the tao of jaklumen

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


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Dreams and a Lack of Prozium: Supernatural Aid

I was going to gloss over the step of Supernatural Aid.  This film is part science fiction, action, and thriller, in a dystopian world, which is not typical for other modern examples of the Monomyth so frequently cited by others.

But I remembered from the DVD commentary that Kurt Wimmer himself said that Sean Bean (as Errol Partridge) had some of the best lines in the film, a scene referenced in my previous post, Partridge forsakes his training: John Preston’s Call to Adventure.

Besides quoting the poem “He Wishes for The Cloths of Heaven”, Partridge says, “You always knew,” and asks “I assume you dream, Preston?”

These words set up the next scene, which IS a dream, is a memory of John’s wife, Viviana (Maria Pia Calzone).  It is a rude awakening, as his home is raided and she is arrested, on the charge of sense offense.  This dream, after a fashion, is the Supernatural Aid.

Immediately after the dream, Preston awakes (highlighted by a memory of one of Father’s broadcasted speeches: “Libria, awake”) and visibly realizes that the separate bed his wife had slept in is empty (we learn later that she was executed by incineration).

Preston goes to splash cold water on his face and take his morning interval of Prozium.  Without thinking, he takes out the vial for that interval from the injection gun (Prozium is administered at the neck) and places it on the counter, which he accidentally knocks over and smashes on the floor, as he sets down the towel he dried his face with.

These events trigger the Threshold, and introduce its guardians and guides, which will be explored in the next post.

NEXT POST IN THE SERIES: John Preston’s son Robbie: Guardian at the Threshold


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Fathers Worldwide Brace For Additions To Their Ugly Tie Collections

As I said in the comments, I volunteered to write for Cimmy on Father’s Day to compliment her Mother’s Day posts. I did not get to that. But The Modern Philosopher has made it clear: ugly ties are at the top of the “don’t get” list for fathers!

The Return of the Modern Philosopher

Father's DayHappy Father’s Day, Modern Philosophers!

All over the world, Dads are practicing their fake smiles so that they can appear to be ecstatic upon opening their gifts to discover yet another ugly tie.

According to UglyTies.com, the official site of Father’s Day, ugly tie sales are up 25% this year.  Analysts aren’t sure if this is because there are more fathers in the world, or because more children have become horrible gift givers.  Regardless, brace yourself for some ugly ties at the office tomorrow.

It is not clear when ugly ties became the traditional gift of Father’s Day, or why children would want to punish the men who gave them life and love them more than anything, but anthropologists are certain the items predate the birth of Christ.  Some historians believe that Brutus’ original plan was to strangle Caesar with the ugliest of his Father’s Day gifts.

ugly-tiesThis Modern Philosopher…

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Spaghetti and Meatballs

Spaghetti and Meatballs 22 by sitori6
Spaghetti and Meatballs 22, a photo by sitori6 on Flickr.

Just a quick share– Cimmy took a step by step photo tutorial of how she made tonight’s dinner.

We were watching Lidia’s Italy with Lidia Bastianich on public television and we noted she had some particular tips on how to make spaghetti and meatballs. One was to bake the meatballs to get that nice, Milliard browning crust to hold their shape, and the other was to cook the pasta in sauce after it had been cooked al dente in water.

Que rico… it was so delicious.


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A Hero’s Journey: Death Approaches

Cimmorene was preparing Snow White as a feminine example of the Monomyth, but I came to love “Vasilisa the Wise” or “Vasilisa and Baba Yaga” as she told it to me, and I have asked her to prepare to tell that story instead.  But that will yet be for a future post.

Challenges, Temptations, & the Abyss

Challenges, Temptations, & the Abyss

Death intertwines much of my own journey.  Right now it is my mother’s parents, but the roots lie much deeper.  Right now my folks are facing a difficult task: my grandmother is slowly losing her mind to Alzheimer’s and senile dementia, and a move to assisted living cannot be put off much longer.  From what I understand, my grandfather is willing to do it, but she is most definitely not.

My parents went up last weekend to try to clear out more things: clothes she does not realize are old and worn, and many items hoarded over the years.  We usually use the word “pack rat” (and did so for those many years) because this is not the hoarding that you see on TV– hoarded items are carefully organized and hidden.  Examples include at least 30 years’ worth of trial-size hotel shampoos, acetaminophen; maybe 15-20 years worth of little mustard packets, things like that.  This is not the first time, by a long shot; my grandfather quietly smuggled preserved food, canning supplies, freezer containers, and so on when they visited for holidays.  This is also not the first time family members have gone to clear out stuff: sister #2 in town did so some months back.

While my grandmother sometimes will say that she wished she lived in our region again, or that they lived closer to us, I know it’s not true, and I have even flatly said so during telephone conversations.  Of course, the truth followed soon enough: “We’re too old to move”, not that she IS too old to move, but that she THINKS she is too old to move.  I told my father recently that they may simply have to blitzkrieg her and do it so fast she doesn’t realize at the time– and deal with the backwash later, but I figure earlier suspicions are much more likely: it will not happen until Grandpa dies.  The genetic deck is stacked in her favor for her to outlive him.

