Vesuvius on Xanax

vesuvius.jpgI was thinking about The Matrix movies this morning. The whole mystical woo-hoo surrounding them annoyed me, because I wanted only special effects and explosions. Hey, sue me, I’m a guy.

But The Matrix came to mind because I was mainly thinking about the … deepness … of us. The unseen part. The motive force.

Okay, stop right there. Whatever you’re thinking – spirituality, or oversouls, or thetans or whatever – that’s absolutely not what I’m thinking.

I’m considering us in a totally non-mystical way, thinking about all the stuff we could be doing but aren’t. The capacities we have but don’t display. The full range of our personal capabilities which most of us never explore.

There have been only a few times in my life when I completely and wholly wanted something. Each time, it was like I kicked into a whole new gear. I went out and got the thing. Or did the thing. Nothing stopped me. And each time, looking back on it, I went “Whoa — was that me??”

But then I relaxed back into my old comfortable self, the one with the limited horizons, and cruised along, for the next several years, back in first gear.

I look at people like Richard Dawkins, or PZ Myers, or any one of a number of accomplished people, and I see something special … but special only in the amount of work they’re able to produce. True genius is rare, and it seems to me that even when you find it, most of the genius is the genius of DOING. Rather than some sort of intangible native brilliance.

Most of us have the horsepower in our heads to do whatever we want. In terms of human society and accomplishment therein, if you can think it and believe it, you can do it — I really believe that.

What I don’t believe, most of the time, because I don’t go to the trouble, is that I should. Probably like most of us, I settle. For good enough. For getting by. For whatever I can slouch into and become comfortable with.

Vesuvius on Xanax. That’s all of us. Massive, powerful, heroic-scale selves inside, but outwardly soothed into mediocrity by TV, iPods, lottery tickets … it doesn’t matter what the drug is, it happens because we allow it.

Hey, if the profoundly stupid man currently in the White House, who is just about capable of running a tire store, can become president, any of us can accomplish great things in our own lives.

And maybe it’s time we did.