Steve Jobs was an open-minded visionary. He was in the natural what apostolic people are in the spiritual. They undo myths about God and continually reveal new vistas in the new and living way who is Christ our life. Apostolic’s know that Christ is life in person. They eschew religion, compartmentalism and legalism. An apostolic person can no more be a child of the law than a marrow can be a human.
Jesus is The Door in person. He is the door to infinite life in the present and in the future. There is no compartmentalisation, no dichotomised universe, no sacred and secular Jesus because there is no realm of the knowledge of good and evil. Just life to the full.
There are people with doctorates who fill me with delight. You find them at times using their expertise in some area of wild-life preservation or a field of medicine where their hard work and openness to possibility has led to a break-through that preserves a beautiful but endangered parrot or makes headway against an intractable disease. To possess a doctorate most likely indicates that the person has reasonable intelligence, can persist with a task and is acquainted with the practice of thinking.
I have seen a similar attitude in certain farmers on ABC Landline. People are open to new ideas, they experiment and produce new and exciting crops in new and ingenious ways. In doing so they have a fair chance of making a good living and enrich the life of us all. Mind you, there are farmers and other dogmatics famed for their closed-mindedness, stubbornness and resistance to thought. It’s called ignorance. ‘Ignorance’ because ideas not their own, the welcoming of possibility and vision are ignored due to a calcified mind, an un-restrained ego and a dormant and unused brain. Close the mind and the brain will eventually die.
The joy of life and what I will call a ‘life-anointing’ arising from the gift of spirit and life shared with us by the presence of Jesus arouses curiosity and a passion to know. These qualities are markedly absent among those who are persuaded that they ‘already know what there is to know.’ It reminds me of the suburban matron who shushed every one when the weather was on the telly, but talked through all other forms of current affairs because she had already made up her mind about everything else since she was seventeen.
Vision consists not only in the ability to join the dots. Vision is found in the desire to explore the relationship between the dots and even the validity of the dots. This kind of vision allows us to be free, set captives free and enjoy the fellowship of Jesus in the Spirit of liberty and creativity we call life.
Genius has less to do with intelligence and more to do with clarity of vision and penetrating thinking. It is associated with a culture of creativity and openness to possibility. What makes a genius is relevant to all of us because it has a huge bearing on our ability to perceive life and truth - and walk in the narrow way of life rather than the broad and wide way of the living dead. Legalism dwarfs the mind. There is some thought that it also shrinks the brain.
In an article in the Melbourne Age. Eric Weiner reports these findings about genius.
1 Geniuses do not appear randomly but, rather, in groupings. There are genius clusters. Certain places, at certain times, produce a mother lode of brilliant minds and good ideas. These life-giving ideas arise in the proximity to other creative/perceptives and communities of fertility and light. Bright people flourish in company with other bright people.
2 All of these places of creativity, possess an outsize degree of tolerance and "openness to experience.” This is to say that genius did not arise in a closed culture or a rigid system of orthodoxy and received ‘truth.’ This is why a law-culture fosters mediocrity rather then brilliance.
3 Genius, particularly creative genius, is less about raw intelligence and more about elevated vision and penetrating perception. This is the ability to penetrate appearances and socially constructed patterns of thought. Not a quality of those wedded to the status quo.
4 Einstein's genius rested not with amassed knowledge but, rather, with his ability to make leaps of understanding that others couldn't. This kind of thing is akin to the spirit of wisdom and revelation that is common when living in the Spirit but absent when we are constricted by law.
5 Genius is the ability to look at what everyone else is looking at - and see something different. But we need not be a genius to discern that what some understand as the truth is a cleverly designed delusion.
We may infer the following about creative and inventive living. As humans we construct the reality in which we live - the way in which we see the world and define it as we think it is - according to the beliefs of our community. This being so we need to see this community as a window and not a prison. A very helpful insight for some Believers is that God is not obsessed with sin. But He is wild about life!
