One of the more intriguing notions discussed by Longinus in his text about sublimity is the "greatness of thought" topic, and I must say that I was a little thrown off by it. He says that when a person wishes to use sublimity, "the first source, natural greatness, is the most important (350)." The thought, story, idea in which a writer is trying to communicate must be initially "great." One cannot pour emotion and passion into a thought that isn't great in the first place. Something like that would most likely fall under the category of one of Longinus's faults in attempting to use sublimity. He writes while explaining this notion of greatness of thought that, "those whose thoughts and habits are trivial and servile all all their lives cannot possibly produce anything admirable or worthy of eternity (351)." He basically believes that in order for sublimity to work correctly and to its full potential, the base thought must be great to begin with. It is almost as if he is saying that only certain minds can generate a greatness of thought.
My initial question to this theory is what constitutes a thought being anointed "great" from that get go? Longinus seems to only categorize times of heavy action and emotion as thoughts of greatness, as he uses the Iliad as one of his main examples, and in particular the battle scenes. I can see what Longinus means when he refers to natural greatness, I am just not totally sure that I agree with him. What exactly constitutes as trivial? It would seem that this might be an idea that would vary from culture to culture and society to society. A group of people might not see a thought like love (Longinus uses Sappho's work as an example) as extremely great and worthy of sublimity, while another group does. It also seems like it could be a little reliant on situation as well and relatability. Not everyone thinks the same. While some thoughts resonate as great with most people, I am not sure how many are universal. If there are any universal naturally great thoughts, then their can't be that many of them.
I am also not sure how much I agree with the notion that some thought or habit that are for the most part trivial as something that cannot be enhanced with sublimity. I feel like sublimity is used with thoughts of everyday things all of the time, and I would not say that they are failures. That is pretty much what advertising is all about. Sublimity of trivial thoughts and habits. Sublimity can make a trivial thought more interesting and appealing. It can allow you to appreciate the everyday, and I really don't see a problem with that.