Resistance's goal is not to wound or disable. Resistance aims to kill. Its target is the epicenter of our being: our genius, our soul, the unique and priceless gift we were put on earth to give and that no one else has but us. Resistance means business. When we fight it, we are in a war to the death.
Steven Pressfield, from The War of Art

My question is, what it meant when the author said "priceless gift we were put on earth to give and that no one else has but us", what is it that he meant by "give", give what exactly?

  • Is Wikipedia helpful? Commented Mar 15, 2019 at 19:59
  • It doesn't really show what he meant by "give".. I am only asking because a friend of mine wants to translate it, and doesn't know whether or not the author meant that we are given genius or sourl, or what is given here something not specified exactly
    – Friedrich
    Commented Mar 15, 2019 at 22:30

1 Answer 1


The object of ‘give’ is ‘our genius, our soul’ but this doesn’t make sense literally: how can we give our genius? One of the themes of the book is human creativity (and the forces which oppose it, which Pressfield personifies as ‘Resistance’) so the object of ‘give’ must be understood to be the products or works of genius, not genius itself.

There is no mention of whom these works of genius are to be given, so we have to deduce the recipient: something like ‘to the world’ or ‘to the public’ must be understood.

So I would paraphrase this sentence as, “Resistance’s target is the epicentre of our being, our genius or soul: this is a unique and priceless gift; we were put on earth to give its products to the world; and no-one else has it except us.”

Considered charitably, we might describe Pressfield’s version of the sentence as a combination of metonymy (whereby ‘genius’ is used with the meaning ‘product of genius’) and pun (whereby ‘genius’ appears once but is used with two different meanings). Considered uncharitably, we might say that the author allowed his figures of speech to run away with him.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.