Thursday, December 22, 2011

inner state 60 (the box)


The Box (by the creator of Donnie Darko) is a Christmas movie. Though this is not immediately apparent, the film is set in December, and its subject is the redemption of the birth of Christ. In it, a couple (Adam and Eve, allegorically) take the Forbidden Fruit (press the button) and are forced to sacrifice everything for their Son to atone for their sins.

At the beginning of the film, (King) Arthur (James Marsden), a would-be astronaut, is searching for Life on Mars--the Initiation into the serpent energy. He wishes to travel into space, but he does not pass the psychological examination. (His mind is the scene of a crime.) Meanwhile, his wife, Nora (Cameron Diaz), has a bad foot; Soul is wounded and needs to be healed.

God's face is still wounded from the Lightning Flash
Push a red button on a little black box, get a million bucks cash. Just like that, all of Norma (Diaz) and Arthur Lewis's (Marsden) financial problems will be over. But there's a catch, according to the strange visitor (Lagella) who placed the box on the couple's doorstep. Someone, somewhere - someone they don't know - will die.

Into this milieu comes Arlington Stewart, an allegorical representation of God, who introduces them to the Forbidden Fruit, the Box. They told that if they press the button inside of the Box, they will receive one million dollars (become as gods, knowing good and evil)--but someone in the world will die (Genesis 2:17). After much deliberation, Nora presses the button (Eve always eats first). Then comes the loss of innocence and a journey through the Underworld.
Cameron Diaz and James Marsden play a couple confronted by agonizing temptation yet unaware they're already part of an orchestrated an - for them and us - mind-blowing chain of events. "Somebody pushing your buttons?" a woman asks. (Synopsis)
Arthur must choose the Middle Pillar or be subjected to Eternal Damnation: "He's testing you."
In the 1st state we are unconscious, meaning we do not know ourselves as separate from All That Is.

Adam and Eve were both naked, and they felt no shame. —Genesis 2:25

. . . the serpent (symbolic of the kundalini . . .) is the process of individuation that produces the idea of separation. . . . we consciously perceive ourselves in the illusory form of a separate, individualized entity.

Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked. —Genesis 3:6

But the idea of separateness is only a negative thing when we forget the original state of wholeness from which we both emanated and are still a part of, simultaneously. Thus, it becomes necessary to transcend ourselves (the self being the Ego that is utterly convinced it is omniscient, omni-powerful, and alone) in order to recover and reintegrate the memory of wholeness . . . (Sibyl Hunter, The Sync Book)
This is their introduction to the world of synchronicity: Every sign, every person, every event, is a reminder of what they have done, and that they are now part of a Work far larger than themselves. Stewart has his servants everywhere. This is a repetition of the same theme from Donnie Darko, where the Active Receiver is at the mercy of the Manipulated Living, who will stop at nothing to maneuver the Receiver into such a position as he has no choice but to accomplish the Work of Self-Sacrifice. (Stewart himself is, of course, Frank, the Mask of God.)

The couple in The Box is now trapped in Purgatory, according to dialogue in the movie itself (No Exit). This, of course, is a bit of a red herring; it's an alchemical "purgation" where they must burn up all that they are. They are, in effect, forced to confront themselves, and there is no turning back to their old lives of ignorance. They must complete the Great Work or die trying. In Paulo Coelho's The Alchemist, the protagonist is similarly placed into a situation where he is forced to become the wind (a pure spirit).

A Few Shots to Shaman notes the repeated appearance of the number 237 from Stanley Kubrick's The Shining.

Arlington Stewart is Watchmen's Dr. Manhattan. Like God, we are told that he was "killed" by the Lightning Flash--but then, fragmented as he is, was able to pull himself together (tikkun olam). Though wounded, he is still a force far more powerful than themselves.

Flash forward to the end of the film. Arthur is given an ultimatum: Arthur's Son (the Christ Child) has been blinded (i.e. the Child is raised in darkness, as in Donnie Darko). In order to restore the Son's sight, he must make the greatest sacrifice: He must shoot his wife in the heart.

