“See, this is how crazy Batman’s made Gotham! If you want order in Gotham, Batman must take off his mask and turn himself in. Oh, and every day he doesn’t, people will die, starting tonight. I’m a man of my word.”
The Joker from the movie “The Dark Knight”
Comic Book Truth
As a child, I read comic books looking for one simple truth. I wanted to find the moment in the battle of good and evil when the hero or the villain admitted that neither could exist without the other. I didn’t realize what I was seeking at the time. But looking back, I saw that moment in the comic book world as a moment of rightness, a beacon of truth. I always felt a sense of peace and wholeness inside of my body when I found those words. I knew that the battle of good and evil would soon be over.
The characters finally admitted that they were nothing more than the other’s reflection. While each contained both characters in their mind, they identified with only one role in the world. They cast the other role out into the sea of consciousness where someone eventually came along to play it.
The pair of opposites eventually unite just like two magnets of opposing poles. Wholeness is our natural state of being. But the reunion of two halves is not the kind of wholeness we truly desire. So instead of welcoming the return of their reflection, they battled it. In fact, they each hoped that they could destroy the other.
Once the characters recognized that they were playing roles, the rules of the game were now exposed; and the game was about to end. I knew that once the game ended, earth would return to paradise. It always does.
The comic book hero/villain story is a powerful metaphor for life when people believe that the battle of good and evil is real. And we are now at a time when the game is finally being exposed; and the world is about to return to paradise. It always does.
Resisting the End of the Game
Strangely enough, we often resist the end of the game. We keep putting the end times out into the future because we believe that the end of the battle of good and evil is the end of the world. It doesn’t even make sense.
We have confused the illusory belief in the battle of good and evil with the real world called heaven on earth or paradise. So we desperately try to keep our superhero alive. We silently hope that the rules of duality will change and good actually could triumph over evil. But it can’t. The good of the superhero is only a false good. It is totally dependent on the false evil of the villain. If one role disappears, the other also loses his job.
Now pay attention, I said he loses his role, his job. I didn’t say he loses his life. People only lose their life in the battle when they think they are their role. And given that most people would rather kill each other than drop their roles, you can understand why people fear meeting their reflection.
True Good has no opposite, and everyone was born truly Good — yes, even Hitler. We learned how to divide thought into good and evil and to project an opponent into the world from our parents and teachers. Some of us just learned it better than others; so we project really big opponents.
If we are honest, some people seem to enjoy the battle of good and evil; they feel alive in war. I don’t have an objection to that. It is their illusion, and they get to create whatever they want as long as it is equally acceptable to ignore them. And in truth, it is.
I’m not a big fan of the battle of good and evil game. I’m much more inclined to choose to spend my days basking in paradise. And I’m pretty good at ignoring those who like to engage in the battle of good and evil. They don’t get my sympathy or charity. You won’t find me kissing the asses of the politicians or the troops. I guess I have the comic book characters to thank for that.
“Ooohhh. You want to play. Come on!” The Joker
In the illusory battle of good and evil, the villain is often having fun even if he won’t admit it. The villain frequently knows that it is all a game. He knows that he is just playing a role. I’ve played some minor villain roles in my life (never did any major damage), and it was very obvious that I was playing a role. I felt pushed and pulled around by the superhero; and my thoughts didn’t feel like my own. But often it feels impossible to get out of the role when you have had enough. It took me a long time to find the escape hatch. Superheroes desperately need their villains.
The villain knows the superhero is a superego that thinks he is very special. The villain sees right through the superhero’s mask; and he clearly recognizes that his superpower is fake.
The villain’s way out is simple but rarely discovered. The way out is to remember that you are not evil, that you are not a villain. That you are, in fact, good. But, quite frankly, once you remember you are not evil, it is kind of enjoyable to make fun of the superhero. I know it’s not nice! But they kind of ask for it.
We all have a Batman and a Joker within us. Our Batman thinks he is the “One.” He wears a mask and a funny power costume (which often looks like a suit and tie or a fancy robe); and he has one superpower (which is just a power that others don’t appear to have). Our Joker is laughing because Batman has nothing to save without him. He knows Batman is not really the authority he claims to be. He’s not impressed with his superpower. In short, the Joker gets the joke. The Joker has all the power because what Batman fears most is becoming a meek, simple man with no superpowers and no purpose. He fears being ordinary.
