Circle of Life.

Lyrics of African lyrics:

Here comes a lion father

oh yes it’s a lion

we’re going to conquer

a lion and tiger come to this open place.

 

From the day we arrive on the planet

and blinking step into the sun

There’s more to see than can ever be seen, ‘

more to do than could ever be done

there’s far too much to take in here

much more to find than cane very be found

but the sun rolling high 

in the sapphire sky

keeps great and small on the endless round

It’s the circle of life

and it moves us all

through despair and hope

through faith and love

till we find our place

on the path unwinding

It’s the circle, 

the circle of life.

Anyone else get chills when they hear this English part? I used to love this intro.

It’s just so great. I always though it captured the feeling of being in Africa and being one of the animals in the film.

Something about it. IT just suggests wisdom and steadiness with life.

Well, I doubt it surprises anyone that I like the Lion King. Who doesn’t?

Though to be honest, Simba was never my favorite part of it. I like Mufasa, and Nala, and kind of Timon and Pumba.

Well, everyone loves Mufasa.

And I also hated Scar, which most people don’t seem to. Though at the last you almsot feel sorry for him…almost.

Actually to my mind the whole scene where he hyenas kill him while the fire starts burning them is one of the creepiest Disney deaths ever. But poetically just.

Anyway, why one earth would I make this song the subject of a post?

Well, I always thought this song was embodying some tribal philosophy. Don’t take that the wrong way, it just seems like Disney selected an African culture to base the film off of. (Plus Hamlet.)

Now, maybe it is, but if so, now that I know the lyrics, I’m not convinced that philosophy is so bad.

Again, this song just has a rich tone. That’s what really makes it work. The lyrics aren’t spectacular, until you combine them with those awesome vocals and background music.

Then you get something that basically makes you feel like you’re on the African Savannah watching life happen.

The best things about the animation for this film as that everything in it seems royal. It just spells it out for you. Every beast is portrayed majestically and proud, except for the hyenas and Timon and Pumba. But especially in this opening number, you really feel like you’re that young giraffe we see, or Simba himself. Seeing all this for the first time, and being overawed by it all.

You feel the wonder of being young and new to the world.

And that is a good feeling to have. Especially to us older and often more cynical folks.

also I could feel a sort of appreciation all the beasts have for their world.

And that’s another factor of this film, it’s very simple. The circle of life is easy to explain. You are born, you die. Lions eat antelope; but antelope eat grass, which grows from dirt which the lions turn into after dying. The sun moves over the Savannah and provides light to all the animals, enabling the circle to continue.

It gets even more interesting if you start looking further in the the symbolism in the film. It’s no accident that we see a birth, a death, a coming of age, another death, and finally another birth; all in the course of the story. (nor that we see similar things int he sequel. If you’ve watched that.) It’s a circle.

Now I am not one of those who thinks that thinks just progress in a certain way because of some abstract Mother Nature, or some pattern that just proceeds because it has to. OF course I think God established the rhythm of the world. (It has since been tweaked a lot, and not for the better.)

But because I believe that, I don’t find the circle of life idea offensive. I think it’s very true that things proceed in a circular pattern. This has been pointed out in “The Fourth Turning.”

The reason it simple enough. Human nature doesn’t change, and Nature itself has to operate the way it is designed to. So you have events always repeating themselves, though never exactly in the same way.

Mufasa and Simba are not the same. But they have to take the same role in life.

But it should not be lost on the audience that the movie, though showing deatht o be a real and important thing, supports life as the goal and proper state of the world. Showing how Simba restores life and order to his kingdom.

The whole thing with the Sun even in the song lyrics is pointing to life and health and prosperity.

Also, in true Disney fashion (and much like Frozen) the song is foreshadowing the movie’s events.

Through despair and hope, through faith and love, till we find our place, int he path unwinding.

TO be honest, I neer understood those lines, I fully expected the last part to be “to fulfill our dream” or something like that.

It so would be now.

Simba goes through despair, and then hope, he finds faith and then love. Then he finds his place. (The path unwinding part comes more into the sequel.) The landscape of the film mirrors his journey. From the dry canyon and the thorny bramble, to the lush and lazy jungle, back to his home, and ultimately we see that home restored to it’s lush state also.

The beasts and other lions also experience despair at losing their king, then hope when Simba returns, they put their faith in him, and in the end things are right again.

Symbolically, we hear the song again at the close of the film. (You remember that thunderclap sound that  everyone got pumped up after hearing?)

Things come full circle.

That was subtlety, back in the day.

There is so much to unpack from this film, but that’ all I can fit into this post. Until next time–Natasha.

Advertisements

A lesson we should heed

Some of you bloggers out there know that awkward moment when you read the first post you ever did (next to your “about me” page,) and its been two years.

Yep, I finally reread the “My passion” post.

I was afraid it’d be really immature sounding, but aside from a few things, and grammar mistakes, I actually am pretty satisfied with it still.

It just goes to show when you set a theme for yourself, you tend to stick to it, subconsciously.

I am one of those fortunate people who can merely think that they need to wake up early tomorrow, and then they’ll do it automatically before the alarm goes off. (I hate being woken by an alarm, so I wake up naturally as a subconscious defense, in my opinion.)

I think a blog theme is kind of like that. Even while yo’re unaware of it, your thoughts are veering in that direction.

I do think it was a smart decision to let go of my today’s truth: ending. It was kind of corny.

Anyway, that’s all in retrospect.

I am just glad that I have no regrets aobut starting this blog after two years and a quarter.

How many things do we start in life and then wish we hadn’t? or we wish we waited longer?

I could name a few off the top of my head.

