FINDING GENIUS IN YOUR LIFE - On this inspiring recording Michael Meade introduces the idea of a “resident spirit of the soul” that tries to awaken and reveal our calling in life and the mythic story trying to enter the world through each of us.
The aim of Mosaic’s Genius Project is to bring deeply encouraging ideas of the unique genius seeded in each person into mainstream culture. We seek to awaken and inspire the great diversity of human genius and resiliency at all levels of education and in a variety of creative endeavors. The sense that each person, regardless of social status, ethnic background, or sexual orientation, has “inner genius” and something significant to contribute to the world is a core principle of the Genius Project. Helping people tap into their inner genius has practical benefits at both the individual and cultural levels.
As the troubles of the world intensify it is useful to know that the brightest threads often hide in the darkest places. As the philosopher Horace put it over two thousand years ago, “Adversity reveals genius, prosperity conceals it.” Awakening the genius within each individual opens surprising paths to personal fulfillment; but also leads to innovative ways to solve the increasing number of problems we face as a global society. Everyone has their own allotment of genius; when all seems lost it is the inner flame of genius that can light the way even in the darkest times.
Genius has the root meaning of “the spirit that is already there.” As such it points to the inner uniqueness and natural giftedness that enters the world with each person born. When seen as a cohering thread in each life, inner genius serves to weave together a person’s innate talents and abilities while also revealing one’s purpose in life. If people are to find creative ways of living together and healing both culture and nature, the awakening of individual genius may be the deepest and most imaginative way to approach the seemingly impossible tasks that face contemporary cultures.
By providing seed ideas as well as mentoring and leadership models to individuals, institutions, and community groups through our online platform and publishing efforts, Mosaic aims to re-imagine education as a life-long, community based initiative. Drawing on over three decades of work with at risk peoples from all walks of life, we are calling our new effort to bring attention to the innate giftedness and essential value of each girl and boy- The Genius Project.
How does a person find stability and grounding in a world growing more and more chaotic? Michael Meade suggests the answer to this and many of the most troubling questions in life can be found by turning towards one’s true purpose in life- their inner genius. Each person carries a unique way of seeing the world, and it is this rich diversity of perspectives and styles, talents and aptitudes that is the greatest resources we have as a global community when it comes to facing our greatest challenges.
In this brand new video, Michael Meade provides an introduction to Mosaic’s Genius Project. By re-defining “genius” and bringing it closer to its original meaning, Meade shows that each person has something valuable to contribute to the world waiting to be awoken inside them.
The context for Mosaic’s Genius Project is our modern world, full of uncertainty, in which we are subject to threats coming from both nature and culture. As climate change and social meltdowns threaten the stability of modern life, we live in a world that borders on chaos.
We have started the Genius Project with the idea that, rather than seeing each person as coming into this uncertain world empty, each of us already is someone and we already carry important gifts to give the world. There is something seeded in each of us, waiting to be awoken, ready to lead us on the path to our true identity and our true purpose in life. Each person has meaning and value already inside them, ready to aid in healing this chaotic world. There is no one “right” solution for the great number of problems in the world. Instead, there are many solutions waiting to be awakened in each person.
The genius in a person comes into the world to contribute something and to follow an unfolding story. When the inner genius is awakened, a person’s deepest meaning and greatest talents come to the surface. Through re-imagining education and promoting genius mentoring, we believe real, positive changes can be made in individuals’ lives and in the global community we all share.
NEW DIMENSIONS RADIO - Listen as Michael Meade explores the importance of inner genius as a source of purpose and resiliency for both youth and elders facing a rapidly changing world.
Listen to the complete interview at New Dimensions Radio
The Nature of Genius brings the power of mythic imagination to the issue of the uniqueness of the human soul and the natural giftedness of each person. It redefines genius, challenges common ideas of education and places the issues of human meaning and purpose in the middle of the debates over the condition and of the world.
You can also watch the complete Stanford University video
(1 hour 22 minutes).
Mosaic’s Genius Project aims at re-imagining education as a process that goes beyond basic instruction and socialization to a deeper effort that helps to reveal the inner genius in each child and every student. Genius-based education naturally leads to life-long learning and practices that develop “olders” into elders. Rather than retiring from life, awakened elders become the guardians of meaningful education as well as the protectors of cultural wisdom.
There are two levels of education, the first of which involves the socialization and instruction that makes people functioning members of a society. The second and deeper, and at times more essential path of learning, involves the awakening and education of one’s innate genius and way of being in the world. The genius in a person tries to surface amidst the identity struggles of youth. The deepest meaning of education refers to recognizing and leading out the natural talents and inherent gifts in each person. Unfortunately, modern mass culture and modern education tend to obscure and ignore natural genius while promoting a massive sameness amongst its citizens. The education of genius involves an awakening from within that needs a blessing from others more than it needs instruction from them. Genius is unique in that it already knows what it is here to do and does not need traditional instruction. More important is acknowledgment and mentorship as genius fosters genius.
