Discussion:
Fightclub as Gnostic commentary
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Satone
2007-06-26 21:25:39 UTC
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I'm watching the movie, Fight Club right now, and, as everytime I do,
it occurs to me that there is a striking resemblance to portions of
Gnostic philosophy.

For anybody who's never watched this movie, it's based off a book of
the same title by Chuck Palahniuk. I'm not gonna offer any major
spoilers here, so if you haven't seen the movie, go rent it. Or buy
it. Ask a friend if you can borrow it. Just watch the damn thing. The
plot follows an unnamed main character (Edward Norton), as he narrates
his life living with his eccentric, but charismatic housemate, Tyler
Durden (Bradd Pitt). After moving in with him, the narrator and Tyler
proceed to form a sort of men's therapy group, centered around
brawling and underground boxing, and eventually evolving into a
nationwide organized crime ring.

The parallels I'm getting at? Well the most obvious one is Tyler's
extreme distrust and hatred, of material goods, luxury, and wealthy or
overprivileged masses. The pair, that is Tyler and the narrator, live
in a rundown house in an industrial neighborhood. The narrator states
that he doesn't know if Tyler owned the house or if he was squatting.
The narrator also states 'Turning on one light in the house, meant
another light somewhere else in the house went off. Every time it
rained we had to kill the power.' Tyler's disregard for any social
luxury or comfort, eventually evolves into cultural terrorism, i.e.
blowing up coffee bars, trashing expensive cars found parked on the
street, with baseball bats, and while working a theatre job splicing
single frames of pornography into family films.

Two of the most striking examples of Gnostic thought, come pretty
openly in the movie. In one scene, Tyler grabs the wrist of the
narrator, and pouring a chemical powder on it, producing a chemical
burn. Tyler then proceeds to lecture the screaming narrator, who tries
to deal with the pain using guided meditation, saying 'Have you
considered the possibility that God does like you, never wanted you,
and in all probability <i>hates</i> you?'

Later in the movie, Tyler and the narrator have an argument while
driving a car. Tyler crashes the car, and emerges yelling 'Haha! We
just had a near life experience!' evidencing that Tyler considers
himself in a deadstate, and that he might be more alive, if he died.

Possibly by far the most striking example, of Gnostic thought in Fight
Club, is Marla Singer. Marla is a romantic castoff of the narrator,
who by chance latches upon Tyler instead. Early in the movie, Tyler
states that if the narrator mentions anything about Tyler or their
entreprises to Marla, they are through together. Later in the movie it
becomes subtly evident that Marla, as one of the only two females in
the movie, is the only person capable of cracking the puzzle that is
Tyler Durden. In other words she is the only one capable of freeing
the narrator from The parallel that bears to Sophia is both remarkable
and striking.

I don't know if this has been covered before; I've certainly never
heard anyone parallel Fight Club and Gnosticism. It'd be interesting
if someone would ask Chuck Palahniuk if he did this by accident or
deliberate device.
Isabella
2007-06-27 00:39:11 UTC
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One of my favorite movies, yep, definately gnostic if you ask me. It took me
a while to see it, considering I thought it was about Brad Pitt and a bunch
of men fighting :)

Isabella
Post by Satone
I'm watching the movie, Fight Club right now, and, as everytime I do,
it occurs to me that there is a striking resemblance to portions of
Gnostic philosophy.
For anybody who's never watched this movie, it's based off a book of
the same title by Chuck Palahniuk. I'm not gonna offer any major
spoilers here, so if you haven't seen the movie, go rent it. Or buy
it. Ask a friend if you can borrow it. Just watch the damn thing. The
plot follows an unnamed main character (Edward Norton), as he narrates
his life living with his eccentric, but charismatic housemate, Tyler
Durden (Bradd Pitt). After moving in with him, the narrator and Tyler
proceed to form a sort of men's therapy group, centered around
brawling and underground boxing, and eventually evolving into a
nationwide organized crime ring.
The parallels I'm getting at? Well the most obvious one is Tyler's
extreme distrust and hatred, of material goods, luxury, and wealthy or
overprivileged masses. The pair, that is Tyler and the narrator, live
in a rundown house in an industrial neighborhood. The narrator states
that he doesn't know if Tyler owned the house or if he was squatting.
The narrator also states 'Turning on one light in the house, meant
another light somewhere else in the house went off. Every time it
rained we had to kill the power.' Tyler's disregard for any social
luxury or comfort, eventually evolves into cultural terrorism, i.e.
blowing up coffee bars, trashing expensive cars found parked on the
street, with baseball bats, and while working a theatre job splicing
single frames of pornography into family films.
Two of the most striking examples of Gnostic thought, come pretty
openly in the movie. In one scene, Tyler grabs the wrist of the
narrator, and pouring a chemical powder on it, producing a chemical
burn. Tyler then proceeds to lecture the screaming narrator, who tries
to deal with the pain using guided meditation, saying 'Have you
considered the possibility that God does like you, never wanted you,
and in all probability <i>hates</i> you?'
Later in the movie, Tyler and the narrator have an argument while
driving a car. Tyler crashes the car, and emerges yelling 'Haha! We
just had a near life experience!' evidencing that Tyler considers
himself in a deadstate, and that he might be more alive, if he died.
Possibly by far the most striking example, of Gnostic thought in Fight
Club, is Marla Singer. Marla is a romantic castoff of the narrator,
who by chance latches upon Tyler instead. Early in the movie, Tyler
states that if the narrator mentions anything about Tyler or their
entreprises to Marla, they are through together. Later in the movie it
becomes subtly evident that Marla, as one of the only two females in
the movie, is the only person capable of cracking the puzzle that is
Tyler Durden. In other words she is the only one capable of freeing
the narrator from The parallel that bears to Sophia is both remarkable
and striking.
I don't know if this has been covered before; I've certainly never
heard anyone parallel Fight Club and Gnosticism. It'd be interesting
if someone would ask Chuck Palahniuk if he did this by accident or
deliberate device.
rain forest
2007-06-27 21:16:02 UTC
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I've never seen it, but being familiar with Bruce Lee and his widow
Linda, they would probably agree with you. Am I in a different
ballpark here?
Satone
2007-06-28 16:36:35 UTC
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Post by rain forest
I've never seen it, but being familiar with Bruce Lee and his widow
Linda, they would probably agree with you. Am I in a different
ballpark here?
Yeah. No idea what you're talking about. Go watch it sometime.
Satone
2007-06-28 17:47:49 UTC
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Ugh, I just read through that. Should have proofread that better.
Sorry, you get the idea of what I'm saying, though.
Isabella
2007-06-28 23:25:33 UTC
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:) Yeah, I got it. I also liked the way he couldn't sleep, or the way the
various support groups seemed to me to be a parallel to religions.