I can’t write long today because I have to get to the DMV and retake the Written test. Fun I know.

But I really think five years from now I’m going to be glad it took me so many tries to get something as simple as a Driver’s License. It’ll be such an encouragement to my children to hear that their mom flunked something that many times. (I’ll probably be that mom who had all those impressive sounding accomplishments to tell about, but if I’m wise, I’ll make sure to tell them about my failures too.)

I can’t tell you how much better it made me feel to know other adults I know failed the first time…not the second and third I grant you, though my Grandma knew someone once who failed over and over again because of some dumb equipment on the test.

Anyway, like I said, I have to go soon. But those are my thoughts for the day. Trial and Error is my motto at this point.

And parents, please tell your kids the things you used to suck at and got better, it’s super inspirational.

Kids, ask your parents. It’s very enlightening.

And I just have to say the cliche:

“If at first you don’t succeed, blame modern technology–I mean, try, try again.

Tis a lesson we should heed, try, try again.”

–Natasha.

How to have a super relationship-4

I hope I am not wearying anyone of this topic, I could probably go on about it for hours.

But I promise this is the last installment.

This last thing I want to look at about the two couples in question is what gives each of them the foundation they have/

I’ll start with Batman and Wonder Woman this time because they have the more common kind of relationship.

What attracted these two to each other?

Despite the flaws I’ve covered in the previous three posts, we can all agree both these superheroes are good people. we don’t hear much on Wonder Woman’ side, but we do hear Batman once explain some of his reasons for liking her. She’d a remarkable woman, he says; she’s a devoted friend, she’s…standing right behind him, isn’t she?

Awkward.

But there we have it, she’s loyal and devoted to her relationships. Just the opposite of him in some ways, and opposites attract.

But like also attracts like. They are both selfless when it comes to saving other people. they both care about the good of mankind, and they both enjoy being in the League.

This is where most relationships start from. Two people meet and find thy like the same things and so they spend time together  and eventually it may turn romantic. OR it may not. But I always found there to be plenty of chemistry between Bruce and Diana.

They both esteem each other. Just like most healthy couples at least start off as seeing only good in the other person.

So why is Batman afraid to move forward? Because of trust.

This is where we see that trust cannot really be built just on another person’s merits. You could be mother Teresa levels of kind and unselfish, and someone might refuse to really trust you because you are still human and they don’t trust people.

I have seen this in my own life and the people around me. Trust is earned but it is also a choice.

And the choice must be made even when we allow for the other person sometimes letting us down. Trusting human beings is in essence saying “I know you aren’t perfect, but I know you well enough to know you’ll be as good as you can be, so I will trust you because I trust you overall character, and not just by your individual actions.”

Clearly people sometimes trust the wrong person because of this, that’s where they mistake the overall character to be better than it is.

However, I submit to you that the obstacle in Batman’s case is different.

He doesn’t trust anyone (as superman fondly admits in episode one.) This is not their fault. It is because he has unresolved issues in his life.

Ladies and gents, you will not have a healthy relationship for long if you do not resolve your issues either before entering it, or at some point early on. (I do not mean you cannot fix it later, but it is better to do it sooner.)

The problem here is that Wonder Woman wants to move forward before either of them have really faced their deep issues with themselves and the world. She has made some steps forward in t he course of being in the League, but he has made baby steps, or none at all in some areas.

Ladies especially may want to do this. But plenty of men will do it to. Only they fear commitment because they know they aren’t ready and so the relationship often ends after appearing to be getting serious.

But is Batman right to use issues as an excuse not to be together?

Let’s return to Scott and Barda:

The important thing about both of them, and the path I admire Kirby for taking, is that both their journey’s start apart from each other.

In the Fourth world, people who still have a shred of conscience and self awareness are referred to as having the Divine Spark. We know Scott has it from the get go, but what is less obvious is that Barda had it too.

Barda’s journey to escaping Apokalips actually began with Auralie, the weakest of the girls in her force, but one she had a particular fondness for that she never showed to any of the others. Barda disobeyed the laws of Apokalips while trying to protect Auralie and was ready to disobey them again when she found out she had been tortured to death. That marked the first moment when she and Scott actually had one mind, and thought hey were not a team yet, they stopped being suspicious of each other.

Scott’s journey began with Himon, the e one free mind on Apokalips.

more importantly still, Scott went to Earth without Barda and continued learning about freedom and goodness until she arrived. Barda in tur mad her choice to complete her training, which came in handy later, and then broke free herself of its grip.

Barda began to hate the system because of her friend, not because of Scott. Though he was the reason she continued to move forward.

These two are not independent of each other, but the y are not codependent on each other either. Barda did not need Scott to leave Apokalips, and he did not need her. They only come together after both making several independent decisions.

My point here is to show that Barda and Scott both work to become the person that is right for each other, before they even know they’ll be together. Barda makes sure to please Scott even before she thinks of them as a couple, because she esteems him. Scott tries to keep Barda healthy and happy even just as his friend because he is grateful to her.

If they had not been committed to doing what they thought right before hand, they could not have suited each other so well.

To be honest, the principle of “Become the person who the person you want is looking for” is one I have yet to hear talked about outside of Church, but it applies just as much to people who are not religious as to people who are.

Like attracts like. Sluts attract whores, criminals attract criminals, nutjobs attract other nutjobs. And good people attract each other.

Very rarely will any of us be Scott and Barda in every way when we meet out spouse, but we can at least be them in this way. It’s not really about getting someone to fall in love with you. It’s about the kind of person you are.

Resolve your issues now, and when you meet the one for you, you’ll have a super good relationship on your side, and not a super dysfunctional one.

