Why the infatuation with zombies?
When the first Terminator movie came out, I was struck by the phrase, “It will not stop!” It made me think that the machine inside the flesh, the unstoppable forces of nature, scare us as much if not more than any external threat. After all, life chews us up in the end, does it not?
And all through our earthly experience, do we not struggle against those same forces, the ones that when left unchecked tend to tear us and those closest to us apart?
Of course, this is how it all appears to our fragile sense of self, until we stop seeing the life force as a threat and make our peace with it. Just like the fierce demons that guard the gates of Hindu temples and the gargoyles on the tops of cathedrals—God appears demonic to the unprepared. Or the unclean.
These movies mirror our separation from life, our tendency to ignore the core energies of our being, and the fight to the death that such ignorance entails. Yes, we have seen the zombies, and they are us. But only because of the way we have cast them, not for who they really are.
In Terminator 2, the nature machine is reprogrammed to be the savior and is able to learn how to be more human. In the end, he/it sacrifices himself so that the boy and mother can live. The instrument of his sacrificial act is the cauldron of fire. Purification through sacrifice motivated by love.
Through his service to the child—the nascent Christ within us all—raw e-motion is sublimated into love. The reptilian rises from its own ashes and learns to fly.
The foe, as always, is the mind—the cold, bloodless intellect that will slice and dice hopeful youth.
From the Gospel of Thomas, verse 70: “If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you.”
Zombies, terminators—we’ve got to get on the right side of life. As the terminator said to Sarah Connor in T2, “Come with me if you want to live.”