No God Save Me

13Nov08

I’ve been mulling over the tendency for many people to sanctify certain individuals. They become “geniuses” and other descriptors, instead of just being appreciated as people for the skills they have.

I think it’s healthy to respect a person and his/her skill but I think it becomes unhealthy when people start talking about geniuses and saints.  It’s like creating demi-gods in our midst and removing those people from the chaff that is the rest of us.  I find that an uncomfortable thought because I do not like to think of anyone as chaff …  and logically if one is a genius then other people have to be lesser.

I much prefer the ancient definition of genius as being a spirit that enters us from time to time. That genius is a spirit, or source of inspiration, such as the nine muses of Greek myth.  Everyone might have genius of that sort from time to time.  However, genius in it’s modern sense means a superior mind (a superior person according to the ancient Greek idea of Reason making what humans are).

To repeat: Genius is not an exalted state of being, it’s an exalted inspiration that anyone might have if they look in the right places.

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