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Life Of Pi

PTSD Interpretation 

Well, I’ve got to say I wasn’t particularly keen on watching this movie. I knew it was based on a young man adrift at sea with a tiger and that really wasn’t pulling me in ..

It happened to be on tv last night and for some reason for the first time since it’s release I did feel drawn to watch it..  and I have to say it was truly beautiful – visually and the storyline.

Much more complex than I had imagined and deeply meaningful – even made me cry in parts..

Check out the interpretation regarding Pi and PTSD below. I felt a strong connection to the religious elements and how that interplayed with the trauma. I had a similar experience.

If you haven’t already seen this movie – consider watching it, it’s too good to miss!

SG x

Movie Summary

An aspiring Canadian author interviews the Indian storyteller Pi Patel to hear the firsthand account of his adventures.

The Life of Pi hero Piscine (also known just as “Pi”)  recounts his upbringing in French-occupied India, where his father owned a zoo. When Pi’s family business fails, they embark on a sea voyage with the zoo animals (in cargo) to Canada to begin a new life.

One night aboard their Japanese cargo ship , a violent and deadly storm hits and sinks nearly all that Pi holds dear.

He survives in a lifeboat with several of their zoo animals, including a fearsome Bengal tiger.

In a struggle to survive, Pi and the tiger forge an unexpected connection that gives him daily motivation to live.

Life of Pi is a tale of faith, hope, and the fight to survive.

 Interpretations

While Pi’s adventure unfolds in a magically real way, by the ending of Life of Pi, however, we are left to wonder about the overall truthfulness of Piscine’s story, much like the journalist who plans to write a book about Pi’s adventures. Is Piscine’s fantastic version of events “real” or is he just a storyteller and exaggerator.

There are many interpretations to account for the dreamlike and almost surreal quality of Piscine’s adventures in Life of Pi.

One interpretation of Piscine’s story may focus on the impact of psychological stress and the onset of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

Pi experiencing dissociation in order to survive his reality.

Piscine is not necessarily lying about his island adventures with a tiger, but his memory may have been severely impaired by the trauma, death, murder, cannibalism, 227 days at sea, the overwhelming despair of the shipwreck, and the loss of his family.

Like many trauma survivors, Piscine may have blocked out the ‘truth’ and rewritten history in order to survive. And his religious and spiritual background used as a coping mechanism to help give him a sense of meaning and beauty beyond the horrific events.

From the author

Even the author, Yann Martel wanted it to remain the mystery when asked about which is the true story. In this interview he speaks:

Reality isn’t just “out there”, like some block of cement: reality is an interpretation. In a sense we co-create our reality. And we do that all the time, every day. One day we wake up and we’re in a great mood, the city we live in is a beautiful city, the next day it’s an ugly city. That’s just the way we interpret things. We’re not free necessarily to choose the facts of our life, but there is an element of freedom in how we interpret them.

What I was trying to do in this book was try and discuss how we interpret reality – most secular readers will read the book and say ‘Ah, okay, there’s one story told and actually something else happened, and Pi ‘invented’ this other story to pass the time, or make his reality bearable. That’s the secular. The other one, the more religious interpretation, would just be the story you’re reading and that’s what happened…

Love this

SG x

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The Prostitute Archetype

(Everyone has this archetype)

Light Attribute

Accentuates the challenge of surviving without negotiating the power of your spirit.

Shadow Attribute

Places material considerations and security above self-empowerment.

None of us thinks kindly of the term ‘prostitute,’ and yet from this archetype we learn the great gift of never again having to compromise our body, mind, or spirit.

You may have already reached the point in which the Prostitute has become a mature part of yourself that circles you with a strong vibrational field that says, “Not for sale.”

The Prostitute archetype engages lessons in the sale or negotiation of one’s integrity or spirit due to fears of physical survival or for financial gain. It activates the aspects of the unconscious that are related to seduction and control, whereby you are as capable of buying a controlling interest in another person as you are of selling your own power.

Prostitution should be understood as the selling or selling out of your talents, ideas, and any other expression of the self. The core learning of the Prostitute relates to the need to birth and refine self-esteem and self-respect.

We prostitute ourselves when we sell our bodies or minds for money or when we compromise our morals and ethics for financial gain. That may include remaining in a marriage or job that endangers our well being for reasons of financial security.

In identifying this archetype, ask yourself:

  • Have I ever sold out to people or organizations that I did not truly believe in?
  • Have I ever remained in a situation that offered me financial protection because of a desire for financial security?
  • Have I ever put another person in the position of compromising him- or herself in order to gain power over that individual?
  • Have I ever ‘bought’ another person’s loyalty, support, or even silence, in order to have my way?

