Do you want to be a genius harmonica player? You’re in luck… read on:
A while ago, there was a lively debate on Harp L about who were the real geniuses. The general direction that this thread was going in was that some people were geniuses, and others were not, and that this would be a good thing to argue about.
I insist that we all are geniuses, once we dig deep enough. If you dig what I am saying, then you may enjoy the reply that I decided to post as part of the genius thread:
Genius is a verb, too….
The thread about genius has finally made me want to throw in my two cents, as I believe that there are some good questions to ask about the debate. One is What is the point of this discussion? Another is “What are the assumptions we are making here?”
People who do research on accelerated learning and human potential (Donna Cercone, Brian Tracy, Dennis Waitley Win Wenger among others) claim that genius is a way that we use our minds and can be learned.
When we do this “who is a genius” game, It puts us in the position of being passive judges of something that we don’t have and others do. The idea that we cannot access genius is poisonous and just plain wrong. It is an example of “learned helplessness” – I’m not a genius so why bother trying to be one?
A baby elephant tries over and over to break free of the rope that has it tethered. It gives up eventually after hundreds of futile attempts. The same elephant grows up with enough strength to easily break free of the rope, but never tries because it “knows” that it can’t do it.
We tend to do the same thing with our own potential as musicians (and in many other areas where we are “stuck”). We learn early on that we are not “geniuses” and we accept “reality” instead of relentlessly working at creating genius as our reality.
Instead of debating who is a genius, wouldn’t it be more fun to check out people who spend a lot of time in the genius mode and ask “what are they doing?” “How can I do that?”
This is what I see going on over and over again at SPAH and other events like it. People come here and start relaxing and unwinding and after a certain amount of sleep deprivation and hanging out with inspiration, start having flashes of their own true genius. Something in the air makes them forget their usual self imposed limitations and they cut loose and play brilliant, alive music. With some it comes in flashes and then they get self conscious and it goes away. With others they get on the good foot and stay there for a while….. Some folks live there most of the time, and they get the label “Genius”. Sometimes.
That is one of the reasons that I love SPAH. I love being around people who are experiencing genius. Especially their own, even if they don’t choose to call it that.
Thats my story, and I’m sticking to it!