In a poem "The Truly Great" by Stephen Spender:
I think continually of those who were truly great . . . .
The names of those who in their lives fought for life
Who wore at their hearts the fire's centre.
Born of the sun they traveled a short while towards the sun,
And left the vivid air signed with their honor.
To those who possess the eagle eye, there is a hearkening to Prometheus, from Greek mythology, the Titan who stole fire from Zeus and gave it to mortals for their benefit. He was punished for it and paid dearly.
Joseph Campbell holds the flamed torch in darkness - we arrive at the World Navel:
"The effect of the successful adventure of the hero is the unlocking and release again of the flow of life into the body of the world. The miracle of this flow may be represented in physical terms as a circulation of food substance, dynamically as a streaming of energy, or spiritually as a manifestation of grace . . . . Grace, food substance, energy: these pour into the living world, and wherever they fail, life decomposes into death." 1
Through hundreds upon hundreds of hours of hard labor, Manny has provided a swelling of national pride - a tide of "can do" attitude, a vehicle for heightened morale, individual and national buoyancy, vibrancy and renewed determination amidst adversity. Pac, like a biological organ, through his youth's personal circumstances was thrust upon - and impressed on us - as a psychological organ. He has certain critical functions.
Those who struggle as he did - and still does - are pushed beyond their limitations themselves. The Filipino Prometheus has brought fire from the gods - at great risk to himself - as boon for his fellow man.
Heightened productivity, resolve, and class standing are effected through tremendous effort - an example of walking the walk - not talk.
Without the psychological organ, morale - productivity - resoluteness, suffer. Remove the liver, man suffers - and dies. In the Matrix, kill Neo in the real world with inflicted blows to his vital organs, Neo in the dream world dies.
The eminent symbol of Philippine society ushers a new generation, with fresh attitudes and bent on expanding prior held limits. Fans - beneficiaries - share the same risk as the man who assumes the Hero archetype.
When the Hero fails, his fans fall. The fans have chosen their agent representative to the world - Pac - there is a common link. There now exists a mutual reliance - the collective conscious have lifted their eyes beyond their immediate surroundings to what is possible for the whole. Impossible without a unifying force - a mere politician who represents a divided class, or antagonistic sect.
When the Hero is at risk, his people are at risk. Filipinos have become mirrored images for their symbol. Pac defends his people. His people defend him. PACMANIA.
Alexander the Great was provoked, attacked a heavily guarded fortress with just two bodyguards, and was seriously hurt when hit with an arrow. His soldiers seeing their great king wounded, thought he had died, had become enraged. They had burst into a collective outcry, destroying the fort, and killing everyone in it.
The way of the mirror. Fans reciprocate Pac's willingness to fight for his country, by in turn defending and fighting for him. If there is an attack - an "invading army" - the King - the morphological representation of the psyche, must be defended. The attack must be repelled. He is not just a purveyor of cash, food, and shelter for his fellow man. He has molded the Philippine society's psyche into that conducive of real progress.
The example has become infinitely more eloquent than words. Blood has made people into believers.
This Representation is surrounded by 90 million guards, surrounding the purveyor of high morale, self-respect, and progressive belief.
Campbell the sage:
The familiar life horizon has been outgrown; the old concepts, ideals, and emotional patterns no longer fit; the time for the passing of a threshold is at hand. 2
The Philippines has become irretrievably urbane - urbane values - urbane mindset - along with the infusion of toxic character.
Return to Roots
There is an added symbolism of purer heritage, of honest tradition, that displays Agrarian, Agricultural, Provinciano roots. Honesty, hard work, integrity, machismo, responsibility, family, fairness.
Pac is representing the simple values of the Province, that which springs him to the zenith in fortune and fame - serves as the conduit by which the Filipino examines his urbane values, and weighs these toxins against the virtues of his agrarian roots from which he came. A man born of the inescapably honest toil of the land.
