Mar 20 2012

#325 Music Month (20)

From Deborah

Today’s Song/Video: “Run With the Wolf” by Rainbow

Jun 7 2011

#38 “Fooble”

From a stranger in Nashville

Upon examining this illustration, I feel that no one would be able to deny that this wolf is truly unique and creative. The combination of imaginary and somewhat silly features of this creature surely exceeds the reasonable expectations of most viewers.

However, this wolf also got me wondering a little bit. Consider this: Whenever we see something that we claim to be new or unique, or whenever we claim to have thought up something completely original, isn’t it inherently based on things that are already in existence and things that we are already familiar with? In examining this wolf, we see that the final product that is before us (or the combination of all of the individual elements) is something that we have not seen before, but the elements themselves are actually very familiar to us.

It makes you wonder, can you ever give birth to a truly original thought that is not based on knowledge which you already have?

Try this: Imagine the wildest and weirdest looking alien that you can. Now, you might be thinking that the alien has 4 eyes or no eyes or has 6 legs or no legs, or that it speaks English or that it doesn’t speak at all, or any number of possibilities; but no matter what you imagine, it is sure to be based upon a previous or preexisting set of knowledge about the way things work that you already have stored in your brain. Even if you imagine the creature having a million legs and a million eyes, this is not truly original because what you are essentially doing is just editing your previous knowledge of legs and eyes and applying it. Legs and eyes are not new or unique, no matter how many of them you imagine.

Here is another challenge: Try to imagine a color that you have never seen before. Don’t merely imagine a new or a unique shade of a preexisting color; try to imagine a totally new color altogether. Not too easy is it?

I bring all of this up not to take away from the awesome creativity that is displayed in the above illustration, but merely to allow us to expand our intellectual horizons by admitting that we really might only capable of rearranging the knowledge and thoughts that are given to us by the world around us.

… But what do I know? A much wiser man than me by the name of Albert Einstein once said, “Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there will ever be to know and understand.”