There are several different meanings of the word ‘superhero’ and many people immediately visualise their favourite fictional characters from television, comic books and movies. Whether you’re thinking of Superman who has super speed, super strength, the ability to fly and x-ray vision, or Catwoman whose hand-to-hand combat skills are augmented by her cat-like speed, reflexes, balance, and flexibility, we still all know that these are all stories that entertain and fuel our imaginations. For some, superheroes can serve as positive role models with traits we aspire to have such as courage, mental strength and a great sense of purpose.
However, a superhero is not necessarily a person defined by superpowers alone, but by capabilities, abilities and actions that go beyond the norm. We’ve all heard of extraordinary people who accomplish great things where most people could not even imagine doing themselves. These extraordinary people all face the same day-to-day challenges that ordinary people do (and many times, much more) but it’s how they respond and the actions they choose to take that makes all the difference.
There’s a solid set of values that underlies their undeniably strong characters and they will do and act as they know to be right, despite the barriers or obstacles that lie ahead. You may have heard of some of these real-life superheroes; they have helped to pave the way to raising awareness for important causes, fought for equality and freedom, created technological advancements and innovations, medical breakthroughs and other life-changing objectives that benefit the wider community, and even world.
But that’s not to say that a person cannot be defined as a superhero by creating positive change for a single person or a smaller cause. The commonality is that they act with honour and responsibility that overrides their own personal comfort and needs. They extend their capacity to serve a cause greater than themselves.
But what I’m going to focus on here, is not the meaning of the extraordinary person who achieves greatness. I’m going to talk about actual people who can be known as a superhero as a result of their actual inherent super abilities.
What is a Superpower?
There are many different types of superpowers, as well various ways in which these are developed. Some people are born with powers. Now, I use the term ‘powers’ very loosely because the immediate impression from most people is that these are strange, scary and even considered evil! So keep an open mind when reading on about how I describe the powers that people possess, both knowingly and unknowingly.
The special abilities that people are born with can range dramatically, and can also mirror ones that our fictional superheroes possess. These include super strength, super hearing (and other amplifications of the five physical senses), extraordinary memory recall, the ability to perform calculations similar to that of computers, and beyond. In fact, there are probably countless deviations to the norm of hundreds, if not thousands, of so-called superpowers around the world today. So, how and why does this happen?
Many of the explanations of how people have special abilities are because of pure science. For example, in 2009, a child was named ‘world’s strongest toddler’ as he demonstrated strength that was far beyond that of his peers, or other children in his age group. However, it was found that the cause of this was due to a rare genetic condition in which his body blocks the protein myostatin, which inhibits muscle growth. Individuals or animals with this deficiency tend to have much larger muscles with little body fat; an inherent super strength!
Similarly, Spanish-born Javier Botet has a genetic condition known as Marfan syndrome, which affects connective tissue throughout the body. People with Marfan tend to be unusually tall, with long limbs and fingers, and have “abnormal flexibility”. We also have an example of a Finnish Olympian who had an inherent advantage of super endurance from a condition resulting from a mutation in the erythropoietin receptor gene. This resulted in the ability to carry 50 percent more oxygen in his bloodstream – a trait that is quite advantageous in an endurance competition.
But the list goes on with even more unbelievable abilities. In Malaysia, there was a man who was able to stick metal objects onto his body – up to 36 kilograms worth! Although scientists could not detect anything going on with the magnetics of his body, he was able to ‘suction’ these objects to his body and had actually pulled a vehicle using this ability. This bizarre genetic deviation was not unique to him and was also found in more than one of his relatives.
I could go on and on to describe people who were able to run more than 200 miles without sleep (more than one person did this!) and people with eagle vision and sonar abilities. But the point is clear – there are ways in which people can perform the extraordinary, and this can be proven scientifically just as often as it cannot – or at least not yet. But this doesn’t mean that there isn’t science to back it up; we just don’t necessarily have the technology or discoveries to understand some of these phenomena at the moment.
What if you don’t know you have a power?
Some abilities are obvious – if you are considerably stronger than others then you have super strength; if you are faster, then you have super speed. But what happens when you have an extraordinary ability that is harder to detect, and therefore harder to explain?
This happens more than we know and can be quite scary for those who haven’t yet understood that they possess a ‘super’ ability. We know that human beings throughout history have been able to achieve great things and that over time, have increased in countless areas of abilities. This may be a result of having more knowledge and a better understanding of nutrition that has led to fitter and stronger people. Or what about the way we think?
I think it’s safe to say that our brain’s processing abilities are far greater than in the days where the need for survival instincts superceded the need for understanding and analysis. However, it’s when people demonstrate abilities that are different from the norm that creates fear or disconnect with others. Imagine if over 200 years ago, when the average death rate of a human being was only 30 to 40 years of age, someone lived until today’s current possible lifespan of over 100 years? They probably would have been seen as a God or even as immortal!
