Elizabeth Gilbert: A different way to think about creative genius

Elizabeth Gilbert muses on the impossible things we expect from artists and geniuses -- and shares the radical idea that, instead of the rare person "being" a genius, all of us "have" a genius. It's a funny, personal and surprisingly moving talk.

About Elizabeth Gilbert
The author of Eat, Pray, Love, Elizabeth Gilbert has thought long and hard about some large topics. Her next fascination: genius, and how we ruin it.

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Comment by Mery White on June 5, 2009 at 3:39pm
Good day, thank you for this video. I didn't want to spend 19 minutes to look at it, but it said a lot. I hope showing up will pay off for me, for you, for us. Take good care. Peace, love, happiness...Mery '4us'
Comment by Sabine Theresia on February 20, 2009 at 10:42pm
Great lecture, great woman!
The phenomenon that Elizabeth Gilbert describes, sometimes also seems to happen with my now 7 year old daughter. She loves drawing pictures, and sometimes - mostly in the early morning or the late evening - there is coming a genious creative power / energy to her, that she just is letting flow into her pictures. What comes out in those moments is full of spirituality, it's very symbolic. When she is showing those pictures to me, i ask her for the name / title of the picture and if there is one, she tells me immediately. And i'm glad, when she describes, what she had drawn / painted. Sometimes, she gives me deep insights. For her, that are 'only pictures', she forgets them at once. But i don't want to forget any of those jewels or those words, she has said about them. Those pictures and words coming out of this special energy are touching me very deeply in my inner self. And it seems to me, that this special ingenious quality, that is flown into Kara's expressions (pictures and words) comes out of her deepest inner self which is the deepest inner self of us all and the highest self in the meantime. Maybe, this energy sometimes is coming in the form of an angel or other spiritual creatures.
As an example, i'd like to add one of those special pictures here, but Kara generally doesn't want me to send them into the internet (she only makes exceptions for very special addressees). But i can describe one picture, that she has painted short time before her 6th birthday. I do it the way, she would do it now, more than one year after the painting: There is a landscape with hills and trees. There is a row of twelve people walking over one hill and another row of ten people walking over another hill. All the people are walking into the same direction (to the right). All of them are very happy, some hold their arms risen to the sky and some are dancing. One girl is holding a kite, that flies behind her, and also on this kite, there is a big smile. If i would ask Kara for a title now, she maybe would say: People on an excursion. But i have noted on the back, what she has answered, when i had asked her directly after the painting, when she still has been in this special energy / this special energy still has been in her. Then she said: "The Way to Liberty / Freedom" - "They are now hiking into (the) freedom / liberty, to love." (Originally in German: "Der Weg zur Freiheit" - "Die wandern jetzt in die Freiheit, zur Liebe.")
Comment by Margie Sennett-Antunes on February 16, 2009 at 7:21pm
I love the the fascination of "genius" and how Elizabeth Gilbert expresses it as a divine entity out there yet a part of us, our being, our creative partner, it's not just us, the person, we have our "genius" to help us out. Thank God for that entity, that divine unknown in the room, universe, and our surroundings with us. Maybe it's not always there but it arrives and as my teacher taught me, "just show up", was the best advice I ever received from anyone. Now I have something else to reflect on, "genius" showing up as well.

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