IS THE SPACE WE LIVE IN SPIRITUAL OR PHYSICAL?

Human spirituality is a perpetual puzzle we all seek to understand.


By Rosalind Wang: Arts Columnist


Have you ever thought about the space in which we live?As we consider space, certain objects immediately come to mind, such as the things in our home or the planets in wider space. In the dictionary, space refers to an extensive three-dimensional realm comprising all material matters.

But supposed all these objects were taken away? It is the the presence of these objects which renders space tangible to the human mind. Our living space is where we have physical connection to material things and sensory interaction with the objects around us, giving sense to our world. This is a concept intrinsically linked to all of us, and had always been true, until one day I came across Wim Wenders’ Wings of Desire.

Wings of Desire is a movie that unfurls space differently. It introduces us to the idea that true Space is inherently empty. This emptiness implies the absence of tangible objects, and in its place introduces the realm of angels. Wings of Desire takes us to an intangible realm where we can be present in the absence of substance, where intangible interactions with material objects should occur. We can be, for the first time, angels connecting ourselves with the world, but without sensory interaction with our surroundings.


The mackayan: Physical or spiritual?

In this realm depicted in the film, Instead of being physical, the bond we have with objects becomes spiritual and intellectual. For the angels, the idea is not to touch but to imagine, within which, sensations seem to be invalid. Whilst objects are present to humans they are absent from the angels’ space depicted in the movie. The tangible becomes intangible and unsubstantial.

This idea of space suggests a deprivation of sensory interaction with the physical world, but promotes the exploration of other connections, the ones that encompass our mind and spirit.

To connect through our deepest thoughts is to awaken the voice of our spirituality and to awaken our true, deepest, truest self. What Wings of desire reveals to us is not just a world of angels but a reminder of the spirituality within ourselves. The role of the angels in the movie is to remind us of the other side of us who, as spiritual beings, are living in the physical world, but governed by a dynamic other than the physical.

The primary message is to teach us that, just as the world of angels is intangible to us we are often inclined to put behind the spiritual side of us as we become obsessed with tangible connections. As the angel Damiel says in the film: ‘it’s great to live by the spirit, to testify for eternity… …only what is spiritual in people’s minds.’ It occurs to me, in the end, that space we are living in is neutral. It is we who define the nature of the space.

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