What Then Is Genius?

Posted by on May 13, 2010 in Blog, Gary | 0 comments

God continues to speak to me about how we are to live like an artist.  This morning I read this excerpt from The Pursuit of God by A. W. Tozer.  These words ad depth and color to the quote I concluded with in my last eLetter:  “Art is a collaboration between God and the artist…” –  André Gide.

The Pursuit of God, by A. W. Tozer – The Speaking Voice, Chapter 6

When God spoke out of heaven to our Lord, self-centered men who heard it explained it by natural causes: they said, “It thundered.”  This habit of explaining the Voice by appeals to natural law is at the very root of modern science. In the living breathing cosmos there is a mysterious Something, too wonderful, too awful for any mind to understand.  The believing man does not claim to understand. He falls to his knees and whispers, “God.”  The man of earth kneels also, but not to worship. He kneels to examine, to search, to find the cause and the how of things. Just now we happen to be living in a secular age.  Our thought habits are those of the scientist, not those of the worshipper. We are more likely to explain than to adore. “It thundered,” we exclaim, and go our earthly way. But still the Voice sounds and searches. The order and life of the world depend upon that Voice, but men are mostly too busy or too stubborn to give attention.

Every one of us has had experiences which we have not been able to explain: a sudden sense of loneliness, or a feeling of wonder or awe in the face of the universal vastness.  Or we have had a fleeting visitation of light like an illumination from some other sun, giving us in a quick flash an assurance that we are from another world, that our origins are divine.  What we saw there, or felt, or heard, may have been contrary to all that we had been taught in the schools and at wide variance with all our former beliefs and opinions.  We were forced to suspend our acquired doubts while, for a moment, the clouds were rolled back and we saw and heard for ourselves.  Explain such things as we will, I think we have not been fair to the facts until we allow at least the possibility that such experiences may arise from the Presence of God in the world and His persistent effort to communicate with mankind.  Let us not dismiss such a hypothesis too flippantly.

It is my own belief (and here I shall not feel bad if no one follows me) that every good and beautiful thing which man has produced in the world has been the result of his faulty and sin-blocked response to the creative Voice sounding over the earth.  The moral philosophers who dreamed their high dreams of virtue, the religious thinkers who speculated about God and immortality, the poets and artists who created out of common stuff pure and lasting beauty: how can we explain them?  It is not enough to say simply, “It was genius.”  What then is genius?  Could it be that a genius is a man haunted by the speaking Voice, laboring and striving like one possessed to achieve ends which he only vaguely understands?

Listening to His Voice,

Gary

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