I mention roots because complications in all this stretch back several years.  My paternal grandfather died in 1990 of prostate cancer, and there was a Call to Adventure of sorts for me, in the form of lockout nights and peer counselor training away from school hours at a Christian camp that was once a state governor’s summer home.  In 1992, my father got gravely ill.  In 1993 I crashed out of a church-affiliated school and began psychiatric treatment (but I had been in counseling for at least eight years prior).  About the same year I came home from classes at the community college to find my father being taken away in an ambulance.   The following years I helped him take care of his mother, my grandmother.  1998 I got married at the Seattle temple in Bellevue to Cimmorene despite a number of hurdles.  My grandmother was the first family member I introduced her to.  In 2002 (a few months before Princess was born) she died after dealing with Alzheimer’s and dementia as well.  Her death is still not something I find easy to talk about, for intensely personal reasons.  And just two years ago… my father almost died… again.

Shortly before last weekend he celebrated the 50th anniversary since his first near death experience.  I know where I was at that time, and that is all that I will say at this time.  He is weary, and with my own health problems, I can actually empathize.  I did say that I could probably deal with him being gone, but Mom has Parkinson’s now, and she needs him.  She at least needs him because I’m not certain she is fully prepared to deal with her own parents dying yet.

As he has worked on his personal history/life story, my relationship with him has improved a great deal, and not just through mutual suffering.  I have begun to see the relevance of family– and family traditions, for light and for darkness.  Light for the things that must continue; darkness for the things that have festered, grown cancerous, and have brought damnation– no, not that fire and brimstone damnation you might be thinking of, dear readers, but a holding back, a retarding, a stagnation.

It is part of what a post about my father’s favorite Bill Withers song and my own favorite Bill Withers song is all about.

Because I am beginning to relate my own life to the Monomyth, I am a bit torn about privacy/Visibility settings.  I think that for now I will follow the usual pattern: posts may still be locked down by password after a few weeks.  If you wish to follow this more personal side to the blog, please do, but I ask for authenticity, care, and trust.

What Makes A Hero? TED-Ed and Matthew Winkler on the Monomyth

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This is by far the best summary I’ve seen on Joseph Campbell’s Monomyth concept.

I hope that those of you reading who are fans of TED will find it enlightening, and helpful to understanding this focus I’ve been blogging about lately.  TED-Ed also has some wonderful resources for education that I may also use.  (Thanks, guys.)

For those of you new to this blog, consider it an introduction of sorts. For those of you not new to this blog… see if you recognize elements of past blog posts rising to the surface. Maybe you might see how in some ways, maybe, I was thinking on this all along.


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Quick post update

I’m posting from the WP bar instead of the Dashboard as this will be “quick and dirty”.

Very tired but enjoyed hosting my daughter’s birthday party, and yet I have to give credit where credit is due to Cimmy.  I’ll slide a pic over from Flickr in a bit.

I also got my electrostim therapy medical device today… I’ll let y’all squirm on the implications of that until I can explain a little better with photos and such.


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Mother’s Day: What NOT To Give Her.

Cimmy was quite happy today that the gift given at church was not item #1 (she feels a potted flower just comes home to die). Instead, it was something I learned was a big hit last year: chocolate!

The Dragon's Lair

Here in the States, we have Mother’s Day coming up this Sunday.  I don’t know about you, but over here, many of the moms are hoping that their families will do something special for them this year.  What you do for your mom is up to you.  All moms are different, so how you celebrate Mother’s Day will be just as different.  Therefore I can’t really tell you what to do to make that special day as special as possible for her.  However, I think I CAN tell you with a certain amount of success what NOT to do for your mother.

That said, before I begin, I want you to understand that I am speaking primarily as a mother.  If I say, “Don’t do this for your mother,” and it turns out she actually WANTS you to do that, then feel free to disregard anything I’m saying here.  As…

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The FF4 meet the Silver Surfer: The Outer Call to Adventure

What I think is especially compelling about the story of the Silver Surfer is that it is presented in layers.  He was introduced in Marvel Comic’s Fantastic Four title, issue 48: “The Coming of Galactus!”

The Call to Adventure

The Call to Adventure

The Call To Adventure is not for the Silver Surfer, but is externalized to the Fantastic Four.  (The internal call will be explained in the Surfer’s origin story, where Norrin Radd becomes The Hero by way of Galactus.)  They are squarely in the realm of the Known, while the Surfer is an Unknown.

The Silver Surfer sends Galactus a signal from Earth

The threat, as is discovered later, is Earth’s impending destruction, to feed the hunger of a cosmic being called Galactus.

Galactus arrives on Earth