Original Ideas

Question of the Day, May 22-23, 2015, Original Idea?

“If you do not express your own original ideas, if you do not listen to your own being, you will have betrayed yourself.” Rollo May

Do we have our own original thoughts and Ideas or do they arrive from other sources only to be expressed from our own experience as Original to us?

I agree with most of what everyone else has said already.

It seems very clear that the concepts we have and the words we use to express them evolve in a dance with our physical reality, our culture, our neural networks, our personal experiences, and a myriad of other subtle and not so subtle influences at many different levels (chemical, physical, biological, social, and into potentially infinitely recursive abstract spaces {spiritual}).

It seems clear that once an individual takes their personal explorations sufficiently beyond the frontiers of prior social exploration, then the ease of communication about the results of those explorations degrades rapidly – one must talk in analogies and parables that attempt to give some hint to others that there is something out there beyond the “known frontier” that is worth making the effort to explore.

This applies as much to the process of knowing, and understanding understanding itself as it does to any other aspect of the infinity of infinities available to be explored.

Simplistic concepts of truth must give way to probabilities, if one is to make any sense at all of the constantly evolving ground of understanding that one encounters on the journey.

Any infinity demands of us radical tolerance, an infinity of infinities demands a radical acceptance that closely approximates historical concepts of grace.

When all is uncertain, all any of us has is degrees of confidence.

In this vast complexity, making sense of anything demands the use simplifying heuristics – whether we are conscious of them or not.

In this context, it seems that the modes of storage and retrieval of information used by our subconscious brains create for us original ideas many times every second, and we are conditioned by many processes in life to ignore most of them. The power of that set of subconscious hardware and software upon which our conscious experience is built appears to be so far beyond the power of our rational consciousness that it can certainly appear all powerful and all knowing, and in respect of our experiential reality, it certainly is – as it seems that it creates our experiential world from a mix of past experiences and present sensory information.

So it seems that we all have original thoughts, experiences and intuitions many times a second, and for most people their neural networks learn to filter those down to ones that will gather social agreement.

Some of us grew up without getting much in the way of social agreement, and are happy operating outside of social norms and social agreement; and that does make communication extremely difficult in some situations – particularly in situations of non-trivial complexity that result from a few decades of such explorations.

About Ted Howard NZ

Seems like I might be a cancer survivor. Thinking about the systemic incentives within the world we find ourselves in, and how we might adjust them to provide an environment that supports everyone (no exceptions) - see www.tedhowardnz.com/money
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