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Gunther Sonnenfeld, March 17 2022

Seeking Moral Genius

Morality is a daily struggle in a world of iniquity. Perhaps we should look at it for what it really is: A noble pursuit onto itself.

When most people talk about genius, they refer to a superior intellectual capacity.

Geniuses are the product of quirkiness, isolation, misunderstanding, and sheer creative abandon. They are not thought to be conscious in the ways we might consider consciousness to be a deeply spiritual process of discerning what is good or beautiful or kind or compassionate.

In a certain sense, intellectual genius has no regard for morality, simply because consciousness is thought to be a condition of the mind. If the mind is conditioned to think about things according to a particular vision or worldview, then what morality can be ascribed to the pursuit of that vision or worldview that is in any way objective?

We often end up with a confirmatio visionis, or translated from Latin, a reaffirmation of the worldview.

Historically speaking, worldviews ground themselves in tenets that are convincing enough such that they are hard to break from, and therefore tend to produce their own groundswells of amoral energy. This could mean that a “by any means necessary” approach to achieving an outcome, such as “social justice”, is degraded by the very efforts of those actually seeking a morally justifiable result.

Look to any demiurgic period from the Crusades to the Renaissance to the Enlightenment and beyond, and we can see where moral precepts either fall on their face, or, all the ways in which the human being can corrupt them.

In today’s world, we not only face a significant crisis of conscience which leaves us with morally ambiguous stances on things like “equality” or “inclusion” or “diversity”, but we also experience the backlash of improprieties that leave us fearing our own moral choices.

Christ, as the ultimate human archetype, taught us something very different from this moral/amoral/immoral construct: He showed us the power of creating choices that are inherently good.

The living word of Christ is therefore an exploration and affirmation of the choices we create towards a next highest good.

Alan Jacobs writes:

As we consider these implications on facing death and rebirth, we then find ourselves with a moral compass in constant need of evolutionary improvement in the fulfillment of oral, wisdom and canonical traditions.

As a seriously flawed human being, I can’t think of anything more genius than that.

Written by

Gunther Sonnenfeld

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