Field of Dreams
|By Eugene. J. Shearn (Morgan)|
The movie Field of Dreams has always been a favorite movie of mine. When I saw it the other night on cable reruns, it reminded me of the actual experience of miracles that have occurred and are occurring in my personal undoing and the surprises that they are.
They come like thieves in the night to steal away my Conceptual definitions and defenses, the very “reality” of my world.
When I began to apply A Course In Miracles to my thinking and evolve a new purpose for seeing, I began to discover that miracles can only work as an actual “living” experience. I learned that miracles cannot be consciously guided without lessening their efficacy to preconceptions.
To be alive in the unknowing without using the past to determine what should be, right or wrong, as a defense. A living discovery of Life, all-inclusive, right here and now. No “where” to go, no “thing” to get, but simply being Open or Miracle-minded in discovery.
I have to willingly participate right where I am and be present as I am for the application of A Course In Miracles (ACIM) to have any true impact.
The messages in Field of Dreams expanded and became even more profound then when I first watched it and bawled my eyes out.
This movie is loaded with examples of how forgiveness, healing and salvation actually occur and are experienced directly, and I cannot cover the whole thing here. These are three instances that seem typical in my personal transformation and hopefully can help others to see that the miracle is available in living application, not necessarily in becoming anything else or going anywhere but right now where you Are as you Are.
In the movie, Terence Mann (James Earl Jones) is a writer from the sixties that had a profound influence on the protagonist, Ray Kinsella when he was a youth. His writing was very provocative and instigated change in the sixties when things were chaotic already. But as the effect his writing had on people began to grow he became embittered and felt put upon as the very minds that he had helped to open began to ask for more from him than he was able to give without undergoing a continuation of his own transformation.
He stopped writing and became a recluse in order to protect himself from the fear of not knowing the answers to the questions and freedom that his writing had initiated.
When Ray Kinsella (Kevin Costner) comes to get him Terence is angry in general and has a closed mind. In fact he almost resorts to violence to get Ray to leave betraying one of his own core beliefs that he is a pacifist. Finally Terence is persuaded by Ray’s determination and passion; he acquiesces and accompanies Ray to the game.
At the game, Terence tells Ray his tale of being ‘put upon’ and pressured for answers as the reason for shutting down his “special skill.” He is so pissed off that even when he “hears” the message he won’t admit it. He goes even so far as to let Ray drive off but the Voice was in there, it was too late. He asks Ray if the Voice was telling him anything and he says “yeah, leave the man alone, he’s done enough.” Having the memory of being a communicator” and having a true purpose he realized that “having done enough” was a lame excuse for denying his own search and a defense against the discovery that he doesn’t know and must know in order to be free. The Voice activated and opened his mind, confronting him right where he was and using it for the correction. He had no choice but to follow the directions, having been shown his grievance and its bitter results. He goes off with Ray on this big trip, for no reason that he can understand other than he had an experience, to Minnesota to find Moonlight Graham and finds out that he is already deceased. Ray travels back in time (!) and finds Moonlight Graham as an old doctor who doesn’t want to come with them! Flustered by not getting the answer that they were looking for and with Ray having to go home because of his brother-in-law’s financial pressure concerning the farm, Terence decides that after coming thus far, he will at least go and see the field.
On the way Ray confesses to his grievance and remorse concerning his dad and how the books Terence wrote was a motivating factor in his way of thinking at the time.
They pick up a young Archie Graham (!) looking to play baseball on the way back to Iowa. So here he comes, finally, up to the field.
After traveling all this way to see the field and Shoeless Joe playing there (even though he’s been dead for over twenty years.) After hearing the Voice at Fenway Park in Boston and seeing the flashing words on the big screen there that only they could see. After picking up a 19-year-old hitchhiker, a nineteen-year-old who died ten years earlier at the age of 84.
After all these unearthly and miraculous experiences, Terence approaches the field and actually seeing Shoeless Joe, his mouth drops open, his eyes bug out and he says in amazement, “That’s Shoeless Joe Jackson!” Ray says, “Yeah, I told you, didn’t you believe me?” “I thought I did!” says Terence.
He is adamant that his view is right, not knowing he isn’t seeing what is going on at all. The daughter gives her innocent view and Terence reiterates it passionately from experience. “People will come, Ray,” they say. Finally Ray gets the sign from the Voice and it’s a done deal, a shared thought grown certain: “We’re not selling,” Ray tells his brother in law.
The brother in law cannot accept what has been decided, seeing only his way as a true answer. The daughter finally asks Mark to sit down because he is blocking the game, the game that he can’t see. He becomes enraged and grabs the child. When Ray goes to free her, she falls from the stands and goes unconscious. Moonlight Graham crosses over the line that borders the field and is transformed back into the elder Doctor Graham and saves the child. Suddenly the brother can see having been so shaken by the effects of his behavior allowed for an opening and the miracle of the healing crossed him over into actual seeing. The shock of the experience to his untrained sight was so disorienting to his thinking that all he could say, all he knew to say was: “Don’t sell this farm, Ray, no matter what. Don’t sell this farm.”
So this guy, Ray Kinsella starts to get these messages from a “Voice” that he can’t see, doesn’t recognize and that doesn’t say anything he can grasp within his way of thinking. But because the
Voice is true and undeniable communicates he begins to follow It. This only happens after he goes through all kinds of uncertainty looking to his “reflections” that aren’t hearing It for verification.
