On the Illusion of Original Thought

“We are nothing but echoes. We have no thoughts of our own, no opinions of our own, we are but a compost heap made up of the decayed heredities, moral and physical.”
-Mark Twain

We may believe that we’ve whistled a new tune or scratched out a new phrase more beautiful or clever than anyone thought to do before. We are but fooling ourselves and have only to thank all who have gone before us, throughout the long eons of time, for such foolishness.

3 thoughts on “On the Illusion of Original Thought

  1. Original thoughts are so commonplace we mistake them for thinking, day dreaming, or just nostalgia. All our experiences are unique, reviewed in a singular manner, the only manner of thought; therefore, as we die alone so do we think alone, originally and selfishly just me.

  2. A thought is tied to a string of personal memories, biased and uniquely yours. Original in every sense. Why do you suppose we argue about the meaning of a phrase, joke, or passage in a bible? Because our conceptual reality is weighed heavily by our physical experience, our memories. Think and be original.

  3. I hope there is no confusion between original thought and enlightenment. Of course there probably is no compilation of words or thought that have not happened before at some point in the history of mankind. However, in our quest for the understanding of ourselves and the world we live in, our minds can become clearer about things that have been right before us all the time. Is that clarity, enlightenment or an original thought? It may be original to the individual thinking it.
    By the way, is there a finite number of original thoughts? Have all the truths in the universe been exposed. And if so, who drew the cut off line?

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