Have you ever thought that the Superhero comic book genre is like a quasi-mythology for modern culture? The structure is often similar to religion,
but in a form that can't be taken literally. I mean, we all know superheroes are just made-up characters, not like gods and heroes. So no matter how
similar in structure comics and sci-fi is to a religious theme, if the characters aren't real, then the it's all just a bunch of fictional stories
with a moral lesson or two.
Mutants and Mystics: Science Fiction, Superhero Comics, and the
In many ways, twentieth-century America was the land of superheroes and science fiction. From Superman and Batman to the Fantastic Four and the
X-Men, these pop-culture juggernauts, with their "powers and abilities far beyond those of mortal men," thrilled readers and audiences—and
simultaneously embodied a host of our dreams and fears about modern life and the onrushing future.
But that's just scratching the surface, says Jeffrey Kripal. In Mutants and Mystics, Kripal offers a brilliantly insightful account of how comic book
heroes have helped their creators and fans alike explore and express a wealth of paranormal experiences ignored by mainstream science. Delving deeply
into the work of major figures in the field—from Jack Kirby’s cosmic superhero sagas and Philip K. Dick’s futuristic head-trips to Alan
Moore’s sex magic and Whitley Strieber’s communion with visitors—Kripal shows how creators turned to science fiction to convey the reality of
the inexplicable and the paranormal they experienced in their lives. Expanded consciousness found its language in the metaphors of sci-fi—incredible
powers, unprecedented mutations, time-loops and vast intergalactic intelligences—and the deeper influences of mythology and religion that these in
turn drew from; the wildly creative work that followed caught the imaginations of millions. Moving deftly from Cold War science and Fredric Wertham's
anticomics crusade to gnostic revelation and alien abduction, Kripal spins out a hidden history of American culture, rich with mythical themes and
shot through with an awareness that there are other realities far beyond our everyday understanding.
A bravura performance, beautifully illustrated in full color throughout and brimming over with incredible personal stories, Mutants and Mystics is
that rarest of things: a book that is guaranteed to broaden—and maybe even blow—your mind.
Is there a paranormal and hidden side to the history of comics?
What if comics are a Trojan Horse?
From the perspective of comparative mythology, the comic book mythology is like a cross-cultural bonanza. Especially when the paranormal experiences
of certain artists are considered. It gives us insight into the way religions are inspired by paranormal forces and patterns which take on different
forms in different ages. Forms that are so subtle and unconscious that they can influence the development of the superhero mythology right under our
Inside the Trojan Horse are the same archetypes of the collective unconscious
that are inside all the imagery of world religion, but as seen
through forms appropriate for a secular culture of science in the atomic-age. It's an ever-renewing cycle... we write the paranormal as it writes
As culture changes, the symbolic forms that the archetypes take in art and religion change too. When we became an atomic culture, mystics became
mutants. When we entered space, heroes and gods became astronauts and aliens. But turn back the clock and they become fairies and angels and gods and
Since the superheroes aren't real historical characters, we have to consider them as metaphors if we are to decode the language of the collective
unconscious. Take for example Superman and his secret identity as Clark Kent.
"Absolutely. I mean, again the phrase, “the “human as two”” is meant as sort of the balancing point because of course the history of
religion, the history of these experiences were usually understood to be some kind of God or deity or transcendent world intervening in the life of
the person, wherewith these modern mystics, these authors and artists, they’re usually suspicious of those kinds of religious projections. They
don’t see these experiences as proving the existence of God, per se, or some Heaven or some Hell.
They see these experiences establishing that the “human as two”, not that the human being is experiencing God but that the human experience of God
is actually a human experience of some other aspect of the human being. God is, if you will, a name previous cultures and eras have given to this
other part of who we actually are. So this ends up effectively divinizing human beings, but not the social self or the ego, not what I call the
“Clark Kent” aspect of who we are but this sort of secret self, the other side of it that peeks through very rarely but fairly consistently
throughout human history. So it’s really a way of trying to humanize and bring down the divinity into human experience."
So, lets suppose that enlightenment is to us as becoming Superman is to Clark Kent, but in consciousness terms not in physical terms. Lets suppose
that there is a part of us that we don't usually think of as a part of us... a part we sometimes call God.
edit on 3-4-2013 by BlueMule because: (no reason given)