I stated in my previous post that we all have superpowers, or superhuman abilitiesΦ. I also stated that these powers are unlocked by balance — both internal and external, physical and mental. I am aware that this is a bold claim, and while I can’t speak for others (although I know I’m not alone in my feeling), I’d like to share the details of my own personal ability.
Every piece of our being is given to us by the past and I see quite clearly how my gifts were inherited from my recently deceased maternal grandparents8.
My grandfather was obscenely captivating. During his frequent bouts of chemotherapy he would woo every nurse in the building. He often got me and my sister into the aquarium with free tickets from a managerial ‘friend’ of his. My grandmother was always vocally discomforted by his emotional (?) promiscuity. As I grew up I realized that he used his abilities deviously: these women didn’t like him, they just fell at his feet through pure manipulation. He had many flaws, but he loved his work and his family, and he loved to show it. There is a great deal about him that we hid out of shame and fear.
My grandmother was preposterously empathetic. She claimed she could read people to the point of being “psychic” or “seeing auras.” She hated describing her powers in these ways, because she had a deathly fear of being locked in a mental asylum. But she could clearly read emotions at a distance. People fell at her feet when all she wanted them to do was smile and dance with her. Her love for herself, her God, and everything around her was palpable. She had a booming laugh that she frequently displayed and a commanding voice that she used to chant in front of large crowds at her temple on Jewish holidays. There was a great deal about herself that she hid out of shame and fear.
They were opposites, but combined they were an unstoppable force. They stayed together through their polarity in order to create a booming business and family. I owe them not just for my existence, but for the choices they made which developed and imbued me with the combination of their powers∝.
So enough about the past — what are these powers exactly?
I am what you might call a psychonaut or a telepath. It isn’t as ephemeral as the portrayals in movies might have you believe. In fact, it’s something that we all do to some degree. In order to interact and communicate we necessarily have to read each other’s minds. When you receive some string of words from me you invariably create a representation of what I am thinking and feeling. Perhaps you are entirely misreading, or I am lying, so your representation of my internal state is inaccurate, but, to some degree, even this is mind reading.
Over the course of my life I have been developing a highly consistent and precise internal logic. I have always used this rigid structure as an intellectual weapon to chip away at other people’s mental constructs in an attempt to force their emotions into my logical container. Due to the strong empathy I received from my grandmother I closed my eyes to emotions in general because I couldn’t handle the intensity of such feeling. Unfortunately, this made me unaware that I was emulating the manipulative tactics of my grandfather.
However, now that my eyes are open I can begin to integrate my grandmother’s empathy with my grandfather’s awareness of logical boundaries to create something quite powerful. I find that vision through balance augments my linguistic skills with the capacity to navigate through the feelings behind the language. Before I could easily be misled, or misread what someone was saying. But now I see so clearly what you mean by your words. And not just what you mean, what you don’t even know you mean!
I have a kind of semantic global positioning system. I take the meaning of your words, relate them to societal definitions, and produce a mental mattering map that places you within my now flexible logical structure.
Despite the insane level of power this could add to my “intellectual weaponry,” it is impossible to be manipulative with this ability. In fact, I believe the most efficient and necessary use of this power is to witness. To be a mirror to reflect you back on to you. I want to use this ability to show you your true self. Fascinatingly, I think any and all superpowers that we can unlock through balance are intended to be used for this sole purpose!
Perhaps some will use their powers more deviously and a new breed of supervillains will arise due to this awakening. But as far as I can see there is no balance in selfishness and no superpowers without balance…
ΦThis seems a bit silly considering if we all have them then are they really “superhuman”?
8It is unfortunate that loss brings such clarity. Don’t be jealous Bubbee and Zeydee — I would much rather have you physically than lose you to have perfect vision.
∝The topic of epigenetic/generational inheritance and Darwinian/Lamarckian evolution will have to wait for another post…