Nothing new under the sun?

Am I futile and useless and full of air? I feel so! It seems that every idea that springs bright and lively from my soul is but a reflection of another’s antedating concept. In considering the problem of spirit and matter I came to conclude that they are one, and only opposite ends of the same spectrum; Conway and Leibniz preceded me.

As to the relation of God to the universe, I concluded that all is in God and that God is no object; again Conway and Leibniz, and Berdyaev too preceded me.

When pondering how a nation ought to be governed I thought that to balance excellence and liberty, the best of the free ought to govern, that merit ought to establish nobility; here Plato and Santayana preceded me. Again and again I have been preceded!

In ethics, life in quality and quantity seemed the fair measure to me; Spencer preceded me (I discovered this only today!), and even labels I’d thought to newly apply to my overall ideology of life and its process, namely emergence, or an emergent life, this too has preceded me through, among others, G.H. Lewes!

Is there truly nothing new under the sun? Am I truly so useless and futile and full of air? Truly I feel so.


Have no worries. Read Corn Pone Opinions by Mark Twain. It’s a short essay about how any one idea you might have is a reflection of another’s, which is the same for those people as well. Nobody is that original in the true sense.

You are original in the sense that no one else is you, no one else will ever be you, no one has said the same words in the same way from the same mouth and the same time as you, and no one will take the exact same steps at the exact same time as you.

I’ve had this feeling before that every idea I’ve had has already been had, but I now live by the philosophy that the journey is more important than the destination. It doesn’t matter what the end idea is, what matters is how it effects you.

And why the desire to be original anyway? Are you doing it for others or yourself? Are you doing it to educate yourself in the ways of the world, or so you can take that idea, publish it, and become famous? I am not claiming anyone should settle for mediocrity, but people do need to look at themselves as individuals and what is good for themselves. And you want a truly original idea? Make up a language no one has ever created and use that to think up stuff. Because in reality, just about all things, at their core, revolve around the same things; the seven deadly sins.

I understand your angst, JVS.

When we are creatively bent, if we don’t truly create, or if we merely innovate, what kind of a discoverer, originator, or modern problem solver are we?!

But, there is more to us than creativity.

My mom (who is a counselor in a somewhat benevolent Dr. Laura style) would simply say that we are dominantly N (intuitively) T (thinkers) or F (feelers), and that we NTs and NFs simply must create or we’ll be depressingly reminded that there is more to life than creating, it’s just that we aren’t leaders in those other aspects of life, but mere followers who simply haven’t developed those skills up to our high level of accepting par.

We really don’t like being reminded of our “flaws”.

So do what I do: whenever I’m feeling down about not being the great poetic creator, I just come here and post or go watch a sporting event with some friends and go out dancing and just socialize and talk about mundane little things.

It’s great diversion, and lots of fun … and from so living life in all its aspects … I sometimes get a great “ah ha!” experience to write about.

The will to bring something brand new into existence has never been the consideration of the great inventors: they had to invent what they invented, because they needed their invention - and it did not exist!

Ah, and when they had themselves invented what they needed, because it did not yet exist, and they later discovered that it had existed all the time after all, and they just hadn’t known of its existence - do you think that discovery caused them despair? To the contrary, my friend: it caused them great joy to find a kindred soul - be it separated from them by countless ages! To find that at least they were not completely alone in this space-time continuum - to find that there had at least been similar-minded souls!

I think this preface fits well.

Philosophy in the Tragic Age of the Greeks - Nietzsche

Hi jeremiah175,

I find it interesting that the Christian Crusaders had the Chi-Rho on their shields as they went to kill others in the name of Christ to retake the holy land. I have heard it said that the Chi-Rho is supposed to mean, “Peace through Christ”. Interesting that they were killing people with this symbol on their shields. I think it simply means Christ. As it is the first two letters of the word.

[i]"The labarum was a military standard which displayed the first two Greek letters of the word Christ - Chi (χ) and Rho, (ρ). It was first used by the Roman emperor Constantine I.

The etymology of the word before Constantine’s usage of it is unclear. According to Lactantius (On the Deaths of the Persecutors, chapter 44), Constantine had dreamt of this emblem and a voice saying “In this sign you shall conquer” (In hoc signo vinces). On waking he ordered his soldiers to put the emblem on their shields; that very day they fought the forces of Maxentius and won the Battle of the Milvian Bridge (312), outside Rome."[/i]

My borther has a Chi-Rho and an Alpha and Omega tattooed on his arm. His other arm has a tattoo that says immanuel. My cousin who is a pastor also has a very small Chi-Rho tattooed on his ankle.

Sorry my last post did not have to do with your original one. :confused:

Interesting, sounds like Monism.

One could look at the world as there is nothing new under the sun. But at the same time, you can look at it as absolutely everything is new. All the matter in the universe has never been in this exact position before. You have never been as old as you are now, etc. Perhaps this can be contested but I think you get my point. All I know is that I sure am glad to have been able to be a small part of the history of the universe, no matter what I do with my life. As far as making a difference, you can look at it as you are making no difference in the grand scheme of things, or you can look at the fact that you are inseparable from the universe and simply because you have existed, the rest of the history of the universe IS CHANGED because of you. A butterfly flapping its wings…