Last night I saw the movie Lucy, starring Scarlett Johansson, with a good friend. Unlike typical reviews, we always review from the perspective of the third dimension. From this dimension come various influences, both baleful and benevolent. Understanding those influences will reveal the “meaning” of what occurs on the empirical plane. It is this meaning that then determines events. In the case of an artistic endeavor, this may or not coincide with the meaning imputed to the artist, since there are both conscious and unconscious agents of these higher influences.
First of all, there are the unexamined assumptions made by the director. What is immediately noticeable is the total irrelevance and almost complete absence of males of European descent. There is Lucy’s grifter love interest who inadvertently kicks off Lucy’s adventure. Later on, the French gendarme plays the French poodle to Lucy’s initiatives. Morgan Freeman plays the brilliant brain researcher, Professor Norman, who provides a pseudo-intellectual theory to make the rest of the story plausible, given the requisite suspension of belief.
The Johansson Lucy is the type of Leaky’s Lucy, the australopithecus hominid. In other words, her psychic roots go back far beyond the appearance of the first humans as Adam and Eve, to a pre-Adamic humanoid being, presumably devoid of truly human qualities. As in so many recent movies, Lucy begins her transformation as an aimless party girl, fearful and meek in the face of danger. As she gains in knowledge, or awareness—losing her boyfriend along the way—she miraculously turns into a confident, strong, and independent woman.
A Chinese gang created a synthetic version of an imaginary hormone CPH4, which initiates the formation of a skeletal system in the fetus. In small doses, it creates a nice high so the gang is preparing to introduce it to the traditionally white nations of the West. They enlist Lucy against her will and surgically implant a bag of CPH4 in her abdomen. When she is kicked in the belly by an overzealous guard, the drug leaks into her system. This leads to a doubling of her brain capacity from 10% to 20%, giving her self-confidence, great physical strength, and a perfect aim with handguns.
What is interesting is the predominance of psychopathy in Hollywood films. Perhaps filmmakers are fascinated with characters lacking any sense of higher human emotions. Or more likely, that is the “type” that they typically encounter, assuming they themselves are not psychopaths. Although he may have superior intelligence, the psychopath is basically reptilian in terms of emotional development. He is driven by the needs and desires of the body, interested in little other than money, sex, and power. There is no sense of self restraint in their pursuit.
We can therefore accept that the Chinese gang members have no respect for human life, killing in cold blood. What is strange, though, is that Lucy herself is revealed as a psychopath. She shoots a taxi driver for no reason, and even a cancer patient on the operating table. This shows there is a need among the masses for the uninhibited expression of an élan vital; isn’t that the point of having knowledge and power?
The frein vital, which should be the self-restraint developed in a higher level of human being, is experience by them as a restraint from the outside, as a limitation on their freedom, and a nagging inner voice that prevents a carefree life in the state of nature. Unfortunately for them, it is that inner friction, or spiritual warfare, that leads to higher consciousness, so they remain perpetually in a poorly developed emotional state. This view then leads to a mistaken understanding of compassion. If it is good to discard or ignore the frein vital in oneself, then others should be encouraged to do the same.
Hence, no one is judged, although the true self always judges justly.
As Lucy begins to use more and more of her brain capacity, she develops powers not just over herself, but over others as well, and ultimately over the physical world itself. She discovers she acquired an addiction to CPH4, so she needs to track down the other mules in Europe. The authorities bring them to Paris, where coincidentally Prof. Norman is visiting. In Paris, Lucy races a car through the city in order to get her fix of all the remaining CPH4, oblivious to the collateral damage she is causing. That psychopathic solipsism is somehow justified in her pursuit of the ultimate goal.
That goal is not an evolution, but revolution, as the Professor said. Since revolution is the overthrow of the established order of things, Lucy’s revolution reaches into the very nature of being. In her first encounter with the primal Lucy, the second Lucy wonders about what has been done to the world. We then see a montage of human created cities, which are in contrast to primal Lucy’s natural lifestyle. It was unsaid, but it is obvious that the montage represents the world created by men, with the authorization of the Father God.
As Lucy receives intravenously all the remaining CPH4, she gradually transforms into a human-machine hybrid. She then is able to download all her knowledge into a computer, implausibly, due to the limited capacity of any such machine. When her brain capacity reaches 100%, her physical body evaporates and she adds omnipresence to her omniscience. The revolution is complete as the goddess finally displaces the antique Father God. This is confirmed when she astral travels to meet Lucy. She gives her a “finger bump” reminiscent of the scene in the Sistine Chapel where God does the same to Adam.
As her final gesture, she leaves the Professor a flash drive, apparently containing all human knowledge. Since it is an elongated flash driver, it is a phallic symbol.
What does this mean? Since the representation creates reality, the worldviews we are fed have a real consequence. The goddess is psychopathic, solipsistic and will stop at nothing to further her aims. Since the world is malleable, “not subject to mathematical laws”, as the goddess demonstrates, then we are not bound by our natures. Hence, everything is up for grabs, most recently in what defines a human life, marriage, and even gender.
So the real issue, then, is who gets to provide the world representation. In the mass media, it is always an external trigger, a drug or a burst of radiation, etc., that leads to higher brain capacity or superhuman powers. This is the passive approach. As we recently read in the commentary on Hermann Keyserling, “what is important is not to procure new knowledge or experiences, but rather to change the level of one’s own personality”.
This is the complete opposite to Lucy, who achieved new knowledge, without, however, changing her level of being. Although Lucy achieves something like the Absolute Self, she is still “other”. Although she provides the world with all knowledge as bits on a flash drive, she does not solve the problem of meaning. What do they do with that knowledge? What does it all mean? Ultimately, nothing.