You either die a hero or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain.
Harvey Dent from “The Dark Knight”
Life in a World of Duality
Life on planet earth is about understanding and managing duality. Everything we see and experience comes in opposites. This concept of duality is what gives us creative power. You can see the black words on this page because the background is white. If the words and page were the same color, you would not be able to read them. Everything that is dual is temporary. In the east, they call duality the illusion or maya. If you were the superhero, Neo, you would call it the matrix.
We can use duality in a very productive and creative manner, or we can use it in a way that is disempowering and harmful. The productive way involves creating opposites that are win-win for everyone involved. The harmful way is to choose the win-lose game where the opponent doesn’t realize that he could lose or doesn’t have any way to win.
At one time, people didn’t have beliefs like competition or opposition. People could not be superior to one another. No one was the “One.” Families, tribes, and communities developed in which people had roles or specialties. They each gave their special gift to the others and vice versa. This was a very peaceful and fun way to live. Competition only lived in the dreamtime; it was considered a temporary game for the purpose of play.
From Imagination to Reality
Imagine a tennis game in your mind. You see yourself within the mental image, and you imagine a competitor. Now to bring that image into reality, you must identify with the tennis player in yourself and project the imagined competitor on to a real opponent. At this point, you understand that you are still in control of the game. You have created the opponent so you determine who wins and who loses. Knowing the outcome of every game must have gotten boring so they took the concept a step further.
People projected their opponent onto the other, and then they let go of the control of the game. Each person’s experience became a combination of their own beliefs and expectations meeting the beliefs and expectations of the other who appeared to be separate. In short, we forgot that we created the other. This was more fun because there was an element of risk and surprise. It was fair competition.
Over time, the others looked completely separate from our perspective. We forgot that we created the others. We forgot that we had any measure of control over our life game. We forgot that we are the writers of our own comic book. Coming into earth as infants, we accepted the beliefs of our family and teachers; and began to share a worldview that was far from paradise.
Eventually, tribal leaders were invented, and we started to accept the views of our seemingly fearless leader. The idea of authority was also invented; and our minds learn to accept the words of authority figures of all types as the gospel truth.
Legends tell us that at first, leaders were much like adoring mothers. They had pure minds, and they expected the best from everyone. Their role was no more important than the role of the cobbler, the healer, or the storyteller. Followers lived Eden-like lives of bliss with every person expressing their gift equally.
Over time, the leaders created false superiority. They promoted themselves as chosen or special in God’s eyes. They proclaimed themselves to be the voices of the diety or God. They shared their distorted view of the world as if it were true. Thus an illusion was born that appeared to be very real. A world was created where suffering and hard work existed because that worldview made good slaves. This was the beginning of recorded history (or his story). We were no longer living our true life; we had fallen out of Eden. But it wasn’t our fault; it was the fault of the leaders.
The Battle of Good and Evil
A new game level was eventually created. Stories were invented to divide thought into good and evil. Religion was born; and people (other than royalty and political authorities who were called Lords or Gods) were labeled as sinners. A religion provided a set of rules that defined someone as good or evil. That was all it did. Of course, the leader or inventor said he got the rules from God himself so people were afraid to challenge them. They said God or Lord wrote the holy books, and he did. However, God or Lord in the ancient world often meant leader.
The rules often sounded good and fair so people accepted them. But they implied that people were flawed and needed rules to be good. The whole idea ignored the basic premise of life, which was that people are born naturally good. People didn’t want to become evil so they tricked them into it. They labeled someone bad and then got everyone to project their evil on to that person creating occasional superevil people. If you’ve been labeled the black sheep in your family, you get what I’m talking about.
Why do we need a law that says “Do Not Kill?” It implies that people would kill. And once you imagine a world where people kill, you see it. You see, the leaders had lost their purity; and they no longer saw the best in their followers. They were the only ones who needed the rules. But they had superhero complexes. They saw their own flaws and sin in their followers while they saw themselves as perfect. They forgot that one could only see what is within his or her own mind.
Or did they? Based on results, it would seem that they completely remembered that they were writing their comic book. And somehow they convinced us that we were not writers or directors; we were merely actors in their win-lose drama. And we should be happy for that privilege because they were the “One.”
