Happened to watch a movie on TV a few weeks ago that continues to triggers thoughts about a specific scene. The movie is “Instinct” with Anthony Hopkins and Cuba Gooding Jr.

Cuba Gooding is a prison psychologist and Anthony Hopkins is one of the prisoners. The scene takes place when Gooding is having a private session w/Hopkins and Hopkins grabs Gooding in a death choke and requires him to answer this question before he will release him: “What have I taken from you?”

After incorrectly answering “control” and “freedom” Hopkins demands he answer correctly or he will kill Gooding.

“Okay. One last chance. You think l won’t do it? What’s one psychiatrist less to the world? I’m already deep in the pit. So what can they do to me ? Last try. Get it right. What have you lost ? What did l take from you?”

Gooding correctly answers “Illusion”.

It really started me thinking… we seek the comfort of illusion to avoid the harshness of truth. We have illusions of control, freedom, safety, talent, intelligence – a tremendous number of things that are simply untrue yet we gather around them to avoid what is certainly the truth.

What is true? What do we have control over? How much freedom do we have when we labor under so many bad habits or desires – food for women, sex for men. It’s all an illusion we have that our lives are so very much better than they really are.


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