“Gravity” in 3D IMAX: God And Infinity

“It’s getting incredible reviews,” my husband exclaimed with a glint in his eye as he placed Wall Street Journal movie section on the coffee table last weekend. He had been reading a review on Gravity – the new movie with Sandra Bullock and George Clooney. “Spiritual, thrilling, existential” were the words being used to describe it. I told him we should go. (Who doesn’t loved to be spiritually and existentially thrilled while someone else puts your kids to bed?!) He told me the article said that the movie should be seen in 3D.

But we went one step further – we saw it in 3D IMAX. Someone asked me afterwards if it was worth seeing it in 3D IMAX. I explained that it was only worth seeing it that way as the best part of this movie was feeling like you were actually lost in space (the storyline was “meh”). Incidentally, feeling like you were actually lost in space was also the worst part of this movie. What Jaws did to the ocean in 1975 Gravity did to space in 2013. (Don’t go in or up!)

The movie was nothing short of terrifying. When it ended, I can’t describe the relief that came over me knowing that my feet were firmly planted on earth. But the truth is that space has troubled me since I was a kid and I first learned that while my feet may be firmly planted on Earth, Earth is not firmly planted on anything! The infiniteness of both the universe and time is a concept that has kept me up many a night ever since my father first told me about it when I was eight years old. It doesn’t happen every time I think of infinity – probably for my sanity’s sake – but if I allow myself to ponder it deeply enough, like how we’re floating in an endless sea of blackness that can’t be comprehended, how this world – this life – is just a blip of time in ALL of time, how I am facing eternity and when this world is all over, whatever comes next – wherever that is – never ends. When I think about those ideas intensely it makes me nauseous. As a kid, I would suffer from minor panic attacks when my mind would start to go to that place. And what really drove me mad was that I figured that eventually there HAD to be an end, a wall, a barrier to the universe, but then I’d wonder what was on the other side of it…

I was thinking recently about how weird infinity is. We know it exists, yet it is impossible to wrap our minds around. I am loathe to speak about “proofs” of God as I believe that while faith has a rational foundation, we can never prove God lest our free will cease to exist. And yet there is something about Infinity that undeniably points to God for me. One of God’s name’s is “Infinity” or in Hebrew “Ein Sof” (Without End). We are finite existing within Infinity. How does that even work? We are sure that it is there, yet it is beyond what even the smartest human brain can grasp. Even attempting to think about it leads to a nauseating sensation – much like a recent movie I survived…

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