Batman: Where is Dent?
The Joker: You have all these rules and you think they’ll save you.
Lt. James Gordon: [Batman slams the Joker against a wall] He’s in control.
Batman: I have one rule.
The Joker: Then that’s the rule you’ll have to break to know the truth.
Batman: Which is?
The Joker: The only sensible way to live in this world is without rules. And tonight you’re gonna break your one rule.
Since the superhero leader is a false authority, he must have a false opponent. One side of duality cannot exist without the other. Both sides are created and destroyed together. A Joker was created as the twin of the superhero to expose the lack of clothing on the emperor (much like political pundits or paparazzi). The two characters then created the battle of good and evil.
As a practical example from our time, George Bush’s shadow was Osama Bin Laden. Bin Laden was not a threat to the American people; he was a threat to George Bush’s Fundamentalist religious views. Sadly, people pay a price when leaders project their shadow. Bush said Bin Laden was an “evil doer.” But he was really the shadow of Bush. Bush created him by labeling him and then getting Americans to project their evil on him. A common enemy is very good for a superhero’s ego.
Recognition of this truth exposes the superhero and destroys his false power. So in order to reclaim his Batman-like status, the superhero pronounces that there is evil in the world. He denies his own evil and blames the one who exposed him (often the joker is a jokess). There are tons of groups in America who are fighting to get Bush to take responsibility for 911, but they are labeled conspiracy theorists, or anti-American, so they will back off. You might remember that when Bush created this enemy, his approval rating went up.
Pushing Batman off the Pedestal
People keep Batman alive because they come to believe that they need him. He is the hero that will win the battle of good and evil that they so believe in. When they look out in the world, they see their leader’s evil projection and think it is true. They fear for their safety. They pray and hope that the superhero will win, that good will triumph over evil. But it can’t.
Yes, this is how the end times were born. Some part of us knows that the battle of good and evil must end. But how? Only we know the ending to our own comic-book drama. We created all the characters (including Batman and the Joker) just as we do in our night dreams. We have given them their roles, their labels, and their beliefs. We have made them good or evil. We even set the battle of good and evil into motion. They are the product of our imagination; and when we wake up, they all disappear just like all those fake characters we create each night.
Isn’t it funny? We are surprised by our own comic book’s ending. We somehow managed to immerse ourselves within our own comic book so completely that we don’t even know how it will end. We must have been really bored in paradise. We went to a whole lot of trouble to invent these games. Maybe they ran out of margarita mix or something.
I guess, it all goes back to the tennis game. It is more fun when you don’t know the ending. But not knowing the ending doesn’t mean that you have to lose. Why would you? We should look forward to our ending since it promises a return to paradise. Why would we write an ending to our story where we lose?
Well, there is an answer to that. It is a comic book writer who has been conditioned (or should I say brainwashed) by the win-lose authorities that losing is a fast track to heaven. It is one that thinks that losing on earth means winning in after you die. It is one who believes that they will have a better next life if they suffer in this one. It is one who believes that hard work is normal or even virtuous. It is one who believes evil is real and powerful. It is one who believes that a hero will come and end the battle of good and evil. Yes, they will lose for the hope of a future win. They can’t see it is all a giant scam.
And the win-lose authorities that invented the game and convinced them to play know that. It was written in their script. It is their unfailing competitive advantage or so they thought. They didn’t have to be skilled players because they rigged the game. They look like superheroes, but they are the villains. And one day we see that, and we are horrified.
We believed that they were going to save us when they really wanted to enslave us and use us so that they could win in their story. But now we have a chance to remember that we are the comic book writers, and we can drop their competitive advantage right out of our story. We can stop being their slaves. And that knocks their asses right off their pedestal.
Batman: You either die a hero or live long enough to see yourself become the villain. I can do those things because I’m not a hero, like Dent. I killed those people. That’s what I can be.
Lt. James Gordon: No, you can’t! You’re not!
Batman: I’m whatever Gotham needs me to be.
Ending the Game
How do we fix this problem once and for all? We can only fix it within ourselves. We have to take off Batman’s mask. Batman has to become normal. Then he has no superpowers to play in the battle of good and evil, so the game has to end.
Batman: Then why do you want to kill me?
The Joker: [laughs] I don’t want to kill you! What would I do without you? Go back to ripping off mob dealers? No, no, NO! No. You… you… complete me.