Set the controls for the heart of the sun

This is a sort of mockery of the end of The Odyssey, in which Odysseus must shoot his arrow through a hoop in order to claim Penelope. Thus Arthur the spaceman (the Bowman) throws darts (a gunshot) in Mother's eyes. Nora is Gabby Giffords; they're both Astronaut's Wives.

Arthur and Nora are Anthony and Cleopatra. Both set out to conquer the world and end up losing everything; Cleopatra gets bitten by the serpent in the heart. Like Voldemort, they seek immortality for selfish reasons.

An alchemical bath

Their Son Caesarion (Harpocrates) survives, in secret--as does the Son in The Box, who, sight restored, is now entrusted with the million dollars. The Son in The Box is named Sam Oz Stone. (How is that even a real name?) Like the Dude in The Big Lebowski, Arthur has no further role in raising his Son (the Child surpasses the Father).


Interstate 60 forms a philosophic counterpoint to The Box--they form two halves of a whole. Just as in that movie, Neal Oliver, played by James Marsden again, is given a box by God (Ray/Ra, Christopher Lloyd) which catapults him into the strange world of synchronicity.

The box in The Box . . .

. . .  and Interstate 60
The film tells the story of Neal Oliver – a twenty-two year old who’s stuck between his father’s pushy advances (the beautiful expensive car in return for a law degree), and his desire to be an artist. He’s not comfortable in his relationship (each of his girlfriends is a reaction to the last) and wants some kind of escape – all this while dreaming about a mysterious blonde (Amy Smart) who he has never met. Enter O.W Grant (Gary Oldman), who on Neal’s birthday, offers him the opportunity to have one wish, to which he replies: “I wish for an answer”. As if guiding him, the girl in his dreams seems to have something to do with his ever-stranger circumstances, and he is summoned to a building where he is told that he must deliver a parcel and his wish will be fulfilled. However, the address to which the parcel must be delivered is on the non-existent highway Interstate 60, so Neal must follow the clues that present themselves in order to find it. (Daniel Stephens)

Ray introduces him to the concept of "black hearts," the alchemical Black Sun. The "red spade" is the Lance and Graal. What he thinks he sees is not always what is actually there--like the mythical Platform 9 3/4, Neal must find Interstate 60, a road that does not officially exist on any map.

Facilitating this Quest is O.W. Grant, played by the always Osiris-resonating Gary Oldman, who smokes a magic monkey pipe (referring, no doubt, to the fire of the animal libido). O.W.G.'s pipe is broken, like the broken column of the Masonic mysteries, the broken sword of the grail quest--and the unfinished temple. As the Great Magical Agent, O.W.G.'s power can be used for good or ill, depending on the Will of the aspirant.

The key was that Neal had to ask the Question, which is that he wanted the Answer. What was the answer? All of these signs and symbols point back to the missing girl, LL (Lynn Linden), his anima, his Muse. (This, again, is Philip K. Dick's twin syzygy, which Mind does not wish to forget and of which our reality forms a constant reminder of her death.)
Neal: So, I had another dream about her, last night. She was in jail . . . it's got to mean something.

Prison break

When he goes to find her, he is subjected to the Curse of the Law (Karmic debt) in the town of Morlaw and is imprisoned. But in doing so, he is able to free her, and thus rediscovers his Muse. (The Star and Moon of the Tarot.)

And yet here his mission is far from over; there are three Tarot cards left. There was a killer on the loose, which was, after all, himself. Just as in Inception, he has to choose between following his Father (a man of the Law) or going his own way with his Muse--Individuation. (Line in the movie: "Well, thank you Carl Jung.")

And just as in Ferris Bueller, he takes the Father's red car, only to destroy it in the end. (The Father's Ego-chariot is "killed"--the killer in Interstate 60 was on the run for killing his father.) It is Neal's doppelgaenger who dies, while Neal  emerges from this ordeal unscathed (having willingly sacrificed all that he had).

