the tao of jaklumen

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


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The son becomes the father… (Yoke of Generations)

Marlon Brando as Jor-El, with Kal-El played by...

Marlon Brando as Jor-El, with Kal-El played by Lee Quigley. Superman: The Movie Magazine (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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As soon as we could get our wits about us, we rushed off to the ER, to Boy a medical examination.  He’d just had a seizure- not a grand mal, but still a seizure.  It wasn’t like the tonic spasms my father and I have from time to time, of course.  We’d find later, after he slept and slept, that he had no memory of the episode.

As Cimmy always does, she asked me to religiously administer to him, to give him a Priesthood blessing.  As I meditated and focused on clearing my mind, to let spiritual inspiration flow freely, a glimpse of a memory flashed through my brain.

My son was part of this, too.  He had agreed to take on a part of the burdens of my mortality, which I in turn had taken a part from my father.

JOR-EL: You did this of your own free will, in spite of all I could say to dissuade you…

Cimmorene desperately had wanted to share the load, but I could not acquiesce.  But my son would not be denied.  He understood the pattern.  And our Eternal Father- I feel that he smiled, as if to acknowledge something great had been accomplished.

JOR-EL: ..the circle is now complete..

I could see both sides, now.

JOR-EL: Now, you have returned to me, for one last chance to redeem yourself– this, too, finally, I have anticipated, my son.

JOR-EL: The Kryptonian prophecy will be at last fulfilled.

[recalling Jor-El’s blessing] JOR-EL: You will make my strength your own– see my life through your eyes, as your life will be seen through mine.

JOR-EL: The son becomes the father – the father becomes the son.

HeroesjourneyAtonement


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A Blogger’s Journey: Seizing the Sword/Grasping the Hammer

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

I am one with my father. Our struggles are now acknowledged to be intertwined. But it is not so… elegant as Jor-El and Kal-El becoming one. We are united in our pain (and I could sense it for so many years).

United in abuse.

My friend Bobbi Parish told me last night that his immune disorders, the pancreatitis, and so on– are marks of long-term abuse. Abuse from his father, my grandfather, who beat him when he spasmed in the night, not knowing what else to do. Abuse from my mother and her parents, my grandparents, who witheringly disapproved of him for many, many years.  And more… more I am probably unaware of consciously.

I see abuse as a corruption to our natural weaknesses, marinating in fear, hatred, and evil suffering. In Superman III (sadly, mostly a really bad film, due, I think, to the wrath of the producers), August “Gus” Gorman analyzes the known kryptonite sample from a meteorite crash in order to synthesize it. Finding a portion is an unknown substance, he replaces it with an ingredient he finds on a pack of cigarettes– tar. After exposing the imperfectly synthesized kryptonite to Superman, Gus realizes it didn’t have the intended effect. Instead, Superman is vulnerable to the toxic emotions and vices of mortality. (See also A Hero’s Journey: Superman & the Ordeal.)

So Kal-El had to grapple with that weakness, and fully reconcile Clark Kent with Superman.

Thus I have realized my quest to overcome childhood abuse is not just for myself, but for my family- generations before, and generations after. The goal is not only to Seize the Sword, but also to grasp the Hammer that will rebuild.

So I stumble through the #CSAQT and #sexabusechats, watch the Trauma Recovery University Google Hangouts, make my Sanity Street Signs to understand it all (drawing deep on past art projects), cry, rage, and carry on, as best I can.

campbell-cave

See also

An Artist’s Journey: Get The Balance Right!

and

TToT: Seizing the Sword of Trauma and a path to healing


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Teaser Introduction – A Hero’s Journey: SUPERMAN

The Hero’s Journey of Superman will commence soon

 


 

Coming tomorrow: Introduction to the Richard Donner story of Superman


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A Hero’s Journey: Superman & the Ordeal

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 was required.

The junk yard fight had a physical element: a human-synthesized kryptonite did not weaken him in the same way as the true fragments of his home world.  Instead, it left him vulnerable to mortal vice.  Perhaps this is one element why Superman has been compared to Christ: Kal-El had not fully experienced mortality until briefly succumbing to its fallibilities and shortcomings.  And it is not Superman who triumphs, but Clark Kent, who subsumes him; and then the Transformation is complete, as Kal-El is fully ready to be champion of the people of Earth.


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A Hero’s Journey: Superman & the Abyss

The Hero's Journey: The Abyss

The Hero’s Journey: The Abyss

Deleted scene from Superman Returns, 2006.

Superman Returns follows the events of Superman II, and uses some footage from Richard Donner’s cut of that movie (see Superman & the At-One-Ment With The Father).

In Superman II, Kal-El experienced Transformation (forsaking his powers for the love of Lois Lane) and Atonement and Gift of the Goddess (returning to the Fortress of Solitude to receive his powers again from the last spark of Jor-El).

In this scene, Kal-El (Superman) revisits the Abyss– the destroyed world of Krypton, before the Return (returning to Earth to resume his role as Superman) and a repeat of the Monomyth cycle (reconciliation with his own son).

Superman & the At-One-Ment With The Father

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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