Being a super hero in the war zone we call relationships
Being a super hero in the war zone we call relationships
Is the superhero the great basketball star, the intrepid climber of mountain peaks, the swimmer of vast tracts of ocean, the solo marathon runner?
Does it make sense that in such cases the title of ‘superhero’ is used to refer to anyone who seeks to submit the body to extreme physical excesses that can endanger the health and wellbeing of the body?
A woman recently championed on National Television news for ‘fighting and defeating ovarian cancer’ was featured as being a ‘hero’ for going back out there to compete in a gruelling Triathlon which further defeated and weakened her body. Likewise, a football star, now a paraplegic for life from playing this sport, is wheeled out onto the stage of national television as a proclaimed hero, encouraging young boys to play this game, to put themselves in the same danger. Is this heroism or madness?
Certainly we could say that a true superhero is one who triumphs over great danger, yet what distinguishes them is that they invariably bring some kind of multi-dimensional awareness and a deeper aspect of healing to the ‘dangerous situation’ that presents itself – they are never deliberately creating harm by carelessly putting themselves in a dangerous situation that will abuse the body.
In fact the most perilous place we can be in is to ignore the body, abuse it, and take it to unnatural excesses – in fact to not live lovingly in it – the reason being that our body is the precious receiver through which universal intelligence is able to be transmitted, not the mind as commonly assumed.
We could look back at the exemplary labours of Herakles and wonder at the monumental perils he overcame through adeptly applying the universal wisdom of the Soul, which is transmitted to us via the well-cared-for body. The line between the true superhero and the championed shadowy counterpart may appear to be a fine one, but this line defines the difference between the ‘dead’ and the ‘living’ – the truly embodied living.
Take the classic situation of Shakespeare’s Othello, which is sadly still playing out its drama today. Othello is a ‘noble general’ in the military service of Venice. He is an acclaimed superhero and warrior known for his bravery and courage and has many times defeated ‘the enemy’. Shakespeare exposes how this familiar and accepted template of the superhero, which circulates in the archives of our thought-images, does not in truth work because Othello neglects to carry his super courage over into the way he lives and relates in his everyday life.
He has overlooked the real foe in daily life, the invisible enemy – the forces of the emotions, jealousies and ideals that occupy the psychological haunts of men.
When faced with Iago’s gossip and innuendo about his wife Desdemona, he does not call upon nor consult the truly ‘heroic’ aspect of himself – that far-reaching part within him which is aware, all-discerning and all-knowing of the truth of life, accessible through connecting to the real intelligence within the well-cared-for body. This intelligence knows that there is not one ounce of emotion or jealousy in true love. Othello could have been a ‘warrior for truth’, defeating the lies and innuendo of Iago (who is suffering rejection from being overlooked for promotion by Othello). He could have sat down and had a loving conversation with his wife Desdemona about the rumour of her so-called ‘infidelity’, circulated by Iago, but instead succumbs to the blind and jealous voices from the shadows.
The war zone in this play is, in fact, an unveiling of the way we as a humanity conduct our relationships in the ignorance of competition, jealousy and gossip. It exposes a danger beside which the perils of war pale into insignificance.
Four hundred years later the same scenario is still playing out in workplaces, offices, factories and homes all over the globe. Are we not frequently working and living in a war zone of conflict, comparison, jealousy, hurt, manipulation and blind idealism? If we are abusing our body in any way – through the circulation of such emotions, ideals and lies throughout our being, or through unhealthy food, drink, and disregard, i.e. not living in our body’s presence connected to our divine essence – it is certainly easy to go down the plughole if we are overlooked for promotion, or if we feel jealousy, or join in with the circulating doubt engendering slander and innuendo of the work and marketplace.
Yet nothing can demote us more effectively than our own emotions. We have become so accustomed to neglecting to lovingly maintain and live in our body, and so accustomed to reacting to life instead of responding to what is truly needed, we have largely forgotten that we are super-heroes, that the power is actually in our own hands as we align to becoming the true observers of life, realising that nothing – but nothing – thought or said about us is actually personal to us . . . we who are actually sons of God and a brother to all.
How many of us have imagined that we are not heroic and that our lives are somehow ordinary or mundane? Or have even abandoned ourselves to withdrawing from the emotional ‘battlefield’ of relationship without making the move to truly re-engage in living love from the ‘harmony field’ of our innermost? The contracting movement of withdrawal from life disembodies us, divorces us from our true essence, leaving us in a mightily perilous position. For without commitment to the body we live in we cannot be connected to the power of this unified essential nature in which not one skerrick of divisive emotion resides. Such a separation of mind from body leaves us wide open to an attack coming in through a ‘present-day Iago’ to sabotage and invade our lives . . . because we let it.
The greatest hero is one who has wisely discerned that the most threatening danger in our earthly life comes from the invisible forces that we let in to wantonly play havoc with our minds, bodies and lives – because these forces are what destroy our physical and mental health and thus the joy of committing to life and each other.
There is a magnificent opportunity for each one of us to open our hearts and say ’no’ to the world’s lies, ‘no’ to mediocrity, and ’no’ to withdrawal from life, and instead say ‘yes’ to the divinely intelligent, loving, and power-filled Super Hero that we truly and originally are.
Such a one defeats, through stellar wisdom, the dangers of the shadowy untruth that tries to trip us up and make us competitive and miserable and ruin our precious bodies. Such a one has fully claimed their ‘superman from the stars’ outfit, joyfully arising to live in one-unified relationship with God and with each other while fully engaging with our life on earth.