On Being Superman

August 3, 2012


The Three Greatest Mysteries: air to a bird, water to a fish, mankind to himself.
~ Hindu Proverb

Who are we?

Are we human beings having a spiritual experience or are we spiritual beings having a human experience? Do we live with God or does God live within us?

While no one is certain, we are all very curious.

Recall the end scene from Kill Bill 2. David Carradine (playing Bill) is giving a speech to Uma Thurman (Beatrix Kiddo) about the mythology of Superman. He explains that Superman is unique among superheroes because he is a superhero that becomes human, while all other superheroes are humans that become superheroes. Thus, Superman created the alter-ego of Clark Kent to blend in with society.

How is Clark Kent depicted? He is weak, unsure of himself and a coward. Clark Kent becomes Superman’s critique of the human race. While this is interesting, let’s go one level below that.

It’s no secret that we as fans and moviegoers are most interested in characters we can relate to. Superman is the most popular comic book character of all time, yet he isn’t human. This is exactly why I find the Superman myth so fascinating. I believe we relate closest to Superman.

I believe that deep down we recognize that we are acting small, and our power within is of superhero proportions.

I don’t see us as humans trying to become superheroes, I see us as superheroes trying to act human. The word “human” even carries with it an inherent flaw. “Oh, he’s only human”, “that was a super-human effort”, “I guess I’m human after all”. Why is that?  Is it such a crime to be human?

What if instead of humans acting like superheroes, we are superheroes acting like humans.

As Marianne Williamson famously wrote,

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.  Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.”

Our lives are spent hiding the fact that underneath all the fear, self-doubt and anxiety lies a superhero capable of saving the world. Saving the world. If you knew for a fact that you had this potential, would it scare you? We act small, when in reality, we are bigger than we could ever imagine. The human potential movement isn’t about advancement or evolution, it’s about realizing of what’s already inside of us.

You know the feeling you get when you watch superhero movies.

It’s like watching yourself, isn’t it?


Thanks to Andres Bogorja for the Spanish translation of this article

Get new thought-provoking essays that question the status-quo
(and question questioning the status-quo).