Dr. Strange gives you a masterclass in human psychology. Stephen Strange was the classic narcissist who tied his entire identity to his career.

 

So when he lost his surgical hands, he was ready to give up on life.

 

But instead of sulking, he redeemed his narcissistic characteristics by becoming selfless.

 

In this episode, we’ll dissect Stephen Strange from the first Dr. Strange movie, so you don’t make the same mistakes he did.

 

Listen now.

 

 Show highlights include:

  • Why basing your self-worth on everything you achieve like Dr. Strange drives everyone you care about out of your life (9:00)
  • The fatal psychological flaw in all superhero movies which can cripple your relationships if you take it literally (9:49)
  • The insidious way “nice guys” are doomed in relationships (even as they become more confident with women) (19:47)
  • Why striving for success at all costs makes you miserable (even if you think it fulfills you) (30:55)

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    Does your neediness, fear, or insecurity sabotage your success with women? Do you feel you may be unlovable? For more than 15 years, I’ve helped thousands of people find confidence, fulfillment, and loving relationships. And I can help you, too. I’m therapist and life coach David Tian, Ph.D. I invite you to check out my free Masterclasses on dating and relationships at https://www.davidtianphd.com/masterclass/ now.

 

For more about David Tian, go here: https://www.davidtianphd.com/about/

    Get access to all my current and future online coaching courses by applying for the Platinum Partnership program today at:
https://www.davidtianphd.com/platinum

 

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Note: Scroll Below for Transcription

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Welcome to the Masculine Psychology Podcast, where we answer key questions in dating, relationships, success, and fulfillment, and explore the psychology of masculinity. Now here’s your host, world-renowned therapist and life coach, David Tian.

David: Welcome to the Masculine Psychology Podcast. I’m David Tian, your host.

As of this recording, it’s about two weeks before the opening of the Doctor Strange 2 movie, Multiverse of Madness. In my peer group, my social circle, I’d be considered a pretty big fan of Marvel movies, the MCU, in general, but going online and doing a little quick background research on Doctor Strange, I have discovered what I’ve always suspected whenever I did a little bit of research online to go deeper into any of the characters. [00:58.2]

It is that I am completely a casual fan and maybe I’m just a dilettante, because I haven’t been able to keep up with the comic books. I don’t know all of the intricate history or details of the characters. I really just know what’s in the Marvel movies and what I will say about the Marvel characters is completely based on the MCU. I’ve just done, just today and yesterday, some research online to get a little bit deeper to confirm my suspicions of various characters and, wow, what a can of worms that opened up.

So, I just want to acknowledge and pay respects to all those who are real hardcore die-hard fans of the comic book characters and I am really just a fan. I became a fan since following the MCU movies for, I guess, now 11 or 12 years or however long they’ve been coming up, and, of course, I’ve been a fan of just comic-book movie characters, in general, including the X-Men series and all of that and Sony, and now it seems like we’ll be all coming together in Marvel. [02:09.8]

In advance of the Doctor Strange 2 movie being released, I’ve been requested to give my thoughts about the prior Doctor Strange movie, the first one, that gives his origin story and just, in general, his story arc or character arc up to this point, and I hope that there will be enough psychologically or enough psychology in the Doctor Strange 2 movie to remark about it. I’m not sure, I can’t confirm that because I haven’t watched it, but we’ll see. But I’m going to do this one on the Dr. Strange character as depicted in the movies. [02:47.8]

I’ve chosen three points to focus on and I’m drawing a lot from the first Doctor Strange movie, the origin story, and especially the first half of the movie where you’re really seeing Stephen Strange and his hero’s journey ending in a kind of selfless act, a kind of self-sacrifice, where he is enduring the pain of being killed and then coming back and being killed again, possibly for infinity, forever, but I guess his bet was that eventually Dormammu would tire of the thing.

