Aronofsky's Qabalah Film Trilogy
I once read on a web forum somewhere that film director Darren Aronofsky's film "Noah" was the final installment of a Qabalastic film trilogy along with his work "Pi" and "The Fountain." I had no interest in seeing "Noah" when I first saw the trailers, but after reading this comment my interest grew. My beloved Autumn and I went back and re-watched "Pi" and the "The Fountain" to see if this was true, then recently watched "Noah."
I have seen Aronofsky's films before, loving "Pi" and "Requiem for a Dream" in college. Over time, especially after watching "The Fountain" for the first time when it was initially released, I began to lose touch with his aesthetic. I wasn't quite getting what he was going after, and I usually get (and absolutely love) abstract notions in film. It wasn't until re-watching these films AFTER having gone through extensive initiatory training in the Western Mysteries of the Holy Qabalah that I absolutely get it! Darren Aronofsky has indeed made a Qabalah Film Trilogy worthy of study and enjoyment, whether he intentionally meant to or not.
In order to get most of this one needs a decent understanding of the Tree of Life and the Triads within it. Here is my breakdown.
Darren Aronofsky's first film, an independent feature from 1998. "Pi" focuses on mathematician Max Cohen who stumbles upon a 216 digit number in his pursuit to make stock market predictions. This number ends up possibly being a code sent by God, as heralded by a group of Hasidic Jews. Max's search for truth is obsessive and paranoid, driving his research down some particularly dark paths.
It is my proposal that this film represents the Astral Triad of the Tree of Life. Most specifically, it deals with the vice of allowing the lower Personality to take control of the pursuit of connection with God. Obviously, a lot of the vices are centered around the inversion of Hod's attributes, but attributes of Netzach and Yesod can be seen as well. It deals with man's exploration of the lower Triad in search of deeper meaning but failing to reach past the animal mind of obsession and self-destructive behavior. Ascension to the places of Wisdom and Understanding can never be reached if one cannot move past the lower aspects of the animal Personality.
Aronofksy's third film in 2006. The plot is complicated, as it takes place throughout multiple timelines (or does it?). The main thread is about 21st-century doctor Tom Creo trying to find a cure for cancer to save his wife Izzi. This story is imitated and enhanced through myth and symbols via the past and future, where the characters take on various aspects of the same personality. It is a heart-breaking drama that has a little bit of fantasy and sci-fi mixed with deep spiritual themes.
Where the first movie took place in the Astral Triad, this film revolves around the Ethical Triad, specifically the Sephira of Tiphareth. Man's breakdown of the Personality faces the absolute futility of mortality, via the connector of love, in order to reach a higher place of being: the Individuality. There are plenty of symbols in this film, moreso than "Pi" to communicate that which anyone versed in the Mysteries will be able to understand, especially those past the grade of Philosophus. How anyone has watched this movie before without this knowledge, and understood or enjoyed it, is beyond me. This movie isn't about plot. It's about symbols. And, as is understood in the Mysteries, symbols exist in order to implement their own destruction, to get past their face to the deeper meaning behind them. This film certainly does that: the higher reaches of Tiphareth, of the Higher Self striving beyond the Lower Self. In the end, again, it's about the futility of mortality as cosmic consciousness can only be truly understood through the vulnerability of death. Check out the "golden dawn" of Tiphareth in a scene from the film:
Aronofsky's third installment in the unofficial "Qabalah Trilogy." I loved this movie. I didn't think I would, but I really dug it. I could watch it over and over. It's the basics: Noah gets a vision God is going to flood the world, builds an Ark, and stuff like that. Chances are you know the story. Starring Russell Crowe, I was terrified this would be another Gladiator knock-off. I was far from the truth. Though it does mirror the traditional tale of Noah, there are a few enhancements...
This movie could take place in the distant past or distant future. It's not a literal translation of what is in Genesis (but might be more to Truth). Again, every element in this movie is a symbol: all centered around man's relationship with God, and around the Creation of all that is. So, any liberties taken with the "traditional" story you grew up with can be easily understood with knowledge of the Mystery Traditions. With all the hits centered on Creation in this film, I believe this movie revolves around the Supernal Triad, the very beginnings of the Godhead manifesting from nothingness into the beginnings of force and form, eventually evolving into the creation of the material world. Specifically, we see a world before the flood, pristine though corrupted by man's lower Personality. From Kether (Creator) to Chokmah (the Fatherly figures of the film, Noah, Methuselah) to Binah (the Goddess - water) we eventually get a separation from the old world with the new one: The Flood (i.e. - The Abyss, or Da'at). The Flood is what separates the Supernal Triad from the rest of the Tree, so we see through the symbols of this film the separation of the Supernal Realms of being with the rest of existence, how unreachable and unknowable they truly are.
So many more references, including Zohar, which in the movie is a golden metal (of alchemy) with magical properties. Of course, we know The Zohar as the foundational work of all Qabalistic philosophy. And, if for any reason you might think some of this is stretching it, maybe trying to find too many correlations to Qabalah.....then check out Darren Aronofsky's graphic novel adaption of "Noah" below, in this scene where Noah is meeting his grandfather Methuselah. Notice anything in the background?
Do yourself a favor and check out these films. Most especially "Noah," which is my favorite of the bunch.