Monday, October 20th, 2014

Identity Crisis, or Misunderstood Enlightenment: How to Be Your Own Hero

Published on September 22, 2011 by   ·   No Comments

Sara Lindsey/ElephantJournal

Superman.

You’d think the name says it all, but really it’s just an outsiders perspective.

Superman has a real name. Actually, he has three. There is the name he was given at birth, “Kal El.” There was the name given to him upon discovery when landing on our planet, “Clark Kent.” And then there’s the name given to him by the public, the name everyone knows, even if they’ve never heard of the other two. “Superman.” How does one begin to know who they truly are when so many angles are given to them?

Simply remain aware of that which is within.

In reality, this is amongst the most difficult things in the world to accomplish. In fact, it’s not exactly normal for most people to do this. The magic in watching Superman is that we know he has a secret while viewing him from the outside. Working at the Daily Planet, the main news source in Metropolis, he hides in plain sight behind a pair of Buddy-Holly’s. This makes the situation more exciting for the reader, since in a way, we get to see life (albeit a fictional one) through the eyes of the creator. Having this tie to such a character makes us feel good, almost as though we’re responsible for him existing at all.

Most readers approve of Superman because he is at his core, a good person.

Why does this guy even have a job? He could take whatever he wants! The guy can look at a wall and leave it as a pile of rubble. The reason goes past how he was raised, though his good-hearted farmboy upbringing certainly created healthy soil for his personal growth. The truth behind his humble nature comes from his own self-awareness, somehow knowing that he was meant to be here. Earth is not his natural origin, yet he is still bound to it. Why is this? Surely there is a purpose. As Clark grows older, he learns that his abilities can assist in a planet that needs help. Superman looks up to himself as Kal El, constantly learning more about him, and Kal El knows Clark Kent because he created him. Clark’s job is to report the news, which often involves details regarding Superman. This is similar to the oral tradition in the Christian faith of the Holy Trinity, or the Vedic concept of Rishi (knower), Devata (process of knowing) and Chandas (the Known).

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