Friday, November 15, 2013

217: KOYANNISQATSI: "Unbalanced Life"

In the Hopi language, the word Koyaanisqatsi means "unbalanced life”. In the early 1980’s, a movie was made entitled, “Koyannisqatsi: Life Out of Balance”. The film does not contain any dialogue or words,  but contains only slow motion and time-lapse footage of natural landscapes juxtaposed with cities. The first image in the film is of the Great Gallery pictogram in Horseshoe Canyon in Utah’s Canyonlands National Park.  Here are a few images of these pictograms:

I enjoyed studying these pictograms that were shown at the beginning of the film. I think the pictographs are  highly symbolic.  Just a few quick observations. On the left side of this Great Gallery there is a small gathering of people on the white section of the red rock. In the middle of this small grouping on the left is a taller figure adorned with a crown. They are separated from the majority of the other people. On the far right side is another dominate figure. He is raised higher than the others. It is almost as if he is speaking from a pulpit to all of the others in the crowd.

We can learn much for nature and from the Ancients who lived before us. I think what they wrote or drew on canyonwalls were meant to tell us something. Unfortunately we spend too little time reading or spending time out in nature. We live unbalanced lives. A condition has been called, "nature deficit disorder"
"Nature deficit disorder" refers to a theory written in a book "Last Child in the Woods" by Richard Louv that states that human beings, especially children, are spending less time outdoors resulting in a wide range of  physical, emotional, social, and mental problems. Recent research has shown that there is a declining number of parents and children spending time outdoors and an increasing amount of consumption of electronics and media by our children.

We have already been disconnected to the heavens for a long time and now we are becoming disconnected with nature and the outdoors.
Last weekend early in the morning, I went for a hike with a "Native America brother". I took a few photos from our hike on a beautiful fall day. We started hiking when it was still dark and reached an area for us to watch the sunrise. There is something about leaving the city, ascending to a higher elevation, facing East and watching the sunrise that connects you with the Heavens.