Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan mural

Though many try, none of us can ever claim full credit for our outer genius. We are always indebted to and building on what came before us. We are always reflecting or responding to what is happening around us. In a sense, we are just capturing creation as it appears in our minds. As Bob Dylan once expressed about his songwriting: “I don’t even consider that I wrote it when I got done. The song was there before me, before I came along. I just sort of came down and sort of took it down with a pencil, that it was all there before I came around.” 

Even as we take pride in our outer genius, we must also offer credit and gratitude to the muse dropping ideas and inspiration in our minds, even to genius itself.

But just the same, we must give ourselves our due for our inner genius. Even our inner genius relies on us to do our own work to make ourselves ready for change. No butterfly ever emerges without the caterpillar willing to build the cocoon. No personal transformation occurs unless on some level we have prepared ourselves for it or otherwise laid the conditions and permissions needed for it to take place within us.

No creation is ever pure emergence or pure design. All acts of genius require both fertile ground and someone or something planting and tending to a seed.

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