Vector8 Journals

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Why It Is Pointless Judging Another's Path

I watched the movie Coming to America again the other night starring Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall. It's a real hoot!

An African Prince, Akeem, has just turned 21 years old. He's required to marry a woman who has been selected for him. Akeem objects to the marriage because he doesn't love her and suggests to his father that he goes away for a while, ostensibly to find his own bride. His father agrees that Akeem can have 40 days to "sow his royal oats" and then he must return and get married. Akeem decides to go to America to find the woman of his dreams. He is accompanied by his royal servant and companion, Semmi. They choose Queens in New York.

Prince Akeem is determined to live incognito as an ordinary New Yorker. He insists that the taxi driver take them to the most common area in Queens. The driver advises him that most areas in Queens are common. They find digs in a dilapidated apartment block. Their first experience of their neighbourhood is having their luggage stolen. To avoid drawing attention to their wealth, Akeem gives their money away to some vagrants. Akeem doesn't mind living in poverty. In fact, he finds it exciting living a life he's unaccustomed to and looking after himself for a change. He knows he is on a mission for a short while and then he will return home to his father's palace. Akeem's companion, Semmi, doesn't share his enthusiasm; he is disgusted at the local squalor.

Soon Akeem sees a woman he would love to have a relationship with. Her name is Lisa. Lisa works in her father's fast food restaurant, McDowells. Akeem and Semmi get jobs as cleaners at the same restaurant. Akeem and Lisa become friends. He tries to keep his identity from Lisa as he wants her to love him for who he is. In the end everything works out well; Akeem returns to his palace and marries Lisa.

One thing I find fascinating is Akeem and Semmi's approach to life in New York. While Akeem is pretending to be a cleaner at a fast food restaurant, he never forgets he is still a prince. At one point Lisa, who has no idea he is a prince, describes him as regal. This is why Akeem doesn't mind living in squalor. He also knows this lifestyle is only temporary until his mission is accomplished.

On the other hand, Semmi is not happy about living in poverty or working for a living. He's way too accustomed to his opulent lifestyle as companion to the prince. There's a very funny scene where Semmi is about to send a telegram to the King asking for $500,000 as their funds have been depleted. The receptionist can't take his request seriously and sardonically suggests he ask for more money. Semmi doesn't understand her sardonic wit and takes her suggestion literally; he increases his request to $1 million.

The King and his retinue pay his son a visit in Queens. He is appalled that his son has got a job and living in such a state. The king is so upset with Semmi for not fulfilling his responsibility as the prince's servant that, as punishment, he banishes him to his Waldorf Hotel suite. (Hahaha! Just the kind of punishment I need right now).

Prince Akeem and Semmi remind me of the different paradigms attempting to explain why we are here on Earth. One paradigm is that we have deliberately created these experiences so we can grow spiritually. In order to have these experience, we have voluntarily forgotten our true identities.

Another paradigm is similar to Akeem's experience in the movie. Like Akeem, we are Spirit beings on a mission. Thus, you do whatever you have to do to fit in, even if it means having to work for a living, until your fulfil your objective.

Another paradigm is like Semmi's experience: we are Spirit beings here to express all that we are in superabundance.

This is why I think it is pointless judging another's path. Someone's challenges might seem really harsh to you and you feel you want to help. How do you know it is not the Prince choosing to go through certain experiences? On the other hand, an individual could be like Semmi who only wants to experience a life of pleasure and doesn't care about deprivation and poverty. Before trying to save another, maybe we should stop and consider whether it is Spirit's intention, whether things are not perfect as they are. Obviously, if someone asks for my help I will render assistance as best as I can but always without judgment.

Perhaps the notion of being awake is more about remembering why we as Infinite Spirit are experiencing life on Earth right now.

I love the idea of having the best of both worlds: being aware of my identity as Spirit and having access to all the Good Spirit has to offer, as well as experiencing life based on a mission.

I see life as unfolding perfectly. I judge no one's path as right or wrong.

And by the way, if you haven't seen Coming to America it is an absolutely must see. It's a right scream!

I am Spirit,