Analysis: Kubrick’s “2001: A Space Odyssey”

The subtitle for this Kubrick blockbuster could be: How the human bio-form came to be, and what it is evolving toward. This story, a collaborative effort of Arthur C. Clarke and Stanley Kubrick, came onto their drawing board in the middle of the 20th century, at a time when both the Bible’s creation story and Darwin’s theory were becoming increasingly less convincing to college educated people. It was also a time when millions of witnesses and their various governments were mesmerized or traumatized by an enormous and indelible enigma known as: The UFO Phenomenon, the origin of which was assumed to be extraterrestrial. To professional movie-makers and critics, as well as the public-at-large, the presentation of Kubrick’s vision was as enigmatic and phenomenal as a flying saucer—a brain-twister, more disturbing than entertaining. 

A common movie-watcher question then and now: “What was the meaning of the black monolith that the super-intelligent alien race installed on Earth before the Dawn of Man?” The typical and logical conclusion is that the monolith was part of an alien alarm system, that a communication device had been set in place for the purpose of sending a future warning message to a second monolith on the Moon at the stage of human evolution where humans would begin colonizing space, and that human excavation of the second monolith was to trigger a signal to be sent to a third monolith on Europa. We note that, among other counter-arguments we could make, the signal to Europa served to summon alarmed Earthlings to go there rather than beckoning alien troops to the Moon. In any case, the monolith had a primary function and that was not it. 

During the 1950s and 1960s especially, sightings of UFOs, and particularly close encounters, had profound psychological, spiritual, and sometimes physical effects on witnesses. The mechanism involved is called a “cosmic trigger” because it is instantaneous, profound, and mind-blowing in delivering a sense of oneness. Seeing an impossible aerial vehicle up close and in broad daylight, for example, may be compared to being tapped on the head by a magic wand that opens inner eyes to a higher reality. The monolith shown in the opening scenes symbolized a technological device so far beyond the understanding of the ape-men that its mere presence activated neurological circuitry that facilitated a biophysical transformation—i.e., the brain-candy monolith was meant to serve as a cosmic trigger. Similarly, Kubrick and Clarke leveraged all of that UFO-induced cosmic triggering and directed the energy generated by that mass-awakening toward a vision of human destiny in Omniverse. 

2001: A Space Odyssey, released in April of 1968, was a cosmic trigger constructed to send a signal deep into the minds of the viewing public, most of whom had no idea what Clarke and Kubrick were saying except that it seemed to offer hope for the future through means beyond traditional imagining. At the time, the whole idea of space travel was new; humankind would not succeed in landing men on the Moon until a year later, on July 20, 1969 (yes, we really went to the Moon). Some who watched that landing on their TV sets had been alive since before the invention of the light-bulb. So it was only over ensuing decades that the world could begin to grasp the story’s message: humankind is rapidly coming of age neurologically, and it is going to change everything.

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One Response to “Analysis: Kubrick’s “2001: A Space Odyssey””

  1. PluribusOne™ Says:

    When this piece on 2001: a Space Odyssey was posted more than four years ago, it was hoped that a book on Noetitek™ and its applications would be published by now. The plan was to expand the 2009 analysis of this film and share secrets that Kubrick embedded in the story. I understand the impatience of some readers of the PluribusOne™ blog, so, at this point I am adding the following while continuing to withhold secrets for a future writing.

    As other analysts have noted, based on statements made by Kubrick not long after the movie was released (Playboy magazine, September, 1968), his intention was to present an allegory to serve as a “metaphysical speculation on Man’s destiny,” a kind of prophecy for the human race, and he conveyed his message through symbols and hints intended to affect the viewer at an unconscious level with a mind-bomb link to cosmic consciousness. The allegory is unmistakably a version of the Fall of Man myth that many people take to be historical, as the story of Adam and Eve is found in Genesis 3 of the Holy Bible, interpreted literally by many Christians.

    To some extent, Kubrick’s allegory advances the atheistic Darwinian perspective with the added twist that some post-biological energy beings from beyond our solar system visited Earth for the purpose of influencing primate evolution, shepherding human development from the Dawn of Man to the Dawn of God-Man. “The monoliths,” said Kubrick, “…offer Man options for good and evil.” The idea is that Mankind’s creator is a race of ancient ETs and that it is Man’s destiny to join their ranks. That the ETs were formerly reptilian is hinted at by virtue of the story’s parallel to the Fall of Man account which features the snake in the Garden.

    It seems clear that Kubrick refused to explain the allegory because such revelation would have been taken by some as an anti-Christian/satanic interpretation of Genesis 3 wherein Man, influenced by the subtle Devil in the form of a “black”/evil snake, partakes of the Tree of Knowledge, because in the film we see proto-humans—subtly influenced by an unseen/in-the-darkness” alien force—partake of the black Monolith, after which the apes shift from peaceful herbivores to warlike tool-making carnivores and developers of increasingly complex technologies. In effect, the film portrays the Devil as a benevolent-to-humankind entity who shepherds Man out of bondage in the Garden (Earth) towards elevating him to the level of God.

    —Alan

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