Here’s a guided meditation experiment.

Close your eyes. Allow the thrum of the outside world to wash past you. And then recede away. Wash past you. And then recede away. In this space, you are safe, and free of worry. With every breath you feel more and more protected.

In the center of your forehead, you make out the dim outline of a circle. As you take a deep breath in, the circle expands. There is nothing outside it but cool, still darkness. As you breathe out, it contracts, focusing your mind deeper and deeper into its center. Concentrate on the center of the circle as you sink deeper and deeper into a state of relaxation.

A thin sliver of light appears in the center. Beautiful healing light bursts forth as the sliver widens. With every breath the light grows larger. Feel the warmth of this light as it washes over you, filling your mind’s eye completely. You sink deeper and deeper into a state of relaxation, bathed in this warm healing light. A cool breeze is at your back gently caressing your hair. All your doubts, fears, and worries slowly melt away in the light. Each step you take gets lighter and lighter.

You feel weightless. As you get used to the light, you see a range of mountain peaks, dusted with soft white snow. You stand high above them. With every breath you float slowly down to the valley. Around you the breeze lifts snow off the ground in small swirls. The land is entirely flat. You see the horizon stretch out infinitely in all directions. On this horizon rises a sphere of white light. You let the waves of energy wash over you.

With every breath you feel stronger. The sphere’s energy infuses every part of your body. You walk towards it. Feel the ground under your feet, firm and protective, pushing you up with every step. Hear the soft crunch of the snow, molding around the contours of your feet, your toes. Feel the light strengthen you as you breathe it in. You feel stronger than ever before. Like in a dream, you know there is nothing you cannot do. Like in a dream, you know you just have to imagine it, and you will be in the middle of it.

Look up at the sky. You push off the ground and soar into the sky. In one step you reach the horizon, and then you push off again. When you push off, feel the vibration of the earth, feel the solid ground receiving you gently and then lifting you up again. Feel the light wisps of clouds as you fly through them. Watch them part as you come back down and land on the ground.

The sphere of light rises high, centered on your forehead, never out of sight, never out of reach, guiding you as you explore in all directions. With every breath you sink deeper and deeper. The boundary between you and the ground fall away. With every breath you feel more and more connected with everything around you. When you breathe in, you gather in all the land, the pebbles, clouds, and light. When you breathe out, you slowly release them to spread wider and wider.

You see the lines of space, curving into a point of infinity, at the center of the sphere of light. The sphere moves from your forehead down to your chest. Feel its warmth radiate out, filling your body.

Hear the rumbling in the ground below you. See the vibrations of snow, dancing in the light. Feel the energy as it builds up from the sphere, slowly becoming stronger and stronger. Feel it coil up inside you. See the snow rise up from the ground and spiral around you, reaching high into the sky.

Let the sky embrace you and pull you higher and higher. You are weightless and moving as fast as you want, leaving a soft wake of white cloud. Hear the wind whistling in your ears, and the waves of warmth spreading out from your chest. The white snow gives way to fields of golden grass shining as you fly over them. See the giraffes lope slowly across Acacia trees. Hear the herds of zebra and antelope beating out a rhythm with their hooves. You feel connected to everything you see, including your own shadow below, growing and shrinking across the rocks and trees it crosses.

The land gives way to a deep blue ocean, topped by lines of white crests. You fly right above the surface. Feel the cooling spray of water on your face. Smell the clean, fresh air. See the water part as you skim the surface. In just a few seconds you have crossed the entire sea. The landscape keeps shifting under you as you fly through deserts and mountains. You fly through valleys and grasslands. You can see the curvature of the earth. The thin ethereal blue light that gives it a coating of luminescent energy, and then the blackness of outer space. You are weightless. Floating above the earth. Feel the stillness. Feel how your skin gives way seamlessly into the calm emptiness of space. The sphere of light rises up into your forehead.

Concentrate on the center of your forehead as the sphere brightens. Feel the white light bathe you in warmth as it brightens and brightens.

Open your eyes.

I have just described Superman’s first flight from Man Of Steel:

This was the only stirring meditative contemplative scene of self-discovery that I thought the movie would be full of, given its very misleading teasers promising that Grant Morrison’s All-Star Superman was the primary source material. This scene has the additional nerve to paraphrase Jor-El’s line from the comic, jarringly out of place when superimposed on the resurrection from laughably low-stakes low-impact personal failure and narrated by Maximus Cornius. I have a theory that we will know popular consciousness has reached the next stage of evolution when a movie actually gets Superman right. Until then, I’ll just wait for Straczynski to pick up Superman Grounded where he left off.

A novel insightful exercise to determine the pragmatic difference in intellectual payoff between a novel insight and an obvious fact mistaken for novel insight.