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Question 3  — Answers | 3-1 |


Answer 3-1.
What an interesting question ... in order really to be able to answer it, one practically needs to have gone through the process oneself! I'll give it a try anyways ...

First, to what does 'genius' in the question refer? I'll assume that it refers to two different (but perhaps related) action states:

  1. functioning at very high levels in one or more areas (intellectual activities, performance activities, etc.). This includes being able to do things that few others can do, but might not involve much "creativity".

  2. creating powerful, paradigm-shifting ideas, works, theories, etc., that revolutionize the way we see, do, or think about things.

So, to the extent that my thinking matches the question, how can one notice when one's abilities develop to very high levels, surpassing those of most others, and/or how can one notice that one's ideas/works have developed to the point where they can rightly turn the world upside down?

These may not be so difficult to notice. Let's say you are developing a skill, such as playing a musical instrument. If you get extremely good at it, you and others are bound to notice! If you can play passages that others can't play, and further, you feel them and their unique meaning and so are able to play it "just so" ... that's an indication that you've grown into a new realm of ability.

On the other aspect, let's say you've been thinking about some problems or difficulties that exist in some field, and suddenly you have an insight that reorganizes everything into a larger elegant pattern. Suddenly it's all simple and light, and you smile with wonder and ecstasy! You share that pattern with others, and lightbulbs turn on in their heads.

Before you know it, people are excitedly talking about your idea, which has taken on a life of its own. That seems like an indication of potential genius ... at least a flash of it. If you continue turning out other ideas with similar effects, that too might indicate a habitual genius state.

I can relate a few examples from my own life to help illustrate what I mean. This is not to say that I'm claiming I'm a "genius," but I think that someone becoming a genius may well have similar experiences, amplified to higher levels.

I once learned an electric guitar piece that required a lot of energy and precision; it was challenging. When I finally got it, I could hardly believe it! I played it for a friend, and he actually cried out in surprise! The feedback was clear and powerful ... I'd developed to a new level.

Now, take that kind of event, and consider this:  you 'hear' in your head music that has never existed on earth before, and you try to play it. One day, you succeed ... and now there is this exotic new music that you can deliver to others, and some stop in their tracks, their jaws drop, their eyes roll back in their heads, and for an eternal moment they are lost in a new musical world that they never knew existed before...

I once was very much interested in increasing my intelligence, and so was somewhat interested in taking IQ tests. On some tests early in the process, I felt "challenged," "weak," "a struggle," etc., but I kept learning about intelligence and especially its component skills. At some point, I took another test, and it felt easy, simple ... it was a breeze! I felt very good, strong, natural, relaxed, clear ... and the score (160) seemed to reflect this. I thought, "how perfectly obvious!" If you function at a high level of intelligence, then things would seem simpler, clearer, etc. Thinking would seem more natural and would tend to flow quickly and easily!

Now, take that to a higher level. Imagine being so good at it, that one almost instantly arrives at the answers, sees the patterns almost immediately, has things click right along one after the other, and before you know it, you've proven a new math theorem ... or pulled together some disparate data in such a way that it makes startling sense and pops out an obvious explanation that no one had thought of before.

And finally, I once went through the 3-week brain-building marathon described by Wenger in How to Increase Your Intelligence. I worked for hours every day doing the various exercises, and slowly but strongly I couldn't help but notice a new aliveness and alertness that I didn't have before. Experience continually seemed "fresh," and my awareness was "opened up" to a great degree. I noticed things that many others didn't seem to, or took for granted ... and many "normal" things took on exotic aspects that gave rise in me to wonder, humor, perplexity, transcendence.

My hunger for knowledge grew great in intensity, and I plowed through many books, one after another, without needing much rest in between. Something about my consciousness, perceptiveness, associations seemed to have shifted, and this effect continued noticeably for about 6 months after the "marathon."

Now, imagine that carried to higher levels and longer time durations... I remember seeing a few pictures of Goethe, and I immediately recognized this kind of special aliveness and alertness about him, however crudely captured by the artists who drew him. I saw sketches made by Goethe, da Vinci, Michelangelo, and others, and there it was again ... that special unmistakeable representation of influx of life, awareness, subtle energies, intelligent sensitivity, into the works. See the great care and detail and fullness that Victor Hugo put into his novels, and there it is again.

Now, after having written all of this, I'll say ... that as you develop higher and higher into genius levels, you cannot help but notice it! It will be pervasively obvious... Further, I submit that when you build into that higher realm, ironically, you won't care any more about noticing it ... you'll be having too much fun doing things, exploring, creating, sharing, pushing further and further.

Perhaps my best answer to your question is this:  Try doing whatever you can to grow and develop into higher levels of ability and creativity, and pay attention to what you notice along the way. Eventually you will experience at least glimmerings of your own answer to the question, and maybe you'll even experience the full sunrise of the dawning of your own brilliant genius...     [ Back ]

Johnius Ecstaticus von Luminessenz, 4-11-04
 

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