THE LOGAN’S RUN ANALOGIES:#6
The only alternative for citizens in Logan’s world who are suspicious of Carrousel is to make a run for Sanctuary. This is what makes Logan’s Run a far more interesting and provocative story than our own. It’s probably why Logan’s Run has had such a long and loyal following— the concepts in the film have the power to awaken something deep down inside us, something positively primordial. (Primordial means “existing at the very beginning”.)
Historians and anthropologists tell us that all ancient civilizations had certain beliefs in common:
“Almost all nations and tribes, ancient or modern, cultured or savage, still seem to retain a vague awareness of God in their tribal memories… archaeologists have uncovered this testimony in the tablets of ancient civilizations; ethnologists have discerned it in the earliest myths of the classical civilizations; anthropologists have discovered it in the religions of the animistic tribes all over the world today. In fact, the evidences already noted— the universality of prayer, sacrifice, a standard of righteousness, and belief in immortality— are commonly associated with the belief that these practices all originated with [the one] high God.” 
Of course, the secular humanists have interpreted this to mean that the “ancients” were primitive, unsophisticated savages who had to invent the notion of God and an afterlife out of sheer desperation.
But that these people were not all savages is obvious from the remains of their monumental architecture. The Egyptians who had such a reverence for the notion of immortality were able to build the Pyramids— out of stone blocks so massive we can’t move them around with all our sophisticated modern machinery.
Perhaps a better explanation for these ancient civilization’s views of the afterlife is that they were given certain truths at the very beginning of history, which they then attempted to pass along from generation to generation— but as each succeeding generation forgot a bit of the detail, what was left and what we have inherited is incomplete, muddled, and ambiguous. J.R.R.Tolkien, in his epic Lord of the Rings saga, describes the process admirably: “And some things that should not have been forgotten were lost. History became legend. Legend became myth. And for two and a half thousand years, the Ring passed out of all knowledge.” Tolkien’s “Ring” is an apt symbol for the mysteries that were revealed to the ancients, and subsequently lost during transmission through the centuries. As Galadriel observed, “ Much which once was is lost, for none now live who remember it.”
In the years after the Great Disaster, that first generation of survivors in the Underground City would have known what Sanctuary meant. Most likely it would have been a second contingency plan to rebuild civilization once the surface had recovered. Perhaps it involved a complex system of maps and protocols designed to protect resources stored for this future restoration. Perhaps the former American government had devised security measures to keep these resources from falling into the wrong hands. Whatever the case, by Logan’s day even the System computer seems to have lost all contact with the outside world, and all confidence in a cooperative network plan for recovery. The System has become so independent and paranoid and so cut off from it’s roots, that it actually orders Logan to “find sanctuary and destroy it!”
So when Logan reports “there is no sanctuary” the System computer crashes. Why? Is it because the System has been struggling to manage almost impossible circumstances, and this last bit of information overwhelms it?. We don’t get a lot of details in the course of the film, only hints. Why would Logan be assigned to destroy Sanctuary? We aren’t told. Nolan and Johnson in their novel drop a hint that the System has turned renegade (like in the Terminator films). In the book, the System computer is called The Thinker. It has progressed beyond it’s original design and become morbid— it’s become an enemy of the people, just like the controlling machine intelligence in the Terminator series, or in the movie The Matrix.
Perhaps it is only a case of paranoia. After all, the System reports that there are 1056 runners unaccounted for. Perhaps the System is programmed to be on the alert for a resistance movement that could breach its elaborate security network and jeopardize the safety of (possibly) this last enclave of human civilization.
Whatever the reason, we aren’t told.
What we are told is that Logan and Jessica discover Outside. This is used very effectively in the film to bring us all to experience the thrill of escaping from the claustrophobic world of the Underground City. When Logan and Jessica see their first sunrise, we are all elated at our re-discovery of what we ourselves once experienced as children— our first encounter with the Big Wide World.
However, Logan himself admits later that Outside is not Sanctuary— not in the true sense of the word. That’s because the true idea of a Sanctuary includes the idea of a truly safe place, safe and protected from the elements, safe from wild animals and bandits, safe from hunger, thirst, disease, pain, and all fear and discomfort. While Outside is beautiful and a far cry better than living Underground, it’s still not the kind of ultimate sanctuary — the perfect paradise— that we human beings seem capable of imagining, but which we never seem able to find.
Interestingly enough, such fleeting thoughts of “paradise lost” is exactly the sort of thing some people have experienced after seeing Logan’s Run. As they leave the theatre, some have looked up at the sky and the thought has crossed their mind, “is this really all there is?”
No, this is not all there is.
I’ll take my last remark as a cue to make a radical departure from our story. I want to say— but I have no proof— that what thrills us most about Logan’s Run is that it tickles us from the inside. It stirs in us something we thought we had long ago forgotten or relegated to the realm of myth or childish imagination. I don’t know exactly how to say this, so you’ll have to excuse me if I do a clumsy job of it— but it seems that every living human being has embedded within them a memory of Sanctuary, and Logan’s Run reminds us of it.
Many of us raised in the secular humanist education system have had these premonitions so suppressed that we have either ignored or forgotten them entirely. Whenever anybody brings up the subject, we immediately run for cover. What I’m talking about here is the occasional glimpse of the alternate universe which James Sire talked about in his book “The Universe Next Door”.
This “glimpse” is a phenomenon a little like what Trinity says about déjà vu in the film The Matrix— “it’s a glitch in the system.” It’s a moment when the System program is accidently interrupted and we are inadvertently allowed to see into the alternate universe. Remember the two diagrams? The Biblical perspective to the left and the Humanist perspective to the right? Well, as much as the Biblical universe is suppressed, occasionally it breaks through like a flash of light in a dark room— and if you are alerted to what this means, there’s a chance you can benefit from the opportunity and escape… by following the light to it’s source..
Now Nolan and Johnson, who wrote the book Logan’s Run, and David Zelag Goodman, Saul David, and Michael Anderson, who made the movie, could only take the idea of Sanctuary so far. Nolan was only able to go as far as his secular humanist upbringing allowed him to go. He was never allowed to see any other perspective. The Christian (Biblical) perspective was purposely denied him by the Humanist agenda.
You’ll notice that in the film, at first Sanctuary seemed to be outside, by which we mean beyond the control of the System. Later Sanctuary disappeared completely in the movie plot, even though in the novel it reappeared as an orbiting space station (“the last refuge of the remnant of human civilization.”)
It’s unfortunate that the filmmakers could only take us so far, because the film had in it all the elements needed to take us all the way.
NEXT: LOGAN’S PROOF