Every Man has a Breaking Point (Rad's Broken Heart)

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Marlon Brando as Colonel Kurtz in Apocalypse NowA quote from General Corman in Apocalypse Now:

There's a conflict in every human heart, between the rational and the irrational, between good and evil. And good does not always triumph. Sometimes, the dark side overcomes what Lincoln called 'the better angels of our nature.'

Every man has a breaking point. You and I have. Walt Kurtz has reached his. And very obviously, he has gone insane.

That quote refers to a man reaching his mental breaking point. I've reached a different breaking point: my heart is broken.

You can't die of a broken heart. (Or so they say.) Psalm 147 says: "He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds." So it would seem, there is hope.

Regarding the film (which I've seen several times over the years), I've never considered what it was that supposedly made Kurtz go crazy .. until now.

I mean, they paint him (played by Marlon Brando) as a stud, both mentally and physically. But if you watch the film, I think you'll agree the thing that made him snap was .. being subject to a dysfunctional system.

••• today's entry continues here below •••

We read stories how, during the Viet Nam war, the powers-that-be -- armchair generals in Washington (far removed from the daily drama) -- saddled our commanders with a set of rules that .. well, drove many mad (figuratively speaking).

Along these lines, Krishnamurti said, "It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society."

During difficult times, we cope by focusing on the positive .. on what we *do* have. And I certainly have much to be grateful for. (No doubt about it.)

Despite the challenges (and there have been more than a few), the heart aches (and heartbreak), I wouldn't trade a single day of what I've had.

Along these lines, here's another quote I found interesting. Near the end of the movie, we learn why Kurtz spared Willard (played by Martin Sheen). He says:

"I worry my son might not understand what I've tried to be. And if I were to be killed, Willard, I would want someone to go to my home and tell my son everything. Everything I did, everything you saw. Because there is nothing I detest more than the stench of lies. And if you understand me, Willard, you'll do this for me."

If you're familiar with the story, you know his rejection of, and rebellion from that system was the thing that got Kurtz killed. Let that be a lesson to all you nonconformists. There's a price to pay for bucking the system.

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This page contains a single entry by Rad published on September 17, 2008 11:58 AM.

Commiserating with Dostoyevsky (Brothers Karamazov) was the previous entry in this blog.

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