There is a creative state, or ingenious space, that can be achieved during meditation where our inner genius is free to emerge between the gaps of our thoughts; where creative ideas, or even ideas that have yet to be imagined, have the potential to be born.
It’s a place where “flow states” are conceived; where we become a microcosm giving into a greater creative macrocosm.
When we fall into these cosmic gaps, the entire universe is at our fingertips, at the tips of our pens and paintbrushes, and the floundering baby genius within us begins to thrash and splash about in preparation for its original dance –its unique contribution to the human leitmotif.
Discovering the gap between genius and non-genius
“Talent hits a target no one else can hit. Genius hits a target no one else can see.” ~ Arthur Schopenhauer
“Genius” is one of those power words that gets tossed around willy-nilly. But what separates a genius from the rest of us? What is the critical ingredient seen in every single genius from Shakespeare to Einstein? It’s not just IQ, or EQ, for some had it and some did not.
It’s not even what multiple intelligence category one falls into. It is focused passionate creativity. That’s the common denominator.
Indeed, you don’t have to be a genius to be creative, but you must be creative to be a genius. When it comes down to it, we’re all creative. But are we focused enough with our creativity, is the question.
Are we passionate enough with our art? Like Tony Robbins said, “Passion is the genesis of genius.” And it is precisely this focus and passion that seems to elude the majority of us.
A genius can hit a target no one else can see. Why is this? Because not only have they discovered the sacred gap between thoughts, they’ve bridged that gap. More importantly, they built the bridge.
They went through the difficult motions of daily practice and back-breaking trial and error. In the end, genius is nothing more than quantifiable error. A genius is a creative person whose mistakes are more difficult to imitate than their creativity.
This is because it is through mistakes where inner genius is discovered. Mistakes are the building blocks to a breakthrough. The breakthrough, whatever it is, could not have occurred had a foundation of mistakes not been used as stepping stones toward greatness.
Like Thomas Edison said, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” Indeed. Art, creativity, genius, does not prevail despite failure, but through it.
So what does this tell us? It tells us that the genius part is neither here nor there. Or rather, the genius part is “over there” somewhere. But so what? Genius isn’t born, it’s built. What matters is right here, right now.
The Gap between being a non-genius and a genius is built in the moment. So what are we going to build? We need to focus on being the gap, on building our own unique ingenious bridge, instead of worrying about not-being or potentially-being a genius.
Geniuses since time immemorial have been tapping into, and building within, this sacred gap for ages through the indirect meditation of their craft. Such geniuses as Shakespeare, Mozart, Tchaikovsky, Van Gogh, Hemmingway, and even Freud have mined the seemingly unconnected chasms between the known and the unknown. And they came up with gold.
Some of them were born with more natural talent than others, but they all had focused creativity in common, and they became geniuses through raw, determined passion.
Luckily for us, we have direct meditation (mindfulness meditation and Kundalini mediation) to help us achieve similar states of focused creative passion. And with enough mindful practice and creative application, the sky, the heavens, the cosmos, the infinite reaches of time and space, are the limit.
Discovering the gap between the known and the unknown
“Creative genius doesn’t just ‘happen’ because one person is born with more IQ points than another. If you are interested in something, you will focus on it, and if you focus attention on anything, it is likely that you will become interested in it.
Many of the things we find interesting are not so by nature, but because we took the trouble of paying attention to them… Most enjoyable activities are not natural; they demand an effort that initially one is reluctant to make. But once the interaction starts to provide feedback to the person’s skills, it usually begins to be intrinsically rewarding.” ~ Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
At first meditation does not come easy. Initially it’s difficult to make time for it in our busy schedules, and it can be doubly-difficult to find a sacred place/space away from the clanking machinery and honking horns of civilization.
Effective meditation requires an effort that initially we are reluctant to make. But once the meditative state provides feedback to our ability to remain present through focused breathing, it becomes intrinsically rewarding. Eventually such rewards spill over into everyday action, and our art, and we become a “walking meditation.”
Like James Levin said, “Follow effective action with quiet reflection; from the quiet reflection will come even more effective action.” And so on and so forth. Meditation is the most powerful tool we have in our arsenal. It is the ultimate leveraging mechanism between the known and the unknown. It is a pole vault that our non-genius self can use to launch itself into our genius self.
If, as Thoreau advised, “Following your genius closely enough will not fail to show you a fresh prospect every hour” then our genius seems to be guiding us into daily focused meditation. Our inner genius wants to come alive just as much as we want it to come alive.
We just have to get out of our own way. Getting out of our own way is the first step toward discovering the gap between the known and the unknown. The numinous beginning, which contains everything, is ours for the taking once we let go and begin to follow our genius closely enough.
Meditation allows for the incessant noise of the mind to shut down. It provides a place where we can tap into a wisdom more vast than human wisdom. It helps us reach that ingenious space, the gap between thoughts, where our most creative self, our genius self, can come up with something never conceived before.
It helps us achieve a state of No-mind, where the vast infinity of all things becomes manifest and we are free to sail into everything with the trump card of “nothingness” in our back pocket.
Arguably the first revelation of any genius is the understanding that the more we know the more we realize how much we don’t know.
And that’s okay. Like Paul Mic cryptically stated, “We understand nothing! If you understand this, you understand everything.” Indeed, part of getting out of our own way, and providing space for our genius to emerge, is letting go of our need to know.
Focused meditation is the perennial gap-detector. It’s a space where we have not yet dismissed an outcome as probable, and so everything is possible. The cosmic sails are billowing full. Passion is paramount in the wind. True North is everywhere.
Flow is pure oxygen. Our compass is an infinity symbol spinning infinitely. Here, Shakespeare’s genius is our genius. Mozart’s music is our music. Bach is in the ether. Whitman is unhidden in the leaves and grass.
It’s all inherently blooming within the gap between genius and non-genius, between one “giant’s shoulders” and another, between the known and the unknown; an infinite dancing abyss waiting for our inner genius to join in and contribute its own unique soul-signature to the overall bouncing, twirling gamboling equation. Like Oscar Levant said, “There is a fine line between genius and insanity, I have erased that line.” And as luck would have it, we become the gap.