After an accident destroys his hands, costing him his line of work and, more significantly, self-worth, the hard science-inclined Doctor Strange goes for broke and takes a stab at a rehabilitative program of a more spiritual bent. Relocating to Kathmandu, Stephen undertakes the tutelage of the Ancient One (Tilda Swinton) and her star pupil Mordo (Chiwetel Ejiofor), soon enough finding himself ensconced in the sort of supernatural action-adventures her community of White Wizard Warriors deals with on a daily basis.
Doctor Strange is a movie about a scientist who at first adheres to a satanic world view..
Dr. Stephen Strange: “No, I reject it because I do not believe in fairy tales about chakras or energy or the power of belief.
There is no such thing as spirit!
We are made of matter and nothing more.
We’re just another tiny, momentary speck in an indifferent universe.”
He knows nothing..
Baron Mordo: Stephen Strange. Might I offer you some advice? Forget everything that you think you know.
Like all students, he is searching for the small – the use of his hands so that he can remain a simple Doctor – whilst being given in reality something infinitely larger.. and much, much more valuable..
Ignorant Students follow their own minds and act arbitrarily.
Indulging in guesswork they consider themselves bright and will not humble themselves.
Thus they misapprehend the road ahead.
Though they are said to deceive others, in reality they are deceiving themselves.
This is looking on the Great Matter of Essence and Life as Childs Play.
Is it no wonder they strive all their lives with no attainment.
Is this not a pity?
If you know enough to submit to enlightened teachers,
Associate with good companions,
Sincerely concentrate on clarification of the truth,
Borrow their knowledge to break on through your own ignorance,
Borrow their lofty vision to expand your own ignorant views,
Then even if you are ignorant you will become enlightened,
And even if you are weak you will become strong.
Then there is no reason why you cannot become an Immortal and a Buddha!!!
Awakening to the Tao by Lui I-Ming, Translated by Thomas Cleary
The Ancient One gives him an experience of the real reality and after experiencing the truth..
The Ancient One: I know how to re-orient the Spirit to better heal the body.
The Ancient One: You’re a man looking at the world through a keyhole. You’ve spent your life trying to widen it. Your work saved the lives of thousands. What if I told you that reality is one of many?
The Ancient One: You’re a man looking at the world through a keyhole. You’ve spent your whole life trying to widen that keyhole. To see more. To know more. And now on hearing that it can be widened, in ways you can’t imagine, you reject the possibility.
Dr. Stephen Strange: No, I reject it because I do not believe in fairy tales about chakras or energy or the power of belief. There is no such thing as spirit! We are made of matter and nothing more. We’re just another tiny, momentary speck in an indifferent universe.
The Ancient One: Open your eye
Dr. Stephen Strange: What did you just do to me?
The Ancient One: I pushed your astral form out from your physical form.
Dr. Stephen Strange: What’s in that tea? Psilocybin? LSD?
The Ancient One: It’s just tea. With a little honey.
Dr. Stephen Strange: What just happened?
The Ancient One: For a moment, you entered the astral dimension. A place where the soul exists apart from the body.
Dr. Stephen Strange: Why are you doing this to me?
The Ancient One: To show you just how much you don’t know. Open your eye! – touching his forehead
The Ancient One: You think you know how the world works? You think that this material universe is all there is? What is real? What mysteries lie beyond the reach of your senses? At the root of existence, mind and matter meet. Thoughts form reality.
The Ancient One: This universe is only one of an infinite number. Worlds without end; some benevolent and life-giving, others filled with malice and hunger. Dark places where powers older than time lie, ravenous and waiting. Who are you in this vast multiverse, Mr. Strange?
The Ancient One: [after forcing Strange to experiencing the alternate dimensions] Have you seen that at a gift shop?
Stephen Vincent Strange: Why are you doing this?
The Ancient One: There are other ways to save lives; so much you don’t know.
Stephen Vincent Strange: …Teach me.
Stephen Vincent Strange: Teach me.
The Ancient One: No.
The Ancient One refuses to teach Dr Strange. Because of his egotism and arrogance she sees the possibility of him turning to the Dark Side of the Force.
