As someone who deals with ideas all the times, I have been observing a relatively strange phenomena. Someone famously said that there are no new ideas, everything that has been thought of, was already thought of originally. So what are we doing exactly? In my creative writing class, a few years back, I wrote a story. One of my fellow writers commented that he knew where the idea had come from. I was furious and flabbergasted. You see we had been given a theme and I had spent months coming up with that story. To be accused blatantly like that was nerve racking. Out of curiosity, I followed the links that he had sent, and to my surprise came to know that a similar idea had been treated in a film, but very differently. I was stunned and, amused at the same time. Stunned, cause I had never even heard of the movie, and amused, because I seemed to have proved, inadvertently, that great minds think alike.
A few months back, in a Sunday magazine of a newspaper I greatly admire, I came across a piece written by this journalist, discussing the same idea. I was surprised again, since I had been mulling over this thought for a while, and was bemused to see someone actually write on it. It made two things evident, one: I need to act on my ideas, and fast; two: this is a phenomena.
Is it really true that all original ideas seem to have been thought of by someone at least once? I wonder if that is across the centuries, or a generation. It also throws up a new line of thought, how do invention and discoveries come about? Is it true that we humans prove the universal law of “an idea whose time has come”. There may be someone thinking on an idea, while another might be actively pursuing it. Is it a matter of risk taking versus over thinking? Some of us may be victims of the “Hamlet” syndrome, while others, like adventurers, maybe pursuing their smallest whims and fancies.
It could also be that we, as part of a collective consciousness, help each other to bring it about. I know this is truly far-fetched. But so interesting isn’t it.