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Is it possible to have an entirely original thought?

The other day I tested this by trying to think of a colour that didn't already exist, I came up with combinations of colours but I could not come up with an entirely original colour. This made me think that we are restricted to what we know to some degree, no matter how open minded we may think ourselves to be.

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    Feb 23 2013: It is possible but then it is impossible to communicate this with anyone.

    With every attempt to display that thought or rather that mental image you call up images with the listener that are known to them. They first have to listen with a blank mind without reflecting on it and construct that image solely from the description you give.
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      Feb 23 2013: I have an entirely original thought Frans....it's GREAT to see your smiling face!!!

      Good point Frans.....if we have an original thought, we may not be able to express it because we need to use known expressions and communication skills. That changes the dynamic of anything being original?

      I tend to believe that all information is recycled, sometimes in different forms, so your perception sounds logical to me:>)
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        Feb 24 2013: Thank you Colleen!

        We both keep smiling and so the world smiles back at us.

        Within the mental realm all thought is one construct assembled from countless impressions of the senses, designed in a way that we can survive and thrive. This construct is time based and shared by means of language that represent its parts. Parts that can be recycled, reorganized and replaced to have a more accurate view on our world. By acting on that view the world reflects the flaws and failures of any thought as experience from which we learn and reshape future behaviour.

        The moment consciousness isn’t fed any longer by sensory input and diverts from the world, it wanders to another realm that we could call spiritual. Here no thoughts exist but direct experience is made without any control of our thinking identity, almost like in a dream. From there we can capture visions, new to the world and integrate them into our thoughts afterward. This realm I call spiritual and is not time based nor is locally bound to any place. Visions from that spiritual realm can be as complex or much containing that the mind would be overloaded as it would try to express it in any language. The difference between those two realms can be figuratively seen as the different viewpoints an eagle has in the air from the ant that struggles through the grasses.

        Within ancient and what we now call primitive cultures there always were technics to initiate all members by introducing them into that spiritual world by means of drugs or fastening , fear and/or pain, seclusion and so on to get a person diverted and out of his or her body and lose all controls. That’s why it is said that to find one self you have to lose yourself first. Nowadays I think most of that knowledge is gone, cultures are distorted and what’s left are practices of torture, abuse and superstition
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          Mar 3 2013: Frans,
          Yes indeed...we both keep smiling and the world smiles back....I LOVE it!

          Your mention of ancient cultures, and the topic..."an entirely original thought", reminds me of what I have observed while traveling in various parts of our world, learning about ancient cultures.

          It always amazes me that people in different parts of the world, have similarities in music, dances, structures, cooking impliments, tools, etc. They were obviously very seperated physically, and apparently had many of the same ideas that were "original" to themselves and their particular culture. The "original thoughts" were manifesting in many different places, at the same time in ancient history, even though the people were not connected.....fascinating!
  • Feb 22 2013: Yes. Consider what humankind knows and have accomplished up to today compared with 10,000 years ago. (Pick a different time period if you wish.) It is reasonable to assume somebody had a new, original thought that resulted in action or development.

    Are humans able to experience new and original thoughts that harm people? Yes, but those new original thoughts that help humankind for good are better and they are admired and valued for sharing with subsequent generations.

    Rest assured! You will have new thoughts for you! Be creative and you will think of something someone never experienced before that you can write while sharing with others.

    What new thoughts would be good for you?
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    Feb 25 2013: @ Edward Long : Analogy is an attempt to draw parallels between two SEEMINGLY different things. The supplied link explains the concept of infinite regress as a valid logic with examples. It's our choice whether or not to accept it. I do. You don't.
    Why everything has to have an origin? Just because we see new things coming out? We have no proof in support of our claim that EVERYTHING has an origin. We simply presume it as a notion.
    We also have notions like : the same thing cannot occupy two different locations in space at same point in time or two different things cannot occupy same location in space in same point of time because we do not observe otherwise. Our observation capability is limited and incomplete and is no guarantee of being proving right.
    So as long as I am not convinced that everything HAS to have an origin, I prefer to remain skeptical. I know that many prefer to believe that the universe has it's origin in divine creation but that appears to me an utterly uninteresting opening of an otherwise interesting story.
    Cheers.
    • Feb 25 2013: Really nice point. There's a lot to be said for the infinite creativity of the universe, where it ends and begins seems impossible to find.
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    Feb 24 2013: It is not possible to falsify the possibility of original thought. So, yes.
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    Feb 23 2013: To be entirely original one needs to create an origin. No origin can be perceived without a frame of reference which contains the origin as one of it's co-ordinate such that the reference frame itself will be more original than the origin. The reference frame will then require another frame of reference to be cognizable. That's an endless regression. So logically there cannot be an entirely original thought.
    Improvisations are mistaken as original thoughts.
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      Feb 23 2013: Good to see your smiling face too Pabitra....love the new glasses:>)

      You make a good point too Pabitra..."original" needs an origin....no origin can be perceived without a frame of reference. What we may think of as original thoughts have a foundation/origin and we are building on them?
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        Feb 23 2013: I was spending some quiet time in my study window when a queer thought struck me. I looked at my clothes and saw generations of people weaving threads, running looms, sewing pieces of cloth yet the brand calls it original. I looked at my table: the wood, the lumberjacks, the sawmills and the carpenters started moving before me like a procession. The paper, the tea, the house, the radio, the people all around me seemed to me as stills of a great movie.
        So I asked, what is original? The music of my favorite artist? Is she not, unknowingly, made up of her own story I just realized?
        To start with, the thought made me sad. My poems are not original too. I wrote them but my life wrote me, my society wrote my life.... who wrote the poetry then?
        But when I think, I feel relieved. It so much tore apart my ego. I can still love to be a single note of this gigantic orchestra.

