For more than half of my life, I have been in a rapt, intimate relationship, one more fulfilling and meaningful than almost any other. This relationship is not with another being, oddly enough. It’s with my own mind, expressed through my hand, pen, and paper. It’s a relationship amplifying my contemplative capacities, valorizing my sensitivity, sharpening my skills of observation and analysis. I am speaking of my relationship turned sacred with stream-of-consciousness writing.
I first discovered this curiously magical mode in high school: sophomore year English class, I was startled to find it served as a blessed release valve for my acute inner pressures of boredom and anxiety, while conveniently masquerading as class “notes.” Since the very first few passages, privately and quizzically encountered in that English class, I’ve been fascinated by what the mind reveals of its own nature, its own architecture, through a form as elegant, as natural, as the pleasant, lilting flow of words on paper like breeze through grasses in a prairie wilderness. Somehow in its naturalness, its nakedness, I could spot more truth in the “random” constructions than I expected.
Stream of consciousness. And how isn’t consciousness like a stream, after all…
The power of this mode reinforced by my early magnetic, grotesquely transfixed attraction to Beat poetry… how much more valuable the raw word seemed, forged irreducibly from fierce living moments, inner and outer, indeed, all types of knowing, embedded, like an impressionist painting or mosaic. If poetry is meant to unveil truth through the art of selection and silence, I found so much more insight conveyed by the amped minds of wild-civilized hybrid humans (the Beats) than I found in the purposeful productions of formal poets of any generation. Something about the mind’s quality as splattered in staccato voices on page like an unholy howl to reactivate the senses… and subsequently dancing, animate, outrageously in the reader’s own mind, across generations, revived like a shocked trans plant…
Stream of consciousness acts on consciousness boldly. For those of us inclined to aesthetics of embracing disruptions, there’s no hit or high like the raw Truth unexpectedly encountered in plain phrase.
The stream of consciousness writing mode I’d characterize like a scientific instrument, a magnifying glass perhaps, capable of revealing surprising implicit realities underneath the surface of the evident–more a “macroscope” than a microscope, really. In my experience, truths sometimes materialize in self-reflective insights captured “live” on the page from following subtle trains of thought. More commonly, though, I saw through this method my own mind’s patterns by noticing “meta” patterns in the text. I gained awareness of my unconscious processing habits. Like, how my mind tended to flit to new subject when certain emotions were stirred, suggesting an inner “block”… or how voluminously, and predictably, I would narrate feelings of arousal in myself, regardless of the specific stimuli. At this moment, I have over 20 composition notebooks (200 pages each) over a period of 15 years, filled of “journaling,” only not in the fashion of describing events, but of capturing spontaneous mind impressions in the moment. I wrote to process my thoughts, for no other reader but myself. Such volume of raw harvested material helps to reveal not only engrained and habitual thought-habits, but also their exquisite evolution over time, modified by the reflection itself.
I personally recommend no method more fervently (except perhaps basic Buddhist meditation technique) to any person seeking to develop their awareness and sensitivity than this. It is a relationship to oneself, through the medium of the unjudging, ubiquitous canvas of page and pen. It is a relationship, and it is magic, because it is a feedback loop that transforms outcomes, yet is self-arising. The mind’s natural flowing IS as brilliant as a prairie ecosystem–it is the human spirit, unfettered, expressing… as close to “wild being” as many of us can get. Yet the brilliance intrinsic there is due to mind’s implicit structures: the logic, the habits, the patterns, the neural pathways, in play, exposed, subtly, as proof of meaning-making’s powers, and by being revealed becomes part of the story, part of the focus–no longer operating in the background. The frame itself, including all cultures within and surrounding, in that moment, captured, like a fossil record, which we can study for its meta insights. We can learn in real time, studying our fossils from mere moments ago, analyzing for meta insights about our existences, and this process accelerates holistic intelligence-making and amplifies the power for rapid creative adaptation.
Minds are the ultimate devices for meaning-making. Yet how much power could be unleashed by going “meta”… by including the creative application of the mind in the purview of creative mind???
