I will start with the concept of idea as used by the philosopher Immanuel Kant, and later by Deleuze. Idea is a concept that is pushed beyond the possible experience. I will use an example given by Claire Colebrook to explain the same. We have an idea called cause. It is experienced by the phenomenon of cause and effect. Now when we extend it and reach something called first cause (Aristotle and Aquinas), the first cause is something that is outside our experience. [It is used as a proof for God’s existence. We won’t get into that]. Though it is outside my experience, I can think of it. Thus idea extends something to the nth or infinite possibility, which is much beyond the actual.
I don’t know whether, the one who uttered the above phrase has a similar understanding of idea, but I feel such a Kantian understanding of idea (used a lot by Deleuze — one of my favourite philosopher) can unravel the power of Idea. Any concept like cause becomes an idea in this sense when it is able to think much beyond the possible experience — to the so called realm of impossible. Definitely this is creative and going beyond the ordinary and normal, sometimes travelling to the absurd and uncharted territories.
I am wondering whether the concepts which are dear to me (and to many others) like justice, equality, peace, reconciliation, love — do they have the potential to be Ideas. Definitely — have they been unravelled? I think a lot could be and should be done in this area so that transformative power of them becomes visible.
[Definitely I don’t know what are their possibilities, especially beyond the actual today… but a wild thought]….