(Author Note: I apologize for my obscene lack of knowledge of Buddhism and Eastern Philosophy, I just thought this would make for a cool title)
As I posted earlier, Rod from Narutofan (yes really), has come up with a very intriguing theory the approach that Morrison is taking with The Return of Bruce Wayne. I was still wrapping my head around it so all i managed to do was repost the Wikipedia article he was basing his theory on.
Recently Rod put a couple hours to hammer his theory into a cohesive post. Since I figure more people are going to come across this blog than to go browsing on Narutofan, I am reposting it in its entirety (with his permission of course). Enjoy.
Batman and the Six Paths.Clicks something?
Allow me to remind you then:
The concept is just much bigger, have a sit thar, here comes the wall o' text.
1. Who is this?
Depicted in Batman 681, Yama, the buddhist devil, guardian of the hell. The one who turns the wheel of life, Six Paths, Rokudo Rinne. (picture two pics above)
Additionally, when Bruce was failing for black glove as they were invading the cave, an image appeared in the computer:
Seems to have a similar estructure of mandible (notice this one was drawn in a previous issue  before clear photo as above), based of perhaps;
Now to this:
2. "Five fingers, and no more!"
"five fingers and no more!"
Well imo, this might be refering to a very interesting point here, in the buddhism and hindu figures, entities some of them are portrayed as having 6 fingers, once occurance of this in someone, it might be believed that individual may be one godlike figure.
Generally there's no distinction of good and evil per se, but what you get for that is the ones who protects the ppl, the good fortune entities are the ones with six fingers, the ones related to punishments or stuff generally have five fingers only.
Yama has five fingers only, for example entities from the hell usually have.
Still I wanted to explain you this, pay very attention:
"Enlightenment" is the central masterpiece of Gautama Buddha, and it is what he got sitting for 7 weeks under a fig tree (the bodhi tree), near Benares, after having wandered around for 7 years to search for the cause of suffering... all of a sudden, "in a flash", "he saw the light", and became the Buddha, the enlightened one... his divine eye was quickened, and he was able at last to extinguish all his ignorance, desires, and craving... and life's problems were no longer an enigma to him.
The Buddhist word for enlightenment is "bodhi," which is the basis for the title "Buddha." He was the first to be enlightened and thus was called "The Buddha." The root meaning of bodhi is "to awaken"; thus the Buddha is the "Awakened One." The rest of humanity is asleep.
Enlightenment comes essentially one step before nirvana. It is the realizing of the true nature of the cosmos, the link between samsara (six paths) and nirvana. It is at this point that one can view their past lives.
7 weeks reminds you something? 7 weeks with 7 days each equals a total of 49 that were Bruce's days.
Just to explain:
Nirvana for Gautama is to live the life on earth as the result of the Enlightenment, it is not a place, but a state of mind in which one is released from desire, craving, fear... and, most specially, Nirvana brings a Buddhist out of the cycles of the curse of reincarnation for ever.
Nirvana has many names in Buddhism and Hinduism Traditions:
-"Enlightenment"... "Nirvana".- "God-realization".- "Union with the Universal mind".
- "Heightened awareness".- "Expanded consciousness"- "Altered perception of reality".
- "Cosmic consciousness".- "Satori"...- "Transcendental bliss"...
The discipline to obtain it may be yoga, Zen, ascetics, meditation... and the religious frame may be Buddhism, Hinduism, Unity, Theosophy, Scientology, Transcendental Meditation, Hare Krishnas, Rosicrucianism, EST, New Era...
Results of the Enlightenment in Gautama:
He got two kind of results: A positive and a negative:
Negatively, the eradication of all greed, hatred and egotism from his mind.
Positively, the cultivation and development of metta, compassion, sympathetic joy and equanimity as inherent aspects of one’s personality. "Metta" is a Pali word and is usually translated into English as "love", and if we simultaneously think of the words "friendship", "love" and "kindness", we will have some understanding of the true meaning of "metta".
