the tao of jaklumen

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


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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.

the tao of jaklumen

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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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.