Warning: This post is one big, gigantic spoiler.
Dan and I went to see Limitless Friday night. The premise of the movie (based on The Dark Fields by Alan Glynn, which I have not yet read) is that a pill has been developed which allows you to access the entirety of your brain (as opposed to the 20% that we currently use). Within 30 seconds of swallowing, you have a 4-digit IQ.
The main character is given one pill by a friend of his to help him overcome his writer's block. Prior to taking the pill, he is depressed. His hair is long and scraggly, his personal hygiene sketchy at best. He can't get himself to write even one sentence of the book his publisher has given him an advance for. He spends a great deal of time drinking. His girlfriend has just broken up with him, presumably because he is such a loser. Figuring he has nothing more to lose, our hero swallows the mysterious pill. Within moments his eyes light up. His countenance changes. He heads home to work on his manuscript. When he enters his apartment, he is able to see, for the first time, what a mess it is. The first thing he does with his increased brain power is wash the dishes. Once his entire apartment is clean and orderly, he sits down and writes. He is in the zone, writing all day, and finishing a large chunk of the book he has been unable to work on for months. He feels amazing.
The next morning, when he wakes up, he is back to his same old self--depressed and dull. He wants to feel alive, energized, and powerful again, so he gets himself a much bigger supply of the pills and starts taking them every day. On the pill, with his brain operating at full capacity, he bathes, gets a haircut, starts exercising. He finishes his book in four days. He impresses people with his fascinating insights into basically everything, and makes lots of new friends. Women can't resist him. He gets back together with his girlfriend, who is intimidated by him for the first time in her life. He finds no need to drink alcohol any more.
He is able to recall, in perfect detail, everything he has ever seen, such as television programs, covers of books, etc. For instance, he beats up a big group of thugs based on what his brain has learned watching random commercials and martial arts movies. He becomes fluent in new languages by casually listening to a few tapes. His senses are heightened. He sees connections between things and pathways open up that were not visible to him before.
I take a small handful of pills every night before bed that help with my depression. Dan and I like to joke that they are my happy pills, and I pretend to be overcome by happiness and joy right after taking them. They do not really function in this way of course, but I do think they help take the edge off of the worst of my symptoms. More than an antidepressant, however, the pills in this movie reminded me of the influence of God in our lives.
Here is a quote Dan found for me by Parley P. Pratt that I think is relevant to the discussion:
"The gift of the Holy Spirit...quickens all the intellectual faculties, increases, enlarges, expands and purifies all the natural passions and affections, and adapts them, by the gift of wisdom, to their lawful use. It inspires, develops, cultivates and matures all the fine toned sympathies, joys, tastes, kindred feelings and affections of our nature. It inspires virtue, kindness, goodness, tenderness, gentleness and charity. It develops beauty of person, form and features. It tends to health, vigor, animation and social feeling. It develops and invigorates all the faculties of the physical and intellectual man. It strengthens, invigorates and gives tone to the nerves. In short, it is, as it were, marrow to the bone, joy to the heart, light to the eyes, music to the ears, and life to the whole being."
And another, this one by Ezra Taft Benson:
"Yes, men and women who turn their lives over to God will find out that he can make a lot more out of their lives than they can. He will deepen their joys, expand their vision, quicken their minds, strengthen their muscles, lift their spirits, multiply their blessings, increase their opportunities, comfort their souls, raise up friends, and pour out peace."
I remember when I first heard that we are not using about 80% of our brain's capacity, I assumed that potential would be unlocked in the eternities. God, I imagine, is already operating at full capacity. Perhaps his spirit helps us access regions of our brain that we cannot yet access by ourselves.
How do you imagine that you would be different if you had access to your entire brain's capacity? Would your emotional state improve? Would you stop procrastinating? Would you wash the dishes and keep your house cleaner? I don't know if having 100% brain power would be enough to overcome certain negative habits that plague me. It seems like I already know many of the things I need to do, and what is missing is the part where I actually do those things. Does that part come from our brains? From our bodies? From our spirit?
Lots to think about, and I'd love to hear from you as well.