One of my favorite films of all time is Whisky Galore, a 1949 film produced by Ealing and based on a novel by Compton MacKenzie which itself is based on a real life incident.
The plot is basically that there is a whisky drought on a remote Scottish island. Each day, the locals become more and more depressed, waiting for the boat to arrive with further supplies which are never forthcoming due to the war.
However one day, a passing ship collides with rocks and begins to sink, the crew take to the lifeboat and make it to the safety of the island. The local islanders then discover that the ship is carrying a huge load of whisky. Unfortunately, as they head en masse to plunder and scavenge the cargo, the church bells ring out for midnight and it is realised that it is the Sabbath and no work whatever can be done.
I dont want to spoil the plot but the main basis of this film is the battle of good vs evil. It sort of reverses the roles to a certain extent and there are many sub plots on the same basis running throughout.
My point is really about the Sabbath in terms of a day off work. Was the reason for the Sabbath to allow us time to think, to contemplate, to not be seven day slaves. Could perhaps the reason be that we were being warned/helped as to the perils of collectively ignoring and disregarding time to ourselves, thus allowing ourselves to become more and more enslaved by whoever desired
Somehow the Sabbath was hijacked by religion and turned into the reverse of what it should have been. It became a day where one was not allowed to do anything, any form of work was seen as "of the devil", even reading, writing etc were frowned upon.
So we began to resent the Sabbath and disrespect it because it had been twisted into a perverse caricature of its original purpose. We were then happy as it distintegrated into fragments and like a shell being slowly shattered by the sea we watched it turn to sand. We have built sandcastles from the sand and live in this madness blind to the fact the tide has come back in and our fabricated structures are crumbling ready to be rebuilt in the form desired by our would be masters.
Now, there is no Sabbath, we may not be working today, but our society more or less treats it as a normal day. In fact it has become the day where we do all the wee things we should have done during the week but were too tired after working etc. So we work say even five days and the next two are spent recovering but are still directly linked to the previous 5. We are addicted to work and the routine which has in fact been constructed for us. You may say you dont like work etc but an alcoholic for example, does not actually like drinking (whatever you might think) he/she just drinks because that is the way it is. No decision is made, if it was made, it would be not to drink. The actual drinking does not involve a decision process in other words you will drink unless you decide not to, not the other way round.
This is where our society has again failed itself. The Sabbath was invented in order that we did not end up where we are. Whisky Galore shows to a certain extent, the purpose of the sabbath and its true relationship with us ( as human beings).
Whilst at college a couple of years ago, we briefly disussed a man called Pavlov and his dogs. The story was that Pavlov rang a bell every day at 5pm and then fed his dogs. Then, he stopped ringing the bell but the dogs still appeared at dinner time. This apparently proved something about human conditioning. Knowing a bit about dogs I enquired with the lecturer as to what breed/type of dog Pavlov utilised alas he did not know. Also what sort of relationship did Pavlov have with his dogs was it that of a shepherd, a man in almost telepathic communication with a dog. He did not know.
This tells me a lot about human conditioning.