Just in case you haven’t done so lately, let me expound upon your genius. Really, all one has to do is bring three elements into alignment, and genius abounds.
I’m not going to be talking about genius so much in its current-day usage, though it applies, one leads to the other; I’ll be speaking more from the early-Roman perspective.
In this view each person, especially those of rank or talent, was guided by a personal god from birth to death. Many adherents to the new Christian religion were persecuted not because they were Christians, but because they were condemned as atheists — unbelievers — for they refused to acknowledge the Genius of the Emperor. The unbelievers would not recognize the ruler’s personal god.
Seems silly now, but it was torture and death then.
With the trickle of time the personal deity morphed into a guiding spirit — and it was understood that those inextricably in tune with their guiding spirit became endowed with immense and special abilities — as if they were being guided by an intelligence greater than humanity alone could muster.
This is your genius I’m speaking to today — your personal god spirit. You know what I’m talking about, the source of your best self, your highest ideals, the you when you’re most playful and alive and inventive and zeroed in on something of great importance to you. When startling new connections are made, and you feel them, you feel these ideas coming together like teenagers in heat.
You know what feeds your Genius? A focus. A worthy focus. And then, paradoxically, time away. Genius gets frisky when there’s intense focus and then release from that focus.
My Genius likes naps, and so do I (just for him, the genius within).
Here’s my favorite, early mysteries-of-the-mind story, first read when I was a wisp of a boy. How can you not become a lifelong investigator into human capacity after reading an account like this?
Before the Civil War, Elias Howe, troubled by his inability to complete an invention, dreamt one night that he was captured by cannibals. He paid attention far better in his dream than I would have under similar peril. That may be genius too — even though you’re about to be eaten you take time to notice the peculiarities of the scene.
Howe noticed a small hole near the tip of each spear, he noticed the up and down motion the spears made — and when he awoke his invention was complete! By placing the hole near the needle and not the other end — and setting the needle into an up and down motion — he created the first workable sewing machine, which transformed life then in ways the iPad can only conjure in fantasy.
There are only a few elements to bring together: a worthy focus, an immersion into that focus, and then breaks from that focus.
Only you can engage your Genius. For my Mom, she is most aligned with her purpose, and hence tapping into her SpiritFlow, when she is connecting with other people.
It is a pleasure to witness the passion at play there when MomJo meets someone new, even if that person is trying to slink away. (Imagine you’re finally settled in somewhere, alone with your thoughts and then what sits down next to you? — The Happy Talker Monster!) Where solitary confinement for a day would be a vacation for me, for her it would be the severest form of punishment.
A worthy focus, immersion into that focus, respites from that focus. Then hang up the sign: Genius At Play, and watch out.