It’s funny to note that in each scene in which he is looking for someone else to verify what he himself witnessed to, the Voice of the music playing in the background is echoing his doubts.
In the scene where he is in the grain store, and is asking if the farmer that was being served at the counter before him had heard voices, the song playing on the radio at the store is “Crazy.” When he is discussing his idea of the “purpose” of why the field was built with his wife the radio is playing “What a Day for A Daydream.” And of course when he comes down to breakfast the first
morning after hearing the Voice his daughter is watching “Harvey”, the movie about the guy who talks to an invisible rabbit which he immediately turns off, afraid that he’s nuts. Ray found out that nobody could verify for him what to do about the Voice and also became certain that he could not deny It once he ‘saw” Shoeless Joe, The Voice. The ‘energy’ of the Voice was in his mind and it continued to work stuff loose. His whole life got turned inside out because the energy that the Voice brings can be quite disillusioning. Everyone thinks he’s nuts for plowing under his corn, the bank wants to take his farm and even his wife is resisting him until they had the miracle of the same dream. When the energy contained in his grievance against his father was loosed, it was used by the Voice as the same energy that allowed him to “listen, learn and do” what the Voice was guiding him to do. He thought at first, it was to prove he wasn’t like his father. But with an experience comes miracle-mindedness as the energy stirred up all kinds of memories about him and his father. The thing is that he was willing (he must have done the workbook of A Course In Miracles!). He continued to use his own thinking to determine what everything was for.
This constantly placed him in the position of needing correction for being mistaken or narrow in his thinking, to a broader and more inclusive understanding that allowed for a total healing through a whole, direct experience. Throughout the whole movie he constantly thought that he knew what things where for. When the Voice said, “build it and he will come,” he thought that the field was for Shoeless Joe. And it was, but that was only a partial or objective view. He thought that when he heard the Voice say, “Ease his pain” that it was about taking Terence Mann; who had a profound effect on him in his youth and had contributed to the interactions between Ray and his father because of a remorseful article he wrote about baseball many years before, to a baseball game. But again that was only a partial view.
He thought “go all the way” was about “Moonlight Graham” and again it was only partial. In the end, the only reason that anything happened for him at all was because he was willing to listen and do what he thought he should, regardless of how partial his views were in retrospect. All throughout his journey he figures stuff out
just enough to get to the point that he could see that his conclusions were mistaken and that there was more, always more.
In that admission, in that moment of not knowing and the willingness to listen and learn, the next thing to "do" was revealed and his view and understanding broadened to include everybody and everything until finally at the end, the last and only one standing there was him. When Terence Mann got asked to go “out” with the players, just when the whole thing was about to come together for him, he started to complain. For the first time he became selfish. HE wanted to go, HE wanted to know what’s in it for ME. The Voice confronted him directly, “Is that why you did all this Ray, for you?” and suggested that “he had better stay here.” Even as the final moment neared he needed to be corrected, be guided to stay still for a moment. That maybe he wasn’t seeing the whole picture. Even though the very fact that everything was indeed for him, the thing that he couldn’t truly know before it happened was upon him, he still was off the mark without help at the final moment. His salvation was that he was honest enough to be exposed. Finally, as everyone involved had gotten everything, the writer, the doctor, the players (including I suppose Ty Cobb, who got told to stick it!) and the brother, the Voice looks directly at him and just smiles. He arrogantly asks, “what are you looking at”, defending himself from “the look.” The Voice does not answer. Another moment of not knowing and another question with more passion, “What are you smiling at, you ghost.”
Now he’s mad and the Holy Spirit has him right where he wants him, he is asking a real question and really wants to “know”, thinking he can without the experience. “Build it and he” nodding towards home plate, “will come.” It’s his father. He sees him as he was, the way he always wished he was but couldn’t see because of his grievance. Finally after all that he has been through, all the experiences of miracles and wonder, he is ready to forgive, everybody is given everyone and everything! After some small talk his father asks, “Is this heaven?” “It’s Iowa,” he says. Remember earlier in the movie when a player asked him the same question, and he flatly denies that it is heaven - “No, it’s Iowa”. Now with a changed mind Ray isn’t so sure. The father says, “Boy, I would have sworn this is heaven.” “Is there a heaven?” Now he is open, albeit a little fearful of the answer. “Oh yeah” says the father with a certainty, a humility and a gratitude expressed by one who knows. “What’s it like?” “Heaven is the place where dreams come true.” He looks around being healed in forgiveness and the gratitude that inspires and SEES... “John,” he says, feeling the compromise of that he quickly is self-corrected, “Dad, ya wanna have a catch?” And they played catch in heaven.
Certainly Field Of Dreams is loaded with ideas and scenarios that perfectly express the workings of the Course, miracles, forgiveness and communication. The story of Moonlight Graham with all its time shifting and validation for a life of service is a most powerful story in itself, the one the whole climax rallies around. I would say the wife Annie was already miracle minded because anybody who could dream the same dream as somebody else and suggest the idea of an acid flash forward from the future must have something going on! The daughter in her perfect innocence and open mindedness was in heaven all along.
So if you liked Field of Dreams and get a chance, watch it again and see what happens. Or go to Iowa and visit the Field of Dreams and walk into the corn and out into heaven. Or maybe you’ll realize your field is already been built…for they have come.
E.J. Shearn AKA Morgan