by Leah Leach
My intention is to help make what I have learned in Buddhism approachable to all levels of readers regardless of faith or practice. I also cultivate the intention to share this wisdom with all beings.
The story of the Hulk is an excellent example of Feeding (not fighting) Your Demons…get the stretchy pants on and I’ll explain…
Bruce Banner and Hulk are the same being yet they seem to hate each other. Physicist Bruce Banner was experimenting with gamma radiation which caused him to change into the Hulk: a monstrous, green, destruction being. Marvel creators describe Hulk as an extension of Bruce’s rage. The Hulk would seem to rip Bruce apart and transform into anger, but when calmed, sung to, or knocked out, he would return to Bruce.
In the films (actor dependent), we hear Bruce say, in reference to Hulk, “the other guy,” or “I want him out of me.” There is a strong separation between the two. There is also a conquering or destruction of either Bruce towards the Hulk, or vice versa.
There are a few moments in the films Avengers and onward when Bruce seems to be coming to terms with the Hulk and transforms more at his own wishing. This appears to lead to an evolution in physical appearance from The Incredible Hulk to now “Smart Hulk” where the big green guy looks more like Bruce.
New to Disney + is She-Hulk: Attorney at Law showcasing Jennifer Walters as a Deputy District Attorney. After getting into a car wreck with her cousin Bruce Banner, Jennifer comes into contact with her cousin’s gamma-fueled blood and transforms into She-Hulk.
Jennifer and She-Hulk do not have a separation wall. Jennifer does transform into She-Hulk when she gets angry, but it’s not a violent overthrow of personality to personality. It’s also amazingly controlled within hours of receiving this power.
Bruce tries to help by urging Jennifer to stay calm in stressful situations. In an amazing moment, Jennifer explains to her cousin that, as a woman, she holds back her anger and fear every day because she lives in a world where men are a constant threat.
Jennifer doesn’t want to be a superhero; she wants to be a good lawyer and help people.
Feeding Not Fighting
Bruce fights the Hulk within.
Jennifer feeds the She-Hulk.
“… In feeding our demons we are not only rendering them harmless; by addressing them instead of running away from them, we are also nurturing the shadow parts of ourselves so that the energy caught in the struggle transforms into a positive protective force.” – Lama Tsultrim Allione
Lama Tsultrim Allione has a book and classes called Feeding Your Demons. I’ve read the book and taken the class, and I highly recommend them. I see so much of this mental shift in the two variations of Hulk.
Bruce spends so much of his character arc fighting the Hulk and fighting the idea of the Hulk. Where has any of this fighting gotten him? Has fighting the Hulk allowed for the transitions between Bruce and Hulk been easier – no. Has fighting the Hulk allowed for less destruction and chaos physically or emotionally – no.
In this new evolution, Smart Hulk has begun to come to terms with and lean into his non-dualistic nature. A non-dualistic nature is being able to see things as one instead of separate.
The way Jennifer deals with anger is one of protection. Jennifer sees her anger not as a shadow self to run away from, she sees it as a protection from a real danger – men. By controlling and listening to her anger (and fear) she is keeping herself on guard from men who could hurt her. She has already fed her anger to use as a positive protective force.
Becoming She-Hulk is surely inconvenient but Jennifer has control of it because she’s feeding the She-Hulk energy not fighting it. She now has a tool – a strength that she can use when needed. What is interesting about the series on Disney + is it seems the world more needs She Hulk’s strength than Jennifer does. That is an interesting dynamic!
I will say, I had a hard time connecting with the Hulk character over the years in film/TV, there was part of me that felt it was reminiscent of a toddler tantrum. I have since learned the consequences of uncontrol rage due to trauma. I think there are more metaphors and messages that could be in Hulk/Bruce character in films/TV that could help people with this powerful dynamic of feeding not fighting demons for positive growth.
It’s an amazing mind-shift for all beings.
TINY BIT OF HOUSEWORK
I am a student of the Magyu Lineage (Mother Lineage) under the leadership of Lama Tsultrim Allione of the Tara Mandala Center.
I’ll be going into more detail in further posts and at Tara Circle meet-ups at Gal’s Guide Library. If you have questions email me at firstname.lastname@example.org