Saturday, February 13, 2010

Thought Casserole

I’ve probably never had an original thought.
But, most likely, I think of different things than you do.
And that makes my thoughts worth expressing. The same is true of yours.
You think of different things than me.

I know a lot of smart people, but I’m not sure I know anybody who’s ever expressed an original thought. Those kinds of thoughts are hard to come by. Every once in a while, what I think is one, will emerge, and I’ll pause to consider it, thinking it actually might be mine, but really, inside, I know it’s not. I know it must have escaped from the ‘Vault of Original Thought’ somewhere along the way, and I picked up on it, or it picked up on me. I’m not sure which.

Thinking is like one’s relationship to color. In determining what color somebody might like to paint something, that person will scan his memory for the colors he has seen before, the colors he is already aware of, and then he’ll choose one that expresses his intent. We paint with the colors already on our mental pallet. Occasionally we’ll ‘create’ a new color, but it is always the result of mixing two or more colors that are already in existence for us.

Our thoughts are most always built the same way. They are created from what we already know. We pick up thoughts from many people, and from many different places. We recycle them in our daily mental process. We mix many of them together as well, but the resultant thinking is always a product of those pre-existing thoughts. Some could argue that the ‘thought casserole’ is, in itself, now, original thought.
But I don’t think so.

Maybe the one original thought I HAVE had is that ‘I’ve probably never had an original thought’.

Not that any of this matters.