The Possums & The Power Of Fantasy
Yesterday afternoon, I decided to watch a movie called "The Possums". I'm not sure why I choose that as the background for eating lunch from the 20+ subscription movie channels; even my 13 year old son remarked, "Oh for goodness sake, there will be the same old loser football team, and then they find a star player, and they turn all around and win the championship - again ..."
I shrugged and said, "Well yeah it's an old story. Let's give it a few minutes, see if they managed to give it a twist or at least, how this particular screen writer approached this age old theme ..."
So we began watching this story, set in a small nameless American town and indeed, it turned out that I was really glad we did.
The writer had indeed, thought of a new twist to the old "loser team makes good plot" - and what he/she thought of was definitely in keeping with the whole idea of Project Sanctuary and autogenics, as we discussed not too long ago.
In this story, the team really sucked - to the degree that not only had they not won a single game, EVER, in their entire history but also had not scored a single touchdown (the equivalent to a goal) in 14 years.
Now that's a real loser's team!
Indeed, it was so demoralising for everyone concerned that the mayor started a petition to have the team dissolved, which was carried by an overwhelming majority during the town meeting and included a wholehearted "Please no more failure!!" vote from all the players.
But amongst the people in the town was a guy who commented on games - that was his favourite thing since childhood. Not to play but to give a comment of the game, describing it so that radio listeners would be able to feel as though they were really there, seeing everything that went on.
He was particularly depressed about the dissolution of the team and thought it to be a real sign of having given up, and in desperation, one night he used the key to the little radio station hut, sat down and began to comment on an imaginary game that took place entirely in his mind's eye and in which the Possums - WON the game!
Some people laughed, some thought he was mad, some were very upset because he "was not telling the truth" but he mortgages his house and buys the airtime from the station's owner, to broadcast at the same time as the "real" games in the league were taking place, his "imaginary game" in which the Possums would always win, at the last minute, against high odds.
People began tuning in and as the imaginary players had imaginary incidents of illness and injury, the town's people began to become more and more involved in this "fantasy" - to the point that when the imaginary team was in the play-offs for the championship, they even had a parade for their team and decorated the main street with balloons.
When the imaginary team was playing, they would congregate and cheer and scream and jump about just exactly as if it was all entirely real - their responses were the same, for on the radio and with the excellent commentary, it might just as well have been.
Of course, the imaginary team won the state championships and all was in celebration - until a bus arrived carrying the entire team of real players who had really won the real state championship, incredibly angry because there had been many media reports of the fantasy play-offs even in the national press and media.
What fascinated me about this story was that there was an absolute threshold shift in that town where people actually made a decision to decide what they wanted to be real.
There was a moment for each person when they "let go" of the whole previous reservations about why it was bad to have an imaginary team and just went with the fantasy - and when they did, they lived it. It had become entirely real in all ways. Their team really were the state champions and from this flowed all manner of other effects, such as more pride in the town, happier people clapping each other on the shoulder, more community spirit, you could say better self esteem all around.
Such is the power of fantasy.
Is it dangerous?
Is it fair?
Ah but the football team who "really" won the state championships and had worked so hard, expended so much money, blood, sweat and tears in the process, broke their bones on the "real" football field did not think so, to be sure.
They were adamant that the Possum town did not deserve their happiness and pride - they had not "earned it the hard way".
At the end of the day, there are as many ways to "judge" these people as there are prejudices, religious and political orientations and deep, entrained beliefs about the nature of suffering.
Well, ladies and gentlemen all, I don't believe in suffering.
The fact is that faith has to come first, and BEFORE anything is accomplished at all.
If there is no belief, no faith, no strength and no energy, you have lost before you even started. The Possums lost for a lifetime until one man called upon the power of fantasy to create strength where there was none; hope where there was none, energy and focus where there had been nothing but victimhood, depression and defeat.
If there were no effects beyond this on the Hard at all, that would be already worth it's weight in gold alone.
But it goes further than that.
Now, we do have faith, and strength, and power.
And what did the Possum town do?
Of course. They re-surrected their football team.
And when they did, their team were no longer the eternal losers.
Silvia Hartmann 30. 03. 03