How liberating to know there are no new thoughts! Everything we ponder has been pondered before. Think about it.
Barring great pioneers such as Albert Einstein, the rest of us should not expect to bring brand new knowledge into the world. New collections of ideas maybe, but not new ideas themselves. We all borrow or steal ideas from each other as a matter of course. This is the way of it – across time and across the human condition.
Both Byron Katie and Elizabeth Gilbert discuss this topic in their work. “There are no new stressful thoughts,” Katie says. Gilbert agrees: creative work consists of recycled and re-purposed thoughts uniquely brought together. We are not working with new materials here, people.
So, why would the idea of “no new thoughts” be liberating and not depressing?