Film: “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey”, by Pranada Devi
The first of the Hobbit film trilogy, “An Unexpected Journey”, came to theatres last December. A sort of prequel trilogy to the epic “The Lord of The Rings” trilogy, it appears so far to be faring better than the other major prequel trilogy of the past decade (i.e., Star Wars). It remains to be seen whether the ample material J. R. R. Tolkien provided in the appendices to his books will be enough to make a trilogy of the Hobbit story on the same level as Lord of The Rings. More interesting for us at Parvati Magazine, though, is the extent to which a given film helps us awaken. The Hobbit trilogy opens with a starkly sober reminder in this sense.
The scene is set by explaining how dwarves came to settle in the caves of the Lonely Mountain. Their ruler, Thror, leads the dwarf kingdom to become ever more prosperous, but he becomes obsessed with wealth above all else. This obsession becomes like an illness that then attracts more dangerous things – culminating in the attack by Smaug, a red-gold dragon, attracted by wealth and greed. He takes over the kingdom for himself, killing or driving out the dwarves. The hobbit Bilbo Baggins learns of this when a number of exiled dwarves show up on his doorstep, and he resolves to join their adventures to help them reclaim their homeland.
We will not likely ever see a cinematic dragon swooping in to kick us out of our own home and life, but in fact this is exactly what can happen on a subtle level if we become consumed with greed and wanting. As we amplify the idea that we are not enough and need something outside ourselves (and then more and more and more of it), we abdicate our rightful place in charge of our life, remaining in a state of disconnect and increased suffering. It becomes somewhat like an unoccupied house whose doors are left unlocked and lights not turned on at night. It will not take much for burglars – other energies, negative tendencies – to come in and make themselves at home. In extreme cases (such as addiction), we may allow our wanting to totally overtake our life and we become in a sense overrun by energies we never wanted to occupy our life. It can take a long and humble journey in these cases to evict these tendencies and find our way back “home” in ourselves.
I look forward to the next installation of the Hobbit trilogy, and will continue to watch it through this lens.
Pranada Devi is a communications professional living in Toronto, Canada. She is the Managing Editor of Parvati Magazine, and serves as an advisor on marketing communications for Parvati’s various projects.