But one more thing:

I still ship Wonder Woman and Batman for this reason; broken, messed up people are the only people you’re ever going to meet. Though they may be very healthy, they will always have some weak points.

And we cannot let that stop us from loving deeply and trusting other people, because we share this earth with them, and we need each other.

I would tell Batman he needs to try, and I would tell Wonder Woman she needs to be humble about letting him work his way forward, and always be striving to be a better person herself.

But what I would tell all of you is that it is better still if you have a perfect God in you life who can never fail you. Because then, as the saying goes, you can let man be man, if you let God be God.

(And by the way, Barda and Scott have an equivalent of that known as the Source.)

All right, I’m finally done with this, until next time–Natasha.

img_1549-4

 

How to have a super relationship-3

Part three here we come:

So, I covered the foundation, the way they handle each other’s values, and disagreements. I didn’t exhaust any one of these subjects by any means, but I touched on them.

Now we come to the worst part: Fighting.

Fights are not the same as disagreements. Disagreements can be unemotional, but fights, for the purpose of this post, will be classified as the times we actually hurt each other deeply.

Barda and Scott have only one real fight on record, as I mentioned in the previous post. From what I understand, they split after Barda complains that Scott is ignoring her needs because he is so caught up in what he does, even when it’s a good thing, that her feelings are put on the back burner.

At first I discredited this. How could someone so unselfish as Barda complain about this?

But then I realized, with a little help from my sister, that it is actually a pretty rational fight to expect of them.

Barda and Scott both have traumatic backgrounds in which they were never taught that they deserve any love. (Note the word deserve.) Both of them believed that for a long time.

For the first few years of their marriage, I’d venture to say, they didn’t have a problem because both of them believe the other to be worthy of love and preference more than themselves, they would pour into each other so much that they would never stop to ask if they deserved more.

But… I could easily see Scott, who is always the absent minded professor type at the best of times, getting caught up in helping other people. (I think maybe it was even with the Justice League) and thinking that his wife would be fine. She’d never made demands on him before. (How many men get caught in this trap?)

Meanwhile, Barda suddenly finds he’s not home, or not paying her much attention when he is, and since she has few other interests to occupy her time, she starts to resent that.

You can imagine the rest as easily as I can.

So they separate for awhile though I don’t think they ever think of divorce. There’s no two people more suited for each other. They could never find anyone else just like the other person.

I imagine they reunited after both realizing that they are better off with each other if only for a few minutes a day, than apart forever.

AS far as I know, they have no further problems beyond small disagreements that are bound to happen and are forgotten the next day.

The important thing about this story is to ask what changed? You probably got my hint. They started thinking about what they deserved. In other words, Pride.

Normally you would not find more humble people that Scott and Barda. They are willing to give everyone a fair chance, to take in people they know have emoitonal issues and try to help them, and to bear with each other’s own weaknesses.

Barda is convinced Scott is the better person, but I think he considers her to be the most loyal of the two.

So what could have caused them to change? Simple, they came to expect one thing, and when they didn’t have it, they felt threatened and started to demand it.

I have a feeling Scott was probably surprised when his beloved bride started resenting wheat she’d always supported in the past.

There’s another issue too, Barda started trying to be a regular housewife before that time. She’s not so unsuited to it, but to someone like her, staying at home keeping house has to sting when her husband is out doing what she used to do all the time.

No one’s making her stay at home, she put limits on herself.

That’s where we find trouble so often. We decided how far we can go and no further, then we blame our spouse or our other family for our unhappiness.

Bard and Scott work it out in the end because they have true love and common sense on their side. But our other couple suffers from almost the same problem.

Wonder Woman is a Princess, as Batman points out to her, and he is a rich kid with many issues. Though his excuse is lame, his point is not necessarily without merit.

These two are not ready for emoitonal intimacy.

I think the ladies will all agree with me when I say Wonder Woman would be in for some shocks if she were to get close to any man, let alone Batman.

She’s from an all female island, and she has guy friends, but she doesn’t really get why men are they way they are sometimes she complains about it.

I relate becuase I am typically surrounded by women myself and I don’t claim to really get men. I know that’s an obstacle I have to overcome, but she is in blissfu lignorance of that fact.

Batman onthe other hand is the DArk Knight for a reason. He has his allegiance (Gotham) and he prowls around on his metal steed looking for anyone in distress.

I want you to try to picture these two sharing their turf.

If you can’t laugh at that, you’ve probably never watched either of t hem in action.

Oh my gosh, what a nightmare. Batman’s worst nightmare in fact.

I think men often overlook this when they get married or get into a serious dating relationship. Women want to be a part of your whole life. They want to feel like you value their company in whatever you do.

Men tend to want to separate their lives into categories. Work. Batmanning it. Home.

I will not say either is entirely wrong. Standing alone is necessary, so is getting help.

Batman would probably feel like his criminals and his city are his personal property, and the guys in the League, or the other girls, would never dream of swinging around Gotham without his consent (like Batgirl.) But Wonder Woman would naturally expect to be able to help him out.

I know that was speculation, but there was plenty of evidence for it on the show. Often Batman will hold her back from interfering in a situation where he feels like it’s someone’s personal call. He also did it with Robin on the Animated Batman Show. Batman believe you’ve got to stand on your own sometimes, and that makes perfect sense.

Diana probably never fought a single battle without a whole crowd watching, ready to step in if something went totally wrong. She might understand giving someone breathing room, but utterly leaving them to themselves, she’d probably find that a bit hard. Though she’s been known to take on problems single handedly, she tends to do that from a belief that she is totally over-capable of beating them.

