A film by Austin Vickers
Review by Abigail Lewis
If you’re wondering why you sometimes feel overwhelmed, it might be that each one of us receives an estimated 4 billion bits of sensory information a day. These are transmitted to the brain, which then filters them into an internal representation, or experience of events based on earlier reference points, in about 2000 thoughts. In other words, we perceive less than 1 percent of what is going on, and it’s actually closer to zero. How much of reality are we missing?
People v the State of Illusion, a film by Austin Vickers that was inspired by a true story, sets out to examine the physics of that question and discover how to change it. Vickers, an attorney who left his law practice and created a coaching and training institute, unfolds the process through a character called Aaron Roberts, who unconsciously gets caught in a bad life pattern that lands him in jail. Eventually he comes to the realization that this brick and mortar prison is no more restrictive than the prison he’d created with his own negativity.
Anyone who has ever examined his own psyche in a deep way knows that life patterns are established before about age five, but it’s not just psychologically. Early childhood events that produce excess cortisol can permanently change crf molecules. Similar to a substance addiction, it’s a construct we return to again and again, happy or not. As we go through our lives, we fill out our reality based on those memories. The problem is that, like an addiction, it starts to own us.
Vickers explores this dilemma with some of the nation’s leading thinkers in the fields of neuroscience, biochemistry, psychology, quantum physics and consciousness theory—e.g. Joe Dispenza, Thomas Moore, Candace Pert. The conclusions may not surprise you, but the science behind it is both fascinating and empowering.
Most readers of this magazine are educated and imaginative, born into freedom and some level of relative prosperity, and more powerful than we imagine. The question is, how to use that power. You don’t have to spend 10 years on a therapist’s couch to get it. Whether or not this film has a happy ending, you’ll at least figure out how to create your own.
Opens in Los Angeles April 27 at the Regent Landmark Theater in Westwood.Austin Vickers, changing reality, illusion