Our intention is to Invite – Inspire – Instruct and serve an ever-growing network of individuals and groups that are applying, teaching, and living from the idea that each person is gifted in some way and that each of us has something to offer their community in this critical time of radical change and global unrest.
We live in extreme times when tragedies abound and even a comic movie can provoke terrorist threats. On one hand, everyone is interconnected through the world-wide-web; on the other hand, the fault lines that divide people keep growing wider. While people are aggressively hacking the web and “fracking” the earth the ice of the protective polar caps keeps breaking apart and melting. It is hard not to notice that the cracks in the world keep getting bigger as everything seems to be either threatened or threatening.
The cracks in the human heart also grow deeper as children are mercilessly massacred in schools by deranged individuals and by those claiming to serve a higher purpose. Schoolgirls are kidnapped and enslaved by armies and college students slain by drug cartels. Unarmed youth are shot down by those sworn to protect and serve others, while some claiming to uphold the ideals of freedom defend the tactics of torture. People protest and plead with lawmakers and leaders to do something to bring even a momentary sense of justice to a world falling apart at the seams.
While anguishing over reports of both cultural and natural tragedies I keep thinking of the old Japanese practice of kintsugi or “golden repair.” The idea behind this ancient ceramic art includes the sense that when something valuable cracks or breaks it should be repaired carefully and lovingly in a way that adds to its value. Thus, the cracks and fault lines in a valuable bowl would be filled with a lacquer made of resin containing powdered gold. Such a golden repair does not try to cover up the cracks in the vessel or deny the facts of the matter. Rather, the cracks and splits and broken places become filled with gold. Beauty appears exactly where the worst faults previously existed and the golden scars add to the living story and to the value of the container.
As a piece of “living philosophy,” golden repair suggests redemptive practices through which the damages of history and the tragic mistakes we make with the fragile vessels of both nature and culture might be repaired. Like any genuine process of healing and making whole again, golden repair requires that we first acknowledge and carefully study the exact faults and divisions that damage the shared vessels of our lives. If we see the globe of the earth as a living, sacred vessel that needs artful repairs we might imagine ways of helping it heal. If we could admit more readily to the tragic injuries that divide one group from another we could replace the bloody damages with golden lines that serve to remind us of the fragility of life as well as the possibilities of repairing shattered dreams and redeeming broken lives.
The bowl of the earth is large and the deep fractures left by the weight of history are too great for any single idea or practice to repair it all. The wounds to the heart of humanity are too extensive and grievous for any single belief or ideology to heal it all. Yet, the mythical sense that the darkest times can produce a golden light of renewal permeates most religious visions and gives us countless practices and traditions that include Hannukah and Christmas, Solstice and Festivals of Light and New Year celebrations of all kinds. The instinct to gather together in the season of darkness and in the times of tragedy is ultimately deeper and greater than the fault lines that form on the surface of the bowl of life.
Gold is hidden in dark places and that which is golden inside people is more valuable and ultimately more enduring than all the surface differences and divisions that cause the cracks in culture and the biting divisions of life. Everyone gets wounded in this world and everyone has within them some golden qualities that can serve to heal the wounds of time and the traumatic effects of human tragedy.
Golden repair depends upon a realization that there is something valuable and essentially beautiful that is worth preserving and sharing. It requires an understanding that beauty and truth are golden lines that can appear in the cracks of this world, in places where culture and nature collide and where people tragically divide. It is easier to adopt the tactics of terrorists than to stand for beauty and truth and the possibility of freedom here on earth. It is easier to vote out of fear and confusion to further arm all elements of society and pretend that safety and trust will somehow be preserved.
Because each person has some golden qualities and a unique genius to bring to the world, each has the capacity to do some golden repair. Because the troubles of the world have grown so great and encompass both culture and nature, each person can find a crack nearby that can be turned into a golden seam. Golden repair is needed in all the communities where tragedy has torn people apart, in all the places where trust has been shattered, where justice has been denied, where the earth has been ripped open and blindly exploited, where the healing presence of great forests have been turned into broad, unholy scars.
As the world around us seems to grow darker and more threatening we can either hide in terror or turn to the work at hand and find a crack that needs tending or a gap that needs healing. The practice of golden repair can begin wherever old wounds divide people; but also where the increasing tragedies of violence and suicide leave people broken in spirit and at odds with the underlying beauty of life. What we now call “holidays” were once holy days intended to bring a sense of wholeness and light in the times of greatest darkness. Like golden repair, the effort to make the world beautiful and holy was not based upon covering up the wounds of life or denying the damage done to the world. There may be no better time to turn towards each other and to face the cracks in the world than the present moment when the world needs so much healing and repair.
©2014 Mosaic Multicultural Foundation