Mirrormask: Fighting the Demons Inside

Just watched the extremely trippy movie, the Mirrormask based on the book by Neil Gaiman. It is free on Demand if anyone has it. I am very glad I watched it cause I got confirmation on something really important tonight. I write this in effort to help others get the same confirmation.

This half cinematic/computer graphic animation movie, is about a teenage girl dealing with the almost death of her mother, while in a dream like state. The White Queen and Dark Queen in the land represent her mother and the teenage girl, Helena also has a light and dark side.

This movie is truly my story, although her battle ends with a happy ending between her and her mother. Mine not so much.

Helena is a circus performer in her parent’s circus. She is going through the typical stage of being a teenager and wishes to rebel against her family. Her mother gets a sudden headache and falls to the ground. After the ambulance take her away, we learn that there is a need to operate on her.

During all this Helena falls asleep and dreams of her internal struggles between her mother and coping with her mother’s sudden sickness. The world is completely strange and she must seek out a mirrormask in order to wake the White Queen that has fallen into a coma. Within this world, Helena meets her possible future self or “evil side” that falls into further rebellion and anger at the world for losing her mother.

Death can make many people face their strongest demons inside, but as the Quran states:

3:185 Every soul will taste death, and you will only be given your [full] compensation on the Day of Resurrection. So he who is drawn away from the Fire and admitted to Paradise has attained [his desire]. And what is the life of this world except the enjoyment of delusion.

So it is not about the tragedy and loss we all go through in life, it is about HOW well we deal with the experience. Everyone will die, that is one the few things certain in this world. But if you die with hate, malice, or evil towards yourself, others and God in your soul that can cause an issue in your consciousness that lives on, according to the Quran here:

2:154 And do not say about those who are killed in the way of Allah , “They are dead.” Rather, they are alive, but you perceive [it] not.

This is deep wisdom given to show that this life is not the end.

So in Mirrormask, we see that Helena’s greatest challenge was to overcome the desire to lash out at the world because of her loss. That was her internal battle, her “jihad”.

There are outward and inward jihads, which is arabic for a spiritual war that one must fight through in order to gain spiritual advancement. Some people may see this as a physical war between the oppressed and the oppressors, but I see things more symbolically and see more how it relates to the inside battle between good and evil. Not everyone is a solider of war, or chooses to be in their experience. But we alway go to battle for God, in a sense.

I guess, I have to be proud of myself. I lost my mother to the exact same thing that Helena’s mother had. However, after the third operation on the brain tumor growing in her, her body could not take it any longer and she died late in the middle of the night close to Mother’s Day.

She was the greatest person I knew. Truly an amazing person with so much love to give others. She was my soft embrace in a sometimes cold world. She left me to grow up with an unsympathetic stepmother and angry father.

I fought hard to not become a cold, and heartless person. It is easy to turn away from God and see life as meaningless after you lose someone so close to you. But that IS the battle. We have these experiences that happen naturally and in accordance to Laws set by God, in the aftermath of those experiences is where we are tested.

21:34 Everyone is going to taste death, and We shall make a trial of you with evil and with good, and to Us you will be returned.

I passed. I decided to seek for further evidence of life after death and higher consciousness. I decided to help others, and use my experience to help bring peace and love about God, in other’s hearts. I passed! I submitted to Light and God, and my ego and dark parts of myself didn’t control my outward actions.

I too found the “mirrormask” to show me the truth of the reality of being able to choose the type of person I would become.

I am 34 now, my mother passed away almost 20 years ago, and STILL it is a hard thing to deal with..especially with my wedding coming soon. But I can honestly say that even though I miss with her with my entire being, I do not hate, am not angry, and have forgiven her for leaving me when needed her as a teen.

This world or universe is not a dark chaotic place to me. It is a beautiful expression of the battles between good and evil, expansion and constriction of the soul. Everything has a higher purpose that we can not understand, even death. The Quran never tells WHY people die when they do, but it is a known fact that everyone will die.

We are each given our time accordingly and FAIRLY because I believe in a just God that has shown justice throughout history. There is no unfairness in accidental or natural death, it simply is the time of that person to go on to new beginnings and the body stops breathing. Yet, the soul moves on.

Murder and life taken by another soul, is altogether a different story. And they too will be judged accordingly when they eventually die. That murder will be played out in front of them when they reach the Higher Order of Angels and God on their day of resurrection.

But in talking about murder, let’s look at this experience objectively as well. If someone murdered someone you loved, it is your choice to start to hate God and create chaos for others. Or you could make the choice to use that experience to help others. Through tragedy the gift of compassion and empathy is given. I would not want the battle of having to learn to forgive my loved one’s murderers. But it needs to be done, or else the soul doesn’t rest comfortably. Sometimes the battles given to us, are given to us for a reason that only God can understand. So take your duty seriously while here, and do the best you can.