I’ve got three points here and the first one is about narcissism. Stephen Strange is the embodiment of a lot of Asian-American second generation, I would even say, the argument of most Asian children’s ideals. That is the ideal that their parents imposed on them or passed down to them as the way the parents would want them to go, their careers and who they are. This guy is a genius. He’s got photographic memory. He’s got a PhD/MD and he did it all relatively effortlessly. [04:02.7]

All of that is a good setup for the narcissism, because the narcissism is extra on top of that, right? The narcissism of a kind of self-centeredness comes from a kind of triumphalism. I mean, it creates this sort of arrogant behavior and demeanor, and looking down upon his colleagues, even if it’s justified. You notice this. This is there.

What’s interesting for me as a dating coach, insofar as I do dating coaching and advice, is that a lot of guys have mentioned to me over the years that one of their ideal character types is Tony Stark from Iron Man and it’s interesting because no one has so far mentioned Stephen Strange. But it makes sense as I’m watching this movie again; his only love interest is Christine Palmer played by Rachel McAdams and the character that is woefully underappreciated doesn’t get an arc really. [05:06.8]

In any case, that was the only woman there. He wasn’t hooking up. He wasn’t seducing very quickly a journalist, like Tony Stark surrounded by a lot of trappings of hedonism. But you should know another kind of hedonism in the building out of the character of Stephen Strange, of his lifestyle, his watches, his sports, his supercars. There are a lot of guys online searching for help with women who would kill to be Stephen Strange, and if they had the trappings of luxury and status that Stephen Strange is shown to have, would be as arrogant and self-centered as he was. They would believe that they are justified in being that way because they believe that they are superior in the most important ways to their competitors or these other guys, just as Stephen Strange was arrogant and kind of mean and humiliating the other doctor, his colleague, and he was chastised for that by Christine Palmer. [06:12.5]

As opposed to Tony Stark kind of narcissism, Stephen Strange’s narcissism is more about status and is sort of asexual. It’s a non-sexual type of narcissist ideal presented here, and Stephen Strange’s character actually represents the ideal for a lot of achievers, and as I pointed out, especially the achievers coming from an Asian or Asian immigrant background, because, of course, that has to be asexual because that’s full of sexual shame.

You have here Stephen Strange in the first part of the movie and they’ve written him so that he’s supposed to appear like he’s ready for the fall, like you’ve got to take this guy down several notches to even get the movie going, and yet for so many achievers, even before their story arc, their journey in terms of maturation and development, is all pre-Stephen Strange. They’re not even yet at that point beyond where Stephen Strange gets his catharsis and discovers the true meaning of life. [07:22.0]

There’s a scenes when Dr. Strange is with Christine Palmer after his accident driving I think it was Lamborghini, I can’t remember, his supercar, off the cliff, and after so many surgeries, he’s just super frustrated because nothing is working and his identity is wrapped up in his ability as a surgeon, in using his hands, specifically. Doing some background research, I discovered that he was too arrogant to take on a teaching position and he really just wanted to be the superstar surgeon and that’s how he defined himself. [07:56.2]

He and his self-worth, his value as a human being, lay in his achievements, and when he was no longer able to live up to that standard of some sort of a status, but it’s not just a standard of being helpful to others because he could do that in a teaching position or in a teaching role, but instead he’s got to be the center of attention, the showoff, the hotshot, and that requires him to actually be on the floor and using his hands, and when that’s taken away, he doesn’t know what his value is as a human being.

There’s that scene with Christine Palmer in his super-fancy condo and she’s saying there’s more meaning to life than this, and he says, “Like what? Like you?” and that was a moment where Christine Palmer was helping, I believe, Stephen Strange’s character to deepen in his maturity, to deepen in his self-exploration. [08:59.7]

Of course, he’s still in his pain, so he’s not able to get out of himself, so he just lashes out at her, and she wisely leaves because the relationship with a narcissist, until they transform or basically their narcissistic parts are able to relax and to trust or get some access to the higher self of that person, they’re just going to cause harm and hurt, so Christine Palmer leaves in that scene.

