The Buddha as an Innovator Genius

21 Oct

In the four books I have written, I have shown how, in modern terms, the Buddha’s teachings can easily be called a doctrine of Transcendent Psychology that has a universal application for the wellbeing, wisdom and happiness for all human beings. As an innovator, the Buddha reworked and cut through the routinized cultural forms of spiritual meanings of his time. This began with his search for meaning that stemmed from his deep individual need as a way of resolving his own aesthetic tension according to his unique history. As a genius he reworked meaning into a result that the whole culture could and can share. He made a personal resolution that has been utilized by others for centuries.  As a genius, he carried society forward with him allowing others to experience the triumph of his insights. He altered the standards of meanings and created far-reaching psychological understandings and innovations.

The tensions of his whole life situation could not be resolved by the standard world view and he could no longer be nourished from the culture’s symbol systems offered to him at that particular historical time and place.  Through the Buddha’s genius was a creative solution of the problem of suffering – a liberation. This type of innovator is usually not radical by intent but rather in their effect. He was not at first trying to create innovation in the common external world but only in his thoughts and behavior. Siddhārtha, the pre-Buddha, wanted to first set his world right then he gave the world his private insights and program – The Eightfold Path. As an innovator he began timidly, not as a world shaker. However, after offering up his insights and finding acceptance, the Buddha moved forward over the conventional systems of culture with new meanings. The Buddha’s supremely private achievement became the highest public good.

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