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Think Like Da Vinci: 7 Easy Steps to Boosting Your Everyday Genius

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Язык: Английский
Год издания: 2018 год
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      Think Like Da Vinci: 7 Easy Steps to Boosting Your Everyday Genius
Michael Gelb

Литагент HarperCollins

THINK LIKE DA VINCI

7 EASY STEPS TO BOOSTING YOUR EVERYDAY GENIUS

MICHAEL GELB

Dedication (#ulink_134bd6d7-b3f3-5ae9-9a09-f6b9b03c337b)

This book is dedicated tothe Da Vincian Spirit manifested inthe life and work of Charles Dent.

Contents

Cover (#u8a175fc9-0534-5e59-85c3-9a2bf305c9c6)

Title Page (#u4a363786-9edc-5505-98c4-0e5dbba5a895)

Dedication (#udac770ec-b438-5e87-89f0-9982598c8623)

Preface: “Born of the Sun” (#u89d1325f-362b-5c8d-aeef-584d22807713)

Preface to the New Edition (#u1cf11f65-3919-5ede-86d9-e9a4235eaa87)

PART ONE (#uf7e48725-3e7f-52f5-8db8-4e082cfe672f)

Introduction: Your Brain Is Much Better than You Think (#u957cbc43-9414-5e33-8d64-f37e94f4a9a8)

Learning from Leonardo (#ulink_f42f86e4-e765-5892-8263-09c5fca0396f)

A Practical Approach to Genius (#ulink_ac7e3e2a-c0a0-5949-9b09-029a4a7e3b7b)

The Renaissance, Then and Now (#u8a834cf4-0ba3-5104-9ecc-95c23cb9dea8)

The Life of Leonardo da Vinci (#ub92a1d1d-c8ab-52a4-add4-2993744c45b4)

Major Accomplishments (#ulink_eff9cd9b-9e4e-5e5b-b751-ab0cc3a260d7)

PART TWO The Seven Da Vincian Principles (#uadf73765-36de-5e0e-bcba-ca6fb631bda8)

Curiosit? (#u4c5a3e48-bc89-5e28-8417-f76e67a91608)

Dimostrazione (#litres_trial_promo)

Sensazione (#litres_trial_promo)

Sfumato (#litres_trial_promo)

Arte/Scienza (#litres_trial_promo)

Corporalita (#litres_trial_promo)

Connessione (#litres_trial_promo)

Conclusion: Leonardo’s Legacy (#litres_trial_promo)

PART THREE (#litres_trial_promo)

The Beginner’s da Vinci Drawing Course (#litres_trial_promo)

Leonardo Da Vinci Chronology: Life and Times (#litres_trial_promo)

Recommended Reading (#litres_trial_promo)

List of Illustrations (#litres_trial_promo)

Acknowledgments (#litres_trial_promo)

About the Author (#litres_trial_promo)

Copyright (#litres_trial_promo)

About the Publisher (#litres_trial_promo)

Preface: “Born of the Sun” (#ulink_ba626098-9489-5c91-b183-501d71ff292b)

Think of your greatest heroes and heroines, your most inspirational role models. Maybe, if you are very lucky, the list includes your mom or dad. Perhaps you are most inspired by great figures from history. Immersing yourself in the life and work of great artists, leaders, scholars, and spiritual teachers provides rich nourishment for the mind and heart. Chances are, you picked up this book because you recognize Leonardo as an archetype of human potential and you are intrigued by the possibility of a more intimate relationship with him.

When I was a child, Superman and Leonardo da Vinci were my heroes. While the “Man of Steel” fell by the wayside, my fascination with Da Vinci continued to grow. Then, in the spring of 1994, I received an invitation to visit Florence to speak to a prestigious and notoriously demanding association of company presidents. The group chairman asked, “Could you prepare something for our members on how to be more creative and balanced, personally and professionally? Something that will point them in the direction of becoming Renaissance men and women?” In a heartbeat I responded with my dream: “How about something on thinking like Leonardo da Vinci?”

It was not an assignment I could take lightly. My students would already have paid substantial fees to attend the six-day “university,” one of several opportunities the society offers its members each year to meet in the world’s great cities to explore history, culture, and business while pursuing personal and professional development. Given the chance to choose among several concurrent classes – mine was running at the same time as five others, including one taught by former Fiat president Giovanni Agnelli – members were invited to rate each speaker on a scale of one to ten and were encouraged to walk out of any presentation they didn’t like. In other words, if they don’t like you, they chew you up and spit you out!

Despite my lifelong fascination with my new topic, I knew I had work to do. In addition to intensive reading, my preparation included a Da Vinci pilgrimage, beginning with a visit to Leonardo’s Portrait of Ginevra De’ Benci at the National Gallery in Washington, D.C. In New York, I caught up with the traveling “Codex Leicester” exhibit sponsored by Bill Gates and Microsoft. Then to London to see the manuscripts in the British Museum, The Virgin and Child with St. Anne at the National Gallery, and to the Louvre in Paris to spend a few days with Mona Lisa and St. John the Baptist. The highlight of this pilgrimage, however, was visiting the ch?teau of Cloux near Amboise, where Da Vinci spent the last few years of his life. The ch?teau is now a Da Vinci museum, with amazing replicas of some of Leonardo’s inventions crafted by engineers from IBM. Walking the grounds that he walked, sitting in his study and standing in his bedroom, looking out his window, seeing the view that he gazed at every day, I felt my heart overflow with awe, reverence, wonder, sadness, and gratitude.

