Open letter to Leonardo DiCaprio.

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Open letter to Leonardo DiCaprio.

Postby Sauwelios » Fri Oct 20, 2017 10:37 pm

I post this here in the first place in order to get suggestions as to where I should post this in order that the man himself might read it. I already posted it on his Facebook, but I'm pretty sure it was only read (in part) by (one of) his admins, who then thanked me for my comment and support and started to make small talk with me...

In fact, any suggestions as to where the right people--not necessarily including the man himself--might read it are appreciated. Anyway, without further ado, here's my letter:

::

Dear Mr. DiCaprio,

In times of crisis, we need constructive criticism. I saw your documentary today [this letter was written on October 5], and here's my critique.

The whole is more than the sum of its parts. An actor is a whole that consists of a single part, a single human being. His art is to be more than that--not to pretend like a psycho- or sociopath [not saying you ever do this!], but to be totally wrapped up in his part, his "role", his place in the story, the history. (I'm sorry if "his" is not politically correct, but you and I are both men, both profess to be men. Both of us can only be men, truly human even, through inspiration, the holy spirit, which we don't possess, but by which we at our best are possessed.)

Documentaries, no matter how great, are boring to most people. Even the word sounds boring. What we, the people want is a movie. We want to be moved, we want an effect, something truly special. Your playing yourself in a documentary will not do. "You SHALL not pass!" To overcome Mordor, we need magic.

My late, great father once told me actors tend to be insecure people in real life (example: Scientology). But the truth is, all people are insecure on some level. Having said that, I think you're not just one of the greatest actors, but also a great man. I'm no cynic, I don't think you made that documentary just to be liked for who you are. And even insofar as the need to be liked motivates you, who am I to judge you? It motivates me too as I write this.

"Before the Flood": that's what this is all about. I've strayed from the point, from what really matters, long enough. But in the course of my wanderings, I've homed in more and more on the center. The central, leading part is what we have to play. We have to star, nay to sun--all of us, mankind as a whole. Not like a supernova, which consumes its whole system, but like a healthy sun, knowing its limitations. "Nothing in excess", said the temple of the sun-god in ancient Greece; and "know thyself".

I present to you my philosophy as a gift, a golden staff on which a serpent coils around the sun. Should you play me, or Zarathustra? It's not just MY philosophy, but philosophy, period--the love of wisdom. The coming-out of philosophy, for which it may very well seem prideful--nay, I AM proud, proud to present my wisdom, which was shared with me by the wise men of the past--it is this: the love of life as it is, blindingly and scorchingly bright and frighteningly dark, and everything in between. The circle of life.

The day before yesterday (yesterday being, by sheer synchronicity, my father's birthday--and World Animal Day!), I watched Disney's "Lion King" again, for the first time in a long time. My father truly believed in astrology, and I'm a Leo; but the corresponding Eastern sign is the Monkey--and as lion-like as I may be in some respects, I am the mandrill with the staff, the shaman. You are rather the lion prince, one of the beautiful people, the rich and famous and POWERFUL. And I bid you to remember who you are, WHAT you are, a most gifted and experienced actor: INSPIRE PEOPLE THROUGH WHAT YOU'RE TRULY GREAT AT, even as I hereby strive to do so.

Strife is itself of the essence of life. So is distraction, which I keep falling prey to even now. Let me home in again: what man must do is take his rightful place within the circle of life again. I have found that place. It is to be the shepherd, not the master, of all life on earth. In order to be that, I and my kind must take our place as mandrills, so that the lions among men can take that place in relation to LITERAL lions, and mandrills, and all other species. And, above all, to the Earth itself--turn back we must, and face Mother Earth.

"Beat them by overjoining them": that could be my motto. May there not well be [human] life AFTER the Flood? Not Adam and Eve, perhaps, but a new Noah et al.? A Great Flood or Deluge is literally a cata-clysm. Embracing cataclysm theory, the idea of historical recurrence, may paradoxically prevent it from happening, from HAVING to happen. Modernity with its machinery was based on a hatred of life, of natural life, of life as it was and had been, of earthly life. Instead of aiming at a pleasant afterlife, Western man started aiming at a pleasant life on earth, if not immediately then in the future. But again paradoxically, though life may be pleasant for him at present, the future looks bleak as you well know.

Philosophy is always paradoxical, because life itself is paradoxical. It's an aporia, a "perilous path" (Tao), with an abyss of light on one side and an abyss of darkness on the other [Yin and Yang]. There is "life and death", and there is "life", which comprehends both life and death and can no longer be seen. Yet it can be comprehended, understood, it is intelligible. Wisdom is nothing else than seeing this unity with the mind's eye, seeing the beauty in it, the beauty that comprehends both "beauty and ugliness". The living experience of this vision is what wisdom is, and philosophy only remains philo-sophy because this experience tends to be so fleeting.

As Terence McKenna said, shamanism is not a religion, it's a set of techniques. One of the means, the media, that may induce said experience is cinema. Yet the experience itself is re-ligious in the literal sense of a binding back, namely to "what Adam had seen on the morning of his creation--the miracle, moment by moment, of naked existence." (Aldous Huxley, "The Doors of Perception".) Reason has been misunderstood as being opposed to revelation. To be sure, the principle that constitutes it is that A is different from not-A, but that's only half of it. The other half is to then see the unity of the two, the whole that is more than the sum of its parts. Not a divine but a natural revelation, if the two are even opposed--a revelation of the divinity of nature.

But I should wrap this up. If you'd like to hear more, let me know.

Sincerely,

Oliver de Waal
"Someone may object that the successful revolt against the universal and homogeneous state could have no other effect than that the identical historical process which has led from the primitive horde to the final state will be repeated. But would such a repetition of the process--a new lease of life for man's humanity--not be preferable to the indefinite continuation of the inhuman end? Do we not enjoy every spring although we know the cycle of the seasons, although we know that winter will come again?" (Leo Strauss, "Restatement on Xenophon's Hiero".)
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Re: Open letter to Leonardo DiCaprio.

Postby demoralized » Fri Oct 20, 2017 11:24 pm

Biblically, the flood is not going to happen again. Something to keep in mind when talking about recurrence.

Genesis 9:15

I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind. Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life.
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Re: Open letter to Leonardo DiCaprio.

Postby Sauwelios » Sat Oct 21, 2017 12:35 am

demoralized wrote:Biblically, the flood is not going to happen again. Something to keep in mind when talking about recurrence.

Genesis 9:15

I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind. Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life.


The only reason I put it in Biblical terms is the documentary's featuring Hieronymus Bosch's "Garden of Earthly Delights" triptych. It worked out nicely with the Huxley quote, though.

Interesting quote/translation, by the way, considering that the Flood never destroyed all life in the first place.
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