Archive for the genius Category

Baseless

Posted in Asceticism, Buddhism, Fighting, genius, God(s), karma, martial arts, Monasticism, Mysticism, Philosophy, Reality Bites, Religion, society, tai chi, taijiquan, Ultimate Reality with tags , , , , on January 21, 2010 by wizardsmoke

So, the big question on everyone’s my mind is whether or not martial arts teachers, yoga instructors, and their religious gurus are “enlightened”. In stuff like Tibetan guru yoga, you are supposed to view your teacher as enlightened — sometimes even if they aren’t. It’s part of the practice. I don’t do it, but it makes sense as a practice, in order to discover your belief is malleable and useful to that end. There is no god(s) if you don’t believe in them, and vice versa.

Although Taijiquan is my big psycho-physical investment at the moment, I am willing to believe it’s not the same spiritual ace-in-the-hole for other people. How could it be so? People need to be unique, independent. But at the same time, the big problem of human existence is social friction. How do we deal with other people? This is a big portion of Jean-Paul Sartre’s philosophy: the existence of another creates a new perception of oneself and one’s surroundings. They are no longer a portion of selfless existence, but exist in contrast to oneself.

Amidst others, we seek to validate our own views, yet for what reason? There is opposition to all views, and human reason and rationale is endless. It is supremely difficult to co-exist with others in peace. And peace is a difficult subject to address, because the moment it is broached and given our conscious attention, it ceases to exist. It is simply the absence of conflict, and the absence of selfish views. But that’s too often misconstrued as being a doormat.

The other strange thing is that, although Taijiquan or dream yoga or Alexander technique or Zen or Sufi or Benedictine chant or whatever else may work for some people, these practices are not guarantors of ability or insight. They are more like rocket boosters that can change one’s mental, physical or spiritual trajectory, but the original trajectory for real insight has to be there in the first place. Those are prior causes, the manifestation of which is natural genius. But then for some reason, hard work seems way more important.

Merchant-minded Diligence

Posted in genius, Philosophy, Reality Bites, The Arts, Wizard Quotes with tags , , , , , , , on October 21, 2008 by wizardsmoke

Visits from the muse, constant haranguing by creative forces beyond the senses — these can drive a man to madness as much as toward any heavenly pleasure. Did I not quote Socrates before?

If anyone comes to the gates of poetry and expects to become an adequate poet by acquiring expert knowledge of the subject without the Muses’ madness, he will fail, and his self-controlled verses will be eclipsed by the poetry of men who have been driven out of their minds.

Over the years I’ve had a wide variety of friends. I’ve found as I age (and I’m not old) that friendships based purely on social chemistry no longer are the name of the game. While those are the most exciting, they’re rarely the most convenient. And so camaraderie seems more likely — friendships based on mutual activities and obligations. It brings to mind the importance of religious groups as a social atmosphere for the elderly.

Most people are creative in some way or another. Most people have some level of cleverness or natural artistic ability, and sometimes more strongly in one region of experience than another. Genius is rare, but almost all people fit somewhere on a scale/spectrum of artistic talent. It seems most often to be a catalyst for personal fulfillment.

But then one thing I’ve noticed amongst a few friends is a total lack of artistic integrity; individuals whose talents seem to lie utterly outside the creative sphere. And I do not mean this in any sort of condescending manner, for they have interesting skills and talents in their own right. I mean to say that I have friends who are incredibly smart, focused and logically minded but have limited creative abilities — much less taste — in regards to music, art, literature and so forth. They might be a brilliant mind at running a business or finances or calculating material gains, but they absolutely cannot distinguish the difference between a schlocky vulgar comedy and a brilliant satire; between folk genius and typical indie-rock schmaltz.

But such people are possibly well-poised to succeed financially. Not because artistically creative individuals are doomed to poverty or any such nonsense, but because a logically thinking person — an individual uninterrupted by creative forces of the imagination, is in a good position to address daily needs or financial concerns. The merchant class will always succeed because it is naturally driven by idleness and a naturally deep calculation of (a desire for?) the materialistic world.

