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The Stream of Consciousness


School of Life




The stream of consciousness refers to the passage of many thousands of images and ideas through our minds every day, very few of which we manage to arrest and examine in any detail. Accurate self-knowledge depends on patiently sitting on the bank of the stream of consciousness - identifying and extracting insights.


One of the hardest things to describe or to be properly aware of is what it feels like to be inside our own minds. The second by second flow of images, words, feelings, and sounds inside our heads that philosophers call our consciousness. All day. This consciousness is filled with a tangle of material that flashes by an observing eye so fast and in so multi layered and denser way, we can generally only arrest and focus on a minuscule part of what is before us.

There are waves of sensations, fog, banks of moods, collisions of ideas, and swirls of associations and impressions. Consciousness doesn't just unfold on a single cinema screen of the mind. We can think of it more like a multi multiplex where a dozen or more moods and emotions are projected at once in a fractured collection of images, reminiscent of a puzzling collage of avantgarde videos.

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