Scott and Barda had perfect teamwork because they never made any bones about dong things together, unless there was a good reason to split, then they allowed it without making a fuss. The one exception being what I mentioned above.

Pride. It gets us every time. If there’s one thing Batman and Wonder Woman both have in abundance, it’s pride.

This may have made it sound like I don’t ship these two at all, or like I expect people to e perfect. But I don’t. I’ll get to that in part for.

Au revoir–Natasha.

How to have a super relationship-2

Continueing on from where I left off…

So, our two power couples are a lot alike and very different.

One couple is operating out of a place of mutual trust and admiration, the other out of a place of mutual attraction but no commitment.

I don’t think I really need to say which of these is more common to us.

Scott and Barda actually have the most functional relationship of any supers I know.

I’m going to highlight a few instances that show more differences between the two and also some examples we could do well to heed.

First of all, when Scott and Barda are reunited, Scott is right in the middle of a battle with this spirit-demon thing that causes panic and hallucinations in mortals. Scott is protected against falling for it, but the demon, Bedlam, is determined to have him killed through the panic. Scott ad to figure out how to escape without hurting the people who are only temporarily out of their minds.

Barda shows up prepared to kick the crud out of all and any who are threatening Scott, and Scott greets her only by warning her not to interfere because he promised to have no help in this.

Now, I know if I was received that way after crossing galaxies to fight some demon creature with a sick mind, I’d be kind of put out if that was my hello.

But Barda is totally calm. And later when Bedlam accuses Scott of using her help, she says outright “I would risk my life for Scott, but I would never make him go back on his word.”

If you can not see how romantic that is, you need help. If a man were to say that to me I would be like “Oh yeah, you are awesome!”

This is the first principle I want to bring up: In a healthy relationship, the other person will not only respect your values, but they will support them even when it hurts them to do so. They will stick up for you.

I’ll tell you guys right now, if I met a couple who believed entirely the opposite of me, I would still respect them more if they stood up for each other out of loyalty and honor then if they caved under pressure and agreed with me.

How do our other subjects handle this?

I think one of the most notable examples was in Maid of Honor. To Batman’s credit, he does not totally disregard Wonder Woman’s perspective.

Both of them have instincts about the villain and the political situation of the plot, and both of them end up being mostly right. But Diana nearly costs them the mission when she recklessly crashed Audrey’s wedding without waiting to hear Batman’s plan. batman doesn’t think the less of her, but it’s important to observe that they don’t solve anything till they start working together as a unit and not just as two concerned parties.

See, even if two people in a relationship are both right, it doesn’t do any good if they cant work together. That’s what makes the real bond between them. Diana makes a classic beginner’s mistake of thinking she can handle it on her own. But her passion clouds her judgement and almost gets her killed and loses her friendship with Audrey. Batman’s cooler headed approach works out better.

But in all fairness, he was wrong in suspecting Audrey and her father and Diana set him straight on that. SO when they come together at the end, you can see they’ve made progress and whenever the two team up after that there’s a certain understanding between them that doesn’t exist between the other members.

Onto another example: Disagreements.

I have yet to read any real disagreement between Scott and Barda, I’ve heard that they have one really bad fight during the course of the comics, and I’ll deal with that later. For now I’ll talk about how they resolve their different points of view.

there are multiple times when Scott prefers to settle things peaceable and through reason or through cunning, while Barda prefers to just crush the problem with her mega-rod.

I would say at least 50-60% of the time, Scott’s way is what prevails. After Barda arrives he establishes his role as the leader of the house by right of arriving first (which is fair, he knows more about Earth than her) and tells her that they will all act as friends. “The strong don’t rule here.” Barda may not see the sense of this, but she accepts it out of respect for him. She never actually tries to harm Oberon or any of Scott’s “Guests” again.

Barda could be the poster girl for feminism, a thing which if often joked about in the comics itself, but she chooses to let Scott lead most of the time because she trusts his judgment. (Remember, mutual trust is what their relationship is built on.)

But, sometimes it goes the other way.

When the people Granny Goodness sends after them start attacking more and more often, Barda does not hesitate to physically drive them off. When she and Scott return to Apokalips, Scott wants to do things his way, but Barda decides there’s been enough of that. Scott lets her have free reign when he sees she’s determined.

This is important, Scott is not looking to tame her.

There is a difference between tempering you’re love interest and taming them. We all need tempering, we all need more control over some areas and more sharpness in others. But true love will celebrate the strengths of the beloved, and when it is right, allow them to go full throttle with them.

Scott enjoys Barda’s toughness, and that it=s what makes it so darn irresistible to love these two. Even before they are romantic, they enjoy each other’s personalities and character’s and learn to respect them.

On the other hand, our other couple does things a bit different.

I would not dump on them just to prove a point. Wonder Womana nd BAtman both enjoy each other too. But that happens to them is that because of that trust thing, they hit a wall.

Batman and Wonder Woman often take two different approaches, and when they disagree they don’t spend time trying to understand the other. Nor do they submit to the other even when it would be wisest to just pick a way and stick to it.

When they do argue, which is only once in my memory, they both push for their own way. Batman does this by blocking out everything but his own reasoning and laying that down in a very insensitive manner. (Guys, you know you do this. It’s ok, girls do it too.) Wonder Woman does it by not really hearing what’s behind his words, or if so she does not speak to it, but just keeps pressing for her own way.

These two deeply care about each other but nether knows how to express it in the best way to the other. The real problem is that Batman at least is determined not to try. Again, Wonder Woman is less at fault for being willing to go there.

Okay, wow, that took a lot longer than I expected. I hope you’re still interested because there’s more to go into in part three.

–Natasha.

