“Superhero” movies illustrate how a past traumatic experience could direct our Life. The superhero has powers to overcome the “bad” guys but he cannot overcome his own pain.
An interesting common condition between superheroes, is the painful trauma of their childhood. Most of the time, it has something to do with parents: Killed parents, lost parents, tough parents, etc.
A “superhero” will live in the “now” with that past pain. To be “good,” helpful, to put his life in danger is the antidote to an otherwise unbearable pain.
Most movies make of that “superhero” character a martyr, a near-saint, who is willing to sacrifice himself for the “good” of others.
The “drama” of these movies reside in how the superhero cannot forget the past. He is continuously living in the past and trying to make things “right” in the present to calm down his feeling of futility to change his past, which is tinted by anger and guilt.
A superhero wears a mask to protect his identity and to protect his “loved ones” from “evil” repercussions. Thus, fear is part of his experience.
The mask will give a superhero the opportunity to be who he cannot be, without the mask.
The pain, the trauma of something which has happened is not allowed to go. That incident shapes his ego.
That experience of suffering has built a strong ego who is typically looking for revenge, to get even, to express anger due to an unbearable experience.
To help “others” means to change someone destiny, which is something that he couldn’t do for himself. That is how in a subtle way, the superhero gets even with Life.
Paradoxically, suffering is what will dissolve the illusion of the ego, when the time comes to surrender.
The superhero must surrender to life to heal, to be someone new. The word “surrender” is not an accurate description of “giving yourself into” Life, by stopping the rejection of a past experience. That is opening yourself to Life.
The ego is the child of that “past tense” mind. Although an illusion, it becomes a source of identity and the pain will be proportional to size of that ego.
We don’t see experiences as building blocks for change. We catalog experiences as “good or bad” according to the moral value that we have upon them. That value system is not congruent with Life.
Ego arrives when our fight, our rejection of what has happened is strong. Because of our inability to control the outcome; we could try to destroy ourselves in a desperate attempt to “win.”
That is why a person with such pain, is unable to know what love is.
Their love is only a moral standard: “To do good unto others.” But the quality of their actions is not consistent with their true feelings.
Their “good” is coming out of their pain. Life is not a celebration for them, but a traumatic experience, where “self-protection” from others becomes the number one priority.
That is how the ego encloses itself into a box, there may be “good” actions, “good” deeds when viewed from the outside, but the inside is colored by anger, pain, trauma and fear…
Obviously there cannot be love when we are inflicting pain to ourselves. If we cannot love ourselves, how could we love others?
That is why a simplistic morality which only judges the value of a person from their actions, is not concerned with the well being of the individual. Actions are just the face of the clown as the “show must continue”… but; the clown is crying inside.
No one seems to care about that… not even the clown himself. After all, there is no time for that, when “others need you.”
It is that belief the one that perpetuates lack of self-respect. Paradoxically; our society may call that love to yourself as being “egotistical” which in turn, is the source of dishonest human behavior, spiritual self-lies, and political correct facades.