the torture of genius



something many of us aspire to be. want to be. the need to be known above and beyond the people around us. the ability to excel. to innovate, to break the mould.

and yet, genius has its own hell. from anyone we would classify as genius, every characteristic is beyond the realm of our own thinking. jonh nash. mozart. einstein. marie curie. truman capote. each one is a genius in his/her own right. each of them sufferred in ways we cannot even imagine. schizophrenia. alchoholism. obsession. the list goes on.

one could argue that the mind cannot handle genius. anyone who manages to tax the limits of the brain manages to break a barrier to letting the mind go “sick”, in a manner of speaking. somehow, the ability to be able to reach the boundaries of genius; causes the mind to lose other boundaries that exist. that allow it to function normally, without mental illness; without diseases that cause it to stop functioning altogether.

but then again, genius is remembered. mediocrity isn’t.

knowing who you are… you could know what you are capable of. you could know what might be possible by you. geniuses often have known who they are. this sometimes translates to ego, pride, a cold behaviour in recognition of how intellectually advanced they might be in comparision to another. it also translates to the confidence to be able to tackle any problem. the simple belief that the problem is smaller than the self. there is a flip side to it, where it causes one to lose perspective, and so the ability. it could mean you try do something regardless of ability. you might succeed, but you could be unrealistic as well.
knowing who you aren’t… setting limits. working within what you can do. what you cannot do never enters the picture. being practical it can be called. doing something you can do well, nay, brilliantly.. this is genius of a different kind. there are bounds one has set for the self, but they are realistic bounds. you are working within your ability to achieve the impossible. i can believe this.

the point ? the answer ? is it better to know who you are, and hence have bounds lifted.. or is it better to know who you aren’t and excel within the bounds that one has imposed ?
you could try to define both. know both, so you can excel within; and yet be elastic enough for that which lies without.
any and all of these could make genius.

or none.

there is no real answer to all of this. pure definition of that which cannot be defined is never a solution. more often than not, we say we cannot do something – even if we have never tried it. or not tried it enough. we sometimes say we can do something out of sheer bravado.. we fail.. and so we cannot do it.

anything is possible.

definition kills this. this spirit of being able to challenge the limits. of excelling within limits imposed. of exploring the limits. limits we impose. we say we cannot do. and then we never go beyond those limits. we say we can do… and again.. we are unable to go beyond those.

the brain is fragile… but it also has limits we are yet to explore. those are the only limits, and even they do not exist.

nothing really does, anyway.

does it ?


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