        Thanks for the compliments. Sumana says my lips are rather sensuous. :D
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      Feb 24 2013: Isn't infinite regression generally accepted, though not proven to be, impossible? Are you suggesting this is proof of it?
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        Feb 24 2013: No. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Infinite_regress
        You easily have an infinite regress of receding images if you put two plane mirrors parallel facing each other. Of course resolution puts a practical end to it, but in pure abstraction the regress continues ad infinitum.
        I was drawing analogy, not proof.
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          Feb 24 2013: An analogy is stated as reference to a similarity between things which are otherwise dissimilar. Your phrase reads: "That's an endless regression." which contains no stated comparison to anything. How is that an analogy? I see nothing in the link which supports the concept of infinite (endless) regression? Everything has a origin. That includes every thought. There must be an original thought because it cannot logically be said, " Thought #1 caused Thought #2, which caused Thought #3, etc. ad infinitum, without addressing the question, "What caused Thought #1?"
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    Feb 23 2013: Human beings are spiritual beings. It is not possible for some to have a thought or idea that is exclusively theirs.
    It is just that some people dream/think/concieve and stop there; some others work hard to bring the unseen to life.
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    Feb 23 2013: I would think so, after all each one of us is an original being, not quite like anyone else who has existed or now exists.
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    Feb 22 2013: It is usually said that our thoughts are combinatorial. That is to say we construct our ideas from other ideas and observations we have made.

    So it all depends on what you mean by entirely original.
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    Mar 8 2013: Yes, you can when you attain "Enlightenment". The color palette has a range and we see within that range. You cannot name a color which you haven't seen/thought so let's stay with the world because there are millions of color combinations...
  • Mar 6 2013: Abigail, that is a really good and important metaphysical question. Are colors a priori or a posteriori knowledge? What is it real, what we think or what we experience; in this case by our eyes?

    Now, colors by humans are different than colors to others animals because human eyes are limited to just the visible spectrum of light. There are other colors we haven't experience or see. The question I guess would be, how identical is the color that you are thinking to the color that you experience or see. Are they exactly the same, how can you measure the difference and if there is a difference, then you have two colors in front of you, now, which one is real or which one is the entirely original one: the one that you think (a priori) or the one that you see (a posteriori)?
  • Mar 6 2013: NOPE! everything you have ever learned is what makes your creative what makes other more creative than the rest is their ability to choose the correct bits of information and can arrange it well
    here's an example let's say we have a child just born and we put him into a locked box with no color and we have a needle give him nutrients. could this kid step out of there stand next to a blank canvas in a blank room and draw a picture with a pencil? (even if he knew how to use a pencil) NO well maybe he could draw the easel or whatever is right in front of him but nothing creative
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    Mar 5 2013: An original thought is a feeling that is explained with a combination of not so original words.
    Cheers
  • Feb 27 2013: As Fritzie has pointed out, this depends on what you mean by "entirely original."

    When Einstein developed the Theory of Relativity, was that thought entirely original? How about Darwin's Theory of Evolution? When Jesus taught that we should love our enemies, it is entirely possible that no one had ever thought this before.
  • Feb 24 2013: What entirely original thoughts have you had? (not based on prior knowledge)
  • Feb 24 2013: Yes it is possible to have an entirely original idea. You being unable to think up a completely brand new colour is probably due to the fact that colours don't actually exist, they are merely tricks of light. There is only certain colours visible to us as they are in our spectrum. People who are colour-blind have a limited colour spectrum available to them therefore they cannot see certain colours. Therefore coming up with a brand new colour is most likely impossible. You can however have an entirely original idea/thought for example certain inventions and innovations. Art movements and one-off pieces.
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    Gail .

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    Feb 23 2013: I perceive thoughts and ideas differently than most, so MY answer is partly yes and partly no.

    I perceive ideas (that are composed of thoughts) as being superimposed upon multi-dimensional geometric structures - that are themselves thoughts of larger geometric structures. Given this, the substrate of an idea is not original, but you can color the spaces in as you choose.

    In this way, there is nothing new in the multiverse because the substrate is established. But as learning grows, new ways to color it is not only possible, but evident. Take Einstein, for instance. He reinvented physics and changed our common understanding of how reality works. The question remains, however: Did he "remember" it or did he "invent" it?

    Evolution is evidence of new ways to color the substrates if, as I believe, if it exists, it is sentient and in control of its destiny.
  • Feb 23 2013: perhaps if we knew all knowledge that had gone before us, we could come up with something truly original, however, i have doubts, an example would be :

    Solar panels use sunlight ....., if we split the sunlight into its seperated colour spectrum, through a prism, tested each colour, which one would be the most productive for various power productions, PV solar, heat, lighting, and then could each of those be split again into their seperate ones, etc.....

    thought about this years ago, but i bet its been done somewhere......right?
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    Feb 23 2013: Yes.
    You can "not come up with an entirely original color"
    because our brain process the existing data first and then produces the thought.
    We can not obtain any original thought from no data.

    "We are restricted to what we know", including those in our DNA.
    .
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    Feb 22 2013: Well, I believe we are just complex computers. I mean, we get data, we analyze, and react. So, what can our reactions be independent of data that we get ?
    I mean, a computer gets binary data, and gives a different version of binary data, too. So we are. I think even our dreams in the sleep are made of what we have observed during the day.
    But it does not mean we are limited, you know, we do not live in a quantified world. We can chop it limitless times. I mean, we have limited range of colors, and they are combination of each other (if you do not count infrared and ultraviolett ones) but still we can limitless colours that are combination of each other.
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      Feb 23 2013: .
      Yes, you are right!
      Our brain is a computer made from living cells.

      (See my comment today herein)