Into The Wild: The Movie

I read this book about 6 years ago. It’s about a young guy who drops out of school, is sickened by society, decides he wants no material possessions, travels around the country for a while and ends up dying of starvation living in a bus in the Alaskan wilderness. Sean Penn just made a film of it and Slate has a good review of the film. Sounds like the film has some flaws but the scenery is quite incredible.

India has a system embedded in its society for those individuals who decide to renounce the material world and focus all their energy on the spiritual. These individuals are called Sadus and they are usually highly respected as they wander the country. They are the Mystics and Ascetics; the Rishis and the Sanyasins. The Indian peasants are happy to have the opportunity to assist them with food or spare change. Our society treats people who renounce, or fall off the tracks, as low-lifes and bums.

If this kid who is the subject of Into The Wild had lived in India I believe he would have lived a much longer life filled with spiritual fulfillment.


2 Responses to “Into The Wild: The Movie”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    Interesting to hear that ‘Into the Wild’ will be on the screen, I remember being really moved by this book. Your comparison between Christophers renunciation of the modern world and society and a Sadhus quest for liberation from the material world makes me wonder…

    I remember a great sense of emptyness as Christopher gradually detached from society (I suppose partly because we are encouraged to feel a sense of forbidding in the book). Not at all the eternal understanding of the Sadhu as he quests for enlightenment. I think what I’m getting at is that Christopher seemed to give up on everything, whereas the Sadhu strive to understand all..

    I still think this is a useful comparison though because Christopher became disillusioned by this world but came from a society that gives little time for spiritual belief or those who ‘opt out’ of the treadmill. The questions he had were never answered, in India there certainly would have been another path, although perhaps his journey would have been similar.

    As for Biodynamic… I think we should stop using complicated words for simple things!

    Otherwise you are no doubt a truly wise wolf

  2. shankarwolf Says:

    Anon 10:42: I enjoyed reading your comments. Yes, I think this catastophic story really shows the utter failure of our society to provide the spiritual environment for individuals to thrive. In India spirituality is encourage all over the place, where as in this society it is almost always practiced behind closed doors and there is a hyper-sensitivity to any remote connection between spirit and state. I think we need to be careful not to romanticize Chris’s ultimately heartbreaking life.

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