Thus Neal commits himself to finishing the Work, and delivers the package--to O.W. Grant himself, who sits next to Ray, the very people who gave him the task in the first place. (The Work is an Ouroboros.) Inside of the package is a replacement pipe for O.W.G. In other words, Neal Oliver (= the Olive Tree of Life) was given the task of restoring the Word (O.W.G.'s pipe) to the Throne of God (Christopher Lloyd) . . . it's all in the Sepher Yetzirah somewhere. Much ado is made over O.W.G. having lost his penis--can the pipe in the box at the end be anything else but the restored phallus of Osiris-Dionysus in the ceremonial cista mystica?

The world is Pee-Wee's playhouse; we just live in it

Alan adds: Also note his "pipe" or phallus emits GREEN smoke, the magical road signs are from the GREENE company, Christ Lloyd is in the OLIVE building (and James Marsden is Neil OLIVER).

OW says his name is "One Wish Grant" but you have to find his lost lamp if you want to rub it :)

Also, OW comes into the movie with his red bow tie and silly bike, ala PeeWee Herman {Hesse or Cain?}
PeeWee's career ended when he rubbed one out in a movie theater (so did John Wilkes Booth's)

It goes without saying that all of this occurred within his mind, the interior space of the psyche, the true final frontier. But such a journey has repercussions in the real world. Neal's journey through the Inner State has become the wellspring for his artistic expression.


  1. Great post as usual *applause*. The green syncs in Interstate 60 remind me of The Green Lantern which I just watched last nite. I didn't really like the movie because I thought the special effects and aliens looked terrible, but it has a similar theme to Interstate 60—overcoming his father, saving the girl, burning up his evil twin/parallel/Parallex in the heart of the Sun, and clearly the the lantern is the box.

  2. I added a bit from your Sync Book piece that helps explain The Box, I think.

    The Siren that Neal meets has slept with 2460 men (i.e., 24 hours, 60 minutes); she is Time as Sex and Death. He'll have to go "back in time" to reverse the flow.

  3. Always a pleasure to witness such logic. I admire the road 60 synopsis. Same as it ever was? Dennis


  5. The First Star of N'Sync put his Dick in a Box for Christmas.


    I am tired of merry times, and don't care if I never have any more!" answered pettish little
    Pandora. "And, besides, I never do have any. This ugly box! I am so taken up with thinking about it all the time. I insist upon your telling me what is inside of it."

    "As I have already said fifty times over, I do not know!" replied Epimetheus, getting a little vexed himself. "How, then, can I tell you what is inside?"

    "You might open it," said Pandora, "and then we could see for ourselves."
    "Pandora, what are you thinking of?" exclaimed Epimetheus.

    His face showed so much horror at the idea of looking into a box which had been given to
    him on his promise never to open it, that Pandora thought it best not to suggest it any more. Still, she could not help thinking and talking about the box.

    "At least," said she, "you can tell me how it came here." "It was left at the door," replied
    Epimetheus, "just before you came, by a person who looked very smiling and who could hardly keep from laughing as he put it down. He was dressed in an odd kind of cloak, and had on a cap that seemed to be made partly of feathers, so that it looked almost as if it had wings."

    "What sort of staff had he?" asked Pandora.
    "Oh, the most curious staff you ever saw!" cried Epimetheus" It was like two serpents
    twisting around a stick and was carved so naturally that I at first thought the serpents were

  7. Great read. I just have ONE assertion. The guy who gives the black box isn't GOD, it is Satan. The Serpent is the giver of fruit/knowledge. God forbode the knowlede/fruit. Of course it also depends on who you assert GOD is I suppose.

    To some, the Serpent IS God for making us "aware". The true creator is viewed as Evil due to his laws/rules, etc. I get the Theosopical assertions for God as the Devil, but the giver of fruit is a Serpent, not God.

  8. Had an eerie Ferris Bueller sync today and over the weekend, involving "Twist & Shout" and a Masonic Grove.


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