But not me. No, I am cursed to wonder eternally, impotent of all merchant-minded diligence. Oh well, I’ll get by somehow. Donations accepted! Haha…

Truly, madly, deeply…

Posted in genius, Occult, Poetry, Wizard Quotes, World of Emotions with tags , , , , on September 23, 2008 by wizardsmoke

It was never
The icy winds of the heights
But the coldness of the world
That hardened my foundation

Whether your approach
Is that of praise or blasphemy
The construction of my being
Shall remain the same

If my soaring presence
Threatens to break your neck
Then so be it
You shall dread my name

There is a fundamental cleft
Between your world and mine
One of divine origin

Were you to witness
The nakedness of your own soul
It would still appear a Tower of Babel

Is it such a crime to go apart and be alone?
Your holy simplicity turns gold into stone

Ihsahn — “Monolith”

Idolize That!

Posted in Buddhism, Christianity, Cults, genius, God(s), Monasticism, Mysticism, Reality Bites, Religion, Tantra, Ultimate Reality with tags , , , , , , , on August 30, 2008 by wizardsmoke

Disclaimer: the following is the author’s opinion (©) and no one else’s!

What is William Blake’s term poetic genius referring to? My definition is: An individual, whose manifestation possesses the ability to exaggerate the deep, layered, subconscious through a communicative medium of time-space expression. In other words, a true artist. Art is a wondrous thing, isn’t it? It is the ability of one individual to give others a vibrant taste of their experience of the cosmic fabric.

In Buddhism, there are two kinds of Buddhas, or awakened beings. Now, I’ve always wondered what the difference is. I’ve seen it written in various places that a Paccateka Buddha does not or cannot teach others; they are self-realized beings — “silent ones”. On the other hand, a Sammasamyaka Buddha is a fully realized being who can teach others the way to enlightenment.

But that still doesn’t explain much. Or it leaves so much out that it’s almost a ridiculous manner of defining these subjects. Lots of folks in Mahayana Buddhism (North Indian-Tibetan-Chinese-Korean-Japanese branches) take things called “Bodhisattva vows” where they vow to be reborn until they achieve total perfect enlightenment (Sammasamyaka Buddhas). This apparently takes years beyond comprehension (it is even described that way). And these perfect Buddhas are the ones who create Buddhism on other planets/world systems/universes etc. So, Shakyamuni Buddha was a full Buddha and was supposedly the only one in our world system.

I understand that (paraphrased) textbook explanation. But the end result is that the full Buddha becomes something that is untouchable and beyond this life; we can’t become Buddha in this life, we’re fallen from grace, blah blah blah. It also paints a tearful, valiant, romantic picture of existence — things having a specific purpose, there being a specific goal to it all, and so forth. When really, enlightenment is totally boring (or so I’ve heard).

Thus I have my own (probably heretical) interpretation of this whole “perfect Buddha” system. Bear in mind I’m going out on a limb here. I don’t wanna get you kicked out of your peace-club or whatever because you quoted my stupid ass at your weekly sesshin.

Creative genius is very rare, right? And so are Buddhas. I tend to have my own belief, that a fully realized Buddha is an enlightened person whom also possesses the creative genius. In other words, they are a creatively gifted individual whom has also attained so-called “enlightenment.” Because, a creative genius can potently share — transmit — their intimate perceptions of the world with others. Maybe a perfect Buddha does this with enlightenment itself.

I bring this up because surely there are enlightened people with no creative talent. I mean, it seems foolish to assume that only people with creative genius are enlightened, doesn’t it? And I am not saying that every creative genius is enlightened. Far from it! But the point is: a fully enlightened Buddha (in my opinion) is one that has attained enlightenment and possesses a poetic genius!

‘Course, from a religious perspective, there are flaws in my, uh… “logic”. The first thing is: a fully realized Buddha only appears once per world-system according to Buddhist cosmology. So… Shakyamuni Buddha, the historical Prince Siddhartha, is the only fully realized Buddha in our world-system. Everyone else, Buddhas may they be, are inferior in their accumulation of wisdom or merit or whatever else. And there are technical terms for these accumulations (It’s funny how the whole system of “full enlightenment” can only be undertaken by people who partake of the Buddhist agenda).

