I recently heard a NPR piece about the discovery of a copy of da vinci’s Mona Lisa painting. Martin Bailey from The Art Newspaper had this to say in that piece
BAILEY: Well, I think maybe too much mystique has built up about this picture, the “Mona Lisa.” I mean, it is after all the world’s most famous painting. But people don’t look at it fresh. They look at it almost as an icon. And if you go to the Louvre, people aren’t actually really looking at the painting. They just want to sort of be in the same room with it. And for me, the beauty of the copy is that it actually makes us look at the painting as a painting, and I hope it will have that effect on other people too.
What Bailey says for world’s most famous painting and our reaction to it applies to famous ideas by famous gurus and our reactions to those. We don’t seem to look at the ideas as just an idea when it is uttered by someone popular or with status. As Galbraith wrote, anyone with position is assumed to be gifted with deep insights.
We may not grasp the idea nor we may analyze whether or not it is applicable to our case. But we just want to be part of the “conversation”. We tweet, retweet and write about it just to be in the same room as the Guru and his idea.
What if we are able to separate the idea from the one who said it?
What if I copied the idea of a Guru, word for word, intonation for intonation and stated it as mine? Will the mere act of copying make it stand alone?
Will we see the idea for what it is with all its biases?