Sunday, March 27, 2011
"At present, we know partially, but one day we shall know fully as we are fully known." 1 Corinthians 13:12
Scientists say that, during our lifetimes, we use less than 20% of our brains. The movie Limitless imagines a tiny pill that would enable us to use the other 80%.
The lead character, Eddie Morra (Bradley Cooper), begins this story as a creatively-starved (and economically-starved) writer, desperately looking for anything to survive. One day he stumbles upon an old acquaintance who offers him just that... a tiny pill called NZT-48. After taking the pill, Eddie's eyes are opened - and he is able to finish his book and get his life back in order, literally overnight.
According to the film, using the other 80% of our brains means being more aware of the world around us. This newfound awareness helps Morra better recall past experiences, read people's emotions, tap into his inner creativity, and better understand complex situations.
In a way, such intelligence propels the drug's users to unimaginable heights. Eddie cannot resist the experience - and addictively craves more, ultimately leading to trouble, crisis, and even death for those around him. With great power comes great responsibility - yet with Eddie's selfish motives, he struggles with how to handle such wealth of blessings.
In the real world, we don't need a drug to become limitless. Our faith gives us tools to open our eyes and see more clearly, if we are ready to take on this incredible gift.
St. Paul, in his first letter to the people of Corinth, tells the people there that genuine, selfless love is the key to greater clarity and understanding. "At present, we see indistinctly, as in a mirror, but one day we will see clearly as if we were face to face. And at present, we know partially, but one day we shall know fully as we are fully known." (1 Cor. 13:12)
God calls on us to be more aware of our world by paying attention to the least among us. God challenges us to listen more attentively and act more compassionately to those around us. God gives us tools to creatively make a difference in the world before us. And God has blessed us with wondrous things and hopes we will remember them and pass those gifts onto one another.
All of these things are only possible by selfless love, rooted in prayer and integrity. No drug, no classwork, and no tricks are necessary to use all of our brains.
Too often, we are so tired and anxiety ridden that we stumble through our lives, giving seemingly unimportant matters (like family, friends, dreams, and faith) less attention than they deserve. But when we live with our eyes and ears open - and a heart full of love - we will be able to accomplish so much more.
With God all things are possible. Or to put it in the context of this film, with God and a reliance on the gifts he blessed us with, there is no limit to what we can do. The Lord be with you in your own quest for a "limitless" life.