Inspiration vs. Originality

Inspiration vs. Originality


By  Uddhav Srivilasan

Just what is this line that divides the two? At what point does “Inspiration” end and “Originality” begin? Well, it’s probably best to explain just what it is that I’m talking about.

When we think of creating something, we often ask ourselves whether what we’ve thought of is completely unique, and most of us have come to the conclusion that the answer is an equal measure of YES and NO. This very article has to have been inspired by something, no? In physics, one of the fundamental rules we are taught is that mass and energy cannot be destroyed or created, only transformed – now that’s just a fundamental concept and I’m sure most of our readers will be more than eager to point out that the rule is much more complicated or that my statement is inaccurate, but whatever, let’s move on. Using the analogy of mass and energy, we find our thought processes work in the same way. Thousands of years ago, someone saw a bunch of people talking, and then decided to illustrate the way he saw these people interacting and he made it visual. Having represented the communication transactions of these people he broke it down further wherein he delegated roles of “Communicator” and “Audience” who in turn fulfill the functions of “Speech” and “Effect”. From this visualization or rather, model of communication, Aristotle INSPIRED thousands of people through the years, to create their own models of communication. We see this inspiration carrying on down the line from the sometime in 300 B.C, to modern models of communication such as the transactional model of communication. Just the fact that such ancient example is still preserved even today through this blog post before you, should be evidence that “Inspiration” predates “Originality” So just what the hell is original? Just what is our own?

When we move into the human condition, we learn that we are never truly fulfilled. We are left wanting more out of ourselves when the cruel irony is that whatever we are, was probably 5% our own doing at most. Whatever we are, is the shape that was given to us. That’s a scary thought! The very claim that “I am original” is terribly misinformed at best and disgustingly fallacious at worst. So are we all just one large entity, forever doomed to be in the shadow of the horrible truth that we are not separate at all? Were all our attempts at classism, racism, sexism all just futile attempts to push one another away? Is everything futile?

The answer is technically yes, but still. Anyway, ignoring that unnecessarily dramatic paragraph, I did mention that at least 5% of who we are at this moment is our choice and that SURELY has to count for SOMETHING, right? And in addition, while the beginning of our respective stories is the same and some of our experiences may have been similar; it’s in the sum of all our experiences or INSPIRATIONS that we find something beautiful, that we find something wonderful; that we find something ORIGINAL. There was never a line separating Inspiration and Originality.

Inspiration and Originality are on the same plane, endlessly interacting with each other eternally and we humans are the liaison to this interaction, and what was once a scary thought is now a comforting one.

Till next time.



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