the tao of jaklumen

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


1 Comment

…the father becomes the son. (more thoughts)

[ADDENDUM: 11 January, 2015]  When my father first told me of his near-death experience, many years ago, a flash of memory hit me, like a curtain being drawn from my mind, to reveal the light of the morning sun.

I remember begging, pleading with him, to go back, so that I would have a chance to be.  I did not remember all, but over the years, I came to know the deep sacrifices that were made in those moments.  I would revisit them when he nearly died, again, and each time I climbed up on the surgeon’s table, the last time being the 7th of January, 2015.

This is my Atonement with the Father.

JOR-EL: Once, when you were small, I died, while giving you a chance for life.

It was a shock when I saw him.  He was wandering around aimlessly, obviously not in his body.  He was NOT supposed to be here.

“What are you doing here?  You need to go back, and be my father, just as we planned!”

“I’m tired.  I hurt.  I don’t want to go back to a broken body.”

“But you need to go back!  We agreed!”

My father first got really sick in 1992, when I was hundreds of miles away going to college in Rexburg, Idaho.  When I crashed out of school and took the rebound to community college, I came home one day to see him carried out on a stretcher into an ambulance.

Almost two decades passed and he got really, really sick again.  As in deathly ill.  He could barely move and he grew a beard because he didn’t feel well enough to even shave.  “Not now,” I thought.  “I still need you.”  But I talked with my youngest sister about it, and we made peace with it; we were ready to bury him if that was really to be.

I sent him pictures of me and my son to try to cheer him up.  He was in really bad shape.

A Boy and His Dad

It was obvious that I was not going to persuade him by plans of the future.  I would have to appeal to his here and now.

“What about your family now?  Won’t they miss you?”

That seemed to be more persuasive.  He softened a bit and looked more ready to turn back.

Dad found a specialist in Walla Walla that seemed to know what was going on, finally, and he recovered.

JOR-EL: And now, even though it will exhaust the final energy left within me…

CLARK
(turns frightened)
Father, no!

JOR-EL
Look at me, Kal-El!

“Wait, before you go.  I have to do something.  I… I will carry a part of that pain for you.”

“You don’t have to do this.”

“Yes… yes, I do.”

“No, you don’t.”

“I do.  I promise, I will help you.”

“Very well.”

My back was thrashed– not too long  after my son was born, I found out that some of the discs in my spine were wearing out, and one was being crushed like a pancake, pinching the nerve (sciatic) in my right leg.  In the first week of October in 2009, I had a fusion surgery, but the nerve damage was done.

I found myself comparing notes with my father on pain.

JOR-EL: The Kryptonian prophecy will be at last fulfilled. The son becomes the father – the father becomes the son.

My father later apologized to Cimmorene, and to me, for his mistreatment of me in the past.  He got it.  Things would never be the same again.

HeroesjourneyAtonement


Leave a comment

Final Fight: Confronting the Powerless Father and Atonement with the Mother

The unplugged week is over, but I still need time to get things done and prepare for spinal cord stimulator therapy on Monday.  Please continue to enjoy these posts (even if you’ve read them before).

I will make a controversial claim here, that Wimmer is actually drawing upon the female version of the Monomyth in a manner of speaking, or rather an alternate interpretation by Valerie Estelle Frankel.

Specifically, the first variation is Confronting The Powerless Father.  Earlier in the film, we learned that Dupont was the creator of the Gun Kata, a martial arts extension to firearms that is a basis of Cleric training.

He does not seem to be powerless at first; after all, he seems to know about Preston’s actions all along (see Not Without Incident: Master of Two Worlds), and his challenge to a Gun Kata duel suggests he knows all about Partridge as well: “Be careful, Preston, you’re treading on my dreams” (the reference to Yeats).  But despite creating the Gun Kata, Dupont is disarmed by Preston, and so he tries to appeal to Preston’s newfound sense of emotion, to avoid the killing bullet.  How can he kill someone who is living and feeling?

But Preston sees O’Brien’s face in his mind, before her death.  This would suggest Atonement with The Mother, or rather, The Goddess.  Yet there is an atonement to a Father– just not Libria‘s Father, or Dupont.  Preston’s response of “I pay it gladly” is an echo of Partridge’s earlier line: “A heavy cost.  I pay it gladly” when Preston asked him why he forsook the idealism of Libria.  Partridge is sort of a Father in this sense, especially considering Preston echoed other words and actions of his earlier in the story as well.

