The Words of the Warren Family

A Brighter Shade Of Pale

Toby Warren
July 23, 2010

For me, it's official. The final scene in Toy Story 3 is one of the most moving ever made. As Bonnie inherits Andy's favorite toys and they play together for the last time, we are faced with the inevitable passing of the generations. It's art that moves and talks, musing on our own vulnerabilities when faced with loss and departure and moving on. And it points subtly toward the inevitable event of death, both yours and mine. In fact Toy Story 3 is all about death; from the blackness of claustrophobic bin bags, the demonic screeching of gate-keeper monkey to the inferno of a twisting fiery doom. Just don't tell the person sitting next to you! Don't even mention the 'D' word.

I'm surprised that no one has expressed their feelings having heard Father's recent speech in Korea. I watched it live from our computer and I felt something quite mysterious in the atmosphere especially as it appeared that the crowds there were above the clouds. Most significant for me is how Father spoke about death. 'It is a time for celebration'. He went on to tear down the fearful walls mankind has built that have left us cowering, unprepared to face this most unique event of all our lives. Father's own death must occupy some of his thoughts as he knows his time here is quite limited now. His passing may be the ultimate bridge for all of us.

We visited the British Museum last week and in the Egyptian and Greek rooms I could see clearly that all we have here is their collective preparations for their passage (or not) into the next (possible) world. Animalistic symbols, beautiful 'perfect' figures, the cold stone representing something far more permanent than wrinkly old skin. After thousands of years of their culture, all we have left of them is their dreams about death.

Both my parents approach their mid-eighties due to good health and some good luck too, I guess. Do I dare broach the subject of their impending end (or new beginning)? They give off many signs that they are more happy to 'get busy' because it is not a topic with a clear 'instruction manual' or a conclusive outcome. Most others would suggest that I am 'needlessly distressing' them if I bring up the issue of 'you know what'. In a way, we're all in denial because any spiritual discipline seems to require our daily concentration, that we don't forget the eternal quality that lies behind each passing moment and opportunity. Father says that ' the moment of death should be a time of greater excitement than that of a newlywed bride going to her groom's home for the first time.' Should we be excited about death? We carry the burden of knowing ourselves too well, that we probably shouldn't expect too much happiness on 'the other side'.

It's also possibly a massive historically mistaken assumption that the' God' mankind has believed in, the 'God' in our collective religious supra-culture has used fear of unknown punishment after death to keep us 'in line'. What if a kind of 'karmic amnesty' was presented to you? Would it become an excuse to live shamelessly? I don't think so. At least , not if we can understand the message of July 8th. Why make ourselves and others unhappy?

Has the time finally arrived where God knows that this ultimate 'Good News' will encourage us to be even more genuine in our motivation? Perhaps our True Parents have simply (not easily!) cleared the way for us to become like we have never been before. Maybe now all our lives can have a happy ending/ beginning! Oh well, we're off to summer camp now! And enjoy that movie! 

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