But.. The side of the Light Warrior needs talent.. “We are not here to capture lame horses” – Jan Fishan Khan
The Ancient One: You want to know what I see in your future? Possibility.
The Ancient One: The language of the mystical arts is a old as civilisation. The sorcerors of Antiquity called the use of this language spells.
The Ancient One: The Mystic Arts involve drawing energy from the Chakras above the Head and channelling it for your own use. For a long times, these are known as spells. But if you find that word too antiquated, we can use “program” or “the source code that shapes reality”. We harness energies drawn from other dimensions to cast spells, to conjure shields and weapons – to make magic.”
Dr. Stephen Strange: How do I get from here to there?
The Ancient One: How did you become a doctor?
Dr. Stephen Strange: Study and practice. Years of it.
The Ancient One: I spent so many years peering through time… looking for you.
Dr. Stephen Strange: I’m not ready.
The Ancient One: No one ever is. We don’t get to choose our time.
[takes his hand]
The Ancient One: Death is what gives life meaning. To know your days are numbered and your time is short. You’d think after all this time I’d be ready. But look at me. Stretching one moment out into a thousand… just so that I can watch the snow.
“DROP BODY, DROP MIND…” Zen Master Dogen
“When a man dies, he is carried to be offered in the fire. The fire becomes his fire, the fuel his fuel, the smoke his smoke, the flame his flame, the cinders his cinders, the sparks his sparks. In this fire the gods offer the man as libation. Out of this offering the Phoenix Ascended Man emerges in radiant splendor” – Brihadaranyaka Upanishad (VI, ii, 9-14)
After all that, Dr. Stephen Strange changes his world view and begs to be taught how to selfishly heal his hands and remain a simple Doctor, whereas in reality he is being taught a much higher path – how to be a Psychic Warrior, an Earth Protector.
Wong: While heroes like the Avengers protect the world from physical dangers, we sorcerers safeguard it against more mystical threats.
Doctor Strange breaks ground in some of the most visually and kinetically imaginative set pieces we’ve seen lately not only in the MCU, but in blockbuster filmmaking across the board. Part of Dr. Stephen Strange’s orientation into the Ancient One’s mystical students involves a torrential thrust through the varied corners of the multiverse; the film’s biggest action sequence sees good sorcerers facing off against bad sorcerers in a perpetually tessellating New York City—for my money, the most thrilling battle scene Marvel has mustered to date.
Filming locations around the Kathmandu Valley included the Pashupatinath and Swayambhunath Temples, Thamel and New Road in Kathmandu and the Patan Durbar Square in Patan. Cumberbatch felt that shooting in Nepal was “absolutely vital to this film, I think not least because it’s so based in something that is exotic. It was a magical way to start the shoot. It’s important to a film like this—which has a profound gearshift into a spiritual and otherworldly dimension—that the portal for that be in a place that actually happens in itself to be incredibly spiritual and marvelous.”
Now, they don’t actually say what he needs to let go of in order to stir up the requisite magic (known as gong energy in qigong practices) to open up a portal to another dimension, but what they’re talking about is letting go of attachments and addictions – Energy Blockages.
Remember Frodo and the One Ring? The ring symbolized human attachments and addictions – Energy Blockages. Gollum had to bite Frodo’s finger off to get rid of that ring—getting rid of human attachments is the hardest thing for humans – but is taught on the Energy Enhancement Video Course in Level 2 – the Removal of Energy Blockages.
Dr. Strange is very attached to self-validation. Can’t let it go. So The Ancient One opens up a portal leading to a sub-zero Himalayan mountain peak and boots her student out there—making it a do or die situation. The test of life and death!
The Ancient One opens up a portal leading to a sub-zero Himalayan mountain peak
All of the above are classic enlightenment story components—and all are compellingly told here.
The film originally had a prologue that took place in CERN, due to the real world research being done at the facility on alternate dimensions and parallel universes. Hard science has been taking the study of human supernormal abilities very seriously for a while now—like telekinesis, levitation, clairvoyance, precognition, and so on.
When I saw the strange strangeness Dr. Strange was up to in the very captivating “Doctor Strange,” I thought, “Aha! Now you’re talkin’!”