Wisdom with forgiveness is key.  It is the sword that which you can slay those inner demons with.

If you find yourself mad at the world because of a tragic event, take a look deeper into your “mirrormask” and see purpose of your own trials and who is the stronger soul you are supposed to become.

You are judged on your good and evil actions, not how many scars you have while going through this life.

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Bernie Madoff: You Can Cheat People, But You Can’t Cheat God.

I just finished watching the excellent 4 part movie, “Madoff”, about the Bernie Madoff Scandal Ponzi Scheme. If you don’t know much about it, please watch the movie or read about it. It is mind boggling how this one man of an investment firm could steal 50 billion dollars for years and not get caught until the market crash of 2008. Thousands of people and organizations from around the world had invested with him, from Hollywood bigwig Steven Spielberg to Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel’s foundation. Many innocent people lost their entire life’s savings to Bernie’s greed.

But what struck me as odd was the uncanny similarities between Bernie’s life story and the Pharaoh Rameses of the Exodus. Moses warned Rameses of the impeding death that would curse the sons of every family tied to the Ancient Egyptians, and have them die at an early age. Bernie’s theft of other people’s money over the years seemed to curse his own sons and any one part of his whole family.

During the time of the scandal, Bernie’s younger brother Peter, who worked at the firm as the Chief Compliance Officer lost his son young Roger, to leukemia. After Bernie Madoff got arrested his son, Mark Madoff committed suicide by hanging himself in his New York apartment. Lastly, it was Andrew Madoff who came down with a cancer called, lymphoma and died as the only remaining male son in 2014. The Bernie Madoff family’s direct roots have dwindled down to only a daughter of Peter Madoff (in jail for 10 years now), Shana.

People die of cancer all the time, and we can not say God took them away for spite or anger. But when something happens to cause an entire male side of the Bernie Madoff family to disappear while he is in jail, you may be able to see the similarities between the death to the Ancient Egyptian’s sons. God produces life where He sees fit, but He is known to wash an entire civilization or nation away in the past. It is a tragic thing to see Bernie Madoff’s actions caused such a destruction to his own sons.

Truly a sad story to show the effects of one man’s immense greed. You can cheat people, but eventually God catches up to you and you can’t cheat Him.

Scene from the new movie, Exodus: God and Kings

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My Spiritual Jihad: Getting Engaged.

You wouldn’t think it, but my engagement to my boyfriend last night, is my “jihad”. That word gets thrown a lot around by the media, but what does it really mean and why is it a battle to me?

Take a look at this link to learn what the Islamic Supreme Council says a “jihad” is:

http://islamicsupremecouncil.org/understanding-islam/legal-rulings/5-jihad-a-misunderstood-concept-from-islam.html?start=9

This is a huge inner spiritual struggle for me getting engaged. I don’t take love lightly, and although I have never known hate or wrath without enemies of war trying to kill me…I have known loss of love, and my own isolation from people. I was trapped in my own state of “hell” for a few years, until a man came into my life when I was determined to try to evolve my soul. Before him, the inner demons whispered to me, that it would be best to be alone…and to remain in the darkness without love.

I took a step 4 years ago to let someone in, and he didn’t leave me as a friend and more. Now I am on the ultimate lesson to learn how to love fully as a fiancee and eventually wife, and be able to move past the fear of death and loss-again.

When you experience great loss, you are aware of it. It makes you wise and weathered with experience, but it also makes you have a pain that will not heal and a great fear. So like any servant of God, I must pick up the pain and suffering as a test to my soul and move forwards into new light.

God Wills it. It’s part of how we evolve as a species. We meet another and move forwards creating the next humans….so here we go…to fight my inner demons and darkness that threatens to put me in a state of inaction and fear.

This is my battle and I am ready. This is my jihad that I must alone face.

I share this with all of you in hopes it gives you strength in fighting your inner demons too.

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Surah Ali-Imran: Chapter 3 (line 160-170) The Family of Iram

160. If God supports you, there is none who can overcome you. But if He fails you, who is there to help you after Him? So in God let the believers put their trust.

161. It is not for a prophet to act dishonestly. Whoever acts dishonestly will bring his dishonesty on the Day of Resurrection. Then every soul will be paid in full for what it has earned, and they will not be wronged.

162. Is someone who pursues God’s approval the same as someone who incurs God’s wrath and his refuge is Hell-the miserable destination?

163. They have different ranks with God, and God is Seeing of what they do.

164. God has blessed the believers, as He raised up among them a messenger from among themselves, who recites to them His revelations, and purifies them, and teaches them the Scripture and wisdom; although before that they were in evident error.

165. And when a calamity befell you, even after you had inflicted twice as much, you said, “How is this?” Say, “It is from your own selves.” God is Able to do all things.

