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The Mystical Experience: Where Human Experience Dissolves into Spirituality and Religion.  The Mystic Don't you think 'The Mystic' sounds pretty dramatic? I'm sure it might conjure up jedi-like imagery, something a bit merlin or those stigmata marks on devoted monks. What springs to my mind are those orange clad sitters who tranquilly await enlightened, but equally, there are shamanic seers, and the Islamic Sufi who can also enjoy mystic experience. Regardless of any cause, be it neurological, or even the psychological, spiritual, drug induced or even a traumatising event, they're all experienced and often called mystic.  No tradition, faith or ethnicity can claim exclusivity of this sort of thing, even though we might think otherwise. It's unique, personal . We can see for ourselves how mystical experience go by a variety of names across the globe, here are a few: moksha is Hindu meaning liberation, gnosis was secret experiential knowledge stemming from antiq

The Hulk: Just Angry and Green.

The Hulk: a Green Menace, a Benevolent Force?


When it comes to comic book characters, few are as iconic as the Hulk. That's because he's a green temper tantruming vandal. He was created by the comic book legends Stan Lee and Jack Kirby in 1962, but has made a few evolutionary changes since—his first colour was a creepy grey, and he had more in common with Wednesday Addams than The Avengers. But who is the Hulk today? What makes him such a compelling character?

The hulk comic

The central theme of The Incredible Hulk is contrasts, not too dissimilar to that of Dr. Jekyll and Hyde. Likewise, we have the brilliant scientist: Bruce Banner, a man with a calling to understanding the mysteries of the world and his contrasting counterpart, a super monster man with the IQ of guinea pig. An entire age of sage rage from this not so jolly green giant; he is a monster but he can't be seen as a victorian murderer, like what we see with the rage of Mister Hyde. He's a good monster? F*** off! 😂

Dr Jekyll and Hyde poster

The way Hulk/Banner interact within the confines of the same person can be interesting. Bruce Banner, an embodiment of scientific intellect, civility, representing the benefits for humankind, but whenever something pisses him off the primal beast awakens and he vandalises stuff and roars at people, before saving lives. He sounds like your typical bloke on a Saturday night along Broad Street in Birmingham. If he is supposed to be a rage monster, primordial savagery greened up, incarnate, you'd expect a little more violence against innocent people given how his intellect is no greater than a doberman's. Why not show territorial marking, high street defecation? 

Hulk being subdued by a collection of heroes

The Hulk's power in print, is almost limitless! He's ridiculous strong, but what's insane, is he becomes more powerful as his anger grows! He has lifted a mountain and jumped across cities, but never kills anyone! The movie versions of this green geezer were definitely not invulnerable. He was afraid and had limits and thats great! However, he is still a pr*ck because the US military still had to struggle with him to some degree when he was having a dramatic meltdown. Hulk is like a natural disaster, but it is fine; these have no danger to the populace, its purely property damage. 

Iconic hulk pose from avengers

For a moment imagine this incredible sulk is factual. Get gritty, realistic, We have to judge his actions, and the interventions the authorities are forced to take. What will the news report after he quarters a man using only his bare hands before throwing the soggy meat at a pensioner and her yorkshire terrier? That's the crux of it, when you look at a real rage monster properly. I doubt I'm alone here. 

Iconic scary green eyes from 80s hulk tv show

On one hand, during alien threats he has saved many lives by protecting the world. They should, in these scenarios, make this creature a controlled monster at least, not a poorly written hero. A xxxl bullydog will protect it's own garden, this protective duty doesn't override its potential to cause destruction, chaos and death off the leash, does it? 

Silver age hulk comic snippet

Bruce Banner and the Hulk remind me of my bipolarity, going on the shifts in mental state alone. I can sympathise with Bruce Banner! Bipolar rage is also a real danger and even though my eyes remain brown, I could hurl car at someones house.  However, if I was a super villain-like enemy or a comic writer, I would make Hulk very angry with himself, promote self destructive tendencies and watch hulk smash himself. The green guy could not save himself from self obliteration—his own gimmick is rage. 

Hulk fighting the avengers, silver age comic.

Even though Hulk's a fictional character, the issues he raises are very real. No they're not, no one smashes buildings down because they're put out. Well. . . maybe Adele. Why would we need to deal with a rage rescuer? A savage saviour? A primordial protector of people, it makes little sense. He's reduced to a muscular vandal. How do we balance the need to protect society with the rights of a human being, cursed to be a walking maelstrom of power?

Bruce Banner transforming into the hulk

We might recognise that this quagmire is neither very good nor bad. We are led to pity Bruce Banner who lives as the tormented bearer of the guilt of smashing property and screaming at people. He's challenged with a Jekyll and Hyde type dilemma, but it is not as developed as that story model. Perhaps it's time to redo this?

Hulk 2003 movie poster

In some ways, The Incredible Hulk can be seen as a metaphor for some kind of human condition. That's why I never wanted to play as this character when I was a child: I much prefered Superman or Luke Skywalker. Anyone else really. 

Hulk cartoon from the 80s


Bruce Banner's struggles were a constant theme in his television show that aired in the eighties. At the end of each episode Banner walked away, sad and alone, while the most upsetting piano outro music enticed viewers to consider nihilism or consider an early swiss departure. It was so sad. 

Hulk movie snippet

Be that as it is, the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Many truths would escape the story of a mountain throwing rage monster, which is for all intent and purposes, framed as a superhero. In Age of Ultron, for example, the green dude rampaged the city; cars are crushed (all empty of course) and our intrepid hero, The Incredible Hulk booted a police vehicle into two police officers with such an impact that should've killed them—that's my point. 

Hulk kicking a car at enemies


There are many clips showing healthy young people knocked flying by his violent tantrums; he never trod on any toddlers or headbutted any old people, because, well. . . that would have been interestingly non pc, wouldn't it? 

Hulk animated movie

This Hulk bloke has the potential to be a dream character, but at the moment, he's pretty much either a badly designed hero or a cheap villain with muscles. He's a cognitively impaired He-Man. Make him a monster or give it up. 

 

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