Killing Dupont, who is the false Father, leads Preston towards obtaining the Ultimate Boon, which will be the next part of this series, leading towards the end.

NEXT POST IN THE SERIES: Preston and the Resistance destroy the old order: Freedom to Live

Enhanced by Zemanta


3 Comments

A Hero’s Journey: More Atonment with the Father

My father is still struggling with the will to live.

I called him today to ask if he was hurting like I was with the weather today, and he was in tears towards the end of our conversation.

I am not sure what to say other than that.


8 Comments

…the father becomes the son.

JOR-EL: Once, when you were small, I died, while giving you a chance for life.

It was a shock when I saw him.  He was wandering around aimlessly, obviously not in his body.  He was NOT supposed to be here.

“What are you doing here?  You need to go back, and be my father, just as we planned!”

“I’m tired.  I hurt.  I don’t want to go back to a broken body.”

“But you need to go back!  We agreed!”

My father first got really sick in 1992, when I was hundreds of miles away going to college in Rexburg, Idaho.  When I crashed out of school and took the rebound to community college, I came home one day to see him carried out on a stretcher into an ambulance.

Almost two decades passed and he got really, really sick again.  As in deathly ill.  He could barely move and he grew a beard because he didn’t feel well enough to even shave.  “Not now,” I thought.  “I still need you.”  But I talked with my youngest sister about it, and we made peace with it; we were ready to bury him if that was really to be.

I sent him pictures of me and my son to try to cheer him up.  He was in really bad shape.

A Boy and His Dad

It was obvious that I was not going to persuade him by plans of the future.  I would have to appeal to his here and now.

“What about your family now?  Won’t they miss you?”

That seemed to be more persuasive.  He softened a bit and looked more ready to turn back.

Dad found a specialist in Walla Walla that seemed to know what was going on, finally, and he recovered.

JOR-EL: And now, even though it will exhaust the final energy left within me…

CLARK
(turns frightened)
Father, no!

JOR-EL
Look at me, Kal-El!

“Wait, before you go.  I have to do something.  I… I will carry a part of that pain for you.”

“You don’t have to do this.”

“Yes… yes, I do.”

“No, you don’t.”

“I do.  I promise, I will help you.”

“Very well.”

My back was thrashed– not too long  after my son was born, I found out that some of the discs in my spine were wearing out, and one was being crushed like a pancake, pinching the nerve (sciatic) in my right leg.  In the first week of October in 2009, I had a fusion surgery, but the nerve damage was done.

I found myself comparing notes with my father on pain.

JOR-EL: The Kryptonian prophecy will be at last fulfilled. The son becomes the father – the father becomes the son.

My father later apologized to Cimmorene, and to me, for his mistreatment of me in the past.  He got it.  Things would never be the same again.

HeroesjourneyAtonementNEXT POST IN THE SERIES: A Blogger’s Journey: Seizing the Sword/Grasping the Hammer


16 Comments

The son becomes the father…

I would have put “10-year blogging journey” in the title, but that was starting to become clunky, and so I omitted it.  But just for your reference, dear readers, I’m picking up where I left off from New Life and the VOX years.

“One must have a faith that the father is merciful, and then a reliance on that mercy.” — Joseph Campbell

I had very mixed feelings about having a boy in my family.  Memories of being bullied by boys was too fresh in my mind.  Middle-school classmates called me “faggot” and “queer”, and chastised me for discovering I was into hardcore porn.  I was deathly afraid for years that the homoerotic aspects of my otherwise heterosexual fantasies would be discovered.  It took me a lot just to admit this to Cimmorene, much less to anyone else.  I also repressed a lot of memories of my father beating me as a child– it wouldn’t be too much longer until I remembered.

Masculinity was in turns fascinating and repulsive to me.  How could I be a good father to a boy with that conflict churning inside of me?

I had already come a long way in understanding the buried rage at my mother, for all those years she chipped away at my self-esteem, then strangely turning to me as some sort of surrogate husband.  But I was only just beginning to understand the anger I had towards my father– not even so much for beating me (that did terrify me)– but for not protecting me from my mother and grandmother.