How to have a super relationship-1

Today I’m going to do something fun.

After all my Justice League related posts I’ve been anxious to do more, I have fun pulling things out of those old memories.

So, just to be different, I want to talk about superhero relationships. (Yes, that was a joke.)

Still the reason superhero relations ships are so fun is because they take the same problems real relationships have and below them up to a much bigger scale.

Actually, a good rule of thumb when you’re judging superhero films and comics is to ask if the supers are dealing with common problems but on a magnified scale, like Spiderman/Peter Parker always is. I find that to be the most believable, because it doesn’t matter how may powers you have, you’re still human.

That especially applies to relationships.

I have two couples in mind today. I’ll be referring to the JLU show again, and the Mr. Miracle comic, because the similarity between these two couples struck me almost as soon as I read the latter.

I present for you consideration the power couples Batman and Wonder Woman, and Scott and Barda.

You may not like the Batman=Wonder Woman dynamic, but it’s the best one to serve my purpose so bear with me.

Over the course of the first two JLU seasons the writers teased the viewers with hints that Wonder Woman and Batman had, in their words, “a quasi relationship.’

I think it started from the moment Batman saw her take out some alien freaks int he first episode, and gradually they built up a mutual respect and trust, Wonder Woman somewhere along the line learned both his and Superman’s secret identity and became one of the big three. She keeps a good balance between the two more sober men.

But Batman eventually began to feel like they were getting too close and started saying he had no time for a serious relationship. Wonder Woman thought this was crud, but she couldn’t really force the point.

Scott and Barda I’ve already covered, they met on the hellish world of Apokalips, she saved his life, then followed him to earth, he saved her life, she stuck with him and it was a match made in heaven.

But if we were to take a closer look at these couples we could compare a lot of their stories.

Batman and Scott both share a traumatic past, losing their parents, and having few friends. They also share a talent for escaping and a love of justice.

Barda and Wonder Woman both share a fierce loyalty and a quick temper when they feel they or their friends are disrespected or threatened. They both were raised to be tough warriors, the best of their kind, and they both left that life, though for different reasons. (Not so different if we went by the old Wonder Woman, but the JLU one is not the same.)

They even look a lot a like.

But when we put these two couples together, there’s a huge difference in how they interact.

Wonder Woman did almost all of the advancing in the relationship, and not in what I would consider a bad way. Batman thought none the worse of her for it, I think he liked it. That was actually the trouble. Batman would not be honest about how he felt. Though on several occasions he showed a reference for her that was almost foolish, (and very cute,) he would never admit to it afterwards. She spelled it out as far as a woman can with any self-respect.

Those of us who have studied Batman’s character know the reason he was so hesitant. He is scared to be close to anyone, most especially someone he could really love. and more than that, someone like Diana who he could not control or intimidate, and who is not a criminal. She was his equal and that’s what freaked him out, because he couldn’t use any of his typical excuses not to let people get to him. (Which is always they are either too young, they work for him, or they are evil.)

How many men, and women, see themselves in Batman? They maybe date people, but they date people who are no good for them, who the y could never marry, or whom they feel distant from. If they ever meet a person who would really challenge them,t hey back off because they’ve been hurt too badly in the past.

I think with Batman, and most of us, it goes back to being left alone and helpless by his parents, with neither him nor them being able to do anything. he is always afraid of the same thing happening again. And he knows even Wonder Woman is not safe from all his enemies, though his fear that they could go through her to get to him seems a bit ludicrous. She faces enemies just as bad or worse than his on a regular basis and nothing he could do is going to change that. IF they aren’t after him they;ll be after her.

Wonder Woman herself seems to realize this is stupid and even insulting, but we never ear a satisfactory end to that conversation.

This is known as a dysfunctional relationship. Notice that Wonder Woman is mostly the functional part of it, she had a secure bringing up, though she couldn’t’ begin to understand what men are really like, and Batman knows it. but she’s at least willing to go there. She has a lot less issues then him, but he doesn’t want to mess her up. the thin is, he probably wouldn’t. It’s just an excuse.

That’s where we get to Scott and Barda.

Scott takes a similar path to Batman, but he starts it when he’s a lot older though young in doing the right thing. Scott also realizes that relationships should not be avoided, though he does not take them as seriously as some. He quickly makes friends with his assistant Oberon, and with other people he meets. He is similar to Bruce Wayne in that he has an older and (inferior in ability )servant/friend. And that eventually he has a young prodigy.

But Scott wants to involve Barda in his life and his work almost as soon as she shows up. When she first saves his life, his one regret is that she would not come with him. Perhaps from the beginning then Scott learned that you can never be quite satisfied when you leave people you care about behind.

The best men in real life, and women to thought hey often need less encouragement to do so, are the ones who bring their friends and family along for the ride. They are willing to show them what they do. But they aren’t pushy about making them join in. They invite and encourage but they don’t force people to be part of their lives.

I’ll close with Barda and then the rest will have to be in part two.

Barda is by nature a small circle person. Like Diana she often is the one to advance the relationship, not by trying to however, just by being herself and being honest. What you love about her is that Barda never wastes words. She says what she feels plain and simple.

She’d jump down a shark’s mouth for you and never expect you to thank her for it.

Barda, to put it succinctly, does not over complicate. She is not catty. She doesn’t nag or do things for selfish reasons. I’ll get more into this in part two.

Until next post–Natasha.

 

 

 

Absolutely.

We all have heard of absolutes, but I’ve noticed that there seems to be a lack of general understanding about what exactly an absolute is and how we can tell it is there or isn’t. So I thought I would attempt to define it.

