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

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).

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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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

 


Leave a comment

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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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