“The problem of the hero going to meet the father is to open his soul beyond terror to such a degree that he will be ripe to understand how the sickening and insane tragedies of this vast and ruthless cosmos are completely validated in the majesty of Being.”

How do I describe this?  It was one thing for me when my daughter learned to say “dada” and then “Daddy”, but yet another when my son spoke those words.  I knew I was a father to a boy!  But how to reconcile mixed memories of my father?  There were good ones as well as bad ones.  As my son grew, it slowly became apparent to me.  My son demanded my physical touch.  It didn’t matter too much then whether I was paying full attention to him or not, as long as I put my hand on his head, shoulder… he was satisfied.

It awakened something deep inside of me.  Something that had been missing, for a long time.

Some time later, I remember my father telling me how much I had matured over the last five years. When I told a friend of mine about it, she didn’t miss a beat. She said, “That’s because that was when your son was born.” Indeed, it had been five years since he was born.

HeroesjourneyAtonementSee also A Hero’s (Inner) Journey: Atonement with the Son

Next post in the series: …the father becomes the son.


1 Comment

Final Fight: Confronting the Powerless Father and Atonement with the Mother

I will make a controversial claim here, that Wimmer is actually drawing upon the female version of the Monomyth in a manner of speaking, or rather an alternate interpretation by Valerie Estelle Frankel.

Specifically, the first variation is Confronting The Powerless Father.  Earlier in the film, we learned that Dupont was the creator of the Gun Kata, a martial arts extension to firearms that is a basis of Cleric training.

He does not seem to be powerless at first; after all, he seems to know about Preston’s actions all along (see Not Without Incident: Master of Two Worlds), and his challenge to a Gun Kata duel suggests he knows all about Partridge as well: “Be careful, Preston, you’re treading on my dreams” (the reference to Yeats).  But despite creating the Gun Kata, Dupont is disarmed by Preston, and so he tries to appeal to Preston’s newfound sense of emotion, to avoid the killing bullet.  How can he kill someone who is living and feeling?

But Preston sees O’Brien’s face in his mind, before her death.  This would suggest Atonement with The Mother, or rather, The Goddess.  Yet there is an atonement to a Father– just not Libria‘s Father, or Dupont.  Preston’s response of “I pay it gladly” is an echo of Partridge’s earlier line: “A heavy cost.  I pay it gladly” when Preston asked him why he forsook the idealism of Libria.  Partridge is sort of a Father in this sense, especially considering Preston echoed other words and actions of his earlier in the story as well.

Killing Dupont, who is the false Father, leads Preston towards obtaining the Ultimate Boon, which will be the next part of this series, leading towards the end.

NEXT POST IN THE SERIES: Preston and the Resistance destroy the old order: Freedom to Live


3 Comments

The path of the hero.

I am not sure how to put this into words, because so much of it is intensely personal.  So personal and so precious, that I cannot bear to have it mocked.

I read Dad’s last revision to his personal history a few days ago.  There is a certain portion that he is worried about– worried how family will receive it.  It is indeed sad, and lays bare some of the spiritual wounds and sufferings of his parents, his brothers, and his children.

But for me, for the first time, the path is clear.  For at least twenty years, I brooded about how I could connect my past to my future, to make a foreordination a destiny.  Now I understand what I must do.

I think my mother-in-law is right.  There has been hurting for too many generations, traditions that festered and destroyed from within, but a chance to heal has come, a chance that I can take.  I wouldn’t be so arrogant to assume it is all on me; I’ve implied above that my father recognizes it.

“The son becomes the father, and the father becomes the son.”

Her eldest daughter, who is my wife, suggests that the change must come within me, starting with myself.

I must trust in my Master.  Trust that He knows the way for me.  Trust that is complete and unconditional, right down to laying everything I have and am right on the line.  There is so much contention and discord about Him… but I know what I have seen, felt… remembered.  I will be true despite the mockery, hoping and waiting for the day of reunification.  The rifts that were suffered will at last come together.

Till all are one.

Superman & the At-One-Ment With The Father

Leave a comment

From the recreated Richard Donner’s cut of Superman II.

While Joseph Campbell was alive when this was originally shot, this Director’s Cut did not come together until 2006.

Watch, and I think you will agree this is another fine example of Atonement With The Father according to Campbell’s Monomyth context.

Atonement with the Father

Atonement with the Father