Monday, November 23, 2009

a rant. originality.

I'm reading The Fountain Head by Ayn Rand, and have less than 100 pages to go. I'm also listening to lectures by Leslie Hahner everyday, which is leading to a beautiful close to my degree at Baylor (coming in Dec.). I'm also writing a screenplay, which is pushing me to form my thoughts into a narrative like story describing pictures that produce a dialog. These are my thoughts as of late.

I'm devastated to have found that nothing I can make is purely original. ha... No matter how hard I try I cannot produce something uninfluenced by others. In reading The Fountain Head, I've been inspired to stick it to the man and create something beautiful that is completely mine, completely unique, completely and purely original. I desperately want to be capable of this. I found that this idea of creativity was a huge motivation in my life. I thought, if I could just write a song/book/screenplay that was completely and originally me with no outside influence, I could have a tangible artifact that would be me, and reflect who I am.

My education has unveiled this theory of mine to be impossible. When sociologists study the human identity, they all arguably agree (ha!) that identity comes from 3 paths. Arguably 1/3 of our identity is innate. For example, I can walk the entirety of the earth and find no one with my face. This exposes innate qualities we have as individuals. The 2/3 of what sociologists argue makes up identity is what is taught to us. It's amazing the cultural expectations we pick up in our social upbringings. Western experimentation has proved factual that gender roles come from how we are conditioned when we are young. Pretty much, from the moment your born your either covered and with pink or blue everything, and whether we realize it or not, how care takers treat baby boys and girls is conditioning those babies how to react in specific situations. Including the toys and games we play with the babies contribute to their conditioning! Get this, even my idea of what 'creativity' is defined as is taught to me and the definition could vary from person to person. So how can I truly be creative if my idea of what 'creativity' is, is someone else's view of what it means to be creative? The third and final element that is argued to make up an individual's identity is experience. The experiences we go through in life cause us to react a specific way in specific situations. For example, if I has stung by a bee, had a terrifying boyfriend, or had a friend die in a car accident... those elements of experience could and probably would affect the way I live life from that point on. It's a part of survival. If we didn't learn from experience, we'd still be cave men/women.

So, after realizing these things I was bummed out, but after a day of thinking it through I realized these 3 elements that make up an identity are really quite beautiful because it forces us to be connected to a community that mirror's the Trinity. Father: taught, Son: Innate, Holy Spirit: experience. (That's just my thought of which goes with with... others think maybe innate is the spirit, and experience is Jesus and it could be that too.) But, this realization was incredibly inspiring for me. Knowing that whenever I produce something I can't take full credit (maybe arguably only a 3rd of the credit! ha!).

Say I paint a picture. It’s not just me painting that picture, it’s also everyone who has contributed to teaching me how to paint and draw’s picture. Also, it’s everyone who makes up my experiences like my friends’ and families’ picture too. All these people are a part of my identity. All of these elements uniquely make up a completely unique and original individual, which mirrors something greater. A community and experiences pushed through a human brain uniquely formed.

What a beautiful new definition of art.