the tao of jaklumen

the path of the sage must become the path of the hero

A Return to Equilibrium

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Dear readers (those of you that are still here),

I don’t have much of a post for you today.  I do have a video, however, regarding a film I greatly enjoy.  It was a film I picked to do a Hero’s Journey series on, and when I really dug in, I discovered it was one of the most masterful tellings I’d ever seen, taking Campbell’s classic steps, and intertwining them with a few male version steps from The Heroine’s Journey.

Please note that a lot of this video will probably make more sense if you’re a film student, and actually know about cinematography, and how a director puts a movie together.  The channel name “CinemaWins” I think is a play on the name of a different channel, called “Cinema Sins”.

Here’s the video.  It only came out a few weeks ago, so please send Likes and comment love:

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A Hero’s Journey: Superman & the Ordeal

This scene may be much better understood as an example of Jung’s concept of the shadow self, rather than by classical interpretation of The Hero’s Journey. Superman III was a clunker of a movie. But the late Christopher Reeves is said to have been very proud of this junkyard scene. Maybe he understood its psychological implications, especially as such cerebral, intellectual messages tend to be rarer- even in today’s era of the superhero genre in movies and television. A special thank you to Kristal Garcia for highlighting this concept in her blog, and how it relates to recovery work, and loving men.

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Challenges & Temptations revisited: the Ordeal Challenges & Temptations revisited: the Ordeal

I will admit this selection is probably not an obvious one.  This scene from Superman III is near the middle of the movie, and is not especially set up well for a Monomyth interpretation by other story elements.   I think it is easier to understand, however, from the ideas explored in the previous movies.

Juxtaposed images of Superman and Clark Kent Juxtaposed images of Superman and Clark Kent (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The original challenge and temptation was the love of Lois Lane.  In both her discovery of his identity and his decision to become mortal as she, it was a Refusal of the Call of sorts.  Although his return to the Fortress of Solitude (see Superman & the At-One-Ment With the Father) led to atonement with Jor-El, Kal-El was not fully reconciled with his dual roles as Superman and Clark Kent.  Having failed the original challenge, another Ordeal…

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If any of you dear readers are still around– maybe you remember that I’ve written some posts on mental health in the past. I met Phil through Twitter, and the #mentalhealthformen chat he hosts, and was very pleasantly surprised to see he blogs on WordPress. Please take a moment to read. Thank you.

Phillip Dean

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So last week was #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek and you would have seen numerous blog posts about it and people being so open about it.  I think we should encourage more people, not just males or just females, just PEOPLE to talk about it.

For everybody who suffers with Mental Health issues I bet you wish you had the support that you saw or gave on Twitter everyday in your life, let me just say YOU WILL. So long as you talk about it.  In my opinion we need to focus more on Mental Health and trying to increase the awareness so more people will understand it and not judge.

I suffer with it now and have done for a long time and in this post I am going to open up for the first time PUBLICLY and talk about what I have been through and how…

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an awakening, but not quite a rude one

There’s two things that brought sudden understanding to me, and the first one is probably more of a shock to YOU, dear readers.

A week ago, I spent two days in jail.  I did know this was coming, though.

The second thing was more of a shock to ME, although it wasn’t a total surprise.  It was more that things sunk in on a deeper level.

Wednesday night, discussing details of a family get-together for my son’s birthday, I realized that my mother really is a narcissist.  Again, I don’t think she’s a textbook case of NPD, and her narcissism is definitely of the covert variety, but I can’t describe her controlling antics as borderline narcissism anymore.  It IS narcissism, and discussing things with one of my sisters (who lives in town) made it that more concrete for me.  In other words, she agrees.

I’m not in the best space for writing– and yes, I reckon I’m piquing your interest.  I will write more later.  It is upsetting, and it is disappointing.  But I knew this… practically forever, and I mean forever on a very esoteric level, especially if any of you have read ..the father becomes the son.


Return to Path of the Sage

“I seek not to know all the answers, but to understand the questions.”

— Kwai Chang (Grasshopper) Caine, as portrayed by David Carradine on Kung Fu (TV series, 1972-1975)

It has been a while.

The time has come, it seems- to wander, to ponder and contemplate where I went wrong.  A course correction, some time to be alone and try to figure out where my place should be.

I have overstepped.

What is the nature of the Uncarved Block?  What potential lies in being nothing, so that one might have everything to give?

Taoist monks observed the universe, as well as the immediate earth around them; physicists of today confirm much of what they wrote.  Where is my proper place amongst all things?

