Cataclysms and the Heroes/Villains They Create
|Would it matter if I didn't put the date and the source to this picture?|
Image via Flickr
As a Christian (both Catholic and Protestant), we were taught that a horrible and devastating end would come some day and that a savior would come and emancipate us. But only if we have faith.
This notion taps into the deepest fibers of our instincts regarding self-preservation. Self preservation is natural and it goes beyond moral notions of good, evil, right and wrong.
My observations regarding most religions is that they share this common denominator: the desire to control the natural tendencies of humans. The foremost of these has to do with sex. Whether you are Muslim, Jewish, Protestant or Catholic, religious dogma regarding sex is the one that's the most strictly enforced. The debates are rancorous and fought fiercely and at this moment in history, I believe that we are on the edge of a defining moment. But that's a story for another day and time.
Cataclysms have always fascinated me for it is a time when the laws of man are subverted by the laws of nature.
When the cataclysm ends, it is here where we see three types of people: villains, heroes and the weak.
Social order is thrown in chaos. The cataclysm forces our eyelids to open to the bitter and scary truth that we are vulnerable.
What used to be the "controlled" in society exert their physical might over the weak regardless of the latter's previous status in orderly society. If you have what they need, they will come and get it. If you cannot defend it, you will lose it. That is just a fact of life: brutal, painful, subversive and chaotic.
You can see it when the looters come and ravage you and what you worked for. You are powerless, they take and they consume. Everything is up for grabs.
The heroes arise from the weak. Out of a sense of conviction and justice they are moved to use whatever it is in their power for those common perceived notions of good. We glorify super human abilities yet the true heroes are without these. They only have what they have at the moment to defeat the villain.
To put it crassly: if a thief breaks into somebody's home and a person of sufficient size and power grabs a lead pipe and hits the thief on the head, would that make the person a hero? To the eyes of the family who is being victimized, yes. But how about to the eyes of the thief's infant who is waiting for his father to bring him some food?In this instance, the lead pipe and the person made all the difference. Christianity would have espoused notions of self sacrifice and to convince the thief that he need not steal anymore. But Christianity is part of the order imposed by man. Cataclysms erase that in terms of ratios. The more powerful the cataclysm, the more drastic the subversion. However, the more that people are aware of these notions and are in universal accord, the more that they are espoused. But hunger drives many to the brink.
Real heroes don't need superpowers, they just need the courage to create change.
After the cataclysm has passed, the hero is rewarded. More often than not, he is accorded the status of leader and political superior. Because he espouses the majority held notion of a universal value or good, he is given the power by the many to protect and uphold this. He thus becomes the king.
Contrast this with comic book romanticism where the hero chooses the path of anonymity and shuns away this kind of power. (Well, except Iron Man's Tony Stark - the hero who dwelled in riches and technology.)
Levels of Cataclysm
As I've mentioned previously, "the more powerful the cataclysm, the more drastic the subversion". A cataclysm that ends and then spurs local civic organizations to move and act is among the lowest of all cataclysms. More often than not, we are yelled at by the media to get moving and to go out of our comfort zones to become heroes in our own little ways.
- 100 dead, help and donate to the Philippines
- URGENT: 1,000,000 dead, floating around, help and donate to the typhoon victims in the Philippines
If you want to hear about a true cataclysm or the triumph of evil over good, you just need to look back at the things you already know and have forgotten or chosen to ignore.