But that’s a little religio-centric for me. That sounds a lot like having Christ as our sole savior. I wish it were so easy. Because that’s one of the hard things for me to accept: that one person has the goods and I can just tag along with them and figure it all out. You know, just relax, hit the cruise button and put the ship on auto-pilot. But the people who incubate themselves in their teacher’s shadow their whole lives do not become completely self-realized. No way. Think you can be like Hatsumi by following Hatsumi? I wonder.

Do our teachers love us with pity — as children? Who knows. But they probably respect peers more. And I doubt those of us who pray to icons can be respected mutually. I mean, duh. This is, I think, one of the true criticisms of idolatry. I don’t know if this is an actual criticism from the Old Testament — it’s been a while since I looked through that one — but believing in an idol, idolizing, makes one pitiful.

Anyway, funny how the Christians and Buddhists and Muslims and god-only-knows-who-else believe in reincarnation on some level. That either their soul or their savior will be reborn at some point (although Buddhism acknowledges that it is not the same actual person). But if anyone comes back, they would be rejected immediately. I mean, what a threat to the established power structure of the religion!

Which doesn’t mean I hate iconography or statues or Buddhas or Christs or kami or trickster ravens. It just means, in the words of Musashi, “I do not rely on gods or buddhas, but I respect them”. Isn’t that how a person of true creative integrity is? They don’t worship their influences, but respect and acknowledge their influence and importance.

Keys in the Dark

Posted in Beauty, genius, God(s), Mysticism, Philosophy, Reality Bites, society, The Arts, Ultimate Reality with tags , , , , , , on August 27, 2008 by wizardsmoke

A genius is their own reward, eh? What of it??! Does that mean they’re supposed to be poor or something? You could say that geniuses are the pinnacle of nature (at least that’s what Spare would say — that humble soul!), that they carry the lead melodies of humanity.

In the totally amazing, gory and tragic Japanese manga/anime Berserk, one of the characters espouses the potent view that there are a select number of people who are like the “keys to the world”, existing outside of the common divisions of class, ethnicity and culture. They are responsible for the mass movements of mankind and culture, though they are not always celebrated openly. Their influence stretches deeply, through all the veins of human experience.

Yah, okay, I follow that. It’s fairly factual. Of course, a genius is exaggerated by their interaction with non-genii, ‘coz every single thing exists in contrast to something else. If a genius is like the lead melody in a song, it is remarkable in contrast to the chordal movements progressing underneath it. Without those, the melody might be beautiful, but it loses a lot of its color and character.

Yet still — those mass chordal movements, they are not as distinguished, beautiful or pristine. They are not as initially noticeable because they are slightly rugged and blend together. Isn’t that true when you hear a song? I mean, the average person, the first thing they notice — maybe the only thing — is the lead melody or the vocal melody. A lot of people do not hear anything else, such as the production, chord changes, compositional sense of pacing, etc. Even though the rhythmic properties are the necessary footsteps to realizing the pinnacle of the song.

The melodies, they are what we worship. Nobody venerates the simplest mundane tasks in a song. We approve and acknowledge and give credit where credit’s due, but that’s about it. Because the rhythm isn’t so glorious. And isn’t that the case with history and the gods? The melodies of humanity — the notable faces, stories and figures — we remember the glorious moments, the ones that stick out to us vibrantly, even though they can merely be cases of “standing on the shoulder(s) of giants”.

Perhaps it is as Einstein originally said, in a discussion with Rabindranath Tagore: line is older than color. And melody is older than harmony. Aren’t the oldest dreams of humanity, those tales of the gods — aren’t they the tales of heroic and mischievous deeds rather than tales of democracy and community? In other words, don’t we remember the old melodies instead of the old chord progressions?

The thing is, an insightful person can see the chord changes by the direction of the melody, or at least have a hint as to how it goes/went. “A fool sees not the same tree a wise man sees.”