With this "Enlightenment", Buddha sought to remove much of the supernatural from Hinduism. Hindus worshiped too many gods, and used too many relics, magic prayers, superstitions, candles, incense... and he saw no need for a church institution or authority or priests or rituals; no need to believe in "miracles" or supernatural agencies as means to obtain "nirvana", after the "enlightenment"... he dared to question the authority of the Vedas and advocated abolishing the caste system... and even suggested that the concept of God be abolished...
How to obtain Enlightenment:
For Gautama it was very simple, he got it "in a flash" under the Bo tree, as we just mentioned.
But it is not so simple... the many traditions, sects, branches and denominations follow different special techniques, most of them from Hinduism... and thousands of Buddhist monks and nuns dedicate their whole life with vows of poverty, celibacy, and obedience to try to obtain it.
The Four Noble Truths are the basis to obtain Enlightenment... and most specially Meditation.
In general, to obtain "enlightenment", man's own "mind", "body", and "character", are the greatest obstacles:
1-The "mind", is suppressed, for example, by repeating thousands of times a "mantra", a meaningless word for the student, until the "crisis" comes, when the mind gets so boring that stops reasoning, letting only the "animal mind" at work; or by trying to solve for months or years a "koan", an impossible riddle, like "what is the size of your right hand's sixth finger?", until the mind gets so tired, that it gives up, stops reasoning; or trying for months a ridiculous impossible astral projection; or looking for hours at a "yantra", a geometric figure, a triangle... yes, you're thinking correctly, in Morrison's Batman context: Zur ehh arr!
2- The "body", is restrained by sitting for hours in a difficult position, until numbness occurs... and this way you seek to release the spirit from the limitations of the body, say the Buddhists.
3- The personal "character", is controlled by having a guru or a master that continually humiliates you...
All, until your mind gives up, becomes obsolete, and your body becomes numb, and you feel yourself like nothing, without self, without any personality... and then, "comes the crisis", you will give up your "human mind" and experience the "animal mind" with all kinds of illusory hallucinations and the bliss of having the joy and peace of an animal, without any reasoning, without any concern of yesterday nor today nor tomorrow nor the after death... just the simple instinctive let it go of any animal... pretty sure you are making already the connections instintively to the Morrison script here.
The Four Noble Truths: Gautama describes temporal life as featuring four noble truths:
1. Diagnosis: The condition of all existence is suffering.
2. Cause: Suffering is caused by selfishness, desire and craving
3. Prognosis: Selfishness, desire and craving can be overcome... and then, suffering ends on earth and the cycle of the curse of reincarnation is gone.
4. Treatment: The Eightfold Path:
The Eightfold Path: Enlightenment and Nirvana is attained by meditation and by following the path of righteousness in action, thought, and attitude... it's all your work!:
1-3- Wisdom (panna):
- Right View
- Right Thought
- Right Speech
4-5- Morality (sila):
- Right Action
- Right Livelihood
6-8- Meditation (samadhi):
- Right Effort
- Right Mindfulness
- Right Contemplation
And this is what is called "enlightenment", and "god-realization", and "union with the universal mind", and "heightened awareness", and "cosmic consciousness", and "transcendental bliss"...
True is not perceived to be an absolute or objective revelation... "knowledge" is not "to know", but "not to know", it is only a "subjective intuitional experience", the thinking has been replaced by feelings; logic plays no part on it, it is the negation of one's rational faculties... it is an "ego" religion, where one's own enlightened self becomes the arbiter of all actions and the gauge of the truth...
The light upon which a Buddhist stumbles is the false glow of one whom the Bible depicts as a deceiving "angel of light", Satan (2Cor.11:14)... because in that state on numbness and without the control of the "human mind" the devil settles in.