Then that leaves Dr. Strange to go find some other solution, and even all the way through to his first training in Kamar-Taj, he’s still this arrogant guy whose self-worth is based on his achievement or his ability to achieve. It’s sad that superhero movies are limited in this respect, because just by them being superheroes, it actually prevents them from discovering the most powerful lesson, which is that love and worthiness for love can actually reside on nothing else except being. [10:11.7]

I’ve covered this in many episodes on unconditional love. You can find them in prior episodes of this podcast. I also go into depth on that very basis of self-worth in my course, “Rock Solid Relationships”. I not only teach about it through seminars, but, more importantly, I provide guided meditative experiences that lead our students through it to discover it in their own way for themselves in an emotional way at the level of their unconscious, so it’s not just an intellectual sense or cognitive understanding, but it’s at the more important deeper emotional and unconscious processing. [10:51.2]

But given the limitations of the superhero genre, Stephen Strange still reaches for something deeper when it comes to the meaning of life and his own self-worth, because at the end of the movie, you see that he has now achieved incredible skill in magic and sorcery and all that, and yet, at the end of the movie, he still somehow kind of mysteriously– [11:14.2]

I think this is a flaw in the writing or maybe there just wasn’t an movie time to depict the character arc, but he ends up suddenly becoming selfless and offering up himself to this godlike figure, bad-guy godlike figure, Dormammu, and dies over and over and over again, and it said explicitly in the script that he’s going to feel the pain of each of these deaths. Yet he still engages in it.

Strange keeps coming back and says that he wants to bargain with Dormammu and tries to wear him down, but each time he’s actually feeling the deaths, so there’s a great cost to Stephen Strange in terms of pain and this is definitely not a self-centered act. It’s a selfless act, especially since almost nobody will know what he has done for them. [12:02.6]

So, you see this story arc develop at the beginning and in the middle of the movie. In the beginning, there is that dialogue in Stephen Strange’s home where Christine Palmer walks out on him because Dr. Strange is saying, “Life without my work” is meaningless, and she replies, Life “is still life.” Life without work is still life, and says, “This isn’t the end. There are other things that can give your life meaning,” and that’s when he says, “Like what? Like you?”

Then jump ahead to the point where the Ancient One is dying on the hospital bed and she and Strange astral project outwards, and then she says, looking out onto the world, “Death is what gives life meaning. To know your days are numbered, your time is short.” Then at the end of the movie, you find that, indeed, Dr. Strange finds the meaning of his life in his sacrifice, in his death over and over and over, and dying again and again and again, in an infinite loop, as a strategy to wear down this god. [13:04.2]

So, in this kind of clunky way, you see how the movie, the story of the movie, comes back around to the meaning of life, what could give life meaning, and that death or confronting death is an amazing way to bring to the fore what could actually give your life meaning. It is actually unfortunate that this is in a superhero movie making this point because it ends up that Stephen Strange is a superhero.

The implicit message is, while they’re asking the right questions and they’re breaking down the narcissism, and the way that the narcissism, because the narcissist has his self-worth pegged to his achievement, therefore prevents himself from finding real love and fulfillment in life, unfortunately, because he is a superhero now, a different kind of achievement, and finds meaning in that though it does redeem itself by having the superhero sacrifice his life over and over to save others in a kind of anonymous way. [14:07.2]

The second point I want to make is about the Christine Palmer character and pointing out that she’s a perfect example of a white nurse type of figures. I used the term “white nurse” to contrast or to match the white knight. Wherever you find a narcissist or, more broadly speaking, an emotional vampire, you will find, if they’re old enough, they will eventually have met and matched with a white knight or a white nurse and Christine Palmer is a great example. This sort of romance that’s undergirding this movie makes a lot of sense and I wonder where that will go in the future Doctor Strange movie.

I’ll illustrate this with a bit of dialogue here. Right at the beginning or near the beginning where Stephen Strange says, “Well, wait a minute, you guys aren’t …”

Then Christine Palmer says, “What?”

