Faraway, So Close! (1993)

Far Away So CloseRemember “City Of Angels”, starring Nicolas Cage and Meg Ryan? That drew inspiration from a 1987 film released from Wim Wenders, called “Wings of Desire”. Six years later, his follow-up film in the same style and theme, “Faraway so Close” was released. These two Wim Wenders films are pure, meaning of life, metaphors that can offer us transformative realizations if were ready for them!  For this months Seekers Guide review I’ve chosen, Faraway so Close, a moving and poetic interpretation of the lives of humans from the eyes of an angel only newly born into mortal existence.  From the many possible answers to the usual question “what’s in it for us”, I chose to explore Casiel’s observations on the nature of a human’s reality.

Each one creates his own world within his own vision and hearing. He remains a prisoner in it, and from his cell he sees the cells of others.”

Those are the words of our main character, Casiel, an angel who chooses to become human. In order to have a reference to what Casiel represents in this film, let’s look at these words from Carlos Castaneda,

“Are we physical beings having an occasional spiritual experience, or are we spiritual beings having a physical experience?”

By observing the actions of humanity it is clear that the perspective in place is more in line with; we’re physical beings having an occasional spiritual experience. By contrast, Casiel’s perspective is clearly of a spiritual being having a physical experience. The difference lay in the contents of the memories. The human memory contains a lifetime of memories that have conditioned a belief of fundamental separateness from one another.  The content of Casiel’s mind on the other hand does not contain those kinds of memories.  His memory is that of an angel, the experience of being absolutely connected to everything that is.

Let’s say, we hold a belief in a greater power, and for the sake of analysis, let’s call that power spirit. If that power is responsible for creating us and all life, then our source is spirit. By choosing that belief we can now choose to perceive ourselves, like Casiel, as spiritual beings having a physical experience.  Now, if we made that choice, would we find ourselves observing our human existence in the way that Casiel observes it? The answer is probably not. Why that is, can be found in the difference between Casiel’s memory, and our own memory. It bears repeating here. Casiel’s memory is the memory of an angel, the experience of pure spirit, of connection to everything. He is filtering his experience as a human, through that lens. Our own recallable memory, is of personal, not shared, pain and pleasure, creating the foundations of belief that we are fundamentally separate from one another, which is a completely different lens. I think Einstein said, “The world is exactly how you see it. Change the way you look at things, what you look at changes.” This movie illustrates that.

Check out this next line from Casiel, when you read it, remember that he is a physical being with only memories of complete connection, among beings whose memory strongly suggests the opposite.  Separateness. …..

“So this is loneliness Raphaela.  It’s really bad.  No one hears what the other feels. No one looks into the others heart.  Nobody asks for anything, not even for directions.  What am I doing here? Just watching day turn to night and back to day. Nothing makes sense.”

With every line that Casiel delivers throughout this film, you can begin to get an understanding that the reality of existence in all of its details can be just a matter of perspective, and therefore choose-able! In the case of this film just two choices are illustrated; Casiel’s perspective of connection. And the human perspective of disconnection. What if we chose to perceive an infinity of choices, none being right or wrong, each one offering a different choose-able result?

Since Casiel is now a human, he too becomes subject to the conditioning effects of experience and memory. That experience soon leaves him overwhelmed by time and the rapid pace at which things pass for humans. Watch the movie to see where that goes.

“We humans are confined by what’s visible Raphaela. Only what we can see matters.  What is invisible doesn’t count. Only the things we can touch truly exist for us.”

These lines begin to define Casiel’s role in this film. He is the inner voice, the conscience, of the human race, peaking out from behind the clouds of memory to point out that we aren’t seeing the invisible connection that binds us one to another and to all life. Spirit. As a result we are confined by the limits of what we can see. Watch this film and you may see that were only scratching the surface here. Faraway so Close is a sure winner for all you Seeker movie watchers.

Remember, you are what you watch! ……….and popcorn is good for you!


For those who have requested more about implementing the ideas we find in movies, this is a new feature of the Seekers Guide.

How do I use it?

This is how I use the concept we’ve explored in “Faraway So Close” in my own life and as a coach.

Step 1: Do I believe that I exist due to a higher power? The answer is yes.

Step 2: I choose to believe that I came into this world from pure spirit and therefore I’m still connected to it. I believe this not because it is right. I believe this because it offers me more choices, which support the fulfillment of my desires  than another belief I could choose. In other words, it is not about being right it’s about being whole.

Step 3: My choice in step 2 means that I now see myself like Casiel, a spiritual being having a physical experience. I’m not just a body. I am body, mind, heart and spirit.  I am no longer mostly guided by the needs and desires of my body and the contents of my mind.

Step 4: My heart is wise and my spirit is connected to all that there is. From now on my actions are guided by those.

Step 5: My new guides want to pull me towards worthy goals. By being clear about what I want and why, the choices I am shown are in line with the fulfillment of those desires.

Step 6: Finally, I immediately translate these choices that support my desires, into new actions. I take them without delay. I now am enjoying the results of those actions and more.

Our lives change when our actions change. Our actions change when our thoughts change. Our thoughts change when our beliefs change. It’s not linear like that though. It is circular.  A new belief without action is only an idea.  Our lives are the result of our past actions, which confirm our working beliefs. It is the new action that will create a more desirable result, which creates new memories that prove to us the value of a new idea. If you like the result, you’ll do it again and again. Only then is that idea officially a belief. Think of changing our beliefs like a test drive in a car. To do it, we have to get in the car and start it up, drop it in gear and step on the gas!  Do you like it?  Is it everything that you desire in a car? Then own it. If don’t like it, even a little, go back and try another one.

Whether you believe in higher power or not, the freedom of choice is the most powerful freedom we have. Our actions and our thoughts are only limited by the choices that we fail to notice. Infinite choices lie in the gap between what stimulates you and how you respond to it. The wider the gap, the more choices you will see.  How wide is your gap? You can make it wider. It’s a matter of choice!