On Genius

I find it pleasing that science cannot account for genius. I do not myself believe in miracles, but I do have a strong taste for mysteries, and the presence, usually at lengthy intervals, of geniuses is among the great ones. Schopenhauer had no explanation for the existence of geniuses, either, but, even while knowing all the flaws inherent in even the greatest among them, he held that geniuses ‘were the lighthouses of humanity; and without them mankind would lose itself in the boundless sea of error and bewilderment.’ The genius is able to fulfill this function because he is able to think outside himself, to see things whole while the rest of us at best see them partially, and he has the courage, skill, and force to break the logjam of fixed opinions and stultified forms. Through its geniuses the world has made what serious progress it has thus far recorded. God willing, we haven’t seen the last of them.

Joseph Epstein, "I Dream of Genius," Commentary Magazine -  http://bit.ly/17kpbAx

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