I’ve been obsessing recently about Cloud Atlas, both the novel and the movie. I have been profoundly affected by both. Jung said somewhere that if archetypes spoke their language would be poetic, lofty, quite far from everyday speech. It is precisely what happens in the film. Every scene is monumental, memorable and rendered in this lofty manner. Truly mesmerizing.
The Piscean theme
In the movie, different characters are played by one actor. It is a stroke of genius, isn’t it? We are all one: it is so Piscean. Throughout time and history some of them they get the chance to redeem themselves, atone for their deeds, elevate themselves, while others tumble further down into oblivion or evil. So Piscean – I think to myself. We are bound to others and we do not live only for ourselves.
Another Piscean theme is sacrifice. There are quite a few innocent victims in the movie, for example the Valley people, who epitomize the Age of Pisces. They do not rely on knowledge but superstition, are helpless and ruled by herd mentality. On the other hand, one might say they are deeply spiritual, believing in healers and auguries. I love the scene when the girl, who was stung by scorpion fish, is cured by means of Meronym’s equipment. Zachary executes the shot (it is sudden and works instantly, its efficacy is based on scientific knowledge and advanced technology; all Aquarian features) while the village healer struts his stuff and fancy gadgets which are useless in fact (Piscean healing is possible but it is rare and can only happen at the hands of a pure and deeply spiritual person). The Prescients lift humanity into the age of Aquarius.
The Aquarian theme
Some characters carry a birthmark: a comet or a shooting star. It is these characters who, like Neo, create a certain ‘anomaly in the matrix’, rise above their existence, are vehicles for social change and a change in consciousness. They have a life-changing message for all humanity. They are harbingers of freedom who fight all forms of oppression. I was struck by a scene involving Atua, the stowaway slave, and the lawyer. The slave said he would not be fish food, as the captain will most likely have him thrown overboard if he discovers him, and he would rather the lawyer killed him there and then so that he can die of his own free will. Aquarius is all about free will and freedom to choose whereas Pisces is about helplessness and giving in. A slave and a lawyer get to become friends: only possible in the eleventh house of the Zodiac.
‘Truth is singular. All its versions are mistruths,’ says Sonmi, the clone. A perfect Aquarian phrase. The truth is a collective phenomenon, which emerges holistically from all the stories put together in Cloud Atlas. The connectedness of all human race throughout time and space, regardless of gender, race, political beliefs and all conceivable differences, is at the heart of this film.
It is the first Western film that presents the theme of reincarnation so boldly and in a such multifaceted way. It was already very strong in the book but the film took it to a whole new level. We “rebirth our future” by each crime and every kindness. The more consciousness we gain, the more we can influence our circumstances and change our reality. We are bound to others and no action is left without a reaction.
I am really happy that more and more films have been appearing on the new age theme. This creates hope that a global shift in consciousness is imminent. Films and other work of art are like the collective dream: there are seeds of the future in it and that future seems to be full of hope.
Why do I love this book (and the film) so much? Maybe because it shows the interconnectedness of all humanity. ‘Strip back the beliefs pasted on by governments, schools, and states, you find indelible truths at one’s core.’ writes Frobisher in his letter. My favourite quote from the novel.