What is at the core of genius?

Simplification to the core of any complex something is the basis of genius.

“To see things in the seed, that is genius.”
~ Lao Tzu

When we were children, we could see that simplicity underlying genius.

“Everyone is born a genius, but the process of living de-geniuses them.”
~ R. Buckminster Fuller

For example, when I was five, I invented the steam engine by watching the top of a pot moving up and down as the water within bubbled into steam. I could see that if I connected a saw to that top, it could cut wood.

And, even though I was 200 years later than the original inventors of the steam engine, I’ll bet they also saw the essential simplicity underlying it.

Perhaps you had a similar experience.

Albert Einstein had a childlike, an idealistic element of his personality and it was that element that made him a genius.

Albert Einstein

“The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination.”

- Albert Einstein

“Everyone is born a genius, but the process of living de-geniuses them.”

- R. Buckminster Fuller

In its early years, Einstein’s Relativity was expressed only in its astronomical description. Only later was it translated into mathematics as required to apply it to atomic weapons and power sources. However, Einstein’s mathematical skills weren’t up to the task since he was, at essence, a philosopher.

“Simplicity is the purest form of genius.”
~ Albert Einstein

Einstein saw the essential simplicity of one aspect of the universe and expressed it in philosophical metaphors such as “the curvature of space,” metaphors that comprise his Theory of Relativity. His genius was that he saw this simplicity where others hadn’t.

Unfortunately, his math skills weren’t up to the task of translating those philosophical metaphors into rigorous mathematical equations and, in trying to do so, he obscured the essential simplicity.

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