It can, and in many cases does, come from a place of spiritual torment, existential crisis, or absolute tragedy.
It came to David that way. It came to David in the moment his life was most tragic, his circumstances most desperate. David's father, Kevin, was in to the mob for a pretty penny, and he had no way to ante up the coin they needed.
They threatened his wife, his children. They threatened the things he loved most dear. It was too much for Kevin to bear. It broke him inside, the looming threat of harm to his family. He couldn't bear to think about them being dragged out of their Victorian home, bodies broke and battered. No, not his precious family.
So, one night, with the whole family at home, Kevin locked all of the doors, the windows. He kissed his children goodnight, and he made his wife a cup of tea with a strong sedative, and put her to bed with a kiss too.
Then he set the house ablaze.
In the suffocating smoke, David awoke the sounds of his sister screaming. Her bedroom, adjacent to his own, had caught fire before his. He rushed to his door and threw it open, inviting the flames inside with a fiery blast.
Still, though, he pressed through the inferno to her room and tried the door. The handle was burning hot, scorching his palm, but he persevered. After a struggle, he managed to burst into the room.
He would forever wish he hadn't. He saw the still flailing, burning body of his sister, alive but barely, alight and in tremendous pain. He could only watch as their eyes, or what was left of hers, met.
He watched her die.
The culmination of his anguish, the pain of the roaring fire, the anger at the cruelty of the world all woke within David a power unimaginable, and unseen in the world for millenia. David died there, but not in truth.
As the cinders eventually died down around the destroyed home, and the authorities came to clear and assess the wreckage, a sudden flare of brilliant flame screamed into the sky in a flash.
David had risen from the ash, the first Phoenix in 10,000 years. He rose above the clouds and the sight of men.
Now cursed with the power of immortality, ever to rise from his own ashes, this power burdened David with haunting memories of the family he could never ressurect.