'D' is for 'Discourse':
How thrilling it would be, if we decide to communicate, what goes in our head at a particular place or time? For mind never rests. It is a reservoir of infinite potentials. It has no bounds. Sometimes it goes haywire and harms our interests too. We learn meditative practices, go to religious places and do hosts of things to tame the flighty mind.
Free time enables us to listen to our thoughts. For instance, our mind wanders uninhibited, in the shower, driving, traveling, or doing household chores. A walk in the park is the most fertile time for it to be at its busiest.
A thinking mind does become conscious of a stimulating inner monologue in time. To me it happened a long time back. The literary technique, which defines this seamless yet disjointed passage of inner dialogue process is called, ‘The Stream of consciousness.’ Many novelists, to dig deep into the minds of their characters adopt this literary technique. William James enumerates this term in his, “The Principles of Psychology (1890).” The technique was used to great effect by Virginia Woolf in her classic novel, “Mrs. Dalloway.” James Joyce the Irish writer also used it in his voluminous novel,'Ulysses.'
I read 'Mrs. Dalloway' early on, as it was in our syllabus at Masters’ level. It both impressed and confused me. However, I found it fascinating. In those younger days, I could not decipher many ambiguities present in the narrative. It was much later when I had developed enough patience that I enjoyed the read.
Mrs. Dalloway’s mental jogging of twenty four hours makes up the plot of this novel. The time she spends in the market place to buy flowers for her evening party, presents a palette of mental images seen through her eyes. The imagery defines her life in all its manifestations of joy, fears, jealousies longings, regrets misgivings et al. In fact, all those universal emotions, mundane life blocks from realization. Through the unfolding of her thought process, her vulnerabilities as a woman shine through. The reader empathizes with her because she is us. Her distinct persona reflects universal womanhood. We as readers experience a cathartic effect.
This second reading actually enlightened me. It made me aware of the presence of an incoherent discourse that keeps flowing in the mind. In fact, this discourse makes up our thoughts, memories, impressions, perceptions and reminiscences. We remain oblivious of this inner world until we educate ourselves. A discerning mind does notice the deluge of varied emotions present in the mind. Feelings, passions, reactions mostly exist in a silent mode. Sometimes silence erupts like a volcano if denied a vent for a long time. It is way of restoring one’s self esteem.
The waking verbal train of thoughts pours out at a lightning speed and goes back and forth. This is how our mind works when idle. It only needs some sort of trigger to rouse itself. It is puzzling. The past and present intermingle to create a discourse, which if analyzed opens a window to one’s personality. The understandings of the inner world, place us in perspective vis- a- vis the real world.
Friends, why not jot down the flow of thoughts of a single day. It can prove to be one of its kind experience.
Friends,welcome here as always.