I just read a movie review of “Lone Ranger” which I found very insightful.
“…viewers who can unhitch mentally from the rollicking fun will find the movie is freighted with political and spiritual baggage. It largely glorifies Native American cultures while Christianity and Western culture take a beating.”
Okay, but hold on… one could say the same think about a movies “Dances With Wolves” as well, and why is this a bad thing? If the shoe fits… kemosabe… but what is different about the “Lone Ranger” is the use of the mask. What does this symbolize? To me it is a symbol of how Western Culture (following a Christian tradition) is quick to set-up the false authority of a hierarchical control over others (like the American Indians). There are two side to this mask, as I will endeavor to explain.
The Wild Wild West is a symbol of the WWW (world wide web). It is called a “web” and a “net” for a reason, because DARPA created it to help the government “catch” people. The CIA financed the private company Google because it was a NSA project, the goal was to read the minds of the populace, so see behind their collective “mask” and know them better than they know themselves. It is a tool of State-Craft (read: witch-craft) to help the political system maintain it’s false authority over people.
The movie review (referenced above) has this to say: “a preacher runs Tonto out of town hatefully calling him a heathen Christianity is presented as a religion of greed and ignorance. (…) As evil white men betray all decency, when the Lone Ranger finally dons his mask, it symbolizes his rejection of Western culture.”
Okay, now let’s talk about this CULT-ure.
We live in a society where we prefer secrecy and hiding over being who we say we are and having nothing to hide. We then want to be able to turn around and leverage the fact that we know that others are hiding something, so that we have the option of digging up dirt on them so that we can turn it in to actionable information that can be used to ‘get’ them. In the science of anthropology, that is commonly referred to as witchcraft…
…and that is what the DARPA creation, “The Internet” has realized in a way
that far exceeds the NSA’s wildest dreams.
Everyone knows, without being told, that a great deal of hardware and software development comes from the demand of people wanting to not be ‘seen’ while they are indulging in vice. And to a great extent, this has become the basis for what most people experience as the World Wide Web. We want to keep it that way because we are not willing to give up what we perceive…
…to be the freedom of being anonymous–but deep inside we know this mask we hide behind is an illusion. Still, even this delusion of being “anonymous” gives us a thrill because we know there is a risk our secret life could be exposed (and that only fuels the addictive process).
We insist on this secret space so that our secret selves have a place from which to operate, and to perpetrate on others a digital version of what we have perpetrated on one another for millenia.
With all this talk about NSA spying, we have forgotten the true meaning of Witchcraft.
Witchcraft is about fear and control. It’s about a very, very personalized assault on someone’s being, using the most personal articles and information attainable from and about that person.
It is all about blackmail, that’s how witchcraft (and cults) work. In this climate, we see computer hackers and whistle-blowers (Lone Rangers) fighting back.
While the John Depp film might be lame (the critics hated it) it does give us some symbol to work with. Like the movie The Matrix there is no end to how we can interpret these metaphors and that is what is so powerful about symbolic language. Whether it be a ‘B movie’ or the Bible, everything is a metaphor but not every metaphor has our name on it (until you search out the meaning for yourself).
The mask has a dual meaning. It can be a symbol of a person who is self-righteous, in either a good or bad way. Have you ever seen the movie “Serpico”? Well, Francesco Serpico is a is for me a symbol of a good form of self-righteousness. This movie is both a true story and a cautionary tale about what happens when you play the role of Lone Ranger in the real world. As a cop in New York City, Serpico is famous for testifying against police corruption in 1971. He got shot in the face for his trouble–that was the price he paid for being honest. It is also a good leason for any would-be whitleblower who thinks they can work within the system to change things.
The second meaning of the mask is to hide our vice, and this goes hand in had with being self-righteous. People who live secret lives are very often the most self-righteous. These are the “People of the Lie” that M Scott Peck called evil. These people love false authority–that is their mask.
Is the Lone Ranger a lover of false authority or self-righteous romantic who is too honest? Perhaps, he is a symbol of both, and thus a metaphor of “the mask” most American wear. From behind that mask we believe in American exceptionalism. Namely, the proposition that the United States is different from other countries in that it has a specific world mission to spread liberty and democracy (from the barrel of a gun of a gun).
Christians seem to like to tell other people how to behave and act as if they never do anything wrong. They also tend to focus only upon a few moral issues – namely abortion and gay marriage – seemingly to the exclusion of more important issues, such as justice and care for the poor. Is this the kind of behavior the Bible commends or are these people acting against what biblical Christianity actually stands for? Although many who claim to be Christians act as if they are better than everybody else, such a “holier-than-thou” attitude is antithetical to biblical Christianity.
However you look at, it is best to remove the mask… but how many people really do?
Alexander Lowen identified narcissists as having a true and a false, or superficial, self. The false self rests on the surface, as the self presented to the world. It stands in contrast to the true self, which resides behind the facade or image. This true self is the feeling self, but it is a self that must be hidden and denied. Since the superficial self represents submission and conformity, the inner or true self is rebellious and angry. This underlying rebellion and anger can never be fully suppressed since it is an expression of the life force in that person. But because of the denial, it cannot be expressed directly. Instead it shows up in the narcissist’s acting out. And it can become a perverse force.
Freud himself, with his late theory of ‘the ego as constituted in its nucleus by a series of alienating identifications’, had produced a theory of ‘the Ego, which does bear some comparison with the False Self’. Erich Fromm, in his The Fear of Freedom distinguished between original self and pseudo self, the latter being a way to escape the loneliness of freedom, at the cost of losing the original self.
The false self wants the status quo of “control” to continue and does not want you to feel pain, yet the deeper self wants healing. Our deeper self shows us the signs of trying to achieve healing by the partners we choose, the friends we have, physical and mental ailments we suffer from and our dreams and nightmares.
I came to realise that many people in todays Western world do not have a sense of who they are, a sense of identity and boundaries. We have masks which we show to the world (the perfect white washed cottage) but on the inside we are a mess, and we are usually very good at hiding it from the world. But suppression and repression are dangerous games to play – the body will only allow it for a certain amount of time. Many of us are like a volcano about to erupt, a bomb about to blow – how long do we ignore the signs before we begin to self destruct?
Meditation can be an excellent therapy which allows us to get to the bottom of issues in our lives. It helps us wake up to the here and now and look at where we are stuck. It allows us to see the “life story” we have been playing out and can bring us to a state of awareness in which we can then make changes.
“The only way we can find peace in our own health, find the pathway that leads to liberation, is by changing ourselves, not by changing the world”