3. Pretty Flower:
The Sacred Lotus (“hasu” in Japanese). Early on in Buddhist history, Shaka Nyorai (the Historical Buddha) is pictured seated on a lotus with four petals, representing the four great countries of Asia (India, China, Central Asia, and Iran) of the time. The lotus, moreover, is a symbol of purity. Although a beautiful flower, the lotus grows out of the mud at the bottom of a pond. The Buddha is an enlightened being who "grew" out of the "mud" of the material world. Like the lotus, the Buddha is beautiful and pure even though he existed in the material world. The “lotus” seat, moreover, is used very often in sculptures of the various Buddha (Nyorai) and Bosatsu (Bodhisattva), as is the lotus stem with flower, often shown held in the hands of the various deities.
4. Six realms of existence, Six paths, Six worlds, Rokudo-Rinne, significance:
1- The world of heaven. This is the world of enjoyment, pleasure or pleasant things. The condition of heaven is impermanent, and this state of mind will also change.
2- The world of humans. (Human beings) In the world of humans, sometimes we are happy, sometimes we are sad, sometimes we are laughing, sometimes we are crying.
3- The world of asuras. This is the world of fighting, or strife. The realm or state of mind of fighting.
4- The world of animals. It is the realm lacking reason. The state without reason. Without reason, mistakes are made, causing hardships or suffering to self, and at times others. Without reason, being dominated by one's desires.
5- The world of hungry spirits. This is the realm of dissatisfaction, not being content. The state of having endless unsatisfied desires, or greed.
6- The world of hell. Hell refers to the realm of suffering. The state of suffering and pain, which through cause and condition people will enter.
Connecting, we have:
- The world of hell. Hell refers to the realm of suffering. The state of suffering and pain, which through cause and condition people will enter:
- The world of hungry spirits. This is the realm of dissatisfaction, not being content. The state of having endless unsatisfied desires, or greed:
- The world of animals. It is the realm lacking reason. The state without reason. Without reason, mistakes are made, causing hardships or suffering to self, and at times others. Without reason, being dominated by one's desires:
- The world of asuras. This is the world of fighting, or strife. The realm or state of mind of fighting:
- The world of humans. (Human beings) In the world of humans, sometimes we are happy, sometimes we are sad, sometimes we are laughing, sometimes we are crying:
- The world of heaven. This is the world of enjoyment, pleasure or pleasant things. The condition of heaven is impermanent, and this state of mind will also change:
Morrison: "I've spent two years in the making of this story!"
"He is like the Buddha"
Sort of hinted the answer not wanting to reveal, fooled us.
Bruce Wayne acts in Morrison's metatext as the figure of Buddha, passing by the final test of Yama the devil who per se has been taunting Wayne the whole life through various occasions and as various figures (the truth of it's identity? It's simple, the great truth is: There's no real one, it's everyone and noone, it's a manifestation), yet it would not kill him before his soul gives up, one needs to acknowledge the corruption in your own, yet that's not the case in the character, Bruce Wayne will prove his faith by achieving the true wisdom on himself (prepared in Thogal with hints from his past times) and escaping the Samsara wheel of life (represented metatextually in the script as "Omega Sanction"). A fact that historically only the Buddha could do, afterall the devil will be one giving up to finally recognize the contrary of all it has seen: The incorruptibility in this being.
"The ultimate human. The definition of humanity."
Blew your fucking mind didn't it? But wait isn't this falling into the trap of randomly looking for shit where none is? Or as one of the great scholars of our time would say:
Well this being the internet someone asked Rod this and he came up with a very good answer that further blew my fucking mind.
Well this being the internet someone asked Rod this and he came up with a very good answer that further blew my fucking mind.
Exactly, Bruce lived in a logical world, it was all just a big math for him (see his monologue in front of the Batcomputer in 678 or 679 exemplifies this greatly), that's what he needed to understand, like Gauthama in the enlightenment, it's not simply "to know" it's also "not to know".
He needed to figure ilogical is part of the plan, that was key item missing and what troubled him into Hurt's identity.
Make of this what you will.