166. What befell you on the day the two armies clashed was with God’s permission; that He may know the believers.

167. And that He may know the hypocrites. And it was said to them, “Come, fight in the cause of God, or contribute.” They said, “If we knew how to fight, we would have followed you.” On that day they were closer to infidelity than they were to faith. They say with their mouths what is not in their hearts; but God knows what they hide.

168. Those who said of their brethren, as they stayed behind, “Had they obeyed us, they would not have been killed.” Say, “Then avert death from yourselves, if you are truthful.”

169. Do not consider those killed in the cause of God as dead. In fact, they are alive, at their Lord, well provided for.

170. Delighting in what God has given them out of His grace, and happy for those who have not yet joined them; that they have nothing to fear, nor will they grieve.

My Interpretation: 

Muhammad has been given specific instructions on what to say to his people regarding the war that is brewing to a climax between the Mecca leaders and his followers of One God. Unfortunately, they are in the midst of a war whether the people like it or not, so they must fight. Muhammad is told that there are those in his group in Medinah that have lied to him when he asked them to fight for God. They have said they didn’t know how to fight when the Angels and God know better.

Muhammad is told to tell the people that ultimately you can not hide from God, and neither can he as a messenger. If war is coming to you, it is best to be brave and hold strong to your faith while your lives are being disrupted by the aggressors.

When you die as a faithful believer in battle or not, there is the idea that you are really not dead. Your soul lives on in the spiritual dimension and there is nothing to grieve for that person except for your own loss of their lives. This is what Gabriel is trying to explain about the beauty of death. To a believer, death holds no sadness or end. You move forwards with life even in the next realm in a way we can only imagine while living.

A scene from one of my favorite movies, What Dreams May Come

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Surah Al-Baqarah: Chapter 2 (line 250-260) The Cow

250. And when they confronted Goliath and his troops, they said, “Our Lord, pour down patience on us, and strengthen our foothold, and support us against the faithless people.”

251. And they defeated them by God’s leave, and David killed Goliath, and God gave him sovereignty and wisdom, and taught him as He willed. Were it not for God restraining the people, some by means of others, the earth would have gone to ruin. But God is gracious towards mankind.

252. These are God’s revelations, which We recite to you in truth. You are one of the messengers.

253. These messengers: We gave some advantage over others. To some of them God spoke directly, and some He raised in rank. We gave Jesus son of Mary the clear miracles, and We strengthened him with the Holy Spirit. Had God willed, those who succeeded them would not have fought one another, after the clear signs had come to them; but they disputed; some of them believed, and some of them disbelieved. Had God willed, they would not have fought one another; but God does whatever He desires.

254. O you who believe! Spend from what We have given you, before a Day comes in which there is neither trading, nor friendship, nor intercession. The disbelievers are the wrongdoers.

255. God! There is no god except He, the Living, the Everlasting. Neither slumber overtakes Him, nor sleep. To Him belongs everything in the heavens and everything on earth. Who is he that can intercede with Him except with His permission? He knows what is before them, and what is behind them; and they cannot grasp any of His knowledge, except as He wills. His Throne extends over the heavens and the earth, and their preservation does not burden Him. He is the Most High, the Great.

256. There shall be no compulsion in religion; the right way has become distinct from the wrong way. Whoever renounces evil and believes in God has grasped the most trustworthy handle; which does not break. God is Hearing and Knowing.

257. God is the Lord of those who believe; He brings them out of darkness and into light. As for those who disbelieve, their lords are the evil ones; they bring them out of light and into darkness-these are the inmates of the Fire, in which they will abide forever.

258. Have you not considered him who argued with Abraham about his Lord, because God had given him sovereignty? Abraham said, “My Lord is He who gives life and causes death.” He said, “I give life and cause death.” Abraham said, “God brings the sun from the East, so bring it from the West,” so the blasphemer was confounded. God does not guide the wrongdoing people.

259. Or like him who passed by a town collapsed on its foundations. He said, “How can God revive this after its demise?” Thereupon God caused him to die for a hundred years, and then resurrected him. He said, “For how long have you tarried?” He said, “I have tarried for a day, or part of a day.” He said, “No. You have tarried for a hundred years. Now look at your food and your drink-it has not spoiled-and look at your donkey. We will make you a wonder for mankind. And look at the bones, how We arrange them, and then clothe them with flesh.” So when it became clear to him, he said, “I know that God has power over all things.”

260. And when Abraham said, “My Lord, show me how You give life to the dead.” He said, “Have you not believed?” He said, “Yes, but to put my heart at ease.” He said, “Take four birds, and incline them to yourself, then place a part on each hill, then call to them; and they will come rushing to you. And know that God is Powerful and Wise.”

