A letter to my Son My Dearest son, Tristan, As you are growing older, I have noticed your fascination with superheroes and their role in the world today. As you begin your own adventures and explorations, I felt that it would be necessary for you to understand the path of heroism and the theory developed by the 1950 author, Joseph Campbell in his book, The Hero with a Thousand Faces. Someday, later in your life, you will look back and be able to follow your own exploits, comparably to those similar guidelines that every hero must confront as observed by Campbell.
It is only a few weeks until the opening of this entry’s greatest super hero, Superman, and his tale is very relevant to the term coined by Joseph Campbell as, “The Heroic Monotony”. (Oracle) In order for you to better understand the Monotony cycle, as designed by Joseph Campbell, the conflicts of Superman will be presented as the hero for your instruction. The first stage of the Monotony theory is the Departure followed by several phases that the hero confronts as his call to duty begins.
For Superman his Departure begins as his home world of Krypton is destroyed and his father sends him to Earth in an attempt to save his son and his blood line. When he arrives on earth as a young boy the first phase, the “call to adventure” begins almost immediately a he saves the lives of his newly adopted Earth parent’s. As Superman begins to grow older and more mature he faces the issue of his alien origins and realizes he is different than the average teenager, and his doubts reflect the second phase, a “Refusal of the Call”.
It isn’t until later, when Superman discovers a crystal from Krypton has the ability to recreate his home and present him with counsel from his late fraternal father that he receives, “Supernatural aid” and at the same time he Crosses the first threshold” accepting his powers and understanding that he must sacrifice his identity and social norms in order to become the hero. As he enters his isolated fortress of solitude he enters the “belly of the whale” and emerges as the symbol of hope for a daunted age. As Superman emerges from his solitude, red caped and filled with purpose, he begins the second stage of the Monotony, initiation.
Superman confronts the trials of simple crime to the battles with the criminal mind Leg Luther and even internal conflicts with Clark Ken’s humanity and the value of life. For Superman, the Earthly sun plays a major role in the superhuman strength and powers possessed by Superman and, therefore, plays the role of the Goddess, while his more human endeavors with Lois Lane tend to play the Temptress that distract him from his purpose threatening his role as a savior to humanity in favor for a more domestic life.
Superman traded his powers for the love of Lois Lane, an error which nearly cost him his life and saw the enslavement of the planet. When he returned to his fortress of solitude and confronted his late father his powers were restored and Superman dad, “Atonement with the Father”, which allowed him to have a better understanding of his selfless importance and dedication to all life or his “Apotheosis”. His realization, his moment of enlightenment, is the solidification of his duties to metropolis anon ten rest AT man Ana “ten ultimate noon” Tanat sets ten stage Tort Nils devotion and Mythical status to the last century.
Superman, may have been content with his purpose on Earth but he was still conflicted with his origins as well as the idea that he was the last Krypton. Naturally, he left Earth in order to seek out his mom planet and any other survivors. In the case of Superman, this may represent the third stage of the monotony theory as he has found purpose and is torn by his own personal desires and his duty to mankind representing the phase of “refusal of the return”. Superman does return however and it is his knowledge of his discovery, the complete destruction of his former home that is the “magic flight” phase of his journey.
He now has the “freedom to live” as both a supernatural hero and as Clark Kent confronting his struggles with his own humanity and his duty as protector to unanimity with a better understanding. Superman is the epitome of the “heroic Monotony” as his Journey through conflict and strife follows the Joseph Campbell theory perfectly. Superman’s origin began in 1938 and his adventures have always mirrored the patterns of the monotonic, both on a grand scale and in each minor struggle that he faces. The hero and many of the characters around him confront the three major stages of Departure, Initiation, and Return.
The duality of Superman is representative of what each of us will face in our lifetime and it is the catalyst to our turn. Tristan, you will confront your nature several times in your life and must remember who you are and where you are from in order to face the external struggles of life. In order to do this you will turn to your father and your mother for guidance, you may seek isolation from the world to sort things out and emerge a stronger more dedicated man with the individualistic demeanor of a good man.
It is important for you to understand the “Heroic monotony” as it is a relationship to how you will confront the challenges of every stage of your life. The choices you make will establish who you are and what you represent as a member of society while establishing your individuality and ability to rise above wrong choices and protect others from indifference and corruption. The moment of “Apotheosis” will not be an easy road but it will bring you peace of mind and set you in a direction with drive and limitless possibilities.