The young Hero crossing his Apotheosis has elevated the level of consciousness of his people. The People's Champ's people have followed him beyond the plane, beyond the border of known territory, into the unknown.
Pac finds himself in unknown territory - no Asian boxer has achieved what he has - and in a culturally segregated world, he has become - for all peoples from all regions - transfixed as a symbol for no limitations. Of fight.
As a fixation, the Symbol itself has command over the common, the criminal, the police, the poor, the pure, the wealthy, the wicked. The psychological organ, when trying to achieve (in the ring) and simultaneously at risk, his society ceases all activity in nervous anticipation. You do not party at a club when your internal organs are bleeding. When you're at the doctor's office, you stay quiet and alert.
Pac, instead of Prometheus' fire, has instead given self-respect to each and every Filipino. From the fisherman, to the pandesal baker, to the balut vendor, to the domestic maid, the jeepney driver, the overseas maid who undergoes abuses and violence, the idealistic and lowly soldier or police officer, the security guard, the restaurant waiter, the construction worker, the day laborer, Everyman.
Their representative is respected and admired on the world stage. Their people have arrived. No longer is the grave of Lapu Lapu consecrated - trampled with the boots of Spanish, American, and Japanese invaders.
After Manny defeated David Diaz, Kevin Garnett of the Boston Celtics professed to the man “you’re my idol.”
He has handled success with class and decency. After defeating the heavily favored de la Hoya, Manny said after the match, "no matter what, you're still my idol." To which de la Hoya replied, "no, now you're my idol."
Their people have arrived.
As a young boy, Manny trained at a rundown boxing gym in Tondo, the toughest slum in Manila. The "Belly of the Whale" - representing a place where man will forever be changed. Like the brutalities of war forever changing a soldier.
What was it like to go to Manila by yourself, without having anything more than a few cents in your pocket? To pursue fighting in the slums and alleys of an unforgiving, and often lethal, capital?
When his boat was leaving his home province, he wanted to swim back to his mom at the pier. Temptation. Refusal of the Call.
He secured boxing time and boxing equipment by cleaning up the gym after fights. By working odd jobs.
In that memorialized poem by Robert Frost:
The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.
If he suffered a broken nose, a cracked temple, a broken rib, how might he have sought health treatment? Would he have been permanently disfigured?
In a colossal fight with Mayweather, there are no survivors. It is zero-sum with an absolute, not relative, definition. Non-ego vs. ego. A philosophical clash that has reverberated in the East and West for thousands of years.
Yoda, Vader - in multitudes of varying masks - the same protagonists underneath. Buddha meets the Material World.
“It’s part of my superstitious belief that I should share my blessings every time I have a fight,” Pacquiao said in Tagalog.
Joseph Campbell wrote an authoritative masterpiece that will stand the test of time: "The Hero with a Thousand Faces." The Hero wears many masks. With a variety of roles.
Mother Teresa, Jackie Robinson, the firefighter, the soldier who defends the Motherland.
You cannot predict where a true Hero will come from in the world anymore than you can predict the dream that you're going to have tonight. Unpredictability.
The many, undoubtedly several who were from the upper class, who dismissed a poor, destitute boy many years ago - alone, dotted with bruises from street and ring fighting - asking (begging) if they would like to buy cigarettes . . .
Dismissed, time and time again . . . dismissed in a way that attacked to the core personal honor, a sense of decency, self-respect, and self-image. "You are nothing but a dirty boy. You are nothing - not even worthy to touch this car. Go away." An attack on humanity. The defender represents the forgotten maid, the downtrodden, the 2nd class day laborer. He has done what no one else can do - he has re-affirmed their sacred humanity. He is their Hero. They can again look in the mirror, unashamed - Manny made it - I must make it.
In a fight against an undefeated, technically superior boxer in Mayweather, who has the capability and ring experience to severely stagger more than once the boy cigarette vendor, "fight on Manny, your Country loves you."