On religion and mutants, good and evil, peace and war…
This is important when considering Christianity, Islam and Judaism (monotheistic religions), where Satan features prominent. The Outcast’s invention was the worst thing God’s acolytes could have done for Him, and for themselves. They strengthened their grip over people on Earth, but they did it at the exorbitant price of dis-empowering their Lord.
Why mention this? Because when two opposing forces are pitched against each other on the same plane and dimension, none of them can claim moral or divine superiority. They become parts of the formula, the interaction of which propels a never-ending process of development.
Nor can either of them be omnipotent. As long as they face a challenge, they’re prone to failure and are under constant scrutiny by those involved in their confrontation. Only when one of them prevails can its proponents proclaim its godly status. But that can only happen after one of the two decisively dominates the other, be it through peaceful or violent means. Calling the game in advance is nothing more than having one party make its case against the other.
Let me tie this in with a piece I recently wrote on the limits of humanity and the advent of the meta-human. In that piece I proposed that humanity is the problem, not the solution. The world will advance once we leave behind what has defined us all these years – the instincts and impulses that have led us to the wars and genocide, prejudice and discrimination, irrational behavior, shortsighted policy and environmental catastrophe we are duly committing – and embrace a new state of being, which will reach out, far and wide, claiming both outer space and inner.
To present this new state of being, I alluded to the Freaks and Mutants our society has been raving on about lately, heroes and antiheroes who possess extraordinary abilities that cater to the world’s needs, and whom we glorify without reservation. Let us become them, I urged, and achieve the breakthrough we so fervently speak of.
One of the franchises that has made Mutants so popular is X-Men. It has sold millions of comic books and launched a successful movie franchise, the latest instalment of which was X-Men: First Class, the prequel to other X-Men movies. How it all began.
This is the story of the two leaders of the Mutant movement, Professor X and Magneto, or, Charles and Erik, as they were known when they were young. We get to see how they grew together, fighting for the mutant cause against the admirable but volatile and belligerent humanity, and how they gradually took separate paths.
Erik, on the one hand, believed that humanity would never welcome mutants, so he chose to fight them until his kind prevailed by force. Charles shared Erik’s fears, but chose to pursue the option of peace, striving to build bridges between humanity and mutants.
When I was young, I identified with Charles (Professor X). I believed he held the moral high ground, and that his was the better way. As the years passed, I came to realize that Professor X’s view was noble but flawed. Erik (Magneto) seemed to be versed on how the world worked. If two opposing forces of life, such as humans and mutants, were to coexist after all, history shows that order (lasting and functional order) would be achieved only if both sides reached a mutual agreement, or after one of them prevailed, be it through peaceful or violent means.
Since humanity is systematically belligerent, peace is not an option.
So I started warming up to Magneto and his harsh but effective realism.
Yet I also realized that without Professor X, Magneto would lose the plot and spiral out of control. His perspective gained credence and credibility only through his rival’s presence, who tempered raw might with grace and compassion.
Ditto for Professor X. His gracious and compassionate perspective on life hinged on Magneto’s brute realism. Without Magneto, the mutants could not cover all corners, running the risk of falling victims to the belligerent side of humanity, maybe even becoming its lapdogs.
Like I said, two opposing forces that are parts of the greater formula, the function of which propels a never-ending process of development.
The question is, where are you in this process and what are you prepared to do about it? How will you defend what you believe in? What is your position in the equation? We each have a role, after all, whether we like it or not, be it noble, graceful, dark, or unenviable. The point is to assume it with conviction and see it through.
Bottom line, this process will play out with our involvement or without it. The point is to make a choice and follow it with a decisive move that will have an impact, be it slight or immense. Choose your course of action wisely so that you may emerge victorious. Losers tell no tales and make no decisions. Those privileges are reserved for the victors.
This article was originally published in Urban Times