My video set of THE MARTIAN CHRONICLES miniseries finally arrived in the mail two days ago. I'm in the process of watching one of the three parts per night, which is two hours a pop. I've written some running commentary under a different rubric on this discussion board.
It's a good thing I ordered this, because I was correct in supposing that the telecast from which my home-made tape originated was a butchered version. I've watched parts one and two so far. Watching part 2 this time, I got to see the one scene that was cut from my version. In between the scene where David first reappears and disappears and his return to the Lustigs, there is a long segment featuring Frs. Peregrine and Stone. Lo and behold, it is the story of "The Fire Balloons", with only the names changed.
While at first the priests irritated me, as the cinematic depiction of all clergy does, their contrary points of view and Peregrine's strong interest in the Martians caught my interest. When they encounter the three blue spheres after getting lost walking their way back to the settlement, the priests' contrary reactions are noteworthy. Stone thinks they are the devil's work, but Peregrine has a positive attitude. The spheres save the priests' lives from an avalanche, but Stone's opinion does not change. While Stone is asleep, Peregrine tests his theory that they are intelligent, moral beings by jumping off a cliff, whereupon he is rescued by a sphere. Peregrine offers to build a Martian church, but the sphere declines.
I noticed something interesting about Peregrine's expression of faith. For all the talk of sin and meeting Christ, he has a different attitude toward the Martian spheres not from any faith in God but faith in his fellow creatures. This is quite clearly the opposite of Stone, who would rather find the inhuman in the human than the human in the inhuman. Peregrine jumps off the cliff with faith not in God but in the good will of the spheres. Very interesting.
[This message has been edited by Ralph Dumain (edited 05-30-2003).]
I have completed my viewing of the uncut MC miniseries and have expanded my review (the section titled "Take Two"). I think you will like it. See:
The Martian Chronicles & Our Subjective Desires http://www.autodidactproject.org/my/martian.html
Ralph: I love your site. I could spend hours there.
Thank you kindly. I wasn't going to mention my web site, but once it was outed, why hold back? The importance of my site lies in the material by others I have put up there, as well as bibliographies and similar research material. As for my own writing, there are some other articles and reviews of possible related interest, ranging in tone from the inspirational to the cynical. I have a piece on Samuel R. Delany, two on my favorite TV series "The Prisoner", a review apiece of "Groundhog Day" and "What Dreams May Come", and an extremely cynical but absolutely factual and I daresay hilarious memoir, "Alien Resurrection in the Ghetto."
Thanks... lots to look over... and comment on....
To answer the FIRST part of your question only.... (Oh yes, you were the 6th post down from the first one, posted by Mr. Dark)...
The answer is...Kinda and No !
"Okay, finally. Does he believe in God or not?
Can you explain his whole position about this question?" (Elron's question . . . from long ago and far away.)
I think Nard has it right. The answer is yes and kinda.
I think it really depends on what Ray means when he says "God". Does he believe in an orthodox christian conception of God? Doesn't appear to. Does he believe in using God as a metaphor for the energy of life itself? Kind of a vague idea, but it may capture some of his perspectives on this. Is he a kind of a Deist where he believes in a God who set things in motion and then left it all up to us? Is he a humanist who uses God as a metaphor or a convenient focal point -- almost a construct, if you will -- for comments about spirituality?
It sounds like Nard and Dandelion have been able to speak directly to him about his religious views, but I have only read his writings and tried to sort out what I could from that.
What I find fascinating is to see how much and how often he deals with spirituality, religion, God, and morality. I remember when I read Martian Chronicles the first time with how impressed I was that in some stories the religious sensibility out-weighed any sense that I was reading science fiction/fantasy. The focus wasn't on the future in some portions, it was on the religious "past".
Oops! I reversed Nard's input. Nard lists "kinda and no" not "kinda and yes". Sorry about that.
