the tao of jaklumen

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


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Preston and the Resistance destroy the old order: Freedom to Live

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

Freedom to live could also be summed up as living in the moment.  Such as it is with the ending of Equilibrium.  There is no hint of the future, nor is there any allusion to the past (besides the age of Libria being after a World War III sometime in our current future).  There is only an expression of the enjoyment of freedom.

First, Preston destroys the propaganda machines. It is notable that he places some of the blood he spilled (that remains on him) on the image of Father before blasting the screen (symbolically sealing Father’s end), and then shooting all the other terminals from the propaganda center and emerging to another “T” shaped doorway to meet the mid-day sun.

Explosions fire in the distance, signaling the Resistance have fulfilled their mission as Jurgen promised: bombs detonated in each of the Prozium centers.

There is a cut to Robbie at Clerical school, Jurgen and the Resistance leaders at the incinerator, and Lisa (Preston’s daughter), who hear the noise of the blasts and each smile in turn. We see the dog that Preston rescued, licking Lisa’s hand.

Other Resistance members emerge from the Underground, killing Sweeps en masse.

The next scenes cut back to Preston surveying the scene, still clutching Mary O’Brien’s ribbon, and a smile slowly spreading across his face.

Preston clutching and stroking Mary O’Brien’s ribbon, that still carries her perfume

 

A reminder that Preston is Master of Two Worlds: emotionless Tetragrammaton Cleric and empathetic Champion of the Resistance

NEXT POST IN THE SERIES: Equilibrium in Yin-Yang review

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Brandt begins to challenge Preston: Man as Temptor

Cimmy, myself, and the kids are observing an unplugged week, so it’s time for a week+ of reruns. Also, I’ve been in horrid pain, so creating new posts is tough. Please enjoy (even if you’ve read this before).

Campbell calls this stage “Woman as Temptress”, but the world of Libria and the Tetragrammaton Council is distinctly patriarchal, and I choose to emphasize the temptation as a particularly warped masculine one.

Normally this stage is listed later in the Initiation process, well after the Road of Trials.  Brandt is introduced early, however, just before Preston meets Mary O’Brien (see John Preston Meets Mary O’Brien: Guide and Goddess).  He is immediately a hard juxtaposition to Errol Partridge: smooth, eager, and idealistic.  “I only hope to one day be as uncompromising as you,” he tells Preston in one scene.  “I’m like you, Cleric– intuitive,” he tells him in another, asserting that he can tell what a sense offender is thinking before he thinks it (reminiscent of an identical claim Preston makes to Vice-Counsel DuPont, who censures him for his late wife’s crime).

More particularly, Preston begins to assume the sentiments of his late partner Partridge, right down to the dialogue in some cases (Preston: “Why didn’t you leave that for the evidentiary team to log?” Partridge: “They miss things sometimes”, later, Brandt assumes Preston’s line, and Preston assumes Partridge’s).  Brandt is wise to these changes in Preston– observations that conflict with the reputation Preston has as Libria’s senior ranking Cleric.  He eventually confronts Preston with his suspicions:

Brandt’s challenge is the beginning of the Road of Trials. He reveals that the Council has accelerated prosecution of sense offenders, and this will prove harder for Preston as he seeks to discover the Resistance and the Underground.

NEXT POST IN THE SERIES: Questions for Mary: Meeting with the Goddess

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John Preston’s son Robbie: Guardian at the Threshold

Cimmy, myself, and the kids are observing an unplugged week, so it’s time for a week+ of reruns. Also, I’ve been in horrid pain, so creating new posts is tough. Please enjoy (even if you’ve read this before).

Many thanks to my wife, Cimmorene, for pointing this detail out to me.

“What are you doing?”

In Dreams and a Lack of Prozium: Supernatural Aid, a dream jars John Preston from his usual routine.  This is the question his son, Robbie (Matthew Harbour), asks him after the vial of Prozium smashes on the floor.  Preston is silent, almost in a daze.

It should be noted that Robbie was markedly shown in Preston’s dream, looking on as Viviana was handcuffed and taken away.

“I said, what are you doing?”

Robbie confronts his father. Still as seen on the Equilibrium fansite.

When Preston explains that the incident was an accident, Robbie instructs him to go by Equilibrium (one of the Prozium centers) and log the loss. It is hinted by now that Robbie is training to be a Tetragrammaton Cleric (especially as he is shown in a much earlier scene amongst the masses). It is not clear, however, how he is a guardian to the Threshold, but this will be explained later.

