The Contradictions of Genius, Part 2.
On Genius
What is a Genius?
The phrase "Genius is as genius does" is one that, when interpreted soberly, probably has no meaning. But suppose that certain claims only become true when they are believed to be — that for some people, phrases like "I am depressed" necessitate an adherence for their actuation. Now suppose that a similar function may apply for genius, that partially, what makes someone a genius is that they believe that they are one, or could be. And that is through this belief that they become able, if not destined, to actualize their grandeurs. Indeed, it's tempting to wonder whether or not Newton's laws were discoverable, before he decided that it was. Although, this line of thinking isn't without its faults — pushed too far or in the wrong direction and it'll hamper creativity instead of help it. I suppose that that's how we end up with psychopaths! — Or, at least narcissists of the delusional kind. Because what other habits so often lead to murder, or madness, than those that are often coupled with a total disregard for convention? I suppose that the rare exception to this premise would be when through conformist behavior, and pathological leadership, psychopathy gets normalized and entire societies begin to go mad. Although, maybe that's better left a topic for a future essay…
Ah, yes! "Genius is as genius does" — that so perfectly contradictory maxim. I say that it is a perfect description of genius because part of what makes someone a genius is that they do things that others don't do, like invent tesla coils, and that they all behave this way — that is, the opposite of conformists. Take, for example, how most people conduct themselves within social encounters. Dodgy, passive, quick to comfort others, regardless if they happen to be wrong or are behaving senselessly. I suspect that most people behave this way because they lack the conviction to challenge others, that they find the immediacy of agreement more comforting than the social stress that results from innovating mid-conversation. Variations of "that's valid" are common regurgitations when one has become numb of the reflex that reconciles contradictions altogether. And here lies the cardinal difference between a genius and an ordinary person — deviance. Although, if this deviance is coupled with no regard for ethics, then what results will be antisocial behavior. Or, if combined with a low threshold to process novelty — essentially, intelligence — then the deviating party will just go mad. I suspect that this is why most people are conformists, because without the coherence of social narratives they might just go insane. But what is insanity? — If not a state of profound confusion? And what is a work of genius? — If not what is born from the contemplations of what is profoundly confusing? And what are the implications of this socially, given our society's current trajectory of escalating delusion? A renaissance? Annihilation? I suppose only time will tell.
So, what is a genius, exactly?
Genius, like most derivatives of personality, is a fabrication, a somatic complaint so powerful that it's distortions weave itself into reality, thus creating contradictions. Although, unlike the contradictions of lies, the contradictions from genius aim only to contradict that which contradicts — or, to innovate adaptively. But like the pathology of psychosis, this derangement is fit only for those predisposed — the deviant, those so detached from the selfhood of culture, that they must bind together reality itself through acts of creation, and fits of rationality. Indeed, the act of genius is a fight for sanity, and the works thereto is just what gets made in the process. Though, it seems that this process cannot be continuously repeated, as, that which strays too far from immediate consensus must go beyond what can be readily understood — so, that which is too profound may always be rejected, and that which isn't may never be profound enough. Though, maybe this is only another contradiction for me to reconcile…
How might I lose my mind, without having been so lost that it is not clear that I have found my way back?
Ah, yes! — familiar voices always travel together! The peaks of the abyss are always more visible in groups. Maybe I'll take you with me.

Text Author: Antjuan Finch

Published: October 10th, 2018

Made on