Welcome to the Atheists in Recovery podcast where we talk about finding hope in recovery.
And now your host, Dr. Adina Silvestri
Adina Silvestri 0:25
Hello Atheists in Recovery land and welcome to Episode 24 of the Atheists in Recovery podcast. And today we are going to talk about one of my absolute favorite movies, contact and the next installment of our movies that move us series for December. Let’s talk first about the plot. So Ellie, played by Jodie Foster grows up to be this amazing astronomer who works for SETI, the organization that is trying to find aliens. on other planets, and many people don’t take her work very seriously other scientists give her credit for her hard work, and for her being intelligent, in her amazing determination and her projects, but it’s the kind of science that’s often equated with faith, the kind of science that Well, you can’t prove. And so I felt like this movie would be a great one to add to our series for this month, because the first time I saw contact, I was awestruck. You know, finally, there’s a movie that answers the questions that I’ve been struggling with, even though I don’t know that it was a human struggle at the beginning. Looking back, it’s always been there. You know, so contact answers the questions that I’m obsessed with the reason that I started the podcast, right? Where do we come from and where are we going? You know, it’s it’s a story around atheism the hard story to tell one that again, I started a podcast because it’s such a different experience for everyone and, you know, informs much of our recovery. I believe that it’s something that’s so important that you have to add in to anyone’s recovery is that spirituality and that higher that higher power that power greater than yourselves, right, so I love that this is one of the central themes in the movie is that search for answers. And it comes up with a lot of my guests too. When I ask them that first or one of the first questions that I asked them, you know, describe your background, your spiritual background from childhood, and it varies, right? So much, but the end result for a lot of people is that that they’re still searching, whether they call themselves an atheist or not moving on. There may be things in a lifetime that we can’t foresee that we have no control over. And I love how this movie talks about that, and that, you know, change is everywhere and how do you how do you sit with that? Yeah. How do you sit with that? So, you know, a little self disclosure about about me before we get into some more about the movie is that, you know, I grew up in the Catholic Church, I, my family was Catholic. I went to Catholic schools. As I said before, on the show, I had religious classes throughout my elementary and high school years. But I always felt like an outsider. And I never quite could understand how everyone seemed to get it. You know, like, Oh, God, the relationship is so great with God and you know, they feel so connected, and I never did. I never felt connected. I always had questions that I felt like I couldn’t ask anyone. So yeah, so moving on. So there’s a scene between Ellie and Palmer and Palmer is played by Matthew McConaughey. And there’s several scenes and I love how they addressed that. A great divide between science and faith. So, Palmer is a pastor. He is you know, he’s a man of God, right? But he also seems to be searching and he loves Ellie. He, he falls in love with her, even though they’re so different, but in a way, they’re they’re very much the same. You know, she’s also searching and there’s a part in the movie where she talks about Occam’s razor. And Occam’s razor is the scientific principle that the line of reasoning that goes along with simplist answer is often correct. And she tells that to Palmer, you know, to basically say, you know, we can’t prove that God’s here, you know, he probably doesn’t exist, why would he make this amazing universe and then not show any sign of his existence? And so then Palmer says to Ellie, did you love your father and Ellie thinks about it for a beat and says Yes. And Palmer says, prove it. And I love that. I love that scene. So much, just sort of taking that deep dive into the unknown and you know, how how do we in recovery? How do we take those huge leaps of faith with our own recovery? Not knowing the best course of action, not knowing what the end results going to be in recovery. And in life? I would say it’s pretty it’s a pretty universal theme. Right? So you you see Jody’s character changing her her beliefs slowly throughout the movie. And this movie is based on Carl Carl sorry, Sagans book, the cosmos and I feel like he does a wonderful job of showcasing scientists in this very vulnerable and relatable way, you know, this human way. So instead of having scientists come out and say, hey, are we alone in the world? He really takes us on this magical journey. And, you know, I’m sure you’ve seen this movie. Already, but right before Ellie, or Dr. Arroway decides to or is asked to go up in space, there’s a steering committee. And Palmer asks her a final question before they decide who’s going to go to space. And he asks her, do you believe in God? And you know, she says, Well, I believe in science basically. And she eventually gets bypassed but of course ends up going to space anyway via an alternate route in the movie, and I love how she’s in space, and she’s looking at Vega and she says, oh, man, you know, they should have sent a poet it’s absolutely beautiful. So at the final hearing, after the mission after she’s gone to space and met the alien who doesn’t look like an alien at all right, so that’s her dad, but her dad who is taking the human form to not scare her but so she’s in this final hearing, and the committee is asking her Why should we believe you? Why should we believe that you had This journey to space and you, you know, you met another life form and you know you have, you have nothing to show us. So how can we believe you? And, you know, she kind of looks at Palmer and she looks very uncomfortable. And she, you know, she just says, you know, you have to believe me, you have to believe me, and you have to take my word. So her testimony ends up being a testimony on faith. And so yeah, so I invite you to really go ahead and see this movie again, if you haven’t seen it in a while, because it’s such a beautiful movie. And it’s something that I don’t see very much in Hollywood, you know, I don’t see them at all, talking about these very important questions of what it means to be an Atheist and what it means to be searching and how do we take these great leaps of faith? I don’t know of any movie that addresses this since Contact came out. And so I hope that you do go on to this movie and, and just remember that, you know, in our recovery, we don’t have to do this alone. I know it’s something that you hear all the time. But it’s so true. You know, when you have people that are just like you, even if you could find people that are Atheist or Agnostic and you’re AA meetings, that makes a huge difference. It’s just finding your people that makes it just an easier journey to take. Your community wants you to succeed. And so that’s what I hope that you find with this podcast. And that’s what I hope that you’ll find out there in the real world. And so that is all for Episode 24 movies that move us contact. Tell us what you think of this review, head over to the atheists and recovery closed Facebook group and just apply to join us and I’ll approve your… whatever it is application
like it’s not an application but I’ll approve you to come in and And tell me what you think of this of this review. Tell us what what it means to you. It’s funny when I saw it the first time in my 20s I definitely took from it, you know, just a very different meaning when you’re in your 20s you don’t really have this really great sense of self, right? It’s like, I feel like I don’t know anything. And it didn’t have the same meaning, you know, for me, but watching it now, way past my 20s as I am, on this on this day, you just feel more secure. And it’s, it’s easier to let yourself think about those really hard questions, you know, and know that we’re not alone. We all have each other and maybe someday we’ll make it to another planet and maybe we will meet some green men. Probably not in my lifetime or yours, but it’d be an awful waste of space, if it was just us. Alright guys, thanks for listening. Bye.
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