Where do ideas come from?

thinkerHave you ever wondered where ideas come from?

You notice them wandering around inside your brain, but have you considered what happens to cause them? Is your brain the actual idea generator as we are all taught, as science assumes?

OK, sure, far-fetched sounding, but some people who think of these things postulate that our beloved brains may be more like cosmic hunters and gatherers than actual idea generators. The mind may actually exist outside the body. The brain may be more like a sensual receiver for our physical world and somehow merges data from cosmic consciousness.


Science has been fascinated following rivers to their source. Same thing here. Let’s do a reality check on reality.

We’re accustomed to taking credit for our brilliant ideas without really investigating the source. A whole legal system is set up around copyrights and trademarks and ownership of intellectual property. We do this all assuming that people create ideas inside their heads as if their physical brains do all the work.

Yet mystics tell us that we already know everything, or have access to all the answers. What is access? Spiritualists often talk about the cosmic library system known as the akasic records. To get there you have to leave your bodies while in meditation/astral travel. This to me sounds like the physical brain reeling in input from consciousness that dwells outside the brain.

I suspect it would be quite a paradigm shift if we ever proved that brains receive brilliance more than generate it. It would surely have an impact on competition as it points to the notion that good ideas are gifts. You didn’t make it up. You found great ideas in the cosmic glurp.

Meanwhile, if the mind resides outside the body, it may not even require the akasic records. The mind could be an aspect of the soul communing with other souls. It’s also said that when we sleep, we leave the body. We could be attending all sorts of parties we never know about!


These days it’s much easier to think that you’re birthing a brilliant and original idea, only to discover that someone else has already been there, thought that.

In the old days, when you “created” an original idea, it would take great amounts of legwork and research to find out if it had actually been produced, published, or legally claimed. These days we have Google or Bing or numerous others.  When I come up with what I think is an original idea, I immediately check it out in a search engine.

On one hand, it’s shocking to find out how many times my “original” ideas or slogans or phrases have already been thought and used. On the other hand, I have come to worry less about being the first person to think of something. It’s romantic and ego-pleasing to believe that I discovered somethng pristine in the wilderness of consciousness, but technology shows us that other great minds are out there spewing out similar if not identical concepts.

Naturally, I am not condoning or encouraging plagiarism, idea theft, or trademark infringement, especially for commercial enterprises. However, I am suggesting not to worry so much if you want to write an article or play with a slogan that, while original to you, may turn out to have already been used by someone else.

If, on the other hand, it matters greatly that you are original, do use a search engine for quick insight on what has been created and if your glorious new idea is old hat.


Within my own head, it does not impact my pleasure one bit to consider that ideas that occur to me come from somewhere other than the hardware of my brain. It’s actually more fun for me to wonder where the idea came from.

Was it something I did or thought or felt in some other lifetime? Was it a cosmic whisper from one of my spirit guides or backup singing angels? Am I just tuning into the cosmos like a radio telescope and by chance overheard a conversation voiced by someone somewhere in deep space?

Lots of times I cannot trace the origin of my ideas in my physical history. It is as they came from somewhere else. One time in my early adult creative life I came up with a novel idea about an afterlife. People would leave a physical life and appear at one end of a world that was ten thousand miles long and a few miles across. They had spiritual bodies that felt real but did not need to sustain them with food or drink. They felt no pain. Their task was simply to walk the length of the planet to the other side. The journey would take as long as it would on Earth.

Presumably, the time they took to walk the planet would help them debrief from their life just lived. At the far end, they encountered a cliff, and which point they were told to jump off. Taking the leap was an act of trust and faith. Logic would have told them that if they survived the transition to the long, skinny planet, jumping off it would not be suicide. It would be just another transition, and they would end up where they were supposed to go.

When I first conceived this idea, I had not heard anything about the astral plane. I knew very little about reincarnation. Then I stumbled upon medium Ruth Montgomery’s new book A World Beyond. I was astonished. She described in her book so much of what I had imagined life was like for the residents of my long, skinny planet.

Had my brain conceived this or received this?


Remember in childhood when school teachers would make a ritual of having kids put on their thinking caps? It’s easy to see in that ritual the metaphor of a thinking antenna that beams in ideas from the collective consciousness outside of human bodies. Brains then receive and process this data, being like a fine tuner of cosmic voices.

This may appear to degrade the role of the brain from sage to idea processor. I don’t think of it like that at all. The brain is phenomenal, and part of that may turn out to be how it blends inspirational input with its duties as shepherds of our physical destiny. Consciousness may be brain data mixed with out-of-body input.

Scientists are still trying to figure out how brains manufacture near-death experience phonomena. From what I can tell, science doesn’t recognize that ideas originate from outside the brain and that the mind exists, or can exist, outside the body. But the idea that the brain processes the out-of-body mind intrigues whatever it is I think with.

2 thoughts on “Where do ideas come from?

  1. nikkir1972 says:

    Yes thoughts definitely happen outside of the mind. Not sure the process or reasoning behind that…could be any number of the possibilities you wrote about. If I am writing a character and my “thought” about that character is a certain way, then my mind is set on who they will be. Then somehow, they turn into someone else. I didn’t plan or intend on it, but they almost take on a life “of their own” and react accordingly. It’s a phenomenon that’s happened more than once that I cannot explain. Does the act of creating have a spiritual effect? Does it create an energy of some sort? Or does our mind power generate a field, such as having read something hundreds of time and then one day we simply “get it?” Fascinating ideas. I believe I am a soul and after physical death I will continue on in some new fashion. My brain….mind…. is organic and will not survive in it’s current state. Therefore, thoughts must exist beyond our brains…they are energy…wow great stuff, thank you!:)

    • Joshua Bagby says:

      I have had some wonderful experiences with characters in my fiction starting out being conceived in one way — my way, you could say — and then taking on their own personality. Sometimes they have great lessons to teach me. In a novel I am working on (slowly) at present, my lead character dies and goes to heaven, and one of the entities he meets is like love at first sight times a million-zillion. His spirit guide is very upfront about the idea that this incredible being is actually a composite of all the fantasies about women he has ever had. His dream woman has come alive for him. That in turn has consequences to the plot.

      I tend to think of BRAIN as hardware and MIND as consciousness which may or may not require a brain. In near-death experiences, it apparently doesn’t. Brain would be flesh and mind is energy in my way of perceiving the universe.

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