There has been an imbalance.  I cannot remain secluded, for this is not Tao- but I need time to myself, time to just be, and see if my path will move back to its rightful place.

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I hit that scammer with the voice of madness.

Note: this post title is inspired by

I should have realized our Do Not Call registration expired.

as I wrote about something similar in a post titled “I hit that telemarketer with the voice of madness” on The Icarus Project forums.

Now, most of the time, I try to be polite to people on the phone.  Even telemarketers.  I really do.  If I think someone is trying to earn a reasonably honest living (although I’ve said telemarketing work is only a few notches above prostitution), I will be kind and polite to them.

But I toss a lot of civility out the window for telephone scammers.

Sometimes I wonder why we get them in the first place.  Some are automated calls with recordings offering to consolidate our credit, which I know we don’t need.  A very few are offers of so-called business opportunities, which I’d prefer to call “get rich quick schemes” much of the time.  Then there are the calls from those faking to be from Microsoft, worrying about my “Windows computer”– and I just laugh at them.  I tell them they are amateurs, because I use Linux.

But this particular phone scam was one I consider particularly low-down and slimy, and one I’d run into before:  the scammer claims that the IRS has issued an arrest warrant for me.  Yeah, right.  I don’t pay income tax, and I’ve claimed a hardship exemption on property tax.

Now, telemarketers and scammers used to call direct.  Some years back, people devised ways to respond to that, and one of my favorites was the Telecrapper 2000:

But they’ve gotten wise to this.  These folks have started making recordings and asking people to call back.  Maybe this makes them easier to ignore- but I was itching for some payback of sorts.  This particular automated call was a synthesized voice, and just smelled of fake, fake, fake.  So I figured I’d call back and really have some fun.

What I didn’t expect, but was pleasantly surprised by, was that MinuteMatt (MM) and Cimmy decided to join in on the fun.  I said whatever came to mind: including asking “so what are you wearing?” as if it was a phone sex line, making fake vomiting noises, and saying the most random things as if I had totally lost my mind.  Cimmy decided to call me “Harvey” and to insist I’d hurt myself enough and needed to go back to my padded room.  MM said a few random things as well, either to sound as crazy as I was, or to fake support for Cimmy’s help.  But what really just got me grinning like a loon later was what MM heard the guy saying:

“I’ve never encountered this before.  What am I supposed to do?”

I guess I have to give the man some credit.  He really tried to hang in there, although he didn’t say a whole lot to me besides claiming he was with the IRS.  He just let me yammer and chatter on and on.  I wish I had kept track of how long it took, because it seemed like somewhere between 5-10 minutes; way longer than most scammers hang on.  I was determined to babble on and on until he hung up, and mercifully, he did– I heard the familiar alarm that comes when a landline phone has been disconnected too long.

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Binge eating — one of the last of my dirty little secrets

I revisited these thoughts, and more details I haven’t shared here in an answer on Quora:

the tao of jaklumen

Please also see

The Lines Project

jak-lines When I did the Lines Project back in December with my wife and my daughter, I was reluctant to put a yellow line on my arm for eating disorder. I thought, “It doesn’t count!” A little voice said, “Yes, it does.”

I enthusiastically participated in The Lines Project last December, as my daughterand I deal with self-harm issues.  It was hard enough drawing some of the lines- but as I had come to an understanding of my cPTSD, and some of the very real dissociative episodes I had sometimes when the stress got to be too much, I figured I could count the orange and teal stripes.

Several others I thought were pretty self-explanatory, although purple was something that was also self-realized relatively recently- I mean in the past decade or so.  (I’ve written a little on my issues of sexual…

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BPD and me

I’ve never received a #BPD diagnosis- just PTSD at best (and the psychiatrist that made it was a pill-dispensary machine- another story!). And not just PTSD, but I feel complex PTSD is the best fit. Yet a LOT of this fits me, and I’ve benefited a lot from Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT). Please have a read.

Jen in socks

I want to preface this post with sending out some love to anyone who’s reading this who has a Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) (also called Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder) diagnosis.

I know that many people (including mental health professionals) will treat you differently because of this diagnosis. I have witnessed people with BPD being called manipulative for how they cope/ask for help, abusive for lashing out while overwhelmed by emotions which often stem from abuse they suffered in childhood, being told that they can’t be treated – that they will just have to learn to live with their illness (which, by the way, is totally untrue!), and just generally being treated like crap, both online, and by professionals in real life.

This is unfair in the extreme. Your illness is not somehow ‘your fault’ because it was caused by how you developed from childhood. In fact, that just means that…

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