From another perspective:

  • Have I ever offered to help another who was weakened by his or her Prostitute archetype?
  • Do I judge others because they find themselves continually compromising themselves?
  • Do I think of them as weak and myself as a better person?

And from yet another perspective:

Have I ever felt myself being pulled into a circumstance that would require me to sell out my ethics, but then found myself strong enough to say “no”.

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Prostitute Archetype in Movies

Watching movies related to one of your core archetypes, especially when going through the process of healing your shadow aspect can help you understand your motivations, your passions, your fears – why you behave the way you do.

Healing the Negative Aspect or Shadow Side of the Prostitute

Counselling, guidance or talk therapy. Finding someone you trust, someone who genuinely cares, someone who’s been in a similar situation and has found the strength to change their life and now wants to help others change theirs.

Time, patience, commitment and baby steps in overcoming childhood self esteem issues, regain dignity, integrity and self respect.

Overcoming survival fears, having faith and the belief that you are capable of surviving in a healthy way.

Developing faith in yourself and in a higher power.

Prayer, the cleansing of your spirit

Remembering your inner child, the beautiful child that deserves love, respect and dignity.

Allowing yourself the time to heal.

Finding and developing your true passion and your purpose.

Healing Quotes

Silver Girl

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The Vampire Archetype

Light Attribute

Makes you aware that something or someone is draining your life force.

Ability to hold your own energy.

Shadow Attribute

Depleting others for your psychic survival.

Chronic complaining and co-dependency.

The Vampire is a mythic creature associated with both blood-sucking and eroticism. Vampires require blood, which they get by biting the neck of their victims during a nocturnal visit.

The female victim has been portrayed in the paradoxical circumstances of wanting to repel the Vampire while at the same time welcoming the erotic nature of the connection. The Vampire returns every evening to his source of life until there is no more to be had.

The parallels between human lust and vampiric blood-lust are rich: as the Vampire satisfies his thirst for blood, his host grows increasingly helpless and submissive, eventually being drained of any capacity for self-protection.

Symbolically, this relationship speaks of the power dynamics that frequently drive male-female relationships, in which the male drains the power of the female for his own psychic survival, and, once bitten, the female submits even though this will eventually take all of her power. (In some relationships, of course, the roles can easily become reversed.)

Beyond the sexual level, we sometimes form psychic attachments to others because we desire their energy, a desire that manifests through a need for approval, a need to have the “other” take care of our survival, and a fear of being abandoned.

What has been defined as a co-dependent relationship could easily fall under the Vampire template.

You may find it hard to identify yourself as a Vampire, yet it is essential to review this archetype personally.

The Shadow Aspect

Patterns of behavior such as chronic complaining, over-dependency, holding on to a relationship emotionally or psychically long after it has ended, and chronic power struggles are all indicators of Vampire patterns. Holding onto someone on the psychic level is as real as holding on to them on the physical.

Interest in the Vampire archetype has re-emerged through the literary and entertainment fields. It may well be that the archetypal opening of humanity’s psyche during these past five decades has resurrected the Vampire, empowering it with a force on the psychic plane of consciousness that was not engaged prior to this time.

Evaluation

Look for a lifelong pattern of behaviour such as chronic complaining, over-dependency and holding onto relationships psychically long after they’ve ended.

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The Orphan Child Archetype

Orphan . Abandoned

Light Attributes

Independence based on learning to go it alone.

Conquering fear of surviving.

Shadow Attributes

Feelings of abandonment that stifle maturation.

Seeking inappropriate surrogate families.

The Orphan Child is the major character in most well known children’s stories, including Little Orphan Annie, the Matchstick Girl, Bambi, the Little Mermaid, Hansel and Gretel, Snow White, Cinderella, and many more.

The pattern in these stories is reflected in the lives of people who feel from birth as if they are not a part of their family, including the family psyche or tribal spirit. Yet precisely because orphans are not allowed into the family circle, they have to develop independence early in life.

The absence of family influences, attitudes, and traditions inspires or compels the Orphan Child to construct an inner reality based on personal judgment and experience.

 Orphans who succeed at finding a path of survival on their own are celebrated in fairy tales and folk stories as having won a battle with a dark force, which symbolically represents the fear of surviving alone in this world.

The Shadow Aspect

The shadow aspect manifests when orphans never recover from growing up outside the family circle.

Feelings of abandonment and the scar tissue from family rejection stifle their maturation, often causing them to seek surrogate family structures in order to experience tribal union.

Therapeutic support groups become shadow tribes or families for an Orphan Child who knows deep down that healing these wounds requires moving on to adulthood.

Evaluation

Identifying with the Orphan begins by evaluating your childhood memories, paying particular attention to whether your painful history arises from the feeling that you were never accepted as a family member.

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