Elizabeth Gilbert on the Nature of Genius

Elizabeth Gilbert put together one of the best talks I’ve seen in quite a while. Well worth 20 minutes when you get a chance. Prior to the Renaissance, prior to “rational” humanistic thought, people spoke of “having a genius” rather than “being a genius”. This was news to me.

Genius is etymologically related to the word genie (or djinn), a spirit.

The word “Ole!” (a Spanish exclamation uttered during a great performance) used to be “Allah!” or the Moorish (Islamic) word for “God!”. Pointing out the presence of the divine in a brilliant performance.

“The most extraordinary aspects of your being… are on loan to you from some unimaginable source…” She speaks truth.

A glimmer of truth, but truth no less. Want to know what that source actually is?

Men of Athens… I see that you are very spiritual in every way





3 responses to “Elizabeth Gilbert on the Nature of Genius”

  1. Brad Avatar

    Wow. Very sobering. If that is not a detailed description of the spirit world, I don't know what is. Webster's does indeed define "genius" from a Latin word meaning "guardian spirit". We might even say "spirit guide".
    Her comments would indeed explain the darkness in many artists, writers and musicians.
    My heart grieves for Gilbert. She knows not what she plays with.
    Yet the good news is that Jesus conquers all.

  2. PatrickOrtman Avatar

    What an interesting way to look at things. Thanks for posting, Matt!

  3. Rick Garner Avatar

    Wow, I've never heard her speak before but this was a brilliant presentation of encouragement. Indeed, our gifts are from God and so often we don't use, understand, or appreciate them. Yet, so often, some degree of soul searching must be done in order to understand our gifts. Thanks for sharing!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *