THE ASSAULT OF GENIUS

Daily I’m assaulted by Genius from my library, from new publications (most of which I’ll never read), and from the developing sciences, some of which I think I comprehend. These thinkers, writers, performers, poets, professors of the past and today — these Wizards are constantly waving their wands across and through my awareness. They — prophetically-aesthetically-truly — grasped their times and responded with works that weighed and hoisted the realities home. Such are still read and resurfaced into the freshness of time’s advance/assault with its requirement for new Geniuses.  I am not of their league. I’m more a water-boy on the side lines to assist the enduring play of their creativity, charisma, and prophesies. I can see the playing field and have even done sketches, as I survey the action, of plays to come. But I’m all too aware that the times are calling for players: warriors of wisdom&wizardly! — Rebels bursting from of the “locker-rooms” — of the Absurd/the Random/the Precariousness — and onto the field of win-lose engagement. — Players in the theatrum mundi who can grasp/form the flying threads&laces into a bow that ties well for the journey ahead.  Well, I know my place with my bottles and wineskins of poetries to nourish/recognize what wins in the perennial head-to-head crash of opposites: with the horrors of loss and exultations of winning — but also the mid-field play of balanced give&take resulting in successful engagement-management and interpretation. See, even this metaphor needs Genius to cause the singing before and after, with all going HOME satisfied and longing to engage/enhance the future.  — Actually the Assault comes from the current era as much as from these famous mentors, and those whose voices we hear above the crowd&politics that embody the wholeness required of the age. What I do is for me (so far) as I fill the bottles&wineskins with springs&flows from my own backyard. I can tie some shoes and bring some things home to myself. But there’s a bunch of powers at play today that I can but watch, wail, and write as I may. But, sometimes, I just have to pause/ stop and look away until the assault for Genius passes and I’m my own again. Gets a bit tougher as one gets older. Yikes! If I were to stop writing and watch TV or engage all my computer offerings — it would be worse. So pardon me as I blurb-on about GEN-i-US– till I’m lost in The Cloud. Till then, I’m on the lookout for genius — for the assaults of or age’s voluminous displays of tech and Big Data are demanding it — so our species/planet consciousness is not overwhelmed into flood-states of spiritual/psyche confusions.

[Note: Researching Hesse for another entry( you’ll see it under ODDIONS), I found this comment by Edwin F. Casebeer in  “Hermann Hesse,” Warner Books, 1972, p. 190, which extends this concern: “Carl Jung believed that if a man were to progress far enough in self-realization, his impact on civilization would be charismatic. Others would behold in him what their own psyches strove towards and become consoled and delighted and inspired by this great man….I believe Hermann Hesse is such a man.” I firmly agree. Hesse was quite charismatic for me in the 70’s along with Camus, Yeats, and some others. Hesse, as those other two, is clearly a “Romantic,” in that his work “clearly embodies the man who wrote it.”(p. 193){Eliot had a problem with such self-realization-embodiment. I did my critique of Eliot on this in ALTARPIECES.} I should also note here a brief definition of “Genius” from Harold Bloom’s book of that title. The whole book is to define it with Shakespeare and the spine (plus Emerson). But these phrasings give much of the abiding sense:  “…my primary aim is both to enhance our appreciation of genius, and to show how invariably it is engendered by the stimulus of prior genius….The influence of genius upon itself…will be one of the book’s major emphases..…there are common characteristics of genius, since vivid individuality of speculation, spirituality, and creativity must rely upon originality, audacity, and self-reliance.(p.8)….To know ourselves, in relation to others, for these mighty dead are among the otherness that we can know….(p. 9) Genius is “clearly both of and above the age.(p. 11) Genius, by necessity,  invokes the transcendental and the extraordinary, because it is fully conscious of them. Consciousness is what defines genius….has my awareness been intensified, my consciousness widened and clarified? If not, then I have encountered talent, not genius. What is best and oldest in myself has not been activated.” (p. 12) Hesse is not considered (a mistake ) in Bloom’s great volume on the “preternatural gifts of creativity.”  Hesse died at 85 in 1962. Nearing that, I’m hoping for some “bounce” up the trail of being more at home.

The assault of today is challenging individuality to find and nourish itself: overcome homesickness and to be at home — with an enlightened self-awareness of the hearth and its prospering hold-rise of both spirit and fire. Identity crisis or not, humanity is undergoing a re-characterization of itself. The Age aches for genius for guidance. That’s why I keep referring to our generation as GEN-i-US. Our time is full of so many who know so much–experts in everything and the assaults of AI at their command have just begun to  mesh with flesh&blood midst increasing assaults of  earthen climate/virus systems. A revolution to “tool” a new humanity has just begun. Global comprehension of these assaults and their assuagement has just begun. We must advance our GEN-i-US to fix our HOME for storms to come. The genius of genius is under assault. The inspire of aspire is on the line to out-rhyme the fire of dire.  –mdok–