The Spirit of a Superhero

UPDATE!: We did attend the Soul of the Superhero seminar with Grant Morrison and Deepak Chopra. I’m excited to report that it was a mind-bender! The thrust of the discussion was this: The stories that we tell ourselves are important. If we tell ourselves apocalyptic stories, we focus on the negative and are less inclined to find solutions or rise to the occasion. Superheroes are important, the panelists agreed, because they present a vision of our better selves. They give us stories to live up to. There was a lot more going on but this was the thesis of the talk.

Grant Morrison was especially adept at thinking and rethinking problems. “Think about it a different way!” he said again and again. Responding to a question from the audience about war, the climate change, and the end of the world for example, Mr. Morrison said “Let’s not think of it as a doomsday. Let’s think of it as the date that we have to make something happen!” He seemed wonderfully enthusiastic about what humanity might do with its rapidly improving computational and communication skills. He noted the fact that our technology is improving exponentially and our world is becoming increasing close knit, even as our environment is facing imminent collapse. “Consider a caterpillar eating a leaf,” Mr. Morrison explained. “From a caterpillar’s point of view, he eats and eats until his environment is gone. to the caterpillar, the environment is disappearing, the end is near. He doesn’t realize that, when the environment no longer sustains him, he will form a chrysalis and become a butterfly. I don’t know if that will happen for humanity but what if it does?! What if?!”

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