Stream of Consciousness

A phenomenon that happens to me is that as soon as I begin writing something, thoughts, previously unhindered and in constant flux, suddenly come to a silent standstill. The little voice in my head that keeps yapping for hours on end suddenly stops. I guess its to do with knowing that what it is now gonna say is going be read by everyone. That sort of puts a pressure which is enough to make it guarded and cautious. And as soon as I move away from my laptop, or even close my blogger window, there it goes again, about all the random little things I see around me, trying to make sense of it all.

So this post is about experimenting with what I call the 'stream of consciousness', a fancy name for that inner voice. I will keep typing without a pause and will only read the whole post once its done, or when its long enough.

Now that I've described the purpose of this post, now comes the real challenge. To keep typing and keep it at least somewhat interesting. Coherence would be a bonus, but not really the aim here. Writing to me is a form of creative self-expression. The much cited 'Maslow's needs hierarchy' places self-actualization at the top of the pyramid of human needs. That Maslow knew a thing or two. The pleasure one gets by being original, by being creative, knowing that something did not exist until you created it, of knowing what went into its making, knowing all the choices you made during its creation, is exquisite. I used to draw and paint, but unfortunately didn't pursue it as much as I would've liked to. For me, drawing was more of a skill thing than a creative activity. Thats because I've only done replicas, paintings of sceneries from pictures and sketches of portraits from photographs. Neither captured the joy of creating something new.

Back to self-actualization. As I struggle to understand myself and figure out what work I would find meaningful enough to want to do it for the rest of my life, this need for self-actualization keeps popping up. Would working in a big corporate house, with well-defined roles and duties, with assigned objectives and targets, with a rigidly formulated philosophy and mission statement capture my interest? Would it offer me the opportunity, the platform and the environment for self-actualization? Or would I just become a pawn in this great capitalist game, a cog in this inefficient machine? These are questions that've been worrying me for a while now, and I'm sure I'm nowhere near finding the answers any time soon.

Companies have realized this need of their employees to feel independent and express themselves freely. A fancy term for this is 'Intrapreneurship', where you work for someone, yet have the freedom to set and pursue your own goals. Lots of companies claim to be hot-beds of creativity and innovation driven by passionate employees committed to the ideals of the company. If such a one does exist, and if I find myself in the happy situation of working for one, then I guess a few of my existential angst worries would subside.

If on the other hand, it all turns out to be bunch of ballooney thought up by some management academic in an ivory tower to lure idealistic and naive people and turn them into subservient employees, then I would certainly be in a fix.

An option that would always exist would be to start something new. The huge advantage of doing this would be complete freedom to set the agenda, and the scope, from making major strategic decisions to worrying about the minutest details, each activity being the highest form of self-actualization. The risks associated with this are of course huge, not the least of which is social comparision. I admire people who've had the courage to succeed in this after countless years of failures. I wonder how many times they would've had the crisis of faith; faith in their dreams, in their abilities, in their strength to carry on. How would I react in their situation?

As an example, I just read about an author who shot to fame overnight for writing an internationally critically acclaimed book. Here's the link to the New Yorker article. It wasn't his first book. He had been writing for almost 18 years before achieving literary recognition. His struggle, his conviction in his dream and his persistence are an inspiration.

I've been writing non-stop for 15 min, and I'll stop now and read it. If its even remotely passable, you'll get to read it as well. :)

Comments

  1. Your post was much more than passable, and your reflections echoed much of what I too feel. I guess the answers to our questions would come..though in all probability as a result of discovery alone. Best of luck :)

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  2. Hmm
    What should I say or how should I react to this one...
    I believe everyone goes through this period of chrysalis, some sooner rather than later....this is a beautiful moment when you realize that you have created something original and not just an extension of the borrowed wisdom.

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  3. The classical model of a discovery: You look for something with full focus and you end up finding something else altogether!

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  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  5. inner-workings in words..really liked it..

    "I admire people who've had the courage to succeed in this after countless years of failures. I wonder how many times they would've had the crisis of faith; faith in their dreams, in their abilities, in their strength to carry on."

    high point:)

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