I can give you an easy example of a material absolute: Suppose I was sitting next to a table lamp. I can touch the lamp, I can see the lamp, I could even smell it if I wished. The lamp is a material absolute. No human being could change the fact that the lamp is real.

Now suppose someone were to say that they don’t believe the lamp is really there. They might disbelieve their eyes, or perhaps there is something wrong with their sense of touch. Even if they cannot feel the lamp, or see it, does that mean the lamp isn’t real?

Well you could say I am hallucinating the lamp, then I run into the same problem in reverse. Just because I can see it or feel it, does that mean it’s real?

The fact is, either the lamp is there or it isn’t. Those are two absolute realities. Only one person can be right and one wrong.

If the lamp is there, then it doesn’t matter whether the other person can sense it or not, it’s still there.

Does that make sense? But I can take it a step further.

Assuming the lamp is there, the other person might say that as long as they don’t believe it’s there it can’t affect them. I could turn it on or off and they could see or not see, but they might say it doesn’t matter.

I could even hit them with the lamp and they couldn’t feel it.

But if I were to injure them, that would prove the lamp is real.

(You might say that an injury isn’t real if you can’t feel it, but what about a bug bite? Or a head injury that knocks you out. You might not feel either, but one at least is certainly life threatening. Actually the worse the injury, in some cases, the less you can feel it because of damaged nerves.)

If nothing happens to them, then I was in error.

So the question is not if there is an absolute, but which absolute it is.

But what about believing in a lie? Doesn’t that harm you?

Yes, but that’s proof of my point. Truth (reality) will harm you or help you whether you believe it or not. A lie will not harm you until you let it.

It’s the difference between hallucinating a truck barreling toward you on the highway and actually standing on the highway in front of a moving truck. The first one will hurt you only if you believe it and do something stupid; the second will hurt you whether you believe it or not. Unless you move.

Truth is like a truck. Dangerous when it’s coming against you; but life saving if you’re inside it. (Trucks save lives don’t they?)

Lies on the other hand are you hurting yourself. They are nothing in of themselves, except a trick.

An absolute then is a thing not subject to change no matter the circumstance.

You’ve probably heard that matter cannot be created or destroyed, only changed from one form into another. Matter (like the lamp) is an absolute for us.

And I dare say there are absolutes far more sure then material ones.

You know a tree by its fruit.

Now, and you probably saw this coming, suppose the lamp was God?

Many people cannot feel God, many more cannot see Him; but some claim to have felt Him and some claim not to.

We’ve seen that seeing and feeling themselves are not proof of the absolute of anything.

Even though God is not a material absolute, the same rules will apply. Either He is there or he is not. One person is perceiving the truth, the other is blind.

I think the evidence of God is much the same, without the lamp on, one cannot see; without God, there is no meaning in life.

If God were to strike someone they might not recognize it as Him but there would still be a blow. A mark.

The question is not if the absolute is there, but which it is, and if you will believe it.

Notice that at the moment there is just as much probability for atheism as theism.

This whole exercise might seem totally obvious; but nowadays it isn’t. Many people believe there are no absolutes, so theoretically the person who sees and the one who doesn’t are equally perceptive.

But it doesn’t work: Real things leave an impression. It could be a bruise or it could be an effect on your life, but it will be there; whether you see it or not. The proof is in the damage or improvement in your condition.

This works with emotional things too. We see it in the effects addictions have on people, addictions of all kinds, activity and substance related. The people themselves may fail to see the difference but their family and friends don’t.

It is no good trying to pretend that blindness isn’t real. All kinds of blindness.

Oddly enough I don’t hear it talked of a whole lot anymore. Being blind to the truth.

Okay that about wraps this up, but if anything in this post was unclear, please comment and let me know, I am open to suggestions. It’s a tricky subject to tackle.

Until next time–Natasha.

Breaking it down.

“[M]an has been accustomed, ever since he was a boy, to having a dozen incompatible philosophies dancing about together inside his head. He doesn’t think of doctrines as primarily “true” or “false,” but as “academic” or “practical,” “outworn” or “contemporary,” “conventional” or “ruthless.” Jargon, not argument, is your best ally in keeping him from the Church. Don’t waste time trying to make him think that materialism is true! Make him think it is strong or stark or courageous—that it is the philosophy of the future. That’s the sort of thing he cares about.”
― C.S. LewisThe Screwtape Letters

If you haven’t read this book, read it. It is devilishly insightful. (Ha ha.)

I thought I’d follow up on my Your God will be My God post with a post delving a bit more into the why behind the matter.

It’s true that many of the youth of today have no real idea of what it means to believe in something.

But it might be less obvious why that is.

Everyone has their own theory. But the funny thing is, even one person has so many different causes for it that you’ll here the same man blame the government, the school systems, the church, the parents, and the youths themselves, all in the course of one or two conversations on the subject.

So ladies and gents, I am here today to simplify this mess as best as I can. I believe you can narrow every single problem down to three basic causes.

But first let me define what problems I mean a bit more:

I am referring to the moral ambiguity or just plain confusion of the younger generations.

I am referring to the spinelessness of the older generations in general to stand against this tide.

I am referring to the blind adherence to the principals of society that many people exhibit.

I am referring to the unbelievable corruption of the authorities of said society.

There now, I hop that’s enough to intrigue everyone.

First of all, as Lewis points out in the above, youth now (and then when he wrote it) hear scores of different worldviews presented to them. Often the worldviews are blended into each other so that they are barely distinguishable. Every one declares their personal worldview to be true. The youth is often not given any measuring stick to go by, and so remains confused and unable to stick to any one thing.

