PopMusings: Superman in Samsara

sam-sa-ra [səmˈsɑːrə] (noun):

1. Hinduism  the endless cycle of birth, death, and rebirth

2. Buddhism  the transmigration or rebirth of a person

[Sanskrit, literally: a passing through, from sam  altogether + sarati  it runs]

–World English Dictionary

superman_samsara

I feel sorry for Superman. He exists in a universe where he is constantly rewritten, reborn and revamped. First he’s an orphan found by a motorist and raised in an orphanage. Then he has adopted parents, only to be revamped and retold and then adapted for a major motion picture. First he leaps then he flies. His adopted father has a heart attack and all of Kal El’s super powers couldn’t save him.

Of course Superman isn’t aware of any of this. He just lives on without aging. Without growth or evolving. He falls in love with Lois Lane, never to admit that Clark Kent and Superman are the same people. Sure, he’ll eventually marry her, but the universe will just start over again and he will just find himself in another bizzare love triangle between him, Lois Lane and himself.

He will fight Lex Luthor countless times. Lex Luthor: the mad scientist, Lex Luthor: the corporate CEO, Lex Luthor: the President of the United States. Lex Luthor: Gene Hackman.

1127040-superman_facesHe will never die. We won’t let him. He will never escape this kingdom, his imprisoned Malkuth. Here he will always be a god. Here he will always have the same problems. He can’t change. We won’t let him.

For years, fans have complained about his red underwear (something a circus strongman would wear back in the days when Superman was created) and when the artists, writers, and editors decided to get rid of the underwear, fans got upset.

Once, the powers that be and the rulers of his destiny tried to kill him off and replace him. They put him in a crazy energy costume, had him co-star with Kristin Kreuk, never to put on the cape until the very last episode! But fans just wanted the old Superman.

Imagine how annoyed Superman would be if he knew that he was living in an endless circle of profit and entertainment? Immortal, sure, but his archons and stewards would make him relive his most traumatic experiences again and again. — Yes, they are the most character defining experiences — but how many times would he have to go to Pa Kent’s funeral? How many times would he have to come to age and struggle with his alien identity? How many times will he have to run into Kyptonite? Or save the world? How many times will his writers run out of ideas?

He’s stuck in Samsara because its just so damned entertaining for us. I guess that’s his karma.

Just look at other Superheroes. How long has Cyclops been in his 30′s? How many times does he have to watch Jean Grey die and then come back? And then die, and then come back? I’m sure by now, he’s just ACTING sad over the death(s) of his wife. (I mean, Its not cheating if she’s dead.)

Or how about something a bit more controversial like Alan Scott, the first Green Lantern. He has his adventures, disappears for a while, comes back old, and he has a few kids. Then the DC Universe starts up all over again from scratch and now he’s gay!

Now, as long as its written well, there’s nothing wrong with another gay superhero. But you got to think: When this new version of Alan Scott: Green Lantern was a kid, trying to figure out his sexual identity– I wouldn’t be surprised if that fifteen-year-old Alan Scott wished he were straight. Would it be comforting for him to know that in another time and another universe, he WAS straight? …with kids? Would this distress the Green Lantern? I mean, how would you feel if your sexual identity was ultimately in the hands of DC comics editor and chief, Dan DiDio?

2000257_origWesterners often confuse reincarnation for a type of Heaven. They think it would be great to be reborn, maybe have a fresh start, be born into a rich family or be reincarnated into a dolphin.

Well guess what? Dolphins rape each other! Millionaires have crazy million dollar problems, and if you start fresh from your crappy life, you’re more than likely to have a life just as crappy!

Superman can’t change. If there was ever an ending to the Superman mythos, if Superman was put to rest like King Arthur, if everyone wondered ‘Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow’, his universe would just start up all over again.

He will never find liberation because there will always be a new re-telling of the Superman story.

He will never find peace because story always means conflict.

He will neither find inner peace nor peace for the World that he protects.

superman1_afterfront

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