The Sixth Sense by M. Night Shyamalan surprised me. I watched it with someone who wanted to watch it and never expected to find such a spiritually challenging message revealed therein. In order to share the message, I must reveal some of the plot so if you haven’t seen it and want to be totally surprised every step of the way, I suggest you check it out before finishing this article. I’ve given you fair warning! Proceed at your own risk.
When the young character, Cole Sear, considered by some to be a freak because of his strange behavior and mysterious knowledge, finally shares his secret with the child psychologist character, Dr. Malcolm Crowe; he tells him, “I see dead people. … Walking around like regular people. They don’t see each other. They see only what they want to see. They don’t know they are dead. … They’re everywhere.” We finally get to the heart of the story. If the boy’s last name, Sear, as in ‘seer,’ hasn’t already revealed the plot for us, we suddenly come to understand that he is one of the few who sees and hears things that other people don’t see and hear. We don’t yet understand why he’s a seer, but the reason is revealed as the plot unfolds. He is a seer because these dead people need someone to see them, listen to them and help them.
He says he sees dead people everywhere walking around who don’t see each other, who only see what they want to see, and who don’t know that they are dead. What can this mean? For the Christian the spiritual application should be readily apparent because we are the seers who are surrounded by dead people. We see them walking around in their spiritual deadness while they don’t see themselves or each other in that light. We know they are spiritually dead and only see what they want to see because of their spiritual blindness.
So, what are we to do? As the seer learns, he must set himself aside. He must face his fears, forsake his own safety, forget about his own comforts, and listen to the dead to discover what they perceive as their greatest need. As the seer seeks to help the dead, he has opportunity to influence them, comfort them, and possibly even gently point them to the truth about their condition and to a remedy that will free them to move on into another realm; hopefully, a heavenly realm.
I’m not sure if M. Night Shyalaman could have even remotely considered this message in his movie or not, but I know of a Higher Power who did. The One who can ‘turn the hearts of kings’ can surely guide the pens of writers. The message in this movie is challenging but we should take it to heart. I see dead people walking around everywhere who don’t know they are dead. How about you?