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You Only Live Twice - Or So It Seems - And Therein Lies A Deep Secret.

Updated on December 11, 2016
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I wonder, do we really live twice? It seems like I have lived twice from the day I was born until the present. Have you?

Based on that phrase alone it's possible that Ian Fleming had reincarnation in mind. He died the year the book was published so it's quite likely that his mind was on what happens after death.

The movie opens with Bond being killed (or so it seems) then to have him emerge fit and healthy to live a second life reborn (or so it seems). All a pre-planned plot which, I believe, is how it is with our own many lives. Which we call reincarnation.

But the song 'You Only Live Twice' written for the movie clearly dismisses that suggestion. Instead, there's another meaning coming across for the idea of living twice. ... in this life.

The Russian/Armenian mystic and philosopher George Gurdjieff (c1877-1949) believed as a part of his 'Fourth Way' philosophy that we all are 'asleep' (first life) and that at some time in our lives we 'wake up' (to the second life?) ... through a life accident, disaster, defeat or failure or (as I've suggested) mid-life crisis. To him we really do "live twice".

For me the second life had been truly "just for my dreams" - until it became reality! Is this the truth behind the words of the movie and song? read more ...

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You only live twice (or so it seems)

"You only live twice

Or so it seems

One life for yourself

And one for your dreams." *

So go the lyrics for the fifth Bond movie. They may hold a hidden message - or perhaps a double meaning - a secret I discovered through unintentionally living two lives - the first for myself (which ultimately crashed and burned in bankruptcy) the second, for my dreams, which emerged from the flames of the first.

"You drift through the years

And life seems tame

Till one dream appears

And love is its name." *

Why should love be related to the second life and not the first? In this context a loved one could well refer to one's soul or higher self which urges us to find our destiny (life purpose). There's a story that songwriters Howard Dietz and Arthur Schwartz were once asked to come up with a popular song with a deeper meaning and so they wrote 'Dancing in the Dark.' The words (not the more recent Lady Gaga song) speak of dancing with a loved one yet, with this story in mind, dancing in the dark becomes a metaphor for their take on the meaning of life. It's nothing new.

Ian Fleming & the story behind the book

Born in 1908 and educated at Eton and Sandhurst, Fleming joined Reuters News Agency in 1931. During WW2 he was Personal Assistant to the Director of Naval Intelligence at the Admiralty, rising from the rank of Lieutenant to Commander. He built his house, Goldeneye (where he wrote his first Bond novel), in Jamaica when he became Foreign Manager of Kemsley Newspapers. By the time of his death in 1964, he had sold over forty million books, and the cult of Bond was internationally established.

Taking place nine months after the tragic ending of On Her Majesty's Secret Service, You Only Live Twice was the last of Ian Fleming's truly completed Bond books. (The Man With The Golden Gun, released after Fleming's untimely death, is considered by many to be only a first draft.) It also served as the conclusion to the trilogy, beginning in Thunderball and continuing through OHMSS, that detailed James Bond's epic battle against Ernest Stavro Blofeld, founder of SPECTRE and essentially the anti-Bond. (Blofeld, we are reminded, refrains from almost all excessive behavior -- even being described as a virgin in Thunderball though he later somehow contracted syphillis in the later books.

Of course, while he doesn't smoke or drink, he does seem to spend a lot of time thinking up ways to blow up the world.) While Fleming's prose is better than ever in this novel (showing his uncanny ability to mix sophisticated urbanity with hardboiled cynicism), its still somewhat of a disappointing end to the trilogy.

The story in a nutshell

The plot does start out quite promisingly. Nine months following the death of his wife, James Bond has sunk into an alcoholic wave of depression. M, rather cold hearted in this book after being humanized in OHMSS, comes close to terminating his service but instead, gives Bond a mission designed to respark his love of espionage.

Bond is sent to Japan to try to convince the head of the Japanese secret service -- Tiger Tanaka -- to ally himself with the English. These sections of the book are very strong. Bond's mission is believable, the plot (which is quite cynical while detailing how even allies like America and England are actually rivals when it comes to espionage) is compelling, and Tiger Tanaka is one of Fleming's strongest connections.

The scenes in which Bond learns about Japanese culture (while containing the well-meaning condascension that of which Fleming -- like most writers of that era regardless of genre or nationality -- was often guilty) are well-written and actually quite interesting. Quite late in the book, Tanaka recruits Bond to investigate the Suicide Gardens of the mysterious Dr. Shatterhand (again, a very promising premise -- Shatterhand basically has constructed a garden of poisonous plants designed to encourage visitors to commit suicide).

This investigation leads to Bond's final battle with Blofeld and it is here that the book, unfortunately, disappoints. Blofeld feels like a tacked-on addition and, unlike the previous books, his plot makes absolutely no sense. (Fleming even admits this when Bond concludes that Blofeld's gone insane -- however, his scheme is so ludicrous that it actually detracts from his status as a worthy antagonist to Bond.)

