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Don’t Look Up: A Deep Look at First Principles and First Values & Why We Can’t Look Up Without Them

The recently released movie Don’t Look Up is about two astronomers who have just realized that a deadly comet is hurtling towards earth. The data is clear. It is going to happen. But they can’t get anyone to look up and pay attention.

The reason "Don’t Look Up" is on the big screen now is because it's telling the story of our time and it's very much the story of at least one key part of our work at the Center for Integral Wisdom and One Mountain, Many Paths.

Don't Look Up was named one of the top ten films of 2021 by the National Board of Review and American Film Institute. It received four Academy Award nominations, four Golden Globe Award nominations, including Best Picture – Musical or Comedy, and six Critics' Choice Award nominations. The film won Best Original Screenplay at the 74th Writers Guild of America Awards. The film set a new record for the most viewing hours in a single week on Netflix, and went on to become the second most-watched movie on Netflix within 28 days of release.

In this deep-dive sense-making series, Dr. Marc Gafni unveils the hidden secrets of the movie Don't Look Up that haven't been discussed anywhere else. 


We are engaging in the spiritual/political practice of reading a text of culture, which is the same spiritual practice as sensemaking.


Is it an evolutionary story? Is it an important story? What's right about the story? What's off about the story? What does the movie "Dont Look Up" tell us and not tell us about facing Existential Risk?

In this Dharmic Critique of the movie Don’t Look Up Dr. Marc Gafni seeks to explore this Outrageously painful and Outrageously beautiful moment of reckoning for our species – and indeed for consciousness itself.

This series was recorded in the live weekly broadcast of One Mountain, Many Paths with Dr. Marc Gafni. You can join this weekly broadcast for free every Sunday at 10 am PT.

PART 1: 
A Deep Look at First Principles and First Values & Why We Can’t Look Up Without Them

If this movie was about anything, it was about snapshots of the Global Intimacy Disorder. It’s only a New Story, a shared story of value, rooted in First Principles and First Values as a context for our diversity, in which we can all play our unique instruments, It’s only a New Story, that can actually militate towards a Planetary Awakening in Love through Unique Self Symphonies.

Why Would a Three-Star General Charge for Free Snacks: Unlocking the Hidden Riddle of Don’t Look Up

There’s this invisible thread that weaves through the movie about this three-star general charging for snacks. This symbolizes something important. It’s an intuitive realization by the makers of the movie, which they don’t quite know how to explicate. It’s not quite formulated even in their own minds and hearts, but they’re reaching for something. They’re reaching for something Good, True and Beautiful. That is: Reality is made up of billions of micro-acts. This small, minor, irrelevant act is everything, because it’s exponentialized across the system when the system is sans “First Values and First Principles.”

Don't Look Up Movie Clips in this Episode:

PART 3: 
“Wanna Make Out?” Scene: The Hidden Narrative of Desire in the Movie Don’t Look Up


Desire is not this strange thing that arises in the human being, which undermines our sense of being a social self, or being enlightened, or being a good citizen. That’s how we relate to desire. Actually, we need a new narrative of desire, in which we realize that Desire is the nature of Reality. It’s the intrinsic value of Reality, awake and alive in me.

Don't Look Up Movie Clips in this Episode:

“She’s Coming Back," “Mom” Scenes: The Hidden Narrative of Being Welcome in Universe - Don't Look Up

Jason, when he’s before the shadow of the valley of death, speaks for all of humanity denuded of the mother. He says three times in three different scenes: She’s coming back. She’s coming back. She’s coming back. Mom! At the end of the movie, he comes out of the destruction, and the first thing he screams is Mom!

The experience of Mother is the experience of “I’m welcome in the Universe. There’s a welcome home sign in the Universe.” It’s the experience that we belong here. It’s the experience that value is real.

It’s the experience that it’s not a tale, told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing, day after day.

Don't Look Up Movie Clips in this Episode:

“We’re All Gonna Die”: The Key Seven Inner Knowings of Immortality

A key theme in Don’t Look Up is — as Kate (Jennifer Lawrence) and Dr. Mindy (Leonardo DiCaprio) both scream at pivotal moments in the movie — “We’re all gonna die!”. They are of course referring to existential risk, the potential death of humanity. But how you approach the potential death of humanity has everything to do with how you think about the death of the human being. And in fact, Kate and Dr. Mindy are right: everyone is gonna die! But what does that mean?

Don't Look Up Movie Clips in this Episode:

Death Stands Before Eternity and Says Only Yes: Eight Scenes

The moment we’re all Enlightened if we know how to meet it, is when death presses us into life. That’s what Rilke was talking about, that death actually is the one thing that presses us into “YES!” He says: “Life is always Yes and No, but death presses us into the realization that it’s all Yes!”

Don't Look Up Movie Clips in this Episode: