it is the fashion to be unhappy. To have a reason for being so would be exceedingly common-place: to be so without any is the province of genius: the art of being miserable for misery’s sake, has been brought to great perfection in our days
In an important sense, soulmaking is just the creative seeking and expression of extrarational truth. It’s what we do when we dialogue with the parts of ourselves that usually go unheard—whether it be our heart, our guides, or our genius.
Hermetic Library fellow T Polyphilus reviews The Genius Figure in Antiquity and the Middle Ages by J C Nitzsche from Columbia University Press:
This monograph seems to be the only extended treatment of its topic within the academic literature of the history of ideas. Fortunately, it is rather excellent. [via]
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Aleister Crowley gets a hat tip for hat design in post about the Genius trope at “Tuesday Trope: The Genius” over at The Committee for the Surrealist Investigation of Claims of the Normal. Yeah, it really doesn’t make any more sense in context either, but it’s curious even if the reference seems a bit gratuitous and non sequitur. In context, “designed by Aleister Crowley” seems to mean something like “designed by an Evil Genius”, and might connote things such as “esoteric” and “mysterious”. I suppose it might also, in part, be a reference to the photo of Crowley with the hood of his A∴A∴ robe on his head that might be mistaken for a hat.
“Our hero, who has come to understand his name is Tex, pulls against the wrist straps that pin him to this chair.
The apparatus latched onto his head is heavy; it feels like his neck might snap under the weight of the lightbulbs and diodes, not to mention the engine that whirrs and hisses away on the floor behind him. The thing on his head looks like a diving helmet as designed by Aleister Crowley. Not quite as stylish as his old ten-gallon hat, that’s for sure.”
Aleister Crowley with the hood of his A∴A∴ robe on his head
“It may have been this memory, or it may have been some impulse of his nature too subtle for his mind to follow, that made Keats, with his love of embodied things, of precision of form and colouring, of emotions made sleepy by the flesh, see Intellectual Beauty in the Moon; and Blake, who lived in that energy he called eternal delight, see it in the Sun, where his personification of poetic genius labours at a furnace.” [via]
“The most important, the most precise of all Shelley’s symbols, the one he uses with the fullest knowledge of its meaning, is the Morning and Evening Star. It rises and sets for ever over the towers and rivers, and is the throne of his genius.” [via]