What Can Stop an Idea?

What Can Stop an Idea?

Think about all the great minds in history. Albert Einstein for some reason was able to translate mathematics and physics to such an extent that he changed the entire field of science and caused an evolutory splash into the pool of physics and mathematics. Or what about Mary Shelley writing Frankenstein, the first science fiction story? Or Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart somehow had the equipment to translate music in amazingly efficient and beautiful ways, powerful ways that will forever resonate into the human future.

Sometimes it’s difficult to think about actually being one of those so-called great minds. After all, something made them “great.” Was it hard work? Discipline? Luck? Dedication? Knowledge? It’s hard to know exactly, especially when we hear stories about Archimedes having a Eureka! moment in a tub of water, or Isaac Newton observing an apple falling, or Alexander Fleming’s sudden insight about penicillin.

Besides training and learning and educating ourselves to be ready for ideas, we can also think about what might stop us from having them. The question in my mind is: What stops an idea from taking up residence in us?

A Thought Experiment

If you were to look at the realm of ideas from a humanized, living viewpoint, you would see that ideas, concepts, and impressions are actually desperate to find a human being who can give them outplay…

I have a thought experiment question for you: If you were an idea that wanted to manifest in the world, what kind of person would you go to be expressed?

As I imagine into this question, I would think it would depend on what kind of idea you were. If you were a musical idea, you might seek out a musician or a composer. If you wanted to become a painting, you might seek out an artist or someone being artistic. It wouldn’t make sense if you wanted to be a poem, for example, to seek out a coin collector or a hockey player. Ideally, you would seek out a poet, perhaps even a specific type of poet for something as specific as Found Poetry.

If you really wanted to be expressed, you might also try to find the right kind of person in the right moment. For example, a musician holding an instrument or an author holding a pen. And if you were desperate, you might even need to wait for an exact moment, a moment where the recipient person was in a calm, pleasant mood, open-minded and actually wanting to have new ideas. Ideally, you as the idea and the person as the recipient would be a perfect match.

There are a lot of things that could get in the way. If you were too picky as the idea, it might take a long time for you to be expressed. If the person tried to express you sarcastically, maybe you would change your mind. If the recipient had a sudden burst of anger, maybe you would get hurt. If your process of manifesting got interrupted, you might not have the opportunity to become fulfilled. What about the circumstances of the person you would go to? What if the person were in a group of people who were less open-minded? What if those other people attacked you as a fledgling idea?

Barriers to Having an Idea

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and I feel the same way about a good thought experiment. So I will leave it to you to work out exactly what it might mean to think about what could stop you if you were an idea. However, I do want to get a list started, so here is what I jotted down today (in no particular order):

  • Close-Mindedness
  • Sarcasm (hostility disguised as humor)
  • Playing Devil’s Advocate
  • Disagreement
  • Bottom-Lining
  • Inadequate Vocabulary
  • Argumentative Environment
  • Poor Listening
  • Assumptions
  • Lack of Specificity
  • Ambiguousness
  • Thinking Certain Things Are Equal
  • Faulty Foundations
  • Fallacies of Logic
  • Bias
  • Peer Pressure
  • Tradition
  • Habitual Thinking Patterns
  • Incorrect Premises
  • Conformity
  • Egocentrism
  • Socio-Centrism
  • Short-Term Thinking
  • Fear
  • Pre-Conceived Notions
  • Overbearing Emotions

  • Tags

    creative thinking, dialogue, English Class, learning, Socratic Seminar, teaching

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