Tag Archives: Self-Realization

Screening Report – “Into the Wild”

Into the Wild is a movie released in 2007 that is based off of a novel by Jon Krakauer.

The plot of the movie centers around a young man that just graduated from college.  Instead of following the path that his parents encourage him to take, he decides to set out on a journey to find himself: a journey into the wilderness of Alaska.

By relinquishing all of his ties to the modern world (giving up all money/college funds, relationships, identification, etc.), Christopher McCandless forces himself to completely give up on his previous way of life.  Once he leaves, there is no turning back.

As he makes his way to Alaska, Chris meets new and interesting people that help him get closer to understanding himself.  He learns, through meeting the hippie couple, the old man, the farmer, and the foreign couple, the meaning of his existence and the meaning of life.

Although in the end Chris dies alone in the wilderness of Alaska, he lived a full and well-rounded life.  He learned much in his short life, and developed a strong understanding of the meaning of human existence.

A major theme in this movie is the search for self-identification.  Through connecting with nature, experiencing the world, and meeting different types of people during his journey, Chris begins to find himself.  He starts understanding his purpose and how he fits into the grand scheme of things.

Although I can’t see myself taking the same adventure that Chris did, I can see why a journey like his would be eye-opening.  The sacrifices he made were sometimes selfish, but he was brave in doing them.  I believe that his journey allowed Chris to connect with nature and figure out his place in God’s plan far deeper than a city-dweller.



We may try to make the sentence “This place is part of myself” intellectually
more understandable by reformulations-for example, “My relation to this
place is part of myself”; “If this place is destroyed something in me is destroyed”; “My relation to this place is such that if the place is changed, I am changed”….

Above is a passage from the 5th page of Self-Realization. This particular passage stuck out to me, because I agree with what it has to say. We all develop close relations with different places in the world. These places play a role in who we are today. They represent memories of our past.

The sentence “My relation to this place is such that if the place is changed, I am changed” from the passage is something I can relate to very well. Back in November one of my best friend’s parents decided to sell their home in Wichita and move to Salt Lake City. This was something hard for my friend to deal with, but hard for my friends and I as well. It didn’t hit us until their Wichita home was sold. We spent a lot of weekends there and made a lot of memories. It was hard for us to grasp the idea that we will never make another memory in that house again, and all of our new memories would be made elsewhere. 

It’s interesting to think about how we make relationships with places as well as people. And how these places effect who we are. When you no longer attend a place (a home or a school) you become a changed person.

Identifying with Nature

When reading “Self-Realization” by Arne Naess I thought it was interesting when he was talking about the people in his home country of Norway who were moved from their locations along the arctic coast and moved into the “centers of development.” He mentions that these people realized, after being moved, that they were not the same as they used to be: part of their identity was taken away with the change of environment.

I can understand where these people are coming from. Normally when people refer to their home, it is not just the physical house that they are living in that they are referring to. Home is the entire area that the person lives in, which includes the nature in the area. For instance, my home here in Wichita includes the openness and tranquility that the large fields surrounding my neighborhood provide. My home includes the horses in the horse stables that are at the front of my neighborhood. If I were to come home one day and all of the fields were dug up to build new neighborhoods or the horses were all moved to a different stable, home would not seem the same. Part of who I have become by living in my home would be missing. Although I’ve never actually taken the time to conciously think about it this way before reading this, subconsciously I have been thinking this all along.