originality

There is nothing mysterious about originality, nothing fantastic. Originality is merely the step beyond.

You will to believe that because you are an individual expression of God there is purpose, real and meaningful in your life, and you will to believe that to achieve this purpose you are also equipped with the talent and potential necessary for its achievement. Will to believe it!... It is the originality in each of us and not our uniformity which gives life its deepest meaning.

Cerebration is the enemy of originality in art.

The originality of a subject is in its treatment.

The more intelligent a man is, the more originality he discovers in men. Ordinary people see no difference between men.

The great intellect one has, the more originality one finds in men. Ordinary persons find no difference between men.

When people are free to do as they please, they usually imitate each other. Originality is deliberate and forced, and partakes of the nature of a protest.

But it is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation... He who has never failed somewhere, that man can not be great.

All men who have sense and feeling are being continually helped; they are taught by every person they meet and enriched by everything that falls in their way. The greatest is he who has been oftenest aided. Originality is the observing eye.

Schools teach you to imitate. If you don't imitate what the teacher wants you get a bad grade. Here, in college, it was more sophisticated, of course; you were supposed to imitate the teacher in such a way as to convince the teacher you were not imitating, but taking the essence of the instruction and going ahead with it on your own. That got you A's. Originality on the other hand could get you anything -- from A to F. The whole grading system cautioned against it.

The merit of originality is not novelty; it is sincerity. The believing man is the original man; whatsoever he believes, he believes it for himself, not for another.

It is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation.

Imposing an alleged uniform general method upon everybody breeds mediocrity in all but the very exceptional. And measuring originality by deviation from the mass breeds eccentricity in them.

I am very careful to be shallow and conventional where depth and originality are wasted.

The mind is sharper and keener in seclusion and uninterrupted solitude. No big laboratory is needed in which to think. Originality thrives in seclusion free of outside influences beating upon us to cripple the creative mind. Be alone, that is the secret of invention; be alone, that is when ideas are born.

No one wants my painting because it is different from other people's — peculiar, crazy public that demands the greatest possible degree of originality on the painter's part and yet won't accept him unless his work resembles that of the others!

Each time these institutions, issued from popular genius, when it had reconquered its liberty for a moment, — each time these institutions developed in a new direction, the moral level of society, its material well-being, its liberty, its intellectual progress, and the affirmation of individual originality made a step in advance. And, on the contrary, each time that in the course of history, whether following upon a foreign conquest, or whether by developing authoritarian prejudices men become more and more divided into governors and governed, exploiters and exploited, the moral level fell, the well-being of the masses decreased in order to insure riches to a few, and the spirit of the age declined.

The correct analogy for the mind is not a vessel that needs filling, but wood that needs igniting — no more — and then it motivates one towards originality and instills the desire for truth. Suppose someone were to go and ask his neighbors for fire and find a substantial blaze there, and just stay there continually warming himself: that is no different from someone who goes to someone else to get to some of his rationality, and fails to realize that he ought to ignite his own flame, his own intellect, but is happy to sit entranced by the lecture, and the words trigger only associative thinking and bring, as it were, only a flush to his cheeks and a glow to his limbs; but he has not dispelled or dispersed, in the warm light of philosophy, the internal dank gloom of his mind.

If a man were to look over the fence on one side of his garden and observe that the neighbor on his left had laid his garden path round a central lawn; and were to look over the fence on the other side of his garden and observe that the neighbor on his right had laid his path down the middle of the lawn, and were then to lay his own garden path diagonally from one corner to the other, that man's soul would be lost. Originality is only to be praised when not prefaced by the look to right and left.

Schools teach you to imitate. If you don't imitate what the teacher wants you get a bad grade. Here, in college, it was more sophisticated, of course; you were supposed to imitate the teacher in such a way as to convince the teacher you were not imitating, but taking the essence of the instruction and going ahead with it on your own. That got you A's. Originality on the other hand could get you anything -- from A to F. The whole grading system cautioned against it.