But what has changed in the past sixty years is that now, many people will not even try to compel the youth to believe in what they themselves believe in. Instead they will say “whatever works for you.”

This philosophy is fed to the youth from every imaginable source, including their parents and all too often the church, so if they meet someone who thinks that’s a load of crap, they think that person is the odd one out, never realizing that in terms of history, they are the oddballs. (Every homeschooler’s experience.)

But that’s where the second problem comes in. The older generations may not even totally believe that philosophy, but they are afraid to go against it because a lot of major power sources in the world are busy promoting this idea. Unfortunately, often the courageous men or women who dare to oppose are shut down by said sources, sometimes they are shut down by their own friends or fellow workers.

This explains why people blindly go along with this stuff. And why the most corrupt individuals are the ones who rise to power in this sick system.

But I can break it down more than that.

This is nothing new. The root cause of all this is the same thing: Sin.

Sin comes in three parts. There’s the sin of the individual, the sin of the world at large, and the sin of the devil. And I mean what he causes specifically.

It might sound nuts to blame the devil, but if you can’t accept that, then think of it as the reason why sin keeps getting worse. Something is constantly causing new ways for people to be corrupt, call it what you will, you can’t deny that things get worse over time.

The sin of the individual in this case is that every human being is selfish, and every human being tends to think more of themselves then they should. IT is all too easy for people to be lazy about what they believe. Pluralism is not popular because it is wise, peaceful, or inducing to happiness; it’s popular because it’s convenient and easy. A get out of jail-free card.

The sin of the world is that as a whole, people tend to act in the worst ways. Peer pressure, mob mentality, you know the drill. Sometimes that’s not the case, but whenever a lot of people get upset, sooner or later some of them will let their emotions get the better of reason.

And that stems back to individual sin.

And then all you need is some misguided or misguiding leader to step up and you get a whole movement going which could be pure idiocy. Often it turns to pure evil. (Holocausts, the reign of terror, the after effects of the Civil War and Civil Rights movement.)

Messed up people create messed up societies which choose messed up leaders, and so the cycle goes till a righteous generation chooses to end it.

But this generation is being robbed of the ability to even figure out what righteousness is.

The thing is, Pluralism is spoken of like its a fact. But it’s a belief. By its own philosophy, it has no more credit than any other morality.

But it keeps its followers blind to its own contradictions. They stay that way because of sin.

But there is hope.

One thing pluralism cannot change is that some people do instinctively know that right and wrong are real. And these people may yet see through the deception.

But it would help if more of us could help them see that the deception exists.

Not wanting our beliefs challenged is an old human flaw, if it even is a flaw. (I think it’s really just a twisted version of a very healthy wish for stability.) But we need them to be.

And by the way, there is a cure for the sin problem. It’s Jesus.

Those are my thoughts on this for now, until next time–Natasha.

What I learned from ASL.

They say third times the charm: But I have failed for the third time at the Driver’s Test.

I blame the system at this point.

Even if I am really just that poor at Driving, there’s nothing I can do about it except try, try again.

Here’s a thing you all may not know about me, I am a language buff.

I am studying three different languages currently. Fluency is slow coming since I am self taught with limited resources, but it’s still fun.

Lately I’ve had the opportunity to expand my knowledge of one language, ASL, by mingling with  both deaf people and sign interpreters.

Here’s some things to know about deaf folks, they aren’t insulted if you use that term. If you use “Hearing impaired” they think it means someone who is only partially deaf. It’s not like with blindness. (I don’t know if it’s the blind or the seeing who decided we needed to say “visually impaired” instead.)

Also, ASL stands for American Sign language. But there’s a few other sign languages used in America. There is English signing. Which it not the same as British signing. English signing is word for word. American sign is supposed to convey the idea of what you’re saying more than the individual words.

When you can’t hear what someone is saying, you have to learn to understand a lot by just watching them. So it’s better to use less motions so there’s time to watch facial expressions too.

Now I’m hearing, and I have no deaf relatives, which a few decades back would have made me a pretty rare anomaly in deaf culture. Only a few hearing people used to be familiar with sign language. But now that it’s taught in school, even hearing folks are becoming interpreters and being part of the deaf community. Which is pretty much the community no one else is aware of unless they’ve known someone who knows someone in it.

Folks are trying to make it possible for the deaf to be a part of regular society. Job-wise anyway.

Anyway, I took a fancy to ASL a few years back and have studied it off and on since, as well as taught a little of it to s couple people. Unfortunately I’ve yet to mean someone else with my passion for language.

You may wonder why I’m sharing this.

Well, for all I know, a deaf person could have clicked on my blog and I never knew it. So hey, if that’st he case, welcome aboard.

But more than that I think that learning ASL has changed me somewhat. Just how much is yet to be determined. If I choose to pursue a real career in it, then it’ll change my whole life. If it remains a hobby, who knows? You never know what might come of something like this.

But even at a basic level, knowing ASL has opened my eyes to the world of non verbal communication.

I have been one of those folks who had trouble looking people in the eye, and picking up on body language. That I should take to signing is somewhat ironic, since it’s made up exclusively of both those things. But I never had a real problem in the signing context with looking at people.

I wonder now if it also improved my ability to perceive people’s body language.

It’s been so long and there’s so many other factors that it’s hard to say for sure. But I do think I see communication differently now.

I think everyone should be fluent in at least one other language if they have any ability to learn it at all. Mentally it will make your brain stronger and give you a better grasp of your own tongue. (And most people who aren’t Americans already know this.)

But I have found a spiritual element in it too.

Trying to learn another language is humbling. It makes you realize how dependent on language we are as humans. And how little you know when you thought you knew a lot.