Then Strange says, “Sleeping together?” referring to the other doctor, and he says, “Sorry, I thought that was implicit in my disgust.” [15:01.4]

Christine then says, “Explicit, actually. No, I have a very strict rule against dating colleagues.” She says, “I call it the Strange Policy.” 

Stephen Strange says, “Oh, well, good, I’m glad something’s named after me. I invented a laminectomy procedure, and yet, somehow no one seems to want to call it the ‘Strange Technique.’”

She replies, “We invented that technique.”

Then Strange says, “Regardless, I’m very flattered by your policy.” Then he says, “I’m talking tonight at a Neurological Society dinner. Come with me.”

Christine replies, “Another speaking engagement? So romantic.”

Stephen Strange replies, “You used to love coming to those things with me. We had fun together.”

She says, “No, you had fun. They weren’t about us. They were about you.”

Stephen Strange says, “Not only about me.”

Christine says, “Stephen, everything is about you.”

Then he says, referring to that technique earlier, “Maybe we could hyphenate. Strange-Palmer Technique.” [15:56.7]

This is the sort of banter that makes a lot of sense, given the narcissism of Stephen Strange, and it would require a kind of nurturing but also codependent white nurse. I point out that Christine Palmer is a mature version of this because she’s going to stick around because it’s part of whatever her makeup is.

We don’t get a whole lot of backstory for Stephen Strange explaining his childhood and all of that, as far as I know, and I haven’t dug far enough, but you don’t get that in the MCU. Nor do we have that for Christine Palmer and I don’t know if that would be of interest to the casual fan, but it would help to understand these characters. It’s actually necessary to understand the characters fully.

But we can just conjecture, and in any case, both of them end up in the sort of pairing here and I call it the “unholy pairing”, and I go into a lot more depth on it in my core “Rock Solid Relationships.” In fact, I devote two entire modules to exploring the whys and the hows and the implications of this common pairing that we find. [17:04.8]

A lot of guys who take my courses and just like I was in the white knight side of the equation, so more of us found ourselves the Christine Palmer being attracted to a hot, sexy, confident, or seemingly confident, kind of an emotional vampire or narcissistic female character. That’s part of the allure of the pickup artist.

Most guys who become pickup artists and really spend a lot of time on it, devote a lot of time and effort into it, aren’t doing it to pick up the nice girl next door. They’re doing it because they want to rise in the ranks., so to speak, of the social-status world of dating and those are the women who are dressed to the nines and showing off their sexuality in venues like bars and clubs, and that has these nice guys drooling at being with some arm candy like that. A lot of it is not just sexual desire. Most of it is covering up their own core insecurities and getting that arm candy is a big part of their social status. [18:14.0]

Do you struggle in your interactions with women or in your intimate relationship? Are fear, shame, or neediness sabotaging your relationships or attractiveness? In my Platinum Partnership Program, you’ll discover how to transform your psychological issues, improve your success with women, and uncover your true self.

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They’re actually a lot more like a Dr. Strange kind of narcissism, but they’re on the codependent side of it. They’re compensating, right? But in order to become that Stephen Strange character, they have to take on those mannerisms. [19:09.3]

So, they start out as a kind of Christine Palmer character, but much worse, because the way that she’s depicted in this movie, the few scenes that we have, show her to be mature enough to know when to pull away and when to protect or have her own boundaries, even though she’s always there and available and kind of he goes to her to rescue him repeatedly, in fact, in the movie. She does so without, it seems, a whole lot of hurt or pain or resentment, which is unusual. It just seems like she’s a mature version or a mature form of a white nurse.

But much more common is the white knight or white nurse who have internalized the strategy of pleasing the parent figure in order to get love and attention, and that gets carried forward into adulthood and they end up with someone who’s difficult to please, just like they perceived that parent figure back then. This is the pattern they know, so they recreate it. [20:07.8]

Then pickup artists who actually succeed in learning and becoming good at flirting and banter and attraction and all that, almost always goes from originally an white nurse, one-down position, a white knight one-down position, into adopting the mannerisms, the thought patterns, the behavior of the one-up narcissist. This is the pattern you see over and over again, and unless you can become free of that, your relationships are doomed.

