I haven’t seen the latest Captain America movie yet, but clearly based on past films and the below-referenced synopsis, the character is symbolically representative of an enlightened anarchist, which is another way of saying a sovereign—one who is truly free of mind. This story is an allegory discussing each of our personal struggles in life, as the film explores what happens when the only light of truth is contained within a single individual’s heart and mind.
The hero, Captain America, is a shining beacon of truth and justice in a world where seemingly everyone’s mind has been corrupted to accept authority blindly. As such, I think we each can identify with this theme.
As was explored in the article The Five Stages of Awakening, and More on the Final Stage of the Spiritual Warrior by Justin, the attributes of a spiritual warrior were discussed.
The spiritual warrior does not blindly follow orders, no matter how well-intentioned they are. The spiritual warrior uses their discernment to judge the merits of thing using their own mind and heart, in the process, determining if something is honorable or not—if it does no harm.
The notion that humanity should blindly accept the authorities in our world because they have our best interest at heart is part of the mass mind control that maintains the status quo. Instead, each of us needs to become free thinking and intelligent judges of right and wrong, able to know the truth personally and express it within our thoughts, emotions, and actions.
Captain America represents the archetype or personification of a sovereign, our hero, one who can perceive reality directly, think critically, and knows the difference between right and wrong—all of which is founded on the truth. Our hero seeks for the truth above and beyond what his friends, family, and even society tell him.
This thematically is expressed as a journey of struggle and strife in nearly all of the Captain American films. And the latest film appears to be the most symbolically dense.
In the first film, our hero was struggling to come to terms with his past and future, in a world of seeming splendor and technology but with a seedy underbelly of darkness. In the second film, the battle between the NWO Cabal and the forces of light was waged, wherein our hero has to fight an enemy he thought was long defeated—the Nazi infiltrated US intelligence apparatus. But in this film, the individual, and their journey is the focus, as our hero fights against everyone for what he knows to be right. This theme speaks to the heart of each of our personal journey’s on Earth at this time.
Captain America fights everyone in this film, his former friends, and allies, imploring them to seek the truth within and do what is right. His sense of morality and justice, which is most definitely superior to his peers in the film, is actually the star of the movie. It shines brightly through our hero as he battles against those fools who accept statism and authority without question. He reminds them that the same blind allegiance in the name of safety and security is what caused the problems with their prior foe, the Nazi-infiltrated Hydra group.
In the end, those who fought against justice, embodied by our hero, realize the errors of their ways.
The theme here is that our personal actions stand as examples for others. That even when the whole world is against us, doing what is right and in harmony with the truth is always the best choice—even when it seems like all our efforts are for not. And that in the end, if we follow this course to its completion, eventually those around us who were lost in darkness will see the light. In this way, by acting in truth, we not only honor ourselves but offer service to others, in a spiritual and transformational way.
I think the life lesson in the film is that each of us is the individual hero in our own life story.
In today’s world, we are tempted to compromise our ideals and what we know to be right in favor of socially accepted wrongs. Our friends and family call us crazy for seeking the truth and imploring them to do the same. And we’ll be tempted to stop doing the good work of acting in truth for the comfort and attention of our fellows.
But so long as we honor the truth and follow it wherever it leads, the light of our deeds will win in the end, even when it seems like there is no hope and all is lost.
While we are each different in our own ways, some being strong of body, while others are strong of mind or heart, we each have the potential to be our own spiritual warriors, to take up our sovereign potential and shine the light of truth with every breath we take. This path of the spiritual warrior is not an easy one, but as we walk it, the struggles of life become easier to bear and eventually they are transcended.
I think we came to this world for a reason, to transform it from the slave plantation that it is now into a paradise of freedom and prosperity. But this can only happen when the spiritual warrior rises; when that part of us which knows right from wrong actually becomes an active and empowered agent of change.
We each have this potential, and our unique personality traits as individuals are immeasurably valuable for this collective struggle. In this way, we’re each a savior in our own right able to do great things for this world once we acknowledge our co-creative power in it.
