Reflections on Genius

By George A. Boyd © 2005

Genius, in academic testing protocols, is defined as scoring on an intelligence test greater than two standard deviations from the norm. Whether the correct responses are learned during elementary, secondary, and post-secondary education, or whether some superior innate faculty of discernment or judgment allows these individuals to score significantly above the norm, is putative.

We may speculate that if education is geared directly to improve test performance on standardized testing—learning the intellectual skills necessary to pass tests such as the state high school exit exams, Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT), or Graduate Record Exam (GRE) may also increase the scores on intelligence testing.

Aside from this consensual empirical measure, genius may have other definitions that we will discuss briefly here.

  1. Expanded ability to use the faculties of the intellect – The faculties of the intellect (see our article, “The Seven Chords of Jnana Yoga” available in our online Library) may be opened to a greater extent in some individuals than in others. This allows them enhanced access to problem solving strategies of greater complexity. This may be the result of spiritual evolution that concomitantly awakens the vehicles of the personality.
  2. The result of prior learning or experience in other lives – The phenomena of the gifted musical prodigy, for example, is used as a [rationale] for this theory. To develop the nearly instant facility for music and accelerated acquisition of mastery of the most complex musical repertoire, it is argued, points to lifetimes of prior practice and progressive mastery of the rudiments of this art.
  3. The result of powers gained by spiritual practices in present or past lives – By certain types of meditation practices, including Jnana
    Yoga, Raja Yoga, Kundalini Yoga, and Agni Yoga—We could add, by the use of selected bija mantras invoking the goddess of learning, Saraswati—the individual may purportedly refine certain talents on this substrate in the Superconscious mind. This gift is, in turn, anchored in the personality. The individual then asks for the gift to operate, and poetry, music, or whatever gift the Soul bestows flows into the mind to be recorded and expressed. Through study and reflection (Jnana Yoga), contemplation (Raja Yoga), energization and activation of specific vehicles of consciousness (Kundalini Yoga), and anchoring these abilities through attunement (Agni Yoga),these powers are progressively awakened, mastered, and expressed in the personality. [We teach each of these types of meditation in our intermediate classes, the in-person Mudrashram® Master Course in Meditation and the by-mail and online Accelerated Meditation Program.]
  4. The result of the bestowal of a gift by a supernatural agency – As a result of prayer, penance, great charity and good deeds, intense worship, and other means of pleasing the Higher Power, angels, gods, goddesses, or the Divine are held in this view to anchor a gift in the individual during the current life.
  5. Merit based bestowal – In this scenario, the gift is anchored by supernatural agencies prenatally or at birth as a reward for good deeds in past lives. Unlike (4), the individual does nothing to invoke them by prayer, worship, or meritorious deeds in the current life. Also unlike (3), the individual does not perform specialized meditation practices to develop them, either in this or in previous lives.
  6. The result of vehicular awakening – In this model, gifts or powers are automatically bestowed as the Kundalini Shakti opens and awakens higher chakras. Unlike (3) where the powers are progressively refined by meditation practice, then anchored—in this model, the native intelligence of the Kundalini is sufficient to awaken the powers, and they burst forth, fully active, as the progressive rising of the Kundalini force opens the chakra or higher vehicle of consciousness.
  7. The result of spiritual evolution – In this viewpoint, the evolution of the ensouling entity and its vehicles concurrently tunes up the vehicles of the personality, opening the faculties of each vehicle. In this schema, only transformational methods that unfold the spiritual evolutionary potentials of the Soul produce these effects. Meditation practices described in (3) access and awaken faculties that exist in the Superconscious mind, but do not concomitantly unfold the spiritual evolutionary potentials.

In the Mudrashram® System of Integral Meditation, we underscore that genius can be developed as a synergy of methods (3) and (7), and use specific attunement practices to unfold the faculties of the vehicles of the personality (1). We see that genius is the dynamic expression of the Soul’s innate abilities of love, wisdom, and power that are present in the Superconscious mind, and are actively and purposely anchored in the personality.

Bestowal of good fortune from good deeds, spiritual practices, or the beneficence of your Higher Power may underlie your current high intelligence or giftedness in certain areas of human endeavor. We point out, however, that it is possible to develop these capacities further as the consequences of activating your spiritual evolutionary potentials and moving forward the process of refining these abilities by learning selected meditation practices.

The Kundalini will rise and activate powers and abilities naturally as a part of spiritual evolution, as in (6), but we do not advocate heroic measures to attempt to force open these higher centers or chakras. We do advocate the use of the Kundalini to awaken, activate, purify, and ready the higher vehicles for the Soul’s expression—but not as an agency of transformation, which for many individuals, produces imbalances of vehicles and may actively interfere with personality functioning.

Genius and Talent

Talent is a different order of mastery of a skill. Talent may be understood as a step on the path to mastery of the skill, where it becomes fully incorporated into the Soul’s repertoire of abilities.

These stages in the acquisition of talent, genius, and mastery are shown below.

Level of Mind




Initial practice of the skill

Stage of learning


Automatization of parts of the skill

Stage of habit


Easy practice of the skill with creative innovation and style

Stage of talent

Understanding the skill and its acquisition so that you may guide another in gaining talent

Stage of teaching


Gaining unique insights or revelations about the skill so that you are able to advance the skill in new directions, e.g. to invent new derivations or application of the skill

Stage of intuitive revelation

Developing the skill to the point where the Soul can fully express the skill seamlessly, utilizing the faculties of the Superconscious, Metaconscious, Subconscious, and Conscious minds

Stage of genius

Developing the skill to the point where it can be anchored in others as a gift

Stage of Mastery

Gaining access to the Superconscious mind is requisite to develop the three highest aspects of a skill, for which meditation
plays a key role. This aspect of skill mastery transcends the personality by creating a tunnel of ability into the Superconscious mind.

  • When this tunnel is opened all the way to the presence of the Soul, true genius is born.
  • When this tunnel is opened to the presence of the Divine Spirit, which dwells universally in all lives, it bestows the ability to minister the skill as a Grace, a gift, or an empowerment—and it imbues another Soul with ready understanding and insight into the skill. When the skill is developed to this level, this is a sign of Mastery.

Whereas one with talent can train another to express talent, one with Mastery can activate the octaves of the Superconscious and can draw out inspiration and genius in another.

We encourage the reader to reflect upon the possibility of genius and what may bring it to fruition, and the stages of development of a skill.

We propose to you that genius may not be a rare genetic gift bestowed on the few by some special twist of fate, but rather the potential for any of your skills should you devote the time, energy, dedication, discipline, and perseverance to develop it fully—so it may allow your Soul to express through this ability in your human life.