Isabella
Post by Satone
Ugh, I just read through that. Should have proofread that better.
Sorry, you get the idea of what I'm saying, though.
Artie.V
2007-07-01 02:44:11 UTC
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Post by Satone
I'm watching the movie, Fight Club right now, and, as everytime I do,
it occurs to me that there is a striking resemblance to portions of
Gnostic philosophy.
For anybody who's never watched this movie, it's based off a book of
the same title by Chuck Palahniuk. I'm not gonna offer any major
spoilers here, so if you haven't seen the movie, go rent it. Or buy
it. Ask a friend if you can borrow it. Just watch the damn thing. The
plot follows an unnamed main character (Edward Norton), as he narrates
his life living with his eccentric, but charismatic housemate, Tyler
Durden (Bradd Pitt). After moving in with him, the narrator and Tyler
proceed to form a sort of men's therapy group, centered around
brawling and underground boxing, and eventually evolving into a
nationwide organized crime ring.
The parallels I'm getting at? Well the most obvious one is Tyler's
extreme distrust and hatred, of material goods, luxury, and wealthy or
overprivileged masses. The pair, that is Tyler and the narrator, live
in a rundown house in an industrial neighborhood. The narrator states
that he doesn't know if Tyler owned the house or if he was squatting.
The narrator also states 'Turning on one light in the house, meant
another light somewhere else in the house went off. Every time it
rained we had to kill the power.' Tyler's disregard for any social
luxury or comfort, eventually evolves into cultural terrorism, i.e.
blowing up coffee bars, trashing expensive cars found parked on the
street, with baseball bats, and while working a theatre job splicing
single frames of pornography into family films.
Two of the most striking examples of Gnostic thought, come pretty
openly in the movie. In one scene, Tyler grabs the wrist of the
narrator, and pouring a chemical powder on it, producing a chemical
burn. Tyler then proceeds to lecture the screaming narrator, who tries
to deal with the pain using guided meditation, saying 'Have you
considered the possibility that God does like you, never wanted you,
and in all probability <i>hates</i> you?'
Later in the movie, Tyler and the narrator have an argument while
driving a car. Tyler crashes the car, and emerges yelling 'Haha! We
just had a near life experience!' evidencing that Tyler considers
himself in a deadstate, and that he might be more alive, if he died.
Possibly by far the most striking example, of Gnostic thought in Fight
Club, is Marla Singer. Marla is a romantic castoff of the narrator,
who by chance latches upon Tyler instead. Early in the movie, Tyler
states that if the narrator mentions anything about Tyler or their
entreprises to Marla, they are through together. Later in the movie it
becomes subtly evident that Marla, as one of the only two females in
the movie, is the only person capable of cracking the puzzle that is
Tyler Durden. In other words she is the only one capable of freeing
the narrator from The parallel that bears to Sophia is both remarkable
and striking.
I don't know if this has been covered before; I've certainly never
heard anyone parallel Fight Club and Gnosticism. It'd be interesting
if someone would ask Chuck Palahniuk if he did this by accident or
deliberate device.
It's gnosticism, but it's not nice... but hey currently the universe
shows no outward trace of being consistently "nice" lately. Chuck
blends the philosophy with a heavy dose of mkultra mind-control
veiling and "alters". I do like his point with project mayhem, that
it's the technician, food preparer, general everyday man that controls
life on earth and makes the system work... which means we actually DO
have the power to effect change, it just has to be organized.
Organized Mayhem.
Logo Zed
2007-07-16 23:44:16 UTC
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On 6/26/07 4:25 PM, in article
Post by Satone
I'm watching the movie, Fight Club right now, and, as everytime I do,
it occurs to me that there is a striking resemblance to portions of
Gnostic philosophy.
Strange; I always thought it was homoerotic.

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