Obviously, here now you see it very quickly at the beginning, their relationship is already dissolved and Christine Palmer is wise enough to not get involved again with a self-centered Stephen Strange, and he’s inviting her on a date to watch him give a speech. [20:57.7]

I know, this is hilarious, and I think for most people this, they would find this hilarious. I think most guys don’t understand the lessons here, the psychological lessons. I know I didn’t when I first watched it, because I wasn’t watching it from that lens. Back then, when the movie first came out, I was just formulating my ideas and viewpoints on what I call the compensatory, the compensating narcissist, so I didn’t really pick that up in the movie the first time.

I’m pointing it out now for those who have been following my work for a while and understand the white knight syndrome, the unholy pairing of the white knight with the emotional vampire, and you can see this with the genders reversed, and actually in the world, it’s more common to find. In the real world. Not the superhero world, but in the real world, it’s also much more common to find the male narcissist paired with the female white nurse codependent, so this is a very believable and psychological perspective pairing here in the movie. [21:57.0]

You notice that Christine doesn’t have a character arc in this movie. It’s pretty much just a rock-steady role there in Stephen Strange’s life as the main character. It would be really great to get Christine Palmer’s backstory and I think she’s reappearing in the new movie, I’m not sure. It would be interesting to see how that plays out.

But just pointing that out as well, and if you don’t know about the unholy pairing, you’ve really got to stop everything and learn it. You can start from my white-knight syndrome, nice guy videos, and then if you want to go deeper, I’ve got the course, “Rock Solid Relationships”, because it’s essential. Especially for achievers, it’s essential to understand this dynamic, because you’re going to be on either one side or the other, and you’ve got to know how to balance it, harmonize it and create a love relationship, which requires confronting the toxic shame that is undergirding the narcissism and driving the white-knight behavior. [22:55.2]

Okay, then the third point I want to make, this is a really big one, so it’s a little daunting, but I’m just going to mention it and we’ll see how far we can get with it. But I notice this with the Baron Mordo character, who also is going to supposedly appear again in the Doctor Strange 2, Baron Mordo, in contrast to the Ancient One, and Baron Mordo, towards the end of the movie, you start to see how, even though he’s a good guy, so to speak, his way of seeing morality, of good and evil, of making that distinction between moral good moral evil, leads him into what we see at the end of the movie as a villainous character or a villainous role.

It’s interesting how that happens, how you can actually be the villain, but think that you are doing good, and this happens all the time. In fact, most people who do evil or they do things that result in harm or hurt of others, actually see themselves for the most part in doing good or excusable so that whatever they’re doing is excusable and explainable and justified by some other intention that they have. [24:14.0]

It’s interesting to point out here about Baron Mordo versus the Ancient One who made compromises and has a flexible view of good and evil, and in Dungeons & Dragons speak, I used to be a player of Dungeons & Dragons for several years as a, I don’t know, fifth or sixth grader, 4, 5, 6 grades, middle schooler, and in the ethics field for every character, there was a kind of rubric.

There were nine options. It was good, neutral and evil, and then it was lawful, neutral, and chaotic. In the middle of this tic-tac-toe kind of board, you’ve got neutral-neutral, and then in the one corner you’ve got lawful good, but lawful good’s opposite is not lawful evil. Lawful good’s opposite is chaotic evil. So, you’ve got lawful good, neutral good, chaotic good. Then you’ve got the same thing with the neutrals. [25:07.0]

Then on evil, you’ve got lawful evil, neutral evil, and chaotic evil. Lawful evil is a lot like Thanos. He’s got rules. He’s got the kind of principles that he follows. Chaotic evil is just backstabbing. He’s going to break all the rules, doesn’t give a fuck kind of thing, and in many ways, the chaotic evil is the most dangerous one because they’re the most unpredictable and that’s the kind of joker type of character.