Of course, I went on to visit Florence, where, eventually, I gave my talk to the presidents. The fun began when the person introducing me confused her notes on my biography with the paper I had submitted on Da Vinci. She said – and I am not, to quote Dave Barry, making this up – “Ladies and gentlemen, I am extremely privileged today to introduce to you an individual whose background surpasses anything I have ever encountered: anatomist, architect, botanist, city planner, costume and stage designer, chef, humorist, engineer, equestrian, inventor, geographer, geologist, mathematician, military scientist, musician, painter, philosopher, physicist and raconteur … Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to present … Mr. Michael Gelb!”

Ah, if only …

Well, the talk was a success (no one walked out), and it gave birth to the book you hold in your hands.

Before that unforgettable introduction, one of the members approached me and said, “I don’t believe that anyone can learn to be like Leonardo da Vinci, but I’m going to your lecture anyway.” You may be thinking something similar: Is the premise of this book that every child is born with the capacities and gifts of Leonardo da Vinci? Does the author really believe that we can all be geniuses of Da Vinci’s stature? Well, actually, no. Despite decades devoted to discovering the full scope of human potential and how to awaken it, I side with Da Vinci’s disciple Francesco Melzi, who wrote on the occasion of the maestro’s death: “The loss of such a man is mourned by all, for it is not in the power of Nature to create another.” As I learn more about Da Vinci, my sense of awe and mystery multiplies. All great geniuses are unique, and Leonardo was, perhaps, the greatest of all geniuses.

But the key question remains, Can the fundamentals of Leonardo’s approach to learning and the cultivation of intelligence be abstracted and applied to inspire and guide us toward the realization of our own full potential?

Of course, my answer to this question is: Yes! The essential elements of Leonardo da Vinci’s approach to learning and the cultivation of intelligence are quite clear and can be studied, emulated, and applied.

Is it hubris to imagine that we can learn to be like the greatest of all geniuses? Perhaps. It’s better to think of his example guiding us to be more of what we truly are.

This is a guidebook, inspired by one of history’s great souls, for that journey. An invitation to breathe the vivid air, to feel the fire in your heart’s centre, and the full flowering of your spirit.

Michael J. Gelb

January 1998

Preface to the New Edition (#ulink_1c8e7aec-bd86-5ee5-b3ea-95ba04aeb635)

On July 15, 2003, I had the delightful opportunity to speak with the audience at the 2nd Stage Theater in New York City following a sold-out performance of Mary Zimmerman’s brilliant play The Notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci. One of the questions from the audience may reflect something in your mind as you hold this book in your hands: “How can the scope and depth of Leonardo’s genius be understood and why does his influence seem to be growing?”

We can speculate about the origins of Leonardo’s unparalleled genius, but the more we learn about him the more the mystery seems to grow. And so does his influence, even in popular culture. In the opening scene of the major motion picture The Italian Job rapper turned actor Mos Def walks along the canal in Venice reading this book. Def shows it to one of his partners in crime, played by Jason Statham, and explains why Leonardo is so “cool.” The maestro also stars in Dan Brown’s best-selling mystery novel The Da Vinci Code, and makes cameo appearances in various episodes of Star Trek as a holographic adviser to the captain of the Enterprise.

This universal fascination with the supreme man of the Renaissance reflects a more personal, intuitive inkling about our own possibilities for creative expression. Beyond all his stellar achievements, Leonardo da Vinci serves as a global archetype of human potential. Since this book was first published in 1998, it’s been translated into 18 languages and I’ve heard from enthusiasts around the world. A Polish elementary school teacher uses the seven principles to organize her class curriculum. The head of strategy for a major London-based consulting firm discovered that Leonardo was an invaluable ally in helping his multinational clients solve some of their most important business problems. And a 32-year-old father from Tennessee commented, “This book gave me everything I always wanted to teach my children but didn’t have the words to say.”

One of my favorite bits of feedback came from renowned anthropologist, visionary, author and shaman Jean Houston. A modern Renaissance woman, Jean serves as an adviser to world leaders on accessing the essential wisdom of the universal archetypes expressed in diverse cultures and traditions. About a year after Think Like Da Vinci was first published I was invited to speak to a group of 500 psychotherapists in Washington, D.C. After the presentation, Jean, who was also there to address the conference, appeared and whispered in my ear, “Leonardo is very pleased.”

It’s easy to imagine Leonardo’s pleasure when Ricardo Muti conducted Beethoven’s Fifth in tribute to him at La Scala in September of 1999. The celebration took place exactly 500 years after the day when the model for Leonardo da Vinci’s magnificent 24-foot-tall equestrian sculpture was destroyed by invading French troops. Now, the “Lost Horse” was being resurrected in Milan, and after leaving the concert one could almost see the smile in the eyes of the statue of Leonardo which graces the center of the La Scala square.

The rebirth of the Horse began in the imagination of a former airline pilot and art collector, Charles Dent, to whom this book is dedicated. Although he died in 1994, Dent’s work continued through the non-profit organization he founded. Honoring a promise made to Dent on his deathbed, the board of Leonardo da Vinci’s Horse, Inc. led a coalition of donors, artists, metallurgists, volunteers and scholars in fulfilling this dream. Sculpted by Nina Akamu, the majestic Horse stands proudly in Milan with a second full size casting in the Fredrik Meijer Gardens in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Smaller scale bronze replicas also adorn Leonardo’s hometown of Vinci, Italy and the Dent family hometown of Allentown, PA.
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