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Intro to SUDDEN LIGHT: Metaphors of Light

Hmmm, how many thoughts does the average person have in a day? Yes, I know there is no such thing as an average person but humour me. I googled that question and got answers ranging from 2,000 to 70,000 before my computer froze. I guess it was overwhelmed by such a profound question.


The actual number isn’t of any real consequence. The point is this: Our brain is constantly cogitating on a myriad of subjects many of which never make the jump to our conscious mind. But now and then a shaft of light cuts through the chatter like heat lightening on a sultry August day. In that moment of light something resembling the truth crystallizes in our mind.


But how often do we pay attention? We live in a world of constant sensory stimulation. We’re operating on overload a good part of the time. Our brain’s survival instinct regulates most of the chatter to the subconscious where it dances and zigzags about unregulated like popcorn.


Meanwhile, our conscious mind is focused on more immediate concerns. For example, not walking in front of a speeding bus or not saying what we’re really thinking about that egomaniac sitting across the table from us.


The problem is those shafts of illuminating light most often originate in the subconscious. It’s a process much like nuclear fission or perhaps nanotechnology since that’s the new, bleeding edge of science.


All those thoughts strings vibrate at different frequencies. Occasionally they collide with one another, split and recombine in configurations that link cause and effect into revelation or inspiration. Once in awhile – but not nearly often enough – one of those revelations fights its way to the surface of our awareness.


But here’s the good news. We can train our brains to sift out those gemstones of intellect and route them directly to our conscious mind. It’s a process of building a pipeline from the mad world of the subconscious to the ordered realm of the conscious mind.


How do we train our brain to construct that pipeline? By not being content with the easy answer. By pushing aside all the insignificant stuff that clutters up our brain like plaque on our arteries. By deliberately taking a scuba dive into the unconscious and exploring the stunning coral reefs that have formed there.


In short, by choosing to go deeper – I mean much deeper – than normal from time to time and daring to explore what has put down roots in the fantastical world of our subconscious.


Writers develop this skill as a part of the writing process. Really good writing only occurs when the writer can make regular voyages to the ocean floor of the mind. But it’s not a skill limited to writers. Anyone can do it. It just takes discipline, desire and practice.


The postings in the Sudden Light section of this blog are the result of these mental scuba diving expeditions. Expeditions in which I pluck brilliantly coloured oyster shells from the ocean floor and pop them open to reveal pearls of wisdom.


I invite you to travel with me on my expeditions. You’ll develop your mental scuba diving muscles in the process. Share with me what you see because even in the clarity of revelation and inspiration I still sometimes overlook the obvious. Two divers will discover more pearls than one ever could.



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