A not a terribly edifying story, yet the Cloverfield Paradox (Netflix) is a thought-provoking movie. Personally, I don’t’ understand why all our entertainment must be violent and soaked in blood. Only blood, sex and violence sells? These and similar soap-science fictions, however, are an unmasked revealing of what is going on in our culture. All the uncontrolled desires and instincts, all our godlessness, lack of faith, and killing instincts surface in them. Our science fictions are the best patients on the psychoanalytic coach of God. The unconscious is set free.
And what we hear on that couch is not too encouraging. In our film, an experiment goes wrong. Instead of creating unlimited energy for a power-hungry earth, multiple universes are created. Worlds and their parallel worlds fight for the place of the other. Demons, monsters, madness – unlimited! – are set free. We are no longer the ones we had been before the accident. There is no longer a valid identity. A multiverse of nothingness emerges from us erasing everything what is sane and human.
Painful, but it is a good model of where we are now. The Cloverfield Paradox is the new human condition, and that of faith and revealed religion. The overheated energy-reactor, which causes the catastrophe, models very well the over-excited civilisation we build. Energy, nature, and human resources are used and devoured excessively. Like an overheated nuclear reactor out of control.
The movie forces us to ask: what version of the world are we living in? Have we taken up the best options, or on the contrary, the worst ones? What version of our self we are? Are we living as our better selves, realising our human potentials – or just marching into becoming a monster-culture? And when science fiction becomes real, the fear of the corona-virus which shipwrecks our global world in our own sight, is not helpful either.
It is against this background that the value of the real should become so blatantly obvious. The experience of Biblical history and faith is the only constant. The only redeeming one – which can preserve the sense of the unity of the world. Our painfully failing apart world (and psyche, our individual stories) can get centred only by entering this ‘bio-time’ or ‘bio-experience’. That’s why it is so sobering and so joyful to catch the message from the distant, long lost universe of grace. ‘Jesus said to his disciples: “Ask, and it will be give to you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives; the one who searches always finds; the one who knocks will always have the door opened to him.”’ (Mat 7:7-12)
Everything else is a weightless, free falling object outside this search – the conversation with our Redeemer.
These are verbal Icons, expressions of how the world is seen from Saint Augustine's..