Quirks, Very Little Sleep, and Introspection on Genius

Einstein took his sailboat on the waters when there was NO wind. “I like the challenge,” he’d say.

Nicola Tesla (inventor of wireless radio and AC generator)  was often referred to as a ‘mad scientist.’ Interestingly he had both an eidetic ( total recall of images, sounds and objects, i.e. memorizing whole books, etc.) and photographic memory. He also had what is known today as Obsessive Compulsive disorder. It got so bad (the OCD) that he could not touch jewelry or round things. Now that’s an oddism! He had a peculiar fixation for walking around a block exactly three times before entering a building and liked numbers especially divisible by three. For example he liked 18 napkins to polish his silver; no more or less.

How about the brilliant John Nash (who discovered non-cooperative equilibria. No I can’t explain what that is, suffice to say that in the field of mathematics he was genius). Oh he had peculiarities too, which may in part or wholly be because of a diagnosis of paranoid schizophrenia. He thought for example, that all men wearing red ties were “out to get him.” He was quoted as having said, “It’s just a matter of living a quiet life.”

Ever hear of  Oliver Heaviside? He was a Victorian mathematician and electrical researcher who painted his nails bright pink, signed his correspondence “W.O.R.M.”, and cruelly kept the woman charged with his care a virtual prisoner in her own house, later driving her into catatonia. I recommend the book: “Strange Brains and Genius” by Clifford Pickover for more on the strangely gifted.

Truman Capote used to say he was a completely “horizontal thinker,” claiming he couldn’t write unless he was laying down.

Da Vinci, Tesla, and Thomas Edison, among other geniuses are reported to have gotten by on very little sleep.Well, there you go! I’m an insomniac with some serious quirks. How about you? I did some research for this blog but it’s less like learning and more like attempting to understand what makes us all human. I’ll leave you today with this quote from Gabrielle Roth (she does a sort of higher consciousness-type video).:

In many Shamanic societies, if you went to a medicine person complaining of being disheartened, dispirited, depressed…they would ask you

“When did you stop singing?

When did you stop dancing?

When did you stop being enchanted by stories?

When did you stop finding comfort in the sweet territory of silence?”

I leave you with that because you may say, ‘What does that have to do with the rest of this blog?’

And my answer is, you decide. That’s my point.Image

(photo: Tesla)

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