My Interpretation:

This is Gabriel explaining to Muhammad what happened in the past with David and Goliath and how God will support those who fight against the evil. Goliath was a giant humanoid that could have destroyed the earth with his people, but God held them back by working through David. David became King to the people after he killed the giants and was divinely connected  to God throughout his kingship.

Line 252 is once again proof that Muhammad could not have written these himself since the conversation ABOUT Muhammad turns to center on him as a chosen messenger of God.

Gabriel here is saying that there have been different gifts given to messengers and God has spoke to them in different ways and through different Signs. Some like Abraham and Moses, God has spoken to directly. Jesus was actually divinely created to carry the power of God within him to do miracles, that is called the Holy Spirit. God brings these messengers to the leaders and people as a test to see who will listen and who will not. God allows them to have free choice to decide to fight one another, and kill one another, just as a parent must allow their own children to learn and grow. This is the essence of Free Will. It is not only loving to let good reign in heaven, it is loving to show mercy for those that deserve it and eventual justice who deserve it.

Muhammad is being told for the people to spend their wealth and detach from the material world, cause someday it will be gone. It is better to give than to hoard  your wealth since you can not take it with you when you are gone. Even though the Ancient Egyptians tried, along with several other cultures, material things in the end only can give temporary joy. There will come a day when money does not matter and this I believe is the End Times, Gabriel is referring about.

God is not speaking at this point and you can see this in how the Angel is talking descriptively about God. There is an explanation of WHAT God is, but it is something that even the Angels have a hard time describing in human terms. God is everything that is Good, Light and Right. Yes, there is evil in existence, but these things do not belong to God. They are allowed to exist in order to learn and grow from into Good souls when we choose Goodness and when we ultimately choose God. There is no beginning to this being, or consciousness. There is no family, He is ONE. All things in this universe extend from this ONE source. God is not in a material fabric of space or time. He exists above time and above space in a realm only our immaterial bodies can see.We can see glimmers of this power here in events such as receiving these detailed revelations, but we can not see God’s full glory yet.

Line256 is very important to me as a free spirit. There is NO conversion or force to Islam and shouldn’t be for any reason. God is not a forceful God. The right way to Him is apparent to those who seek the truth, and love of God. There is never a need to try to convert someone since God would rather have someone voluntarily come to Him. The Crusades, Spanish Inquisition, recent Terrorism in Africa and the Middle East are transgressing this boundary as they kill to convert and force people into this religion. But that is through fear, not through love and God can always KNOW the difference.

*Using Him pronoun to describe a fatherly approach to creation, but to me God is neither male or female. God is beyond gender.

Line 257 is a hard one to accept for many, but what it is ultimately saying is that when you do not faith in any of the messengers, Angels, books, or God, there is an easy replacement of God by darkness. Some atheists will say that they don’t believe in God, but believe in Goodness…well that to me is God and they just don’t like the way religion is attached to this ideal of Good in the universe. But if someone does not believe in even Goodness, they can sometimes welcome the darkness and void. So Gabriel is saying that those who don’t have faith in something fulfilling as God will find themselves empty and this is when the darkness can be worshipped instead. And if you choose to walk the path of darkness, you will stay in it lost forever unless you make a choice one day to not. This is how I see Hell. It is not physical fire or a place of flames it is a spiritual yearning or suffering not from God, from YOU. God only warns us by sending his messengers to carry the messages. 

Gabriel then tells Muhammad of a disbelieving man,  in what Abraham was trying to show his people, and this man must have argued with Abraham making life very difficult for him. The man never saw what Abraham saw, and because there was no willingness to change his mind, God left him to wander feeling isolated from God not receiving the answers that Abraham has.

Line 259 is a very powerful story that tells of another disbelieving man who did not accept the fact that God can make anything new and whole again once they are gone, so he was used as an example to others. He was put to sleep for 100 years (maybe this is where  the Rip Van Winkle story comes from in the 1800s) and when he awoke, he only felt a day older, but everything around him changed to reflect 100 years into the future. The way I interpret this is not that he went into the future physically, but God brought him the mature idea that all time and matter is controlled by God. So when he woke up, he realized looking at his dead donkey (which was bones), food (spoiled), wine or drink (spoiled), that all things were older. Then something next happened to make him believe as he then saw things rematerialized back to the age he was before he slept. When this became clear to him, he then believed that God can do all things. Somethings God will do, but others not, for a reason that can not be known to us. If I had to take a guess, it’s all about teaching us and letting us grow on our own.

Last verse in this is Gabriel giving Muhammad another example of how Abraham once called out to God to see proof that God can renew the dead, and he was given guidance to take birds and kill them and put one by one on each hill, and watch them come back to life and fly towards him. This is to show that God has control over death and can renew anything He chooses and wills to live again.

 

 

Rip Van Winkle

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