Batman: You’re garbage who kills for money.
The Joker: Don’t talk like one of them. You’re not! Even if you’d like to be. To them, you’re just a freak, like me! They need you right now, but when they don’t, they’ll cast you out, like a leper! You see, their morals, their code, it’s a bad joke. Dropped at the first sign of trouble. They’re only as good as the world allows them to be. I’ll show you. When the chips are down, these… these civilized people, they’ll eat each other. See, I’m not a monster. I’m just ahead of the curve.
Ah! You complete me! Isn’t the Joker just too cute for words? The Joker realizes that we didn’t come to earth to be completed by others. He’s playing with Batman because Batman thinks the Joker is real. He’s making fun of him with every cynical comment.
What appears to be an evil opponent (a Joker) is Batman’s dearest friend in an equally ridiculous disguise who is behaving as his mirror to wake him up and remind him to drop his mask and return to his authentic Self. When we can truly remember that the superhero or villain is our own creative projection, we have taken back our power. And we can finally dissolve both halves of duality and return to wholeness.
What is labeled as Armageddon is the end of the false comic book world that includes the battle of good and evil. It is the moment where Batman realizes that he is not a superhero, and there never was any evil. He takes back his projection, collapses the two opposing forces, and his world returns to Eden. Mythology often describes this as the destruction of the world. But it is really the destruction of the illusion of the world. And all of us will have a second coming or second birth where we remove the superhero mask and stand in our true goodness (or Godness). The superhero must disappear (armageddon) for peace to come back to earth, just as Neo had to die for the matrix to end. There is no death except for the false illusion of the self as a superhero or villain. That is all that can really die.
Yes, even the Pope must take off his robe and wear some Levis. The President and his buddies in Congress must live in normal houses and manage their paychecks and 401Ks just like the rest of us. No more free sex and limos. The sport’s hero must not look bigger than the housewife. The actor must not appear better than the plumber.
We have to stop making stars out of normal humans. We have to stop valuing people’s superpowers and start valuing the qualities of the True Self such as unconditional love, joy, and freedom. That doesn’t mean we won’t be creative; we’ll be very creative. But creativity will just be a fact of life; it won’t be a superpower. Somehow normalcy has become man’s greatest fear, and that fear keeps him very stuck. Without the battle of good and evil, we’re all just ordinary. But what is wrong with that when we gain love and companionship and harmony.
At times it feels like we will have to wait forever for the current superheroes of the world to drop their masks. But we can help them along. We can stop putting them on pedestals. We can ignore them when they tell us their latest horrifying assessment of the world. We can stop paying ridiculous amounts of money to see them express their talents and get busy expressing our own talents. We can stop feeding the lie that there is a battle of good and evil, and laugh at those who believe such crap.
Too many of us live vicariously through the lives of others. Too many of us obey people who don’t deserve our obedience or respect. We forget our own dreams and gifts. That keeps the superhero illusion alive.
There is no war, no bad economy, no poverty, and no disease except within the mind of the leaders. If we see it, it is because they have convinced us that their distorted illusion is true. You might notice that the leaders are doing just fine. They don’t even believe their own beliefs. They merely project them out into the world so they can look powerful.
What is a Superpower?
A superpower is nothing but a belief that one holds where they see themselves as having a talent that others don’t have. Superpowers are born out of the illusion of superiority and inferiority. The superpowers lose their magnetism as the false world fades away. I’m not saying that we should not entertain each other. Entertainment is wonderful. It is fun. But an entertainer is a false superhero if they are seen as superior to others. The fans unknowingly project their power on to the superhero and diminish their own self worth.
The night is darkest just before the dawn. And I promise you, the dawn is coming. Harvy Dent from “The Dark Knight”
The superheroes are all just simple men and women in stupid little costumes wanting so much to be special. They convince us to project our power on to them as fans, followers, and customers so they can appear to be more than they are. Once the projection is in place, the follower doesn’t notice the flaws in their hero. They are blinded by the light — the fluorescent light of the leader. In time, the hero’s very own jokers will expose their false authority and nakedness if we just let them reap what they have sown. They can’t save us; they never could. They were just really good comic book characters.
You, my friend, forgot that you were the author; and you now get to write the ending. So, make it a great one!