Jesus came to set captives free from crippling conformity and imprisonment to false doctrine and erroneous views about God and ourselves. A Christian community that lives in a personal Jesus will be open to the truth and willing to reject lies that have bound it to the past, to crippling assumptions, distorted views of God and what He means for us that bring death rather than life.
The ability to harbour people who live in life, which is to say live in Jesus, instead of the common realm of religion, determines the extent to which we can embrace the radical truth of the new covenant and those who advertise it as the new and living way. Law bound people live in fear, timidity and confusion. The spirit brings life because spirit equates to imagination, creativity and an intolerance of the delusional.
An outsized culture of tolerance is a kind of grace. Jesus is grace in person. Because He is grace and truth. His flexibility and comfortableness with ambiguity leads us into ever more truth. Never into the confines of bigotry that is the province of law and religion or the lazy couch of the conservative. Such a flexibility of soul and mind is found in the gospel of the Kingdom where ‘Kingdom’ is defined as Christ our life. Never in ‘kingdom’ as constructed as ‘ideology.’
Creative thinking and amenability to the new is less the result of intelligence and more the result of the penetrating power of discernment. In Christ, never in the law, we have the power of cutting through the husk to the core. Religious people are notoriously dull in discernment. But life in the Spirit, which is life in the living word gives attention to detail, sharpness of mind, the ability to cope with ambiguity and a passion for truth. The law-monger will always twist truth to suit his assumptions.
‘For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart’ 4.12 NIV.
Scripture speaks of the living word - the logos word - the person of Christ and the living Spirit of Truth. This is not available to the law-monger and religion addict. Nor is it a feature of the person glued to religious identity and a self-contained, self-perpetuating perspective. The spirit of wisdom and revelation, which is similar to the insight of the genius comes from the personal incarnation of grace and truth - which is Christ in you.
Insight and penetrating vision comes not from knowledge as such. But from the ability to see relationship between facts. Knowledge is not irrelevant. Ignorance is never a virtue. Wisdom and revelation is found in the ability to make leaps of insight arising from our union with Father and the active, rather than theoretical spirit of sonship, active in our being.
As a son of the law we are innately conformist. As son of our Father we are spirit and in truth. Our uniqueness is nurtured in Father’s heart and presence to enjoy our real identity rather than the identity of a cipher or clone. Nothing is as dormant as a creature of the status quo. None are more alive and insightful as the sons and daughters of God. In the spirit of sonship you are who you are and you live according to your design. As such you are a manifestation of Jesus, an expression of our Father and a presenter of spirit and truth in person.
When leaders are not chosen on the basis of intelligence and vision but on adherence to cultural verities the community is crippled. This is unfortunate when these ‘verities’ are themselves a myth and a delusion.
Jesus is life and that life is the light of all human beings. Life and light go together. Along with love. Along with love for people and the love of life. True love entails the rejection of all that is dead the love all that is alive. This is our fellowship with our Father and with the Son.
It’s not true that religion loves life. Religion put Life on the cross. If genius, ultra-cleverness, vision and perceptiveness is life-giving plus, this is not usually appreciated in religion. Religion, particularly the legalistic kind loves dullards.
There are situations where the unintelligent and the small of vision get into leadership because they pose no threat to the stagnant, law-based culture. Law smothers and deforms. Law makes blind eyes and ears that do not hear. The letter kills. Only the Spirit gives life. Law creates a culture of the comatose. But when Christ is our life and we are energised by the gospel of the Kingdom as lived by Jesus and preached by John and Paul, we become alive with the spirit of wisdom and revelation.
The closest to the notion of genius in the body of Christ is authentic apostleship. This is because it is new genesis and new creation life. It flourishes in freshness because it is resurrection and life. Here as with Jesus one reveals the fullness of life that is ours in our Father, His Son and Holy Spirit. This entails the ability to look at what everyone else is looking at - and see something different. It involves the ability to look at what many perceive as normal and see it for what it is - a delusion and a prison, a falsehood masquerading as truth or the annulling of the new and living way while perpetuating itself as life. But Christ our life is spirit and life and life to the full. Our life is the life of Father, Son and Holy Spirit because they are alive in us!