Who wouldn’t want easy access to genius when we urgently need it? No problem. All that’s needed is to lose our minds.
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We’ve all had the experience. What’s the name of that song? We know it, we really do know it, it’s on the very tip of our recollection… but it evades us, no matter how hard we try. Then, suddenly, while we’re in the shower the next morning or driving home from work, wham, the answer arrives.
David Hawkins, author of Power vs Force, explains: “The source from which this answer comes has been given many names, varying from culture to culture and from time to time; in the arts of Western civilization, it has traditionally been identified with the Greek goddesses of inspiration called the Muses. Those who are humble and grateful for illumination received continue to have the capacity to access genius. Those who arrogate the inspiration to their own ego soon lose this capacity, or are destroyed by their success. High power, like high voltage, must be handled with respect.” 1
The conscious mind can only accomplish so much on its own. I doubt that any of us would volunteer to take over beating our hearts and digesting lunch! We understand that some sort of incredible power is doing all this, plus steering the stars at the same time.
We might call it God or Source or life force but “it” doesn’t care; it simply continues, day after day, brilliantly managing every aspect of creation. And this is the power that we seek to access when we reach for genius.
Since problems abound and solutions that work are highly valued, you’d think we would make learning how to access genius a priority. Unfortunately, we’d rather be “self-sufficient.” That means relying on ourselves, cosmic intelligence be damned. For this and other stubborn ignorances, we consider ourselves the most intelligent species on the planet.
Stephen Harrod Buhner may disagree. In his book, The Lost Language of Plants, he quotes a Sioux medicine man: “The bear is quick-tempered and fierce in many ways, and yet he pays attention to herbs which no other animal notices at all. The bear digs these for his own use…. We consider the bear as chief of all animals in regards to herb medicine, and therefore it is understood that if a man dreams of a bear he will be expert in the use of herbs for curing illness.” 2
It may seem like a ridiculous idea, to access the genius of a bear in a dream. But why not? Why not include everything and everyone in whatever we conceptualize this mysterious power to be. Source and medium are not separate. Genius flows through a human, a bear, a bumblebee, an orchid, and a bacteria. Perhaps when we access that genius we are consulting an encyclopedia of wisdom that exists within life itself.
This attitude inevitably fosters respect for all living beings. As environmentalist Joanna Macy said, “We come to realize that the world is our body.” Imagine merging that way, willingly surrendering our species independence (and accompanying arrogant stupidity) in favor of the oneness often championed in spiritual circles.
This is not theoretical, it’s visceral. We can feel it in a meditation, during a walk in the woods, while we are making love, while exiting the freeway. Just as our hearts are always plugged in to this source — something we are most grateful for, obviously — our minds are always (potentially) connected to a world of genius.
What if school children were taken on field trips into redwood forests, trained to peer through microscopes, taught about viruses and nerve cells, all as a study of “self?” How differently we would walk in this world, knowing it as our body, as ourselves.
Nature abounds with examples of synergistic collaboration. Species help each other, they defend their neighbors, some plants ward off predators together. We humans could do the same with our many neighbors, once we get over ourselves and lose our minds, those minds that have labored towards independence (which we might spell as “disconnection”).
Indeed, “high power must be handled with respect.” When we realize that this high power resides in everything that lives, then we begin to treat everything with respect, including ourselves.
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1. Power vs Force by Richard R. Hawkins, page 219.
2. The Lost Language of Plants, by Stephen Harrod Buhner, page 201.