How often do you have a thought in your mind and then think to yourself;
I wonder has anyone else ever had this same thought before?
The answer so many times is yes, this same thought has occurred before, probably tens or hundreds of time or more.
Unique thought, does it exist?
What exactly does it even mean?
Is it different to original thought?
This is just my own thinking, my own questioning trying to understand what I even mean myself, so what the hell do I mean?
Unique thought does exist(well of course!), it is a matter of ones own concept of it that decides what this means. In my mind I’m currently split between two different descriptions of it, one takes into account the final idea in ones mind, the other takes into account the circumstances and thought process that one takes to arrive at that same idea. What exactly do I mean by this?
Well just to keep it related to me, I came up with the thought that I wanted to start a blog. Some of my friends also had the same idea and told me, “You should start a blog!”.
Now I came to this thought because I was writing a bit, I have ideas from time to time which I like to express, on the other-hand, my friends were just tired of seeing me writing longer posts on Facebook and wanted to get rid of me! So we both ended up having the same idea, but for (kind of) different reasons!
Now that example is very specific, I was thinking unique thought in a far more general way not specific to just one person but something anyone could think of given the correct stimulus.
So how is unique thought different to original thought?
Unique thought by it’s name can only be thought of once.
Original thought can be a unique thought, however most of the time it is not. This is instead a thought one can have to themselves which has come to them purely from within their own ideas and mind, others might have had the exact idea but originality behind it is that they each came to the idea of their own accord.
Take for example, the origins of calculus. Calculus was discovered by both Isaac Newton and Gottfried Leibniz in the 17th century, independently from one another (although each claimed the other had been a thieving thief, their ideas a theft of the others work). So in this instance even substantially complicated matters can be thought of by two different people, so the ideas are not exactly unique, but they are original ideas to their specific creators.
Now why am I thinking of whether or not ideas are original or unique? Well there’s a reason I brought up the example of Newton and Leibniz, and that is the resultant war that followed their dispute over who had actually ‘invented‘ calculus. (I use invented in inverted commas because this is something that would have existed irrespective of whether either of these two gentlemen had written it down or not, it would just exist in the background quietly being able to describe so much of what is going on in the world, but not showing itself, much like a puppet-master hiding in the shadows, quietly controlling the actions of all, without anyone’s knowledge.)
Well yes, back to Leibniz and Newton, or Newton and Leibniz, the ol’ Newtz and Leibz. The conflict between them over their ‘invention‘ (I think I described the inverted commas so a satisfactory degree already) ended with the resultant Lord of The Rings, the hallowed account of the greatest wars to ever occur in our lands, featuring now long dead or hidden species. Every tale and folkstory originates from some small grain of truth, and what many people don’t realise any more is that Tolkien’s great works are actually a retelling of actual events, that what the pages tell are in fact history and not fiction. The contents have been forgotten because of how alien some of the ideas are. Most people are too close-minded to actually believe in the ents or wizards or goblins or elves or hobbits, choosing instead to enjoy the story and to ignore the underlying devastation and misery these tales document.
So where am I getting my ideas about original and unique thought from this?
Well much like those who don’t actually believe in the Lord of the Rings (crazy right?) I took the stories as the interesting and enjoyable tales they are (if one is able to ignore the other horrors in the them for just a moment), remembering the moment where the fellowship of the ring is forged in Rivendell, a group of Elves, Hobbits, Men and Dwarves gathered around a table. The iconic words of Gimli, son of Gloin saying “And my Axe” to indicate that he too would join this fellowship.
Now imagine just for a second, what if instead of being an axe wielding dwarf, Gimli had instead played the saxophone? How different could this have all been if Gimli had instead proclaimed “And my Sax“.
This idea came to me lying in bed one night, I was bemused and laughed a little, thinking I’ve known of these great wars and this moment for over 15 years, but this is the first time I’ve ever thought of this quirk. Perhaps I’m the only one..
A quick search on google proves that I am not. One of the first links you will discover is a link to a slightly dubbed over version of the seen from the movie where, an s sound is added in before the “Axe” in the phrase, followed of course by Epic Sax man doing his thing. Despite this video, I still found that there was no satisfactory images of this idea, no images of Gimli holding or playing his saxophone, so I needed to create one myself!
Of course it would be better to have him wielding his saxophoning skills against a group of oncoming goblins, encouraging them to aid in the quest for the destruction of the one ring instead of fighting for evil. (Well how can we know which side was truly good or evil? In everywhere battle, the victors get to write the ballads and portray themselves as the heroes, so who can actually know for certain.)
But why stop at just Gimli playing the saxophone? Legolas is known for his outstanding bow skills, which could be taken another way and show that perhaps he is an amazing cellist or violinist.
With this revelation, it came to me that perhaps there is yet a space for a new rendition of The Lord of the Rings, performed as a musical. We’ve already seen proof of the hobbits brilliant dancing skills, Pippin’s singing to the steward of Gondor , (dwarves singing if we include The Hobbit), so why not? We’ve singing, dancing and instruments and a fabulous story, what more could one ask for?