In Basileia, the concept of genius is used, not so much in the populist sense of speaking about someone as having a high IQ, but in the sense of the unique gifting or charism given by God to individuals and collectives. Each individual has a unique kind of genius destined to be cultivated and expressed. Our belonging in order to believe approach to community life aims at identifying and calling forth this unique genius in each person. Historically, “genius” comes from the ancient Roman idea that genius is the manifestation of a transcendent power (which comes from God above as believers acknowledge) that works in and through a person which in turn causes them to transcend their mortal human capabilities. The ancient Egyptians had a similar concept that they called the Ka and which was conceived of as a power that descended on a person from above and which the person acknowledged and responded to by raising ones hands to heaven with arms bent ninety degrees at the elbow. It is our Basileian practice in the Liturgy, during both the Epiclesis and at the commissioning, to assume the Ka posture in acknowledging and responding to the empowerment of the Holy Spirit. John D. Pilkey, in his book The Origin of the Nations (page 232) says, “The power to transcend human personality is as basic to human experience as the image of the rising sun. Our popular English use of the word ‘genius’ shows the result. A ‘genius’ is anyone who has the good fortune to get involved in a task which draws him beyond the limitations of private consciousness. We all experience such activity from time to time but reserve the term ‘genius’ for anyone who sustains such activity long enough to alter the course of history, usually in a beneficent way. The works of ‘genius’ or high spirit invariably result in ‘legend’ or mythology, memories of high achievement which stand out above the ordinary context of mechanical cause and effect.” Our Basileian charism is one that seeks nothing less than the cultivation of each person’s unique genius in the context of the Church as the community of Theosis.

Also see Belong in Order to Believe, Charism, Epic Story, Shine Like the Sun, Theosis.