Krzysztof Zanussi:
Timeless Images and Questions in
"A Year of the Quiet Sun"
 
      






 

 

 

 
                                                                  
 
A Fragment Cut Out of Eternity
 

The famous closing scene of "A Year of the Quiet Sun", the couples' dance against the "unearthly" backdrop of the Monument Valley in Utah, Arizona (shot with the fish-eye lens to heighten this "unearthly" effect), has been interpreted in many different ways: as a "dream" of the couple's happiness, since they didn't get to experience it here on earth, or as a kind of beautiful "alternate reality", which stands in sharp contrast to the bleakness and harshness of socialist Poland. In any case, most viewers would sense that in this incredible scene Zanussi was able to express something of the "higher Truth" than what we are able to see of the couple's fate here on earth. This higher Truth, however, is neither a dream nor a fantasy, but absolute reality, the comprehension of which requires a thorough knowledge of the Laws of Justice, with which God's Will operates in this magnificent Creation. These Laws allow for no mystery in matters of the soul, because naturalness, logic and consistency are as much part of God's Perfection as are love and mercy. No amount of earthly knowledge (scientific or religious) can be of sufficient help here, because all fields of earthly knowledge contain woeful gaps and inaccuracies. A cool head, an alert spirit and a heart ablaze with the longing to comprehend the Language of God comprise the necessary "key" that unlocks all the "insolvable" mysteries of life.

"...basic spiritual principle is the Law of Reciprocal Action, which is described by various other expressions such as: the Law of Sowing and Reaping, the Law of Karma; the Law of Seed and Harvest; the Law of Cause and Effect; and the Law of Retributive Justice. We know that if we sow maize, we can only reap maize, and if we want to harvest mango, we must sow mango. This Law ensures the maintenance of order and perfect justice in Creation. Imagine what confusion and bewilderment would result if we could not be certain what the harvest would be whenever we planted any seed; if at one time a planting of maize gave us rice, at another time the same planting gave us mango, etc. Because of this Law, we know what harvest to expect with each planting, and what we must plant if we desire a particular harvest. The Law coupled with the knowledge of reincarnation holds the key to so many unsolved mysteries of existence.

"It is important for us to note that this Law is no respecter of religions. Indeed, this is true for all the Laws of Creation, which express the Will of God. If a Christian sows maize, he will reap maize; so also will a Jew, a Moslem, a Buddhist, or a pagan. If a pagan sows goodness, he is bound to reap goodness and vice versa; so will a Bishop, a Hindu monk, or a Moslem Imam. Indeed, the Creator in His perfect Justice cannot be expected to discriminate on any basis in the operation of His Laws. This fact should lead us to the realization that religions can only help us to understand thoroughly the Will of the Creator and to show us how to do this Will. We would be wrong to imagine that membership of any religion, movement, or sect would guarantee salvation. It must, of course, be understood that 'sowing' is not limited to its ordinary agricultural sense. We 'sow' through our thoughts, our words, our volitions, as well as our actions. This implies that we are all constantly sowing, be it only in our thinking and in our general attitude to life. If our thoughts are always good, we eventually reap harvests of blessings; if they are evil, then we heap evils on ourselves. As we shift gear between good and evil, so do the eventual harvests change.

"We should note that one planted seed yields, at harvest, many seeds. The harvest is of the same kind (quality or species) as what was sown but its quantity is much greater. Thus our actions, good or bad, return to us as multiples. The increase is the result of another Law --- the Law of Attraction of Similar Species or the Law of Homogeneity... Especially important is the fact that the period between sowing and reaping depends on what is sown. Some grain crops are ready for harvest four months after planting, whereas some tree crops do not yield any harvests until after many years. Even for the same crop, the period required for maturity may vary according to the variety of the crop. For example, traditional varieties of cowpeas (also called beans inn West Africa) mature in about 100 days. Some varieties of the same crop bred at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) in Ibadan mature in only about 60 days after planting.

"Such differences in periods to maturity also apply to the actions, thoughts, words, prayers, and volitions of people. Thus, we can understand why a person doing evil now, will reap the consequences only in the future, near or distant. Similarly, the good fruits of the good person, who may now be suffering, will surely come. Furthermore, the good that may currently be falling on the laps of a presumably bad person must be the good he did in the past. And the bad experiences of the person who is presently striving to do good are the consequences of some wrong he/she did in the past, which are only now ready for harvest. The perfect Justice of the Almighty does not permit any arbitrariness. One reaps only what one has personally sown, and nobody reaps what he or she has not sown.

"There appears to be injustices in some cases only because of our own ignorance. A key aspect of this ignorance is our lack of the knowledge of, or deliberate but unfortunate rejection of, reincarnation. The truth is that some fruits we now reap, whether they are good or bad, were planted in some distant past, in previous earth-lives. On the other hand, some 'seeds' we are now sowing may not be ready for harvest until a distant future, in the Beyond or in another earth-life. The Creator grants every human being the Free Will to decide what he may or may not sow. But once one has done the sowing, one is obliged irrevocably to 'eat the harvest' at the appropriate time. It should be noted that forgiveness is provided for within the framework of the Laws of Creation. It is not arbitrary; however, we cannot go into the quite lawful process here. It should be remarked that God does not inflict suffering and tragedy on people. People bring them about purely by themselves through what they sow in thought, word, and deed; this is precisely the same process by which they could ensure abundance, happiness and bliss for themselves."

"Let us, right away, raise and answer a question of great social importance that may well arise at this point in the minds of well-meaning people: does it follow from the above that we do not have to worry about suffering people since they are themselves responsible for their suffering? That is, may we maintain that they are only reaping what they sowed in this earth-life or in an earlier one and do not therefore deserve our help? The Law of Sowing and Reaping should suggest the opposite to us. The Law shows clearly the need to do good at all times; for whatever good we do and to whomever we do it, be it an evil or good person, we stand to reap the good fruits.

"In reality, any good we do, we do for ourselves; since the fruits return to us as multiples of the seeds we planted. Whenever we see somebody suffering, we should consider ourselves as having an opportunity to sow good seeds. We should not concern ourselves with the cause of the person's suffering; we should not judge. Moreover, we should know that, in the perfection of the Laws of the Creator, if a sufferer does not deserve help, nobody who is in a position to help will come into contact with him or her." ("Spiritual Dimensions of Development" by S.M. A.