I once wrote a story about a guy raised in a cage without a hint of nurture. He escapes as a young man (quite by accident because the concept of escaping was beyond his mental abilities) and blah blah and he’s sitting in an alley where a cat comes along, keeps rubbing against him and purring.

So he feels something for the first time: companionship at the least and he’s intrigued by the feelings it stirs in him. So naturally, he rips the cat open to see what the hell is in there. I suppose his curiosity killed the cat :)

Someone sees him and he’s arrested for animal cruelty and it becomes a thing and everyone loathes his very existence for being such a cold-hearted monster. And the message, ultimately, is about perspectives.

Also, I was humbled by the great google machine so many times I stopped looking because I’m far too vain to accept that I’m simply another momentary blip in the Big Thing.

But I think the reason why we love to think and get lost in thought and share ideas (other than a biological urge for the advancement of the species) is because it’s a wonderful distraction from being aware of our own eminent demise. Yeah James, I’m still on that kick after a lot of years. Seems to have hardwired itself into me. I think everything we ever do is about fear of death. Writers among the most obvious - intent on securing our thoughts for the long haul, well beyond the time we once again become a part of the dirt.

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This fits perfectly with one of the chapters in my "book" if I'm going to call it that: Everything is derivative.

There is, indeed, no such thing as truly original thought but even when serendipity dictates that different people are simultaneously arriving at the same place it doesn't mean they are travelling down the same road. We may crave that uniqueness and individuality but it can be reassuring when we reach the same conclusions, have the same ideas, as others — it means we are actually on the right track (or just as deluded as everyone else.)

The difference is in the colour that we bring to the tapestry. We can all weave the same strands but end up with sufficiently different pictures.

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One thing I have come to appreciate about my own "fishiness" is that I am not alone. I find it comforting that my concerns, struggles, worries are shared, in some manner, by others. This is also true about the things I love, value, cherish, and seek to protect. For example, I take comfort knowing other people are trying to protect your planet, are concerned about cruelty, want democratic reforms, are fighting for labour fairness, etc. And my fishiness comes in handy in settings like this, where people like you need to share thoughts and ideas to have (and continue) a conversation.

When it comes to originality in writing, I am often entertained by the conversation that goes within fields. When we can move past some of the elitism or gatekeeping that occurs, conversations within professions are, I think, a version of what you are talking about. Thinkers share, debate, and borrow one another's ideas. In fiction, particularly in science fiction (which I love), I enjoy the way the theme of extra-terrestrial encounter is continually reinvented by authors, each putting their own spin on it. Or the subject of consciousness, political formation, the capacity of our species for peace, ecological balance, psychic harmony are endlessly explored. Again and again, ideas are reused and recycled but, in the best cases, given a little twist or touch that makes an old topic of conversation savoury.

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