This morning, as I look forward to seeing Avengers: End Game, I’ve gained a profound insight regarding why certain entertainment totally pushes my “geek button.”

It’s a spiritual thing. A spiritual quest, if you will.

I’m fascinated by mindfulness meditation, and have been for most of my life; I just didn’t recognize it as such until the past decade or so. And that same inner pull that has led me to dozens upon dozens of spiritual books also draws me to certain creative products.

Therefore, when I observe my obsession with Star Wars from the very beginning of the franchise, I see my attraction to its central themes of mindfulness (The Jedi) and ego (The Sith). I’ve seen every film multiple times, and I’ve read every film’s novelization (with the exception of Solo).

As I find myself continuously rereading the Harry Potter books, usually noticing subtle details and foreshadowing I hadn’t caught during the previous reading, I see my intrigue with the human compulsions toward both light and darkness.

And today, as I ponder my excitement for viewing End Game, it’s centered on the “infinity stones”--the golden thread through all the MCU films of the past 11 years–and their nature of interconnectedness or interbeing/nonself, which is a core Buddhist teaching.

For me, a person who doesn’t watch a lot of action-adventure films but is intensely loyal to a few beloved franchises (those stated above, along with The Dark Knight trilogy and The Walking Dead), it’s never really about the action or special effects. It’s about my intrigue with the spiritual themes that permeate these stories; their creative exploration of the many layers, complexities, contradictions, and paradoxes that compose our human existence.

So feel free to call me a geek because I love this stuff. Just don’t ever call me shallow…the waters run deep.