NEXT POST IN THE SERIES: John Preston Meets Mary O’Brien: Guide and Goddess

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Partridge forsakes his training: John Preston’s Call to Adventure

Today Cimmy, myself, and the kids are starting an unplugged week, so it’s time for a week+ of reruns. Also, I’ve been in horrid pain, so creating new posts is tough. Please enjoy (even if you’ve read this before).

Flag of Libria. The four Ts represent the Tetragrammaton Council

In Libria, emotion is outlawed.  The Tetragrammaton Clerics are the elite arm of its law enforcement, tasked with tracking down any materials likely to incite emotion to destroy them, and to terminate “sense offenders”, that is, any citizens that have broken the law by feeling emotion.

Partridge quotes from “He Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven” before Preston executes him: “But I being poor, have only my dreams/I have spread my dreams under your feet/Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.” This quote will have significance at the climax of the film.

John Preston (Christian Bale) is Libria’s highest ranking Grammaton Cleric.  His Call to Adventure comes when he discovers that his partner, Errol Partridge (Sean Bean), has confiscated a book of poems under false pretenses.  Tracking him to a ruined cathedral in the Nethers (an area of cities destroyed by a Third World War), he finds him reading the book, and unapologetically so.  As Partridge is now guilty of sense offending, Preston executes him.

The event seems to shake Preston from a proscribed routine just enough that he accidentally breaks a vial of his morning dose of Prozium, and he begins to feel emotions.

The Call to Adventure

The Call to Adventure

NEXT POST IN THE SERIES: Dreams and a Lack of Prozium: Supernatural Aid

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The Hero’s Journey: Equilibrium

Today Cimmy, myself, and the kids are starting an unplugged week, so it’s time for a week+ of reruns. Also, I’ve been in horrid pain, so creating new posts is tough. Please enjoy (even if you’ve read this before).

John Preston: From Tetragrammaton Cleric to Champion of the Resistance

John Preston: From Tetragrammaton Cleric to Champion of the Resistance

Kurt Wimmer‘s movie Equilibrium, I think, is another fine example of the Monomyth, or The Hero’s Journey, in the transformation of John Preston.

I will tell you straightaway, dear readers, why I relate to this movie.  The central idea to the film is that emotion is a human characteristic, and to suppress it in the name of freedom and peace is to instead promote tyranny and enslavement.  Some time ago, I was proscribed a psychiatric drug that had the unfortunate side effect of cognitive slowing, both logically and emotionally.  I literally found it difficult to feel.  Such a state drove me to madness.  I was not able to break free even after threatening suicide and being committed inpatient, where the psychiatrist there severely curtailed the dose.  No, it was not until the state (which supplied my only insurance at the time) forbade such off-label use.

No, it was not Prozac, although the movie calls its drug Prozium, a rather sly reference to the same.


In the following posts, I will show how the Monomyth cycle applies to the film, although some elements have some interesting twists.  I hope to persuade you all that the film is much worthier than the panning it received from critics and some audiences, especially as an example of the Hero’s Journey.  It is not considered much as such an example, but it is deserving of mention.

NEXT POST IN THE SERIES: Partridge forsakes his training: John Preston’s Call to Adventure

 


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The Hero’s Journey: Equilibrium

John Preston: From Tetragrammaton Cleric to Champion of the Resistance

John Preston: From Tetragrammaton Cleric to Champion of the Resistance

Kurt Wimmer‘s movie Equilibrium, I think, is another fine example of the Monomyth, or The Hero’s Journey, in the transformation of John Preston.

I will tell you straightaway, dear readers, why I relate to this movie.  The central idea to the film is that emotion is a human characteristic, and to suppress it in the name of freedom and peace is to instead promote tyranny and enslavement.  Some time ago, I was proscribed a psychiatric drug that had the unfortunate side effect of cognitive slowing, both logically and emotionally.  I literally found it difficult to feel.  Such a state drove me to madness.  I was not able to break free even after threatening suicide and being committed inpatient, where the psychiatrist there severely curtailed the dose.  No, it was not until the state (which supplied my only insurance at the time) forbade such off-label use.

No, it was not Prozac, although the movie calls its drug Prozium, a rather sly reference to the same.


In the following posts, I will show how the Monomyth cycle applies to the film, although some elements have some interesting twists.  I hope to persuade you all that the film is much worthier than the panning it received from critics and some audiences, especially as an example of the Hero’s Journey.  It is not considered much as such an example, but it is deserving of mention.

NEXT POST IN THE SERIES: Partridge forsakes his training: John Preston’s Call to Adventure