Op-Ed by Maalikah Hartley
Editor’s Note: Spoilers ahead!
Captain America: Civil War is the reason why going to the movies is one of my favorite pastimes. Certain movies, when done correctly, invoke a sense of inspiration when you leave the theater that make you contemplate morality, characters, philosophy, politics and the parallels of art imitating life. And the fact that this is an epic comic book movie with crazy battle scenes, eye-candy superheroes and bad-ass female roles, work in its favor to make you want to watch it a second time.
The story begins after telekinetic superhero Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen), causes collateral damage in Lagos, Nigeria after trying to stop HYDRA villain, Brock Rumlow (Frank Grillo), from blowing up a populated area, ironically. This is the straw that breaks the camel’s back and in turn makes the United Nations bring forth the Sokovia Accords—ratified by 117 countries—which will place The Avengers under their control and will no longer let them operate independently. The accords create a rift between Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) and Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) as Stark, who once enjoyed his independent vigilantism, is hit with a deep sense of guilt when a mother confronts him for being responsible for her son’s death in Sokovia. Stark believes the heroes should now act with oversight while Rogers believes the U.N. will always have their own agenda and that he must do what he feels right—taking lessons learned from when HYDRA took over S.H.I.E.L.D in Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
There are many angles to consider when watching the movie, but one that stood out is the questioning of the moral authority of well, authority. In real life, we are made to believe that the U.N. has the moral high ground as it is a “democratic” entity comprised of countries around the globe that want to do good like end world wars, combat global warming and recognize human rights worldwide. And while it does create a venue for change and good, it cannot always be blindly followed because history shows that vertical control from a far-away entity with little oversight will eventually lead to overreach.
Regarding war, presently we can look to a country like Libya where NATO bombed the country while supporting radical opposition networks, which in turn created a civil war, which in turn led to the U.N. putting in the undemocratically elected Unity Government, which is said to possibly obtain billions of frozen Libyan assets. And let’s not forget about the U.N.’s tarnished involvement in other countries like Haiti or the Congo. Regarding environmentalism, instead of promoting alternative energies, a carbon tax was pushed that would have not only hurt the Third World but put money in the creators of said tax, Goldman Sachs’ David Blood and Al Gore. And finally regarding human rights, well, Saudi Arabia sat as chair to the Human Rights Council of the U.N. last year. And while the U.N. can legitimately be a venue for positive change, historians and writers such as G. Edward Griffin and H.G. Wells have marked it as a collectivist takeover with disregard to individual rights. Democrats like Rosa Koire—author of Behind The Green Mask—have also warned of the agency’s use of eminent domain and the overthrow of land usage rights.
So, to circle back around from that tangent, Captain America is weary of being under the control of an authority whose agenda he is not certain of—sounds a bit more reasonable—while Iron Man believes The Avengers need the oversight and accountability to act more responsibly and avoid collateral damage—also sounding reasonable, but diving deeper; will authorization provided from the U.N. for the superheroes to fight or not fight a certain way, achieve this goal? If they decided Rumlow should not have been gone after, how would the outcome have looked then? Perhaps if they worked more closely with The Avengers (hopefully not in the slow, bureaucratic fashion certain things work today) would certain battles against alien super powers have a more positive outcome?
I don’t pretend to have the answers, but one thing I am more sure of is to not so easily take the bait when something sounds too good to be true—in real life. In the end of the movie, as Iron Man sees his colleagues behind bars—who did not get a trial, yet—he realizes he is wrong and when he finds out Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan) was set up, he also ends up breaking the accords. The writers and directors of the movie don’t have a clear answer of which hero’s side to take in the end as both have their merits, but rather wanted to open the film up to debate.
If there is one thing that these super hero movies do right is that they present deeper levels of thinking to a possibly unsuspecting public and give warnings about certain organizations or ideas that claim to have all the “good will” behind them. But when it comes to wiser decision making that is least likely to get someone killed, I’m going to have to go with Team Cap on this one.
Image: theatrical release poster
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