a man springs from the hidden seeds f thought, and could not have appeared without them.

…cause and effect is as absolute and undeviating in the hidden realm of thought as in the world of visible and material things.

Man is made or unmade by himself; in the armory of thought he forges the weapons of which he destroys himself; he also fashions the tools with which he builds for himself heavenly mansions of joy and strength and peace.

Circumstance does not make the man; it reveals him to himself.

Men are anxious to improve their circumstances, but are unwilling to improve themselves; they therefore remain bound.

Dream lofty dreams, and as you dream, so shall you become.

As a Man Thinketh is available from Project Gutenberg.

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