Education vs. Enlightenment
On August 25, 2012, Glen Ivy Hot Springs welcomes Frank Ferrante for a special screening of the acclaimed documentary, May I Be Frank?. The film chronicles 42 days in Frank’s life as he moves from addiction, obesity, loneliness and disease to a life filled with hope and the promise of transformation. This powerful film shows the power of community, the taking of good food and self-care, but it is by no means a Cinderella story. Rather, Frank’s story is deeply human and depicts the stark reality of the courage and perseverance one must embrace in order to bring about true life changes.
In the time since the documentary was filmed, Frank has learned to embrace his truth. He speaks and writes with a rarely found clarity and honesty. Below is an excerpt from one of his recent blogs.
My heart has been pried open this week. I have been in the company of wonderful people in the midst of profound struggle. The courage of these sweet people humbles me. Recently, I met a guy in his early 40’s who is dying of liver cancer. He is dissolving in front of my eyes. The terminally ill rarely engage in small talk. Even the most mundane exchanges take on an air of profound significance. He spoke to me of the power of love and the difficulty in accepting God’s will. He is disheveled; his clothes look like he’s slept in them. When he speaks, his countenance assumes an unintentional dignity. The light of his spirit renders his body invisible he channels words from on High. He told me how the love of his wife and the affection of his children compels his heart to maintain its rhythm. I began to love this stranger.
I have confused information with education and have confused education with enlightenment. Information is utilitarian; education expands my capacity to introspect and connect disparate thoughts and notions. Enlightenment is when I stop thinking about myself and feel the beat of my brother’s heart. As I felt and heard this man, I was filled with compassion, sadness, love and gratitude. I thought the things many things that were perfect in my life. I was inspired by this man to live fully. Today, I set my intention to practice being grateful for the miracle that is my life.
By conventional standards, I’m not very noteworthy, but by my standards and experience, I’m a very blessed guy. I’ve lived a reckless life. Alcohol and drug addiction, mental hospitals, jails, overdoses, suicide attempts, clinical depression and car accidents were routine for me and those around me.
Through Divine intervention and the miracle of love I am free of the chains of the darker side of life. Outside of the noise in my head, everything is perfect. Hey, maybe the voices in my head are perfect, too.
To reserve your space for the screening, call 1-888-GLENIVY, x1198. Tickets are $12 in advance.