I say ...kinda... for this reason: ��((Please remember I come from a bias position...as a Christian. If I came from the Whatachaee religion, I would have a different take..)�� I say kinda...because in scripture it says that the understanding that there is a God is imbred...that to deny God's existence is going against what God put there...and thus leaves the person with no excuse. He therefore is judged on the light he has and his response to it. ((If you know anything about this, this is really touchy stuff. Gets theologians squeemish...)). So to say does Ray believe in God, in this case...'kinda'... since he truly is responding to God's workings inside his spirit, if he knows it or not, or attributes it or not. Many times Ray attributes this to God... for instance his wonderful poem, "God Thumbprints Thee".... But does Ray recognize God as a Saving God, as Christ, for instance. The answer is probably ..not.
Since Christianity is the only religion with a bonifide God that is a Saviour, it really narrows down the contenders.....
Sorry for misquoting you. I, of course, have a habit of proofing AFTER posting.
I understand and respect what you're saying. I'm more open to the idea that Bradbury believes in some sense of a God, but I agree he does not seem to accept the idea of Christ as the exclusive Saviour-God. So if that is the definition being used, he does not believe in God. However, if the definition, for purposes of academic discussion, is broader, then there is room, in my mind at least, for belief in a God that is not delineated specifically by the New Testament text.
Whether that God has soteriological power is, of course, debateable. But I think the possibility that Ray believes in a non-personal, non-exclusive kind of "god" is real, nonetheless. Nevertheless, you have directly discussed this with him and I have not. I respectfully defer to that.
In his writing -- whether it reflects his view or just views he wants to talk about -- he does refer to God in many passages. These passages seem to indicate a belief in a higher power that transcends man. But I also see, sometimes, a hint that he wants humanankind to be the best kind of human possible -- regardless of the presence or absence of a God. Close to the position of a humanist. In an apparent contradiction to this, though, there is something in his sense of awe, beauty, life, growth, renewal, love, etc., that seems to indicate a sense of something transcendent to man. That "something" I would call "God".
It's like mathematics. Anything is possible if you can get the equations to work out in the favor of your suppositions.
Here's a statement. Tell me what you think of it:
���"Only your friends can take you to your potential.
Only your enemies can take you beyond it." �
I think the little couplet goes to the question of how growth occurs in people. If we grow through opposition, then our enemies force us to grow. Our friends, unless they are bad friends, create safe climates for us where growth may not be the result of the relationship. If life is about growth and our friends don't cause/help us grow, then maybe they are not good friends. So our worst friends and our best enemies contribute to our growth. All others should be avoided -- IF the objective is personal growth.
Is that what you're looking for?
I guess I would add that I'm not sure the statement about taking people beyond their potential is very meaningful. If they get "beyond" their potential, "that beyondness" was already in their potential. If it is not in their potential, they could never get there. So it's kind of like a platitude that says something really cool-sounding, but I'm not sure there's a lot of meat in it.
I know this won't break hearts, but I'll be off-line (vacation) for about a week. I will miss all of you while I'm off (so does this mean that you are good friends, bad enemies, or bad friends or good enemies?).
[This message has been edited by Mr. Dark (edited 06-11-2003).]
What can you say about this position:
Bible (and all the metaphors stored in it) was written and composed a long long time ago (2000 years approx). So, as they are very old, the things are not quite clear for readers... People became cleverer... and so on. And there is time for a new Book to appear, for a new words to be said, for a new conception to be given to humanity.
And the way Bradbury understand the Bible and the way he accepts christian religion is the only right way: not accepting the details and accepting (and giving to us!!!) the Meaning.
(Example: in Bible, metaphorically, it said that the God is "in heaven" (in sky). After the fact that man was in space, under planet, metaphor became a noncence.... The Meaning was that: "The God is not on earth, not in reach, not in reality". We are older, we need another words. And now remember "The Man")
P. S. Sorry for my English
Bible is closer to 5,000 years old, with the New Testament about 2,000.
You need a good modern translation. There are quite a few of them on the market.... even in Russia...
Truth is truth. Never changes. Scripture describes the character of God has unchangeable. Who He was before He created anything, is the same forever.
Discuss that statement and other at another time. Best wishes on a great vacation.
[This message has been edited by Nard Kordell (edited 06-11-2003).]
With all the discussion of Ray's religious beliefs, perhaps someday Ray will write out some lengthy work of clarifying poetry, or some great and metaphorical proclamation, of his deepest religious convictions. 'THAT' would end all speculations right there! We could contemplate easily his beliefs, laid out for our discovery.
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