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Jacob's Ladder Essay

722 words - 3 pages

Eckehart saw hell, too. He said the only thing that burns in hell is the part of you that wont let go of your life - - your memories, your attachments. You burn them all away. But they're not punishing you, he said; they're freeing your soul. So the way he sees it, if you're frightened of dying and you're holding on, you'll see devils tearing your life away. But if you've made your peace, then the devils are really angels freeing you from the earth. Eckehart's philosophy consisted of four different stages which is used to explain a man's state of mind while conscious or in purgatory. The four stages of the philosophy consist of the following: dissimilarity (when man is separate from God) similarity (Man is not separate from God) identity (When man understands his role in the world) breakthrough (When man can accept his fate). This philosophy can be seen in the movie "Jacob's Ladder"through the life of the main character Jacob Singer. In the movie Jacob's Ladder, Jacob Singer experiences Eckehart's four staged philosophy throughout his journey while conscious or in purgatory, these included: dissimilarity, similarity, identity and breakthrough.The first stage Jacob experienced on his journey was the stage of dissimilarity. Referring to Eckehart, dissimilarity is the state of mind when man is separate from God, meaning, doing things that God would see incorrect or unjust. For example, in the movie "Jacob's Ladder", Jacob Singer experiences the dissimilarity stage in the beginning of the movie, while taking part in the Vietnam war. Knowing that enrolling in the Vietnam war is totally voluntary, Jacob enrolled himself to take part in the war. At this point in the movie, Jacob has experienced the dissimilarity stage. By Jacob enrolling into the Vietnam war and taking the lives of other people, separated him from God. Jacob had played God in the war by taking the lives of other people. That was Jacob's experience of the dissimilarity stage. Later in the movie, Jacob experiences the second stage of Eckehart's philosophy.Jacob experiences the similarity stage toward the middle of the movie. This is experienced when Jacob...

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