Tuesday, January 13, 2004

Current mood- Not so good. Pretty crummy actually. But there isn't a lot that can be done about it, so.... there are a lot of other thoughts rolling through my head. Such as:

Originality- It's something I've always placed a very high value on. I used to go out of my way to be just as weird and unconventional as I could possibly be and get away with. It's on par with intelligence as far as importance goes, though I suppose there's some crossover between the two, because it seems to me that intelligence requires at least some originality in the thought processes. I'm digressing. What I wonder every so often is whether we have the capacity to be truly original, or do we simply blend and tweak the familiar and known slightly beyond what is expected? Take plagarism (sp?) : don't most artists mimic and copy something they've seen? If not other art, then nature, the shapes of architecture, etc? Ah- there is the abstract; but isn't this influenced as well by the input that has already entered our minds? It has to be, right? How much of what we come up with is truly unique? I'm thinking not much. Then again- Salvador Dali comes to mind. I love this quote of his- "The only difference between me and a madman is that I'm not mad."

So anyway, back to what I was saying, I think that maybe the deal is that even though a particular train of thought may not be truly original (i.e. it has been thought of before by others), it becomes so when you make it your own by having thought it through and aligning or contrasting it with the other data in your mind. What 's really dangerous are the people who simply take in what they've heard or been taught without assimilating it or even being aware.

Now, this leads me to another tangent. How many people *are* aware, in the sense that they question and think about stuff? My main gripe with TV is the propensity that people have to rely on it for entertainment (rather than imagination) and information (which they rarely critique). Even books can take on this role. Nothing irritates me in quite the same way as to hear someone spouting off quotes from some book as though it's the blessed truth, even a book that has merit. I mean, if they quote from it because they found some passage interesting or personally meaningful, that's one thing, but to say; "well, Edgar Cayce says....." or, "The book of New Age Enlightenment says...." just irks the heck out of me. It's nigh impossible to have a good conversation with such people. They don't really *think*.

So- can people actually be original? If you took someone and alienated them from all human data, what kind of things would they think, assuming they lived and weren't so dysfunctional as to be non-human...would that be possible? I don't think so. All we can do is to take what we have and add it together, or subtract, etc. But from whence do the leaps of genius come? Those, are they simply stretching what's available beyond what most are accustomed to (which actually wouldn't be hard, if you think about it..)?? Or?

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