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Wonderful message, Sad messenger
on November 23, 2011
I'll begin by saying that the central premise of the title and promise of the film--that we each have an invaluable, unique core purpose in our lives that should be fully expressed and generously shared--is a lesson I hold dear (though it was not because of this film that I learned its value).
Though there are people in the film whose stories and wisdom support this message, there are aspects of Discover the Gift that completely undermine their contributions. It's unfortunate but the fundamental obstacle for me was the filmmaker himself. Mr. Lichtenstein seems sincere in his own search for peace within and in his relationships, but while admitting faults he still seems more intent on portraying himself as a grand teacher of profound wisdom--not as someone still finding his way. He definitely earns a star for taking steps to improve his well-being, but the film feels more like a giant ego trip for him. Rather than being a person who has "discovered" something so powerful in the universe that it's changed their life and they cannot help but tell others about it with joy and zeal, the desire to "tell others" feels as if it is the driving force behind Discover the Gift. As others have mentioned, it does also have a feeling of opportunism as if trying to mirror the success of the film/book, The Secret.
It's sad--Sad that someone would try to use some beautiful concepts for what appears to be either earthly or self-gratifying reasons. I came to this looking for encouragement at a difficult point in my life, and now after having watched the film and bought the book I'm sorry to come away sharing such a negative feeling. But we've all seen that each of us is susceptible to pride in our "spiritual achievement" and also may have known teachers that seem more interested in receiving admiration than in serving their students.
There are some impressive teachers who contribute to both the film and book (their contributions to the book are just transcripts of what they say in the film). However useful their guidance, and however nicely packaged this product is, it lacks a true heart.