New Book by
The Genius Myth proposes that each person born participates in the genius of life and that the world at this time is in great need of an awakening of the genius qualities hidden in each of us. In this view genius refers, not to measurable intelligence, but to the essential “uniqueness” of each person and the gifts and talents that form the core of their inner life.
The presence of genius marks each person, regardless of age, gender orientation, ethnicity or social status as being essentially distinct and automatically valuable.
In a rapidly changing world faced with seemingly impossible problems, it becomes important to understand that each person has something to contribute to the solutions. Rather than the need to heroically save the world, the real work of humanity at this time may be to awaken the unique spark and inner resiliency of genius within each person.
Both timely and timeless, this book is essential for anyone who seeks to awaken their own genius and learn how it can help heal nature and re-imagine culture. This book will help young people hoping to find a meaningful way in the world and adults wanting to dwell more deeply in life. It offers essential ideas for parents and teachers, counselors and mentors seeking to encourage and support those they teach and care about. The Genius Myth is essential reading for anyone searching for a true orientation in the midst of a world gone wrong.
The culmination of decades of work with at-risk youth and at-risk people, Michael Meade’s book about the genius myth as well as associated events and workshops combine dramatic real life experiences with compelling mythic tales and a profound exploration of the wisdom of genius.
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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.
The modern world view would have us think that each person is an accidental occurrence in an accidental universe. In direct contrast, the Mosaic Genius Project proposes that each person enters the world with unique gifts and a life purpose waiting to be discovered. Each young person needs to learn that they have intrinsic value; for genius is born, not made. What people of all ages need to recall when facing the great uncertainties of life is that a path of genius and purpose tries to unfold from within. In a world that can seem to be meaning less and less, the inner genius would have each of us deliver our innate gifts and live a life that is truly meaningful.
View another installment of the introduction to the Mosaic Genius Project and Michael Meade’s insights into life on the genius path.
The Genius Project is not about measuring one’s intelligence or learning how to become a genius by gathering skill sets or even developing mastery over time. The real project of each person’s life revolves around the revelation of an inner core of unique qualities and genuine life purpose. An ancient term for naming and considering the unique spirit in each life was the inner genius. Rather than something that can be developed in the course of one’s life, inner genius was seen as the vital inner seed from which the true course of one’s life could sprout and grow.
Genius refers to the innate spirit and inherent nature of a person. Although invisible to the naked eye and even to the lens of the microscope, the inner genius is there from the beginning, an aspect of being and essence of our nature without which we cannot be. The issue is not whether someone “is a genius,” for genius is a given, something naturally given to each of us as part of the inner project of one’s life. Inner genius is something originally given to each of us in order that we each find a way to give something meaningful and valuable back to the world.
As our natural spirit for life, genius is the source of liveliness; but also the root of our resiliency. When faced with great difficulty it is the inner genius that we need to both survive and to thrive.
As the seed of our individuality, the inner genius is the true source of our orientation to life as well as the key to our own way of viewing the world. The genius gives us our world view, our unique way of looking at life and seeing the world.
Although, this inner gift of genius is our genuine inheritance in this life, the true sense of it keeps being lost in the confusion of the world. That which is ours from the beginning and makes us who we are intended to be, turns out also to be the “treasure hard to attain” and easily lost. The Mosaic Genius Project will offer inspiration and guidance as well as resources and support for those seeking to find their own genius path and ways to give their gifts to the world.
“I think the world is in so much danger that each person needs to be considered a potential subject of a genuine "calling" to the greater world of imagination and spirituality. I don't mean spirituality in terms of religion; I mean the awakened spirit in a person that causes them to be fully alive. On the outside it is felt as a calling and on the inside it is felt as the awakening of one's own way of seeing and being in the world. What is waiting to awaken… what is being called upon in us… what the calling is calling about… is the genius already in each one of us.”
So says Michael Meade in the latest installment of the new series on Mosaic’s Genius Project. Much has been said and written about having a vocation or calling in life; but often overlooked is the idea that a true calling is aimed at the genius qualities already set within each person. Most know that the call to awaken to a genuine path in life begins in youth; but fewer know that the calling keeps calling even in later life. Not only that, but in mythic terms, the Fountain of Youth that people have roamed the earth seeking waits to be found within oneself.
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“As resident spirit in the soul, the genius combines the inherent gifts and talents with inner inclinations and a style of being that together shape one’s character from within. Genius appears as an original arrangement of subjective qualities, an inner pattern that holds the keys to understanding the meanings and purpose inherent in each life. Being truly happy depends upon living close to the pattern woven in the soul to begin with. For that satisfies the genius in us and makes some level of spiritual fulfillment possible here on earth.
The resident spirit of one’s life acts as the guardian of one’s true destiny. It is the inner tutor and intuitive guide that can be cultivated by paying attention to the little voice inside oneself. In crucial moments the inner spirit or muse of the soul will offer its guidance, but we must first learn to hear its language. Although the genius is a natural inhabitant of our lives, general education and social training can make us deaf to its speech.”
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.
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.
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.
"Genius is the natural spirit in a person, something invisible in itself, yet essential to each person, an inner essence without which they cannot be. Genius represents something originally given to each of us that we are intended to, in turn, give back to the world. In the strange way of the world, that which is most essentially ours and makes us who we are intended to be, turns out to also be the “treasure hard to attain.”
- Michael Meade
© 2018 Mosaic Multicultural Foundation