Where do new ideas come from? In the Middle Ages, helpful ideas were thought to be inspired by God whereas the diabolical were planted by the Devil and his minions. In the 13th century, to inspire (v) (inspirare Latin) meant to “inflame or blow. ” A person with a new idea is set ablaze by mere thought. Many were tried and killed as heretics, conspirators, demonic and the rest remained suspect. There were some exceptions, if your ideas were considered divinely inspired by God, such as the case with Leonardo Divinci. Such awe-inspiring inventors were praised, even if people didn’t quite understand where these ideas sprang, or what caused inventing or the purpose these inventions would serve. When he died in the 16th century, it sparked a legend in France that King Francis I held his head in his arms as he passed. This would in-turn inspire many works of art depicting the story.
In Ancient Greece, daemons were sought as intercessors of the gods. When a daemon descended into the Underworld, it would rise as a Daimone. Although Hesiod was thought to have lived during the same period (750 -650 BC) as Homer, it’s strange that Homer would make no mention of Daemons in his works. Greek Scholars consider both a basis for establishing Greek customs, it can’t but be wondered what Hesiod had in mind for future generations. Was this idea conceived as a gadfly to a society he bore witness?
According to Hesiod, Daimones dwelled upon Earth unseen by mortal men and were appointed by Zeus as guardians of justice. Their number were many (estimated 30,000+), once ascended they are the very souls of righteous men that lived during the golden age. Later, Greek philosophers took up this notion but transformed it into a philosophy of symbiosis. Divinely inspired by the great god Zeus, these Daemons would be with men for all time from the moment of birth. They would be the watchers and guides men seek through life until they reach Hades. The Romans apprehended this in ideal in the form of dii gentiales. When a person died, their ‘soul’ was considered a departed daemon (daimone). [Further research on the subject: Appluleius, De Deo Socratis, Plutarch, De Genio Socratis & De Defectu Oraculorum, Lucian, De Mort. Pereg, ad Chariton]. To evoke one’s own Daemon the depths of the Abyss, would be much like as Carl Jung described in Anima/Animus. In Greek, Anemos (Animus) is “Wind”, the basis for ‘breath’, the ‘life’ within the vessel. So, when a person died losing their breath, the Daemon descends into the Underworld to rise Daimone – it’s all very cyclic. Anima- in the prefix ‘Animal’, refers to a ‘living’ creature. In early species arrangement because we could not bear witness to plants and insects having ‘breath’, they were assigned to other categories. Much like later Greeks assigned Daemons to a class-system for the purpose of outlining ritual to gain favor of the Divinities. While for the most part considered benevolent, it took quite a bit of effort to get their attention (Daemons), especially if one’s intent was malevolent. Depending on the gods that they served, men would classify them into sub-groups of ‘good’ and ‘evil’ daemons. The basis for which Demonology is born.
Bear with me Materialists… How this applies today:
-Nothing is withheld from us which we have conceived to do.
-Do things that have never been done.
It can be translated as follows:
- If you’ve conceived an idea, put effort into it and keep at it, nothing can stop you… Except you.
- Conceiving an idea isn’t the same thing as adopting ideas.
Guys like Russel Kirsch conceived an idea for the first internally programmed computer, the first digital image and then went out and created them. Born in 1929, attended MIT and by the late 40’s he led a team that went on to create the World’s first internally programmed computer. There’s no question he adopted ideas during his academic career at MIT but MIT didn’t plant the idea in his head. He conceived it. Kirsch receives criticism about his views about the ipad. Not that he’s advocating it’s a useless tool but rather that people get used by the tool and don’t actually create anything new with it. Apple & Steve Jobs are even credited for ‘inventing’ things, when in reality they just improved upon ideas that were inspired by others. Kirsch was inspired to create something new and he wonders why others aren’t inspired to do the same. He makes it sound so easy, so simple and yet when you sit down to brainstorm something new, you can’t help but think of the many things someone else already thought up. The first programmable computer, is it new? Kirsch seems to think so, yet if you look back, we could easily credit Konrad Zuse, 1936 for the same innovation. Think it’s coincidental that his last name resembles that of the Greek god Zeus? Sure you do. Otherwise, you’d accuse me of having confirmation bias. Maybe I’m just a romantic.