Saturday, 12 March 2016

Thought 154: Esotericism in the Film Cube

The film Cube released in 1997 contains much esoteric lore. The cube itself is the ancient symbol of the dark cult of the god Saturn/Chronos (quite literally: the Lord of the Rings, given Saturn's ring) - which many believe links up with Satanism - and related deities such as Dionysus, Hercules or the Egyptian goddess Isis, Saturn's eldest daughter. Cubes are ubiquitous in corporate and popular symbolism. 

A glance at this element of the occult and its ubiquitous symbolism is usefully provided here:

As if to drive the point home, the sequel to the film is subtitled Hypercube, which symbol I briefly covered in my blog post Graduates & Cops. The hypercube signifies encaged consciousness just like the giant cube structure in the film the characters are trying to flee from. 

Within the script there is also a passing reference to the occult tradition of Tarot. Issues of government conspiracy and the strategy of compartmentalisation (the left hand not knowing what the right hand is doing) also come to the fore within the dialogue, as well as questions pertaining to the human condition which the cube can be seen as representing. The question is: how did we get there? One character's answer is: we did it to ourselves, nobody's in charge.  

Spoilers: it is no accident in my estimation that the character who turns bad is the cop. Occultists have a low opinion of law enforcers as can be seen on their uniform regalia (again see aforementioned blog post Graduates & Cops) because not only are they unenlightened but they impose their lack of enlightenment on others by bringing liberty destroying measures into physical manifestation.  

The film can ultimately be seen as an allegory for and reflection on the human condition trapped in low consciousness, which is what the hypercube partly symbolises. No wonder does the plot turn sour due to what one character terms 'the groundless stupidity of humans.'

The one character who survives the ordeal and ascends to the light (the Sun, the good, as opposed to Saturn, symbolised by the cube, the 'dark' planet furthest away from the Sun, Pluto being excluded as a planet in ancient astronomy) happens to be a mentally disabled person (with a knack for factoring numbers) as he is in some sense the least warped character with no side, and possibly the closest approximation to innocent goodness among the group, as a genuine Child of God/Christ. 

Thus as humans we start out in a cube, i.e. a prison, of our own making and through collaboration - the characters put their skills together in the movie for their own survival - we journey through the cube only to find that the exit was in the first room all along before we set out on the journey in the first place. It took the long journey, however, and meeting new people along the way with special input to offer to know that. 

This plot point can be seen as an allusion to technical and historical development, realising that so-called progress is a regression from the original state of nature, the first room in which we began, which is closer to the real world and the sun's light. We need to come full circle after travelling most of the giant cube to realise staying put in our original state was the better idea, but now we are equipped with that knowledge thanks to our journey, unlike in our primal state of awareness.

At the end of the cube the rays of the sun beam - enlightenment - and provided we don't kill each other before reaching the light - as they do in the film, particularly because of the unenlightened law enforcer - we may ascend to a higher plane of consciousness that is not a prison but freedom. 

The mentally handicapped character is the only one to make it that far despite being threatened with being abandoned earlier due to his disability, only to find that his special skill, factoring numbers, was the key to the puzzle; only he reaches enlightenment, despite his atypical neurology.  

The film therefore reflects the occult in its very premise, the occult always placing emphasis on individual stages of ascending enlightenment with many perils along the way. Mark Passio calls it climbing the Mountain of Enlightenment (see Ascending the Mountain of Enlightenment) but beware, the view from above over the valley is not pretty. 

Conclusion: While films may vary in their level of esotericism and their level of explicitness, their allegorical and suggestive power points to elements of reality mostly ignored by the majority and dismissed as mere fiction. If only this majority knew how much truth is contained in many, even mass market, features, provided one has the mental tools to decode their hints and riddles, they too would grow in enlightenment. 

P.S. It is interesting to note that the Greek term κύβος, similar to our word 'cube', meant the game of playing dice. Clearly the cube of the film is also very much a game of dice, at least before the 'system' of the cube has been unravelled, with life itself being at stake given the multitudinous death traps.