The abilities I’m referring to are those that are not perceived with our physical five senses – ones that are not fully (or even partially) understood by modern-day science, and include the five ‘clair’ senses (or amplification of the five physical senses), claircognizance (clear knowing), telepathy, telekinesis, and other unseen powers that for most people may be unpredictable and random in nature. You may have heard of the term ’empath’ where people are described as such when they have a heightened sensitivity connected to any one or more of these abilities. And this is pretty acceptable to most people in small doses because it’s not uncommon to hear about people having ‘hunches’, ‘a gut feeling’ or being able to feel the sadness of others. In fact, you have probably even had some experiences yourself where you could not explain a thought, a feeling or an instinct that led you to an outcome that you couldn’t quite explain. Most people write these experiences off as coincidence or they just ignore it and consider it as a one-off. Some children and adults will even be labelled as ‘over-sensitive’, leaving them feeling out-of-place from the norm and sometimes even lonely and isolated.
Click here to read the article, “10 Signs that you have Superpowers”.
Facing the struggle to emerge
Superheroes often have to deal with trauma and hardship before they come into their newly found powers. Why does this occur and does it need to happen to you?
In my experience, many people do face extremely unfavourable circumstances and tend to suffer during this phase of transformation – although I don’t believe this is a prerequisite. Also, your length of time to suffer depends on your ability to learn and move on from the past so that you can fully accept your new-found gifts. The reason this happens can be a result of several reasons. Firstly, you’re different. And it’s only human nature that people want to fit in to society and blend in with everyone else. However, sometimes blending in can cause you to temporarily lose your true identity as you may compromise your own thoughts and values, either by trying to fit in, or merely adopting everyone else’s views because of prolonged exposure to them. But your attachment doesn’t necessarily have to be with people; it can be your strong identification with various groups, roles you assume and even of the material world. When this happens, your calling to become the superhero you were meant to be may pull you into the direction of your destiny, and you find that you are forced away from what you think you want, or what you have accepted to be part of your life.
The second reason where you may find that you are struggling and perhaps even what some people call a spiritual crisis, is your ability to ‘learn lessons’. This doesn’t mean that people who read more and study will be able to surpass those who don’t. This means that you need to know how to identify areas in which you have less-than-ideal circumstances, understand that you are not a victim to these, and take action to change the outcomes.
Obviously, this is much easier said than done, and your life lessons are not going to be easy ones to learn. But there are fundamental principles that can help guide you to ‘unlearn’ your past thinking and I’m finding more and more resources available from people who have undergone this transformation and are now helping those who have yet to discover their true authentic selves.
And finally, struggle does not necessarily have to be a bad thing. It pushes people to their ultimate limits to achieve things far greater than if they are always in their comfort zone. It also enables you to experience situations and emotions that you may not have known possible, which in turn amplifies positive heightened emotions such as gratitude, joy, bliss and even unconditional love. So perhaps a different way to look at things is that suffering is not caused by external events that happen (or don’t happen) in our lives, but it’s how we are attached to expectations of how we believe things should be.
With great powers come great responsibility
So now that you’ve determined that you may have the potential to become a superhero, what do you do about it? Don’t worry, there isn’t a one right answer where you need to live a life of solitude, hide your identity to protect those you love, and zap every bad guy that you encounter. In fact, I believe that we are all true, living superheroes to varying degrees. Your job is to live a happy and fulfilling life, meet new people, have exciting experiences, embrace your achievements and to learn from your mistakes. It’s important not to overthink things – this is probably the reason you ran into problems in the first place! But the key is to slow down and not get so wrapped up in the thoughts and ideals of what you’ve learned in our modern, but chaotic society. The best thing to do is to find a role model (or role models) where you can adopt techniques that will enhance your knowledge and connection to your true self. There are many people who have found their path and have also faced challenges to get there. There’s no need to re-invent the wheel if you can learn from others, including learning from their mistakes.
But the commonality that I find with the many sources out there, is the need for deep stillness and awareness. Meditation and breathing techniques are found in virtually all modalities around the world and throughout time and transcend race, cultures and religions. And it’s not easy for those who aren’t inclined to these types of practices. Trust me – I wouldn’t have imagined it possible for myself only a few years ago. But my advice is not to look for random techniques that are available. It’s important to find a credible teacher or organisation that you are comfortable with. And start at your own pace. Remember, there’s no pressure here and I find that in time, things do fall into place given that you are willing to take the step to learning more.
Click here to read the article “10 Signs that you have Superpowers”