‘Originality’: “You are unlikely in even a long life to have a single thought, however small, that is wholly original.”
And yet we strive for originality with a rapacious desire, as if in achieving originality we can validate our existence. There seems to be a certain poignancy in the sensation of needing to prove oneself to bring something exclusive and innovative into the world. Yet, I cannot decide whether such a sentiment should evoke more pathos than the fact that people sincerely believe that one’s goal in life should be to achieve self-happiness. True indeed it is that one should, if possible, indulge oneself in bliss and commemorate animation and vitality of life itself, but it also goes perhaps, with the need to say, that self-happiness can never fully be achieved or at the very least left unspoiled for long; it is too ephemeral and relies too dearly on the actions of others to allow it to be sustained for a lifetime (and perhaps some of you would fairly argue that to be engulfed in pleasure forever would diminish the very experience)- no one is self-sufficient and no one, no matter however much we may be able to convince ourselves otherwise, would actually want to accept the full responsibility for our happiness, because then we would only have ourselves to blame when we are periodically not happy, and it seems to be a human tendency to not admit accountability- especially where delegation is not well-defined.
I often find it hard to express my thoughts into coherent sentences, and I guess part of the reason why I am writing this blog is to try and learn a way to do so (yes perhaps with a little eloquence and flare) However language is such an intricate and fascinating construct. It’s like a double-door matrix that exists but at the same time doesn’t exist. Have you ever thought about whether our vocabulary can ever sufficiently express our thoughts and emotions? I am not just referring to how extensive one’s language may be, but rather the denotations of the words themselves. Last year in my Religious Studies class, we briefly looked at the philosophical concept of antirealism. Whilst I have still yet to grasp the entirety of the concept, the core idea seems to be that antirealists hold two principles to be fundamentally true: 1) that nothing exists outside of the mind and 2) that if anything does exist outside of the mind, we have no access to such an independent reality. In this vein, our experience (our senses, perceptions etcetera) is very much constructed on the projection of our mind’s deliberations and thus words themselves are only a projection of the significance our minds attribute to them and who is to say that is one and the same for all. So does that mean the more jargon one acquires the better one is able to express oneself? I think not- it only really superficially makes you sound better to listen to. Nonetheless, studying languages has facilitated me to acknowledge the barriers of expressions that exist between ourselves and others. I could not, at this moment in time, communicate my contemplations in Italian as well as I can in English, nor would I ever dream of attempting to in Latin. The biggest barrier in human life is language itself-yes language is arguably a social construct, but it is not one that can be so easily overcome. There always seems to be a prodding feeling within my mind’s eye that there is a crucial connection lacking between my thoughts and my words. It’s like a loose electrical wire that I just can’t seem to repair.
You’re probably wondering, what then is even the point of writing this blog post, if manifestation is impossible? I guess this is where I make the link back to the original topic of this blog post: originality. Since nothing is really ever original, one can hope that one’s same speculations and philosophies have also circulated through another’s head. Perception of course is coloured by experience and individuality, but ultimately it is our collective experiences of being human which enables use to explore the same feelings, notions and sentiments.
On a final note, if you’ve not yet come to realise how much this blog post is seething with irony, I take this moment now to point it out.