May your Journey be mythic and true. You’re Father Chris A Modern Mythic Journey to Mesopotamia The natural reaction of placing one’s self in harm’s way is rich with conflicted emotions. As a soldier it is necessary to confront these emotions, as well as the operation from the familiarities and comforts of home. On the national day of love, in February 2003, I kissed my wonderful wife farewell, and departed for the arid, unfamiliar and unwelcoming Arab countries of Kuwait and Iraq and by April the conflict had taken us to the village of Ah Samaras, Iraq.
The village was torn with insurgency and hatred for the occupying soldiers that took refuge on the outskirts of the Northern side of their homes. My name was Husky, given to me for my love of the breed of dog and my pack-oriented nature. My closest friend bore the name Iron Chef, his Job for the army was cook but for the war he served as a sniper and an infantryman. There wasn’t anything we wouldn’t do for each other and together we were one of the most lethal Sniper teams ever to set foot into Iraq.
I had almost a sixth sense for detecting enemy locations and our ability to infiltrate any enemy position unaware darkness mace us seem Invisible to ten unman eye Wendell our tidally to see and engage the enemy at distances over two thousand meters made us invincible. On April 22nd, one of our most difficult ethical decisions had to be mad or the first time. We had been ambushed by a large number of entrenched combatants that used mortar rounds and effective machine gun fire to pin down our forces.
The Iron Chef and I moved into a parcel of farm land that sat below the enemies view, yet we could hear the snap and feel the wind of the enemy fire whizzing across our heads and shoulders as if there was some sort of lead wall threatening to prostrate us to the ground for eternity. As we began to work our way into a position to effect the enemy combatants, a rocket struck one of our vehicles bout two hundred meters to our immediate front, destroying the truck and injuring the occupants, how seriously, we did not know but we had to work our way to their location, provide them cover and get them to safety.
Meanwhile, the commander, a young captain, lost control and out of fear, began to call retreat. His men and he abandoned the truck and us to the enemy, leaving the Iron Chef and myself to face the moral question of saving our friends at the risk of losing our lives. There was little doubt as to what choice we would make. The Iron Chef and I looked only briefly at each other and we said nothing only prepared ourselves by dropping anything that would slow us down or hinder our movement. We knew what to do because only two weeks earlier we were on an Island in Kuwait known as Flash in the Persian Gulf.
While we were on the island we had reaffirmed our faith in god and, during a severe sand storm that created waves of biblical size, we were baptized before God. This gave us a fearless ability to face any challenge, no matter how difficult, with the grace of God with us we would not fail and our souls were saved if our bodies met their demise. Our movements to the damaged vehicle ere not observed by the opposing forces and our ability to control our emotions brought clarity to our task.
As we moved to the rear of the truck we exposed ourselves to enemy fire in order to give the occupants time to exfoliate from the vehicle and find cover. The Iron Chef and began to identify the positions of the ambushing forces with precision fire and the power of God; we eliminated the threats at distances of over one thousand meters. The effect on the enemy psyche was so great it caused them to cease fire long enough for us to regain the upper and and inflict damages not only to their physical being but their morality and motivation.
The two of us watched over one hundred enemy combatants run in fear from our wrath and accuracy. As soon as the three wounded men that occupied the truck had moved back into the folds of our forces the Iron Chef and continued to hold the ground in order to allow for the remaining force to move to our location and regain the initiative of the battlefield. It wasn’t until much later, while on a recon in Baghdad, Iraq, that the two of us met our Iraqi grandfather, Abraham, a man of wise ND worldly knowledge that instilled in us a love for the people of Iraq.
His granddaughter was born the day that Sad Hussein was taken out of power. They named her liberty in honor of the American forces and it was very important to him that the Iron Chef and I bless their child. Whether we were Christian or Muslim made little difference to him, it was important for him that we understand that the people of Iraq are a tolerant and welcoming of all cultures. He took us into his home and protected us on more than one scallop; putting enamels at rolls to expose ten criminals that opposed the US forces, more importantly, his new friends.
It was our encounter with Abraham and his family that enlightened us to the culture of Iraq and opened our hearts to the country and its people. Departing Iraq, was one of the most difficult choices I could ever make, although there was a bounty on our heads and every day that we departed the safety of our compound could have been our last, we found a profound love for the people. It was, as if, we were witnessing the birth of humanity all over again. Every day the Iraqi people were experiencing something new hat had been taken from them; from soccer to television, it all felt like a breath of fresh air.