I love stories especially ones where there is more than meets the eye. Some movies are thought provoking and provide a steady feast of spiritual knowledge, only if you care to look. The movie “Life of PI” has extraordinary spiritual undertones and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
The most significant is how PI Patel, deals with the tiger. For me the tiger in the movie represents “fear” and the consequences of facing this fear; death. How PI deals with this fear, something that is on his face all the time is truly significant. The first thing he tries to do is to run away or ignore it. When we face a death of a loved one, we tend to ignore it as if it is never going to happen to us, even feeling sorry for the one who died. But we all know that the more we resist the more something persists.
The next thing PI does is confront the fear. Confrontation is a good way to deal with small fears, but when we are faced with something we are more deeply affected by, then this simply does not work. The fear comes back to hit you a vengeance, especially when you are most vulnerable.
Next, PI the tries to train the tiger. Training the fear, understanding it roots and where the fear originates is more useful then either of the above. This helps to deal with the problem by maintaining a fair distance from it and remaining calm during the advent of fear. This allows you to better respond and not simply react to that situation. Say if you are afraid of confrontation because of something in your past, you will be able to better deal with it when you train yourself to respond to it.
Finally after many tries PI finally surrenders when he realizes that the only way to survive is to embrace the fear. Once he does that the fear disappears and what was his biggest weakness, becomes his strength that allows him to live. Most of us suffer because when we face a problem in our life we don’t know how to deal with it, Life of PI attempts to offer some solutions.