Also I sometime think of how God knows every single language, and it makes no difference to him.

Honestly, maybe I just feel less different from people of other cultures. Different languages can be intimidating, but once you’ve learned one, you realize that they all have meaning and the people who speak them express themselves just as you do.

Because if humans can’t communicate, what can we do with each other? Nothing.

Which is not to say I don’t get a little fun out of being able to puzzle other people who speak only English, what can I say? I’m human.

But what I really hope is that I’ll make connections because of this hobby of mine. I believe that our gifts and interests are given to us both for our own enjoyment and to help other people. even if helping them starts with just understanding them. I can’t tell you how much that has helped me at difficult times in my life.

Well, that’s all for now, until next time–Natasha.

A myth retold.

You ever hear the myth of Cupid and Psyche? It’s pretty cool. It was the inspiration for my favorite book “Till we have faces.”

In a nutshell it’s Beauty and the Beast with a few strange twists.

Psyche is a beautiful beyond belief woman, who is being worshiped instead of the goddess Aphrodite (who is goddess of love and beauty) which makes Aphrodite furious, so she sens her son Eros (whom we all know by his roman name Cupid) to make Psyche fall in love with some hideous person or beast. In the process however, he accidentally scratches himself with the point of an arrow and falls  in love with her himself.

Well, you can imagine how Aphrodite feels about this, but she doesn’t do anything for awhile. Psyche goes to an oracle for advice, since she’d getting lonely and tired of only being worshiped and not really loved, the oracle (I believe upon Aphrodite’s instruction) tells her she is fated to marry a monster. Well, Psyche isn’t too happy about this, but somehow( the reasons vary) she ends up on a cliff and the West Wind comes an carries her to this great palace. Where he is waited on by invisible servants and visited at night by her husband. Whom she never sees. (This is like the original Beauty and the Beast, not the Disney version.)

Psyche is enjoying herself with no qualms until her sisters pay her a visit. (Either Eros lets them or his mother or they somehow find her themselves, I’m not sure.) We’ll say Eros lets them in this account. Her sisters fill her head with suspicions about her husband, what if he really is a hideous monster? Finally she agrees to look at him by night, the very thing she was forbidden to do. So she does this that night, but he turns out to be a gorgeous god with angel wings. While she’s gaping at him in adoration a drop of hot candle wax falls on him from her lap. He wakes up, scolds her for breaking his trust, and leaves her there. Aphrodite hears all about it and decides to punish Psyche in some pretty dramatic ways. She sets her a lot of tasks that seem impossible. But creatures ranging from ants, to eagles, to other gods, all help her complete the tasks.

Finally she is given one last task. Getting beauty from Persephone, the queen of the underworld. Psyche successfully gets a cask from her, but even though she was warned not to look in it, she does. (Some say because she wanted to look better for her husband whom she was supposed to be reunited with.) Well, it turns out what was in the box was death. Or else the beauty in it was so intense no mortal mind could take it in. Whatever the case Psyche immediately passes out. Either into death or just unconsciousness.

Eros finally comes back to her, after being kept away by his mother for a long time, and revives her. Then he brings her up to Olympus and she is given immortality. Zeus patches things up between her and Aphrodite somehow, and they all live happily ever after. (As much as Greek gods do.) Psyche also is given wings. Butterfly like wings if I remember correctly.

In Greek psyche means “Soul” and I’ve also heard it means “butterfly.” Which I think fits. I think the Greeks were onto a thing or two when they came up with this myth.

The myth is a metaphor for the soul. I’m sure it’s been interpreted different ways, but here’s my guess at it: The soul has to mate with love in order to fly. But before it can be fully united to true love, it must be free of its bondage to selfish, vengeful, jealous love (represented by Aphrodite.) That kind of love is just lust really, it wants to be admired and fulfilled but never give anything back in return. And if you know anything about Greek mythology, you know Aphrodite is responsible for screwing a lot of people up because of her matchmaking. (To her credit, she also makes some happy marriages along the way.)

Eros, or Cupid is considered a monster because he forces people to fall for each other with his arrows. People fear love because it leads to many reckless things. At least I always thought that’s what it meant.

C. S. Lewis puts a different spin on it when he shows that people fear Eros because they do not understand him, nor do they know him. Even though by all accounts Aphrodite does more to mess people up, Eros gets the credit for the damage she does. Eros is seen as a  brute because he seems to devour people. In that they are never seen again after they are taken to him. But Lewis digs deeper and shows that after being with a god, mortals are ruined for ever being content with mere mortal companionship again. Which makes their families angry and jealous, and makes other immortals like Aphrodite furious.

The really odd part is where Psyche dies. In any other Greek Myth, she’d be doomed for disobeying Aphrodite’s instructions. (It happened to other people.) But in this one, in an odd twist, she is forgiven and brought back with no lasting consequences. And she is reunited with her husband and made immortal. Did you catch that? The soul is made immortal after being united with love?

What’s really interesting is that I’m fairly certain this myth predated Christianity, yet all the basic elements of Christianity are in there. Psyche breaks the god’s command, ends up enslaved to another god who wants to punish her, she dies, she is resurrected, and she lives forever; because of love.

On top of that, Eros is Aphrodite’s son, so you could also see it as a representation of how Christ atones for us and makes us right with the Father.

It’s a powerful myth because it rings true. It’s one of the only Greek myths I know of where mercy wins out over the gods queer justice. It also reflects the truth, as Lewis shows, that the gods ways are unsearchable for mortals.

I like the myth both in its original form and in its retelling and I can’t figure out why no one is doing a retelling of it in movie form. Someone get on that!

Anyway, I hope you liked it, until next time–Natasha.