Here, Schopenhauer not only hits the nail on the head but aims for a nail elusive to most. The struggle is not only of genius and the rest, but of chaos and order, truth and consolation, vision and tradition, generation and regression, tension and consolation, life and convention. But it also reminds us that a philosopher is only as good as his aphorisms, and an aphorism only as a good as its encapsulated philosophy.
Why, we might all wonder, is it that the others, no matter how talented, can’t see this target? What do they all have in common that the genius appears to either reject or ignore? And aren’t most of these elusive targets valuable to the extent to which the significant others obscure it? The vital question is by what means.
If you don’t believe that most people are stupid you are most people. Of course, these significant others are the hive mind of society at large. The lowest common denominator to which we or they all regress when we want to indulge ourselves in our false sense of order. An order, however counterfeit, that comes at the cost of awareness because its price is ignorance. Without this ignorance we would find no need to concoct such titles as genius. But the genius doesn’t only lift the veil from his eyes alone, but also, at usually a great personal cost, from the mob that forms the sea of conformity in which he or she swims, nay, dives.
What could calcify and render so impotent the faculties of so many? The equipment barely differs from individual to individual. After all, all genius is asking for is to see with clear eyes and not grow a third. These are eyes that differ, and thus are unaffected by the common blindness. Can we be certain that this blindness is not congenital, as those who have surrendered themselves to a life of mediocrity will have you believe?
Let’s, for this sake, take a look at the DNA of human order. The feeble and shortsighted attempt of our species to create pleasure without joy, capability without capacity, and truth without reality. There is, naturally, utility in imposing such order. But the cost is grave.
Static order attempts to clarify entities by congealing them into distortions. This of course, comes at the cost of the dynamic order, that is the matrix which embeds them. The dynamic order could easily be misconstrued as having mystical or spiritual motivations, but I’d like to remind you that what your accountant might call mathematics is nothing but the mysticism of millennia ago.
Static order is primitive order, and primitive order is mental comfort at the cost of consciousness. Or shall I say sight? This kind of order is composed of little, barely visible entities called concepts. Concepts are to the mind what tools are to our hands. When our mind is filled with them we have no mind left. Just as refusing to let go of two hammers gives you two hammers and not hands.
Yes, they might order the amorphous reality stream into something we can ratify in symbolic consciousness, but the distortions come at the expense of clear eyes. Seeing water as H2O might allow us to enter the mind frame that let's us perform a chemical reaction, but only then is it of use. In every other case it is but an obstructive delusion, a distortion of sensory facts imposed with virtuality. All for utility’s sake. And utility is the sake of this functional blindness. For all concepts are tools and only as good as their employ.
The distinction the genius can grasp is that there is no construction of anything without a purpose. And as much as the mob would like to believe that its normative values and moral standards are true beyond measure, they are but a consequence of its measure: counterfeit order. Who would like to find out that all their beliefs are mere implants and expedients to the end of social stability? What laws are any more than social conveniences at the cost of personal freedom, from the ten commandments to the TPP?
And here we come full circle to distill the essence of what it means to be a genius among idiots—and there is no other type of genius, nor idiot. While the mob’s mind can’t suspend its compulsion to scan the world for nails, the genius, even before recognition, frees his mind and hands from concepts and utility, tools and hammers, to see the world as it is by her own standards and not of the deceased. This is what allows him to shape it as he pleases, and what pleases him only she knows. It might quite possibly be something that pleased no one before. Until...