Loki is sort of an interesting chaotic character where he moves from chaotic neutral to chaotic evil to chaotic good in his story arc, and it’s interesting. It’ll be interesting to see where they take that character, which actually the TV series are a lot deeper psychologically, and maybe at some point, I’ve missed the boat on that one because those have all passed, but Loki and the Scarlet Witch one, WandaVision, both had quite a bit of psychological themes in there, especially Loki’s. [26:03.4]

But, anyway, notice that Baron Mordo and the Ancient One can be tracked on this rubric of chaotic and lawful on opposite ends. That Ancient One is willing to make these compromises because it’s about the consequences, the ends justify the means kind of thing. Then for Baron Mordo, his obsession about the natural law, that this law can’t be broken, regardless of who gets harmed as a result.

Dr. Strange here is more on the Ancient One’s side of things, much more on the chaotic end of the moral spectrum there, because he’s willing to and able to, and as he is shown in the Spider-Man movie where he helps Spider-Man change the timeline, he’s also willing to and is flexible around what is good and evil and what the laws are and rules and regulations. Baron Mordo is much more of a conservative on that end. [27:02.4]

There’s a great book called The Righteous Mind by Jonathan Haidt, where he points out how liberals and conservatives actually react to and see and experience moral judgment very differently. For liberals, two of these six foundations, moral foundations, are by far the most important. In fact, the other four foundations or pillars don’t really matter, or they’re not a moral issue; it’s more of a taste or subjective preference issue.

The two that matter the most to the liberals are harm and fairness. As long as you’re not doing any harm to anyone and you are being fair, then you are good to go. You are cleared of your conscience, right? That’s harm and fairness. Those are two foundations. Then conservatives, in addition to harm and fairness, they also have four other foundations of loyalty, authority, sanctity, and liberty, and there’s a lot that can be said about this. [28:01.3]

I have been educated in liberal context in school, but then a conservative context at church, so I was very churched. I was even a missionary going on mission trips in the summers and was actually pretty hardcore with the Campus Crusade for Christ. I was president of a couple different campuses’ Campus Crusade for Christ in Canada, in any case doing evangelism and all that.

From that side, I can totally see how there’s much more of an emphasis in a kind of visceral feeling. You can actually see that moral judgements and moral quandaries are processed differently in the brain through brain scans between conservatives and liberals hat there’s a really fascinating example in Haidt’s research going on and the research of other neuroscientists and philosophers and psychologists, a kind of discussed reaction to incest in conservatives that is lacking in liberals, and that the discussed mechanism, when it’s activated, is part of this moral foundation that conservatives see of purity or sanctity, that as actually a moral issue, not just a taste issue. [29:09.4]

I recommend Haidt’s book. The Righteous Mind is an introduction to this area. There’s a lot of research literature on these issues. I’m bringing this up, not just because it’s interesting moral philosophy and moral psychology, but also because it has massive implications for how men and women treat each other across the gender divide. Who’s in the right? Who’s in the wrong? Who’s good? Who’s evil?

You can actually see that from the subjective perspective of somebody that you might deem evil. They’re just doing what they believe to be good and then they end up in this villain position. How do you know that you are not the Baron Mordo here and that you are actually the Stephen Strange? [29:54.4]

This is a great example of what happens in relationships or dating conflicts. There are a lot of guys who weren’t saints, but got the shorter end of the stick in the relationship. They got cheated on. They got deceived. They were lied to, and the world or their social circle or society, their community, whatever they cared about in terms of their peer group, believed the woman. Then they demonize the woman. They get really bitter and resentful towards her.

