“I think for these movie makers, it’s like a challenge to the audience. To say, ‘I’m embedding this movie with this esoterica, this hidden occultism, you find it.’ It’s like a treasure hunt almost.” -Robert W. Sullivan IV
Author, 32nd degree Freemason and scholar Robert W. Sullivan IV is back to blast more hidden knowledge! This time, he takes a scalpel to your favorite films, exposing the cloaked allegory, messages, symbols and archetypes that fuel man’s most popular and powerful narratives.
Our epic stories share striking similarities. Whether it’s the story of Jesus, King Arthur, Star Wars or Interstellar (see it now on the largest screen with the loudest sound possible, seriously!), the outline remains largely the same- a reluctant man with great potential is called to adventure, faces various trials and tribulations, reaches some fully realized form and transcends the realm of the mere mortal (that’s highly simplified, but you get it). Why are we so obsessed with this archetypical hero’s journey, or “monomyth” as the great Joseph Campbell called it? It’s embedded so deeply into our culture, psyche and perhaps even the collective unconscious that many miss it completely until it’s pointed out to them. So again, why keep telling this story again and again?
I don’t know, but this is the type of shit I think about while I’m watching movies and it’s one of the many rabbit holes the great Robert W. Sullivan and I dive down in this episode.
So yeah, I guess it’s safe to say I’m a bit of a sleuth whilst consuming media. I’m always on the lookout for easter eggs, larger truths and shadowy references. But, I don’t catch a god damn fraction of what Robert does. Perhaps that’s because he’s been dragging the deep dark lake of esoterica for obscured knowledge nuggets since I was a mere ten-year-old with a Sega Genesis controller hermetically sealed to my palms.
Thanks to his decades of toil, Robert is squarely in his element with respect to our conversation on this episode and the pages of his new book, Cinema Symbolism. In it, Robert dissects films like The Exorcist, Back to the Future, Star Wars (Episodes I-VI), The Lord of the Rings, The Wizard of Oz, Black Swan , the James Bond films, The Matrix and many more. Given that, there’s a whole truckload of tantalizing tidbits that we didn’t get to in this conversation, so if you want to dig deeper, head over to Robert’s site.