while looking through some old writings of mine I came across a few unfinished paragraphs on the subject of genius and felt strongly urged to pursue this further. I'm sure there are many people who have at some time or other been highly intrigued by people considered as being geniuses in their chosen field of expertise. In my own case I have always been facinated and enthralled by the timeless music of the great classical masters of this genre, particularly Beethoven. He was without a doubt a musical genius whose soul and consciousness was open specifically to those timeless nuances, notes and heavenly chords emanating from etheric and heavenly planes of being. Not only this, but he had the ability to bring down, or to translate these high frequencies into the formats of 'earthly sounds' in the form of concerto or symphony. I say 'earthly sound' for even as the music he composed was sublime, it could not as sublime, as grand, as it must be in the heavenly spheres. So then, what makes for the difference between say Socrates and other debaters of his time? Why was Albert Einstein so much greater than all other mathematicians, how many violinists just miss being as great as Menuhin and who can doubt the incredible genius of Leonardo da Vinci??
This thing called genius, is it a skill practiced and developed, worked and perfected until it reaches the brilliance of a Beethoven, or a Mozart or a Leonardo da Vinci? Is it a flair for some single aspect of living, must the supreme artist shut himself off as it were, from the world around and develop his/her forte, the musician at his composition, the couturier at his collection, the author at his masterpiece. These souls are the mirror of their times, of the people, they cannot be above the people living in isolation. Ivory towers were never and can never be the breeding ground for great works of art. Beethoven, Cellini, Shakespeare, Tretchikoff, the common touch is in their very life blood. Life blood, movement the antithesis of stagnation; perhaps here is the source of the river of genius. Without enthusiasm there can be no development of that creative spark within the artist, enthusiasm for life, for his work and for what his work may give to himself and others. The burning of the midnight oil, as the saying goes, is not enough; the inner divine spirit must be set aflame by something more than repetitive practice.
Carl Rogers, the founder of the humanistic approach to psychology expanded on the idea of genius stating that the artist must trust his own experience of life sufficiently that he could go on expressing his own unique perceptions, in other words, to be oneself, to write, or to paint or to compose as oneself and not not to copy the style of another. The philosopher Immanuel Kant wrote that genius is the ability to independently arrive at and understand concepts that would normally have to be taught by another. For Kant, originality was the essential character of a genius. Bertrand Russell in his philosophy said that genius entails that an individual possesses unique qualities and talents that make the genius especially valuable to the society in which he operates once given the chance to contribute to society. Russell further maintained that it is possible for such geniuses to be crushed in their youth and lost forever when the environment around them is unsympathetic to their potential. The philosopher Schopenhauer stated that a genius is someone in whom intellect predominates over will much more than within the average person. This creates artistic or academic works that are objects of pure, disinterested contemplation. Their remoteness from mundane concerns means that such geniuses often have "heads in the clouds". On a more serious note perhaps genius is the result of long ages of rebirth by the soul and the spirit in the process of which the soul acquires vast experience in specific fields of endeavor? Its a wonderful thought which should not be summarily dismissed.
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