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Home / Articles / Columnists / Life 101 /  Field of Dreams & The Field of All Possibilities
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Thursday, April 7,2016

Field of Dreams & The Field of All Possibilities

By Cary Bayer  

Every April, as spring warms our winter bones, the eyes of baseball fans everywhere turn to their national pastime as hope springs eternal in their hearts. As they dream of pennant races, I slip a DVD into my DVR and watch Field of Dreams for the umpteenth April. To my mind, it’s the ultimate baseball and metaphysical movie.


When I was working on my Masters degree at Maharishi International University in Fairfield, Iowa, its founder, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, spoke of his dream of creating Heaven on Earth. A few years after I left Iowa, W.P. Kinsella turned Iowa into Heaven - at least an Iowa farmland into a Heaven for deceased baseball players - in his delightful novel, Shoeless Joe. Director Phil Alden Robinson adapted the novel for the screenplay for Field of Dreams. In an uplifting Capraesque manner, Robinson made us laugh, cry, and imagine big thoughts of Eternity. He also avoided being corny, no mean feat when your set is surrounded by so much corn in fields.

The field of dreams in this spiritual film is akin to the pure field of Creative Intelligence that Maharishi spoke about so eloquently as a field of all possibilities. Possibilities - at least of immortality for dead ballplayers - play a central role in this film. It was also a place for a novelist (J.D. Salinger in the book, the fictitious Terence Mann in the movie) to go to discover immortality, and maybe write about it after years of pain and publishing silence.

“We’re dealing with primal forces of nature here,” Ray Kinsella (played ever so sincerely by Kevin Costner) tells his wife Annie. We’re dealing with the field from where all of Nature’s forces are structured, is the way that Maharishi would have put it. Ray quotes Mann to the novelist himself: “the universe opens itself up for a few seconds to show you what’s possible.” Those practicing Maharishi’s meditation, or the Higher Self Healing Meditation that I teach, know from experience that in the deepest part of their mind is the Transcendent field of pure potential which opens up for a few seconds in meditation to show them the Infinite, and what indeed is a possible state of consciousness to live from forever.

There’s more in common between the baseball field of dreams in Iowa and what Maharishi taught in Iowa, because he was teaching contact with the field of all possibilities. He referred to it as the field of Creative Intelligence, and physicists talk of it as a quantum field. Either way, it’s described as a field out of which all things manifest. The baseball field of dreams was a field out of which deceased ballplayers manifest. In meditation, the meditator experiences that things (perceptions, thoughts, the mantra itself) vanish into that field. In the film, ballplayers do the same into the cornfield beyond field of dreams.

If You Build It He Will Come This is the message from a voice that Ray hears in the movie. In time he interprets it to mean build a baseball field. After he does, players come first to practice, and then to play full games like schoolboys on an endless summer day.

The movie is also about of innocence, and the vision of eternity that comes to all those with childlikeness in their hearts. Ray, his wife, and young daughter all see these baseball ghosts, but his commerce-obsessed brother-in-law is blind to them, and thinks Ray is a fool for mowing down a cornfield and its lucrative crop to build a baseball stadium that nobody uses. Mann convinces Ray not to sell the farm because people will have a desire to flock to this mystical baseball field, even though they don’t know why - to presumably find the answer to their dreams, as well.

Jesus said that we enter Heaven only when we become innocent, like children. Even Frank Sinatra sang, “Fairy tales can come true/They can happen to you/If you’re young at heart.” Former hippies and Berkeley grads, Ray and Annie are young at heart, and follow their dreams, and it leads to athletic immortality for the heroes of his fan’s heart, and reunion and completion with his own father. The Voice told Ray that if he builds it he would come; all along we think that the he in question is Shoeless Joe Jackson, his father’s hero. Only at the end do we realize that it’s not just his father’s hero, but his late father, who he was estranged from, who comes. By the tearful ending, Ray’s father has become his hero, as well.


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