The thing is, they’re going to get stuck in this position where neither side can understand the other, and as a result, they just keep butting heads. This then eats up inside the one who’s in the one-down because he is in the one-down. The one-up just sort of moves on. The one-down, unless he can get outside of his own perspective, he’ll always end up there. He’ll always be stuck there. [30:52.3]

Okay, I just wanted to make those three broad points, the narcissism of the achiever and how self-centeredness blocks deeper meaning to life and fulfillment in life, and how many men or even before their self-awareness and growth, even before this journey that Stephen Strange went on, because they still haven’t even achieved that success that they think naively will bring them happiness and fulfillment, and a deep feeling of self-worth, when it’s actually founded on a house of cards built on sand, even if they were to succeed.

Ask the bigger and deeper question. Even if you were able to create and achieve this stuff that you think will give you worth and value, and happiness in life, and it’s not founded just on you existing, just you being, because there’s a whole other way of achieving, which is that you’re passionate about the thing and you do it any anyway, even if you weren’t paid. You stay up all night because you love to and you’re losing track of time because you love doing the activity. [32:00.0]

The way Dr. Strange took to magic in the movie, it was like it was effortless in the sense of you see him very effortful at the beginning, but that’s just part of the beginner’s curve, which we’ll go through for everything. This is why I have courses like “Drive” that help people get used to blasting through and sticking with it, and a big part of it is knowing why you’re doing it.

But then, eventually, when you get to a certain level of competence, you will enter flow in the activity and you’ll experience a kind of effortless achievement, and that will take you very far, and for many achievers, that’s not good enough. They need to be the top 0.1% because they’ve set their goals on the best in the world or something along those lines, not realizing that the effortless achievement, because they love the thing that they’re doing and they can lose themselves in it and lose track of time, they’ll get good at it naturally, and they enjoy it and they’re passionate about it. That is an option available for excellence. [33:00.2]

But so many achievers don’t go that route, even though they’re not even aiming at 0.1%, the top 0.1%. They’re just trying to make the grade and keep it going for years or decades, and now they’re tired or exhausted, and they’re still not fulfilled and they still don’t feel worthy of love just in who they are, not because of what they can do.

That’s a great illustration of how Stephen Strange’s character was confronting that through the loss of his hands and so forth, and I will see how it continues to evolve in the MCU. We’ll see how or where they take it, with the acknowledgement that it even in the first movie was a kind of jarring transition that wasn’t managed all that well, in my opinion. But we do see him just suddenly move into a kind of redemptive arc of sacrificing his life over and over in that loop.

The second point being Christine Palmer’s character, a kind of white nurse, in this case, a very mature white nurse, but just using this as an opportunity to highlight the unholy pairing between the codependent and the taker, between the giver and the taker, the codependent and the narcissist or the emotional vampire. [34:08.1]

Then, finally, just noticing the difference here between the Baron Mordo’s character’s view of good and what’s required, and the Ancient One is a much more flexible way dealing with, and we know where the MCU stands on that spectrum on the conservative/liberal spectrum, not just in their movies, but also because of whatever political decisions they’ve made and companywide. It’s not surprising that they’re more on the liberal side of things.

But there is something to be said for, or, hopefully, you can see that there might be something to be said for the conservative moral foundations, and those foundations might involve authority, but just even giving respect to authority as being an issue of moral goodness. Loyalty, right? Then, of course, what I mentioned as an example there, purity or sanctity, and liberty, differ from the liberal view of just focusing on harm and fairness. [35:06.2]

I’m just presenting that as a way of potentially switching perspectives so that you can arrive at resolution and conflict. Otherwise, you get stuck because you’re approaching the same thing from two different perspectives and can’t see or understand the other side.

Okay, just pointing that out as issues that came up in this movie. I’m looking forward to seeing the second movie and, hopefully, there’s enough in there to make some remarks for a future podcast and to draw it back to our themes here in Masculine Psychology.

Thanks so much for listening, and I would love any feedback on this and any of the other episodes. Thanks so much for all the feedback so far and thanks again for sharing this with anyone you think would enjoy it or would benefit from it, and let us know what you think.

I look forward to hearing from you and welcoming you to the next episode. Until then, David Tian, signing out. [35:59.0]

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