The word genius is etymologically derived from "a guardian deity or spirit which watches over each person from birth; spirit, incarnation."
In this recent TED Talk, Elizabeth Gilbert explores the notion that rather than a person "being" a genius, all of us "have" a genius.
Gilbert discusses the origins of "genius", considering ancient Greek daemons, or the divine, attendant spirits from distant, unknowable sources that influence creativity. In ancient Rome, dismebodied creative spirits were called a genius, believed to live in the walls of an artist's studio.
She encourages the idea that creativity can be a "peculiar, wondrous, bizzare collaboration" between a person and a "strange, external thing."
Image: "Einstein Image Painted on Hazard Marker" by the bridge on Flickr courtesy of Creative Commons Licensing.
Image: "Genius of Water" by jstealth03 on Flickr courtesy of Creative Commons Licensing.