The Invocation is a new
(well it was produced in 2009) documentary that explores spirituality
from the perspective of some of the world’s religions and spiritualists
talking about what it means to be spiritual. All well and good. It also
starts with a question “What would happen if humanity started living in
peace next year?” and “What invocation can we say that would make this
Questions are great, it’s when someone provides easy
answers that I start to get uncomfortable. When that person is making
money from their answer of spirituality and at the same time supposedly
spurning and devaluing material possessions alarm bells start to ring.
As for the documentary itself? Well it reminds me of
what Abraham Lincoln said when he was asked what he had thought of a
séance that his wife had dragged him to: “It’s the sort of thing you’d
like if you like that sort of thing”. And so it is here. The
Invocation said little to me. I like the idea of spirituality but
the pragmatist in me says that if you try to be all things to all men
you end up being nothing to anyone, and in the end when they try to
overlay the concept of “God” across all religions and ideas including
science and philosophy they end up admitting that their version of God
is thin and insubstantial; nothing more than a feeling. Or in the case
of the Puppet (no I’m not going to explain that…there’s a puppet called
Puppetji, it’s weird) the Puppet explains that because you can’t know
what God is, anytime you try to think of God you make him/her/it up.
Deepak Chopra is here saying supposedly deep things but he’s so bad at
it he sounds like a caricature of himself.
Also when they get people of faith interpreting
science and saying that the science backs up their faith, their bias and
their lack of understanding becomes very apparent. As Richard Fienmen
once said “just because things get a little weird at the quantum level,
doesn’t mean that anything goes.”
The message of the program in the end is to say
“every faith, basically says there is a higher power (but that higher
power might be your brain) and be nice to each other.” That’s great,
but I kinda knew that before. This isn’t injecting any new information
into the system.
On the other hand it’s nice to see peoples of all
faiths and religions, including Malcolm McDowell and Mark Walberg,
representatives of their faiths both(?) come together and talk about
their faith seemingly without judging each other. That’s great, if only
it worked in the real world and not just in this documentary. Although
they do leave some people out, Pagans anyone? Celts? No? Maybe
Video Quality: Fine, just fine.
Audio Quality: Two channel... meh.
Special Features: None, not even trailers for other
hopscotch releases. Wow.