It is with this acknowledgement, this ode to my own journey of knowledge-ment, that I wish to accept an emergent truth of this very blog. So far here, I’ve been putting forth modest offerings of short poems and “prosery.” These are generated near-daily, derived from this strongly reinforced habit of “channeling” writing–where I just sit, enter a contemplative or “trance” state, and let what comes comes, and what comes is often medicine, yet I need to reread it to even know what was said. I offer these because they’re available, handy… and not because I wanted this content to comprise my blog.
You see, since starting this blog, I’ve also been hesitant, conflicted, because I had different visions for what this blog could become. I envisioned this blog would serve as a staging area, a “setting the soil,” that it’d provide structure for a progressive “framing” to help make sense of my theory-and-practice offerings in the world, that the content here would lead skillfully toward my professional and artistic offerings-at-scale, which I expect to be:
- professional-creative: whole systems consulting/coaching (for people, teams, organizations) and other learning/process/documentation/dialogue co-design services, under the name Coevolve and/or “fractal praxis”
- organizational-creative: Cosmos.coop – my meta offering as organizational organizer/co-op-entrepreneur: a holistic, evolution-friendly design specification/architecture for an auto-poetic community’s cultural, economic and technological systems, built to amplify human’s greatest & living/creative potentials
- artistic(theory/literal/dharma)-creative: EPIST (a multimedia initiation and practice book for accelerated self-directed Intuition liberation processes);
- artistic(embodied/performative/meta)-creative: an unnameable project (involving multimedia, multisensory and multinarrative channeling of destructive-Mother archetype energy)
All of which are big, all of which require creative collaborative teams to execute, all of which could be Transformative at a (meta, natch) meaningful scale. I want my offerings here to increasingly point to THESE potentials. I want to write elegant, thoughtful, well-argued essays on my analysis about cooperative praxis in Cosmos (and in org. design generally) from my years as a cooperative business developer, for instance. With this blog, I was hoping to put more of the emphasis on demonstrating my capabilities of analysis and mind in the visages of my professional and organizational identities.
But… circumstances being what they are. I just cannot afford the time at the moment to add more reason to the intrinsic rhyme. Instead, what’ll you–for now–find from me here are impressions of my more raw form, my more artistic soul expressed. Truly, the “channeled prosery” I am offering here now tends to point, aesthetically, more to the latter two (daring) bullet points than the first two.
The channeled, lightly edited prosery is what is naturally, regularly generated–like the wild berries, handily available, in my field. And I can offer these with the ease of an hour or two per week of gleaning. Which, if I am being honest, feels like an appropriately modest tithe to the Whole, given my individual circumstances of limited means. Today, with this post, I affirm not only that I can offer them (which is self-evident), but I must. Despite their humble and raw form, these productions are nevertheless medicine. Further, I trust that these offerings would and could eventually “stack” (or perhaps be “uptaken,” like raw nutrients to a macroorganism) to form pieces of the comprehensive meta-expressions I intend, that are outlined in the bullets above. I cannot (and would not) hide: these offerings speak to my quality and state of mind, to my embodied person-being. That the offerings may be simple, beautiful, prayerful in nature, and unabashed, if uncontextualized–is fine, is good. Like a moment of dropping spontaneously onto knees upon the altar that is Earth for a word of gratitude and humble request.
I hereby affirm: this mode is testimony. This mode is me, is mind, bared. And this mode is medicine: these expressions, taken as directly as they are offered, can open ripples of insights, disrupting stale mind necessarily. I hope they so serve. Until conditions change… please receive these raw, unprocessed offerings in the good faith they’re given in.
The gifts are not mine to hold–they are to remain in circulation. They are not given to me, but through me. That is all I know sometimes. And I believe sometimes this is enough.
So ends today’s sermon on the offering. And the bit of food, the berries, to dine on–a taste–I must also offer, below, or I wouldn’t feel this ritual post complete. Meditate on what follows as the flavors sink in through your senses. You bless me by doing so. I bless you by my word.
A living body heals itself.
Even a body born into toxic conditions.
Even a body without any instruction or guidance.
Will perform, and complete, its healing.
If you let it.