Whereas the previous books made Blofeld as fascinating a character as Bond, in this book both of them feel a little bit bland and as a result, their final battle doesn't carry the emotional wallop one might have hoped for.

However, in Fleming's defense, it should be noted that he was quite ill when he wrote this book and it is a testament to his often maligned talents that, even while ailing, he still managed to create a book that -- while uneven as a whole -- still contained some fantastically strong early scenes and a character as vivid as Tiger Tanaka. No, this book is not perfect or even one of the best Bond novels but it will still be enoyed by fans of the original Fleming novels.

Read my true romantic mystery

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My take on what the second life is all about.

Okay so how do we know when our second life is going to happen? Even better, what can we do to bring it on without the pain of a major life disruption (at best).

The telltale signal is :change.

"There is nothing wrong with change," said Sir Winston Churchill, the British wartime Prime Minister, "if it is in the right direction."

Which is the crucial question, isn't it. Without a crystal ball how can we ever be reasonably sure which direction is the best one for us to choose? There's a good answer!

You already know what you're meant to do with your life.

It's the single secret to happiness, success, luck, career, self confidence, self esteem, prosperity, good health, even to finding a soul mate. It's the big message I got from having my life crash and burn, ending up homeless, unemployed, penniless and friendless.

What I wish I knew then - what absolutely everyone on the planet should know - is that we all have a unique life purpose, a destiny, a hidden talent if you like, and it is within us waiting to be found (unless we're one of the few lucky ones who've found it already).

We tend to think of destiny as a script for our lives imposed upon us by some external force, God perhaps, over which we have no control.

I have a different view. "Destiny" is a gift we chose for ourselves before we were born - that's right - by our own soul. It's our whole purpose in life - or should be - and failure to find it leads to trouble and, to say the least, bad luck.

"Finding" our life purpose, or destiny, is really a misleading concept because it's not something we have to go out and "get," but rather it's something we need to go within and claim.

You've already got it!

You've already got it, because you chose it - even if you haven't consciously realized it. Then you need a plan to bring it into reality - because we create our own reality with our thoughts, an idea recently made popular in 'The Secret' which had everyone talking a few years ago.

Two of the key contributors to 'The Secret' went further. Jerry and Esther Hicks published a series of eye-opening channeled books based on a spiritual take on the Law of Attraction.

Now there's the new Cosmic Ordering craze: is it really possible to place an order with the Universe for whatever you want? I've found this truly life-changing stuff - literally!

What does science have to say on the matter?

In a 24,000 best seller published by Bob Proctor's organisation, Success Engeering, followed by Luck Engineering, - presented the cutting edge science and quantum physics behind how to literally engineer luck and good fortune into your life or business.

But how do we know what our true life purpose or destiny is when we see it?

In a survey conducted among creative people of all kinds, from science to art, to learn the cause of 'genius' ('Uncommon Genius' by Denise Shekerjian), most claimed that they followed their intuition, trusted their feelings, or as one respondent replied, "I just trust my beeps."

When I get an irritating feeling up my spine I now know it's not the right thing to do. For too long I ignored that irritating feeling, that unease. But a feeling of exhilaration means, go for it! Project your thoughts into the future and see how you feel.

"Your broader Non-Physical part of you communicates with you," wrote Jerry and Esther Hicks in 'The Law of Attraction', "and has done so from the day you emerged into this physical body. That communication comes in many varieties - but all of you are receiving the basic communication that comes forth, in the form of your emotion. Every emotion that you feel is, without exception, communication from your Inner Being letting you know, in the moment, the appropriateness of whatever you are thinking, speaking, or acting."

Your life purpose will ALWAYS utilize your greatest passions, talents and interests.

"Your brain is similar to an iceberg," says psychologist Valerie Dawson. "The 90% of the iceberg deep below the surface is where all the information is that you have been searching for - all the wisdom and the 'knowing' about what you were put on this Earth to do is right there! Inside this part deep within are all the keys to your success, happiness, and abundant life!"

Your life's purpose is already within you!

The Greek philosopher Plato knew this when he wrote in his best-known work the 'Republic'. "Your destiny shall not be alloted to you, but you shall choose it for yourselves." He called it your career on Earth while author Caroline Myss (a guest on Oprah) calls it your mission. Napoleon Hill, in his famous bestseller 'Think & Grow Rich' called the secret to all of life's riches our Definite Major Purpose. Of this he wrote:

"The secret to which I refer ... cannot be purchased for money, for the reason that it comes in two parts. One part is already in possession of those who are ready for it."

"Follow your bliss," said scholar, author and mythology expert Joseph Campbell, "and doors will open where you never knew they existed."

Into your second life to live TWICE?

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    • neilwjsmith profile imageAUTHOR

      Neil Walter Smith 

      5 years ago from Portarlington, Victoria, Australia

      @ismeedee: Thanks I appreciate your comment. Thanks for the Likes.

    • ismeedee profile image

      ismeedee 

      5 years ago

      Love your philosophy, very in tune with my own!

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