Archive for poetic genius

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…

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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.

Eternity’s Tune

Posted in Beauty, God(s), Happiness, love, Mysticism, Ultimate Reality, World of Emotions with tags , , , , , on May 25, 2008 by wizardsmoke

Eternity is in love with the productions of time. —Willie B.

Romance is a product of impermanence. Romance is the simultaneous pleasure of something you enjoy mixed with the sadness of knowing its impermanence — spun together with a sentimental, very human reflection. In this way, humanity is different from the gods in how we reflect upon our lot. Gods are very one-pointed in desire, whereas humans are capable of being multi-faceted.

For some reason, melancholic or sad music resonates much more deeply than upbeat or casual music. It’s not that the music is necessarily better, but sadness and melancholy are such potent emotional nerves. Sad music is so strong, like these feelings are closer to the “source of emotions” or the “emotional generator” or some such nonsense. Not a good place to be astrally obsessed with, hee hee!

(It’s interesting, that emotional states correspond to different parts of the body. When something gets you “right in the gut” it’s prolly ‘coz the second chakra pertains to the gut or lower abdomen, water, the color blue, and feelings of sadness and vulnerability…)

Every musician has melancholic moments. If they don’t, they’ve got nothing to say artistically. The problem is that most artists, musicians, people in general, don’t have very profound melancholy. True melancholy does not necessarily have to do with giving up, being miserable or in pain, but with the fact that despite one’s efforts, impermanence sweeps all things away. It reminds one of the great god Brahma, a being whose existence is far beyond our feeble mortal receptors. Our entire cosmos is merely a single one of his/her dreams. And yet, even Brahma must pass away in time.

When we think of the “music of the spheres” or the “laughter of the immortals” (or anything else mentioned by Hermann Hesse in Steppenwolf) on the surface it describes some kind of spiritual triumph. But beauty, and eternity, and that laughter, is all of the revelation of cosmic romance, the dual wings of happiness and melancholy, in the most condensed experience possible. It’s like, the pure experience of the fabric of reality is the finest, most concentrated bliss and sadness, so entwined that they no longer can be discerned from one another.