Playing With / Enlightenment Superpowers

Basic Trope: All that's necessary to gain superpowers is mental and/or spiritual reflection.
  • Straight: Monk-Man's Origin Story involves him meditating alone at the top of a mountain for ten years, ultimately learning the secret of Supernatural Martial Arts.
  • Exaggerated: Monk-Man had to dedicate himself totally to meditation, eventually dying from starvation and dehydration (though surviving much longer than an ordinary human would) so that he could Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence and become a Physical God.
  • Downplayed:
  • Justified: Superpowers are all about learning to control one's Life Energy, only possible through spiritual enlightenment.
  • Inverted:
    • Monk-Man has powers gained from a Deal with the Devil, and uses meditation to purge himself of them when he becomes aware of their harmful influence.
    • Mon-Man already had powers, and sought to use meditation to improve his control over them. Sadly, his fire based powers required raw and reckless passion, which years of meditation have dimmed thus making him weaker.
  • Subverted: Monk-Man is unable to achieve enlightenment because subconsciously he is merely seeking power for himself.
  • Double Subverted: Monk-Man gives up attempting to gain power, and in doing so he becomes enlightened.
  • Parodied: Monk-Man is capable of Super Empowering others by dishing out Ice Cream Koans.
  • Zig Zagged: Monk-Man's Friendly Rival and frequent ally is a Science Hero who follows a different kind of Enlightenment. He's convinced that there must be a scientific explanation for Monk-Man's powers while Monk-Man insists that his study of texts and contemplation of the universe is the source of his Spark Of Genius. Some episodes support the monk and some the scientist.
  • Averted: Superpowers are unrelated to spirituality.
  • Enforced: The author wants to send a message that wisdom and understanding are more powerful than reckless violence, anger and random superpowers, so the only way to gain the best powers (or improve on them) is to seek spiritual enlightenment.
  • Lampshaded: "By becoming one with the universe I can snap your neck with a thought."
  • Invoked: Monk-Man is jailed by the dictator of his country for preaching peace. Rather than lose hope he uses the long time in solitary to meditate and try to achieve enlightenment in the hope of invoking this trope.
  • Exploited:
    • Since Monk-Man's origin and powers are proven as fact, Emmy Powers is able to use her Super Empowering and acting skills to convince others she's an enlightened nun and can unlock their "dormant potential" if they join her cult-- ural group. And pay a boat load of money.
    • Monk Man convinces some thugs they are Bullying a Dragon by bringing up this trope. Unbeknownst to the thugs, he's just a guy in a costume.
  • Defied: "Years of meditation under a waterfall? Screw that! I'm bringing More Dakka!"
  • Discussed: "So Monk-Man got his powers from meditating for years?" "Really makes you weep for all the hours you spent playing Call of Duty rather than deepening your spiritual understanding of the cosmos, doesn't it?"
  • Conversed: "Wait, wouldn't a lifetime of pacifism and moral contemplation be the complete opposite of what heroes need to be motivated?" "He worships the god of heroes." "Oh... OK."
  • Deconstructed:
    • Due to learning secrets of existence unknown to ordinary mortals, Monk-Man often seems to operate according to an Omniscient Morality License, making him considerably unpopular.
    • Monk-Man's total dedication to spiritual concerns over physical ones makes him a Squishy Wizard — he has great psychic power, but cannot defend himself physically.
  • Reconstructed:

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