The ‘Kubla Khan’ syndrome

Talking about inspirations and brain wave, every person would always have at least one exact spot or place where these ideas strike like lightening.

These brain waves are crucial to one’s life. Otherwise just imagine, we wouldn’t have discovered so many things and Archimedes wouldn’t have said, “Eureka!”

I had a friend in school and for her the spot was her morning loo time. If we were pondering upon a problem, then she would come back with her solution and sometimes brain wave after her morning visits. Back then when she shared it, I was amused and wondered how it could happen. Looking at it closely, it probably reflects two things:

  1. It is probably a point in a day when you are concentrating on the problem or conundrum at hand and the entire mind’s focus, both conscious and the sub-conscious are in unison
  2. It is probably also a time when you think about things that you are most interested in and your brain likes it

This goes to show that when we work in concentrated spurts of time (say 60-90mins) then our brain is most focused on the one thing we are working on and hence the productivity is very high. Secondly, you should always pick the work that you enjoy most to do, then it stops being work and something you enjoy doing and as a by product make money too.

An ideal situation which is not easy to achieve, however not impossible either.

Coming back to my ‘spot’ of enlightenment, well it is that time in the night, when I lie down to sleep and the lights are out that some of my finest thoughts flow. I am too lazy to make a note of such thoughts and more often they have just remained the passing thoughts. I am trying to put a special effort in trying to remember these thoughts, as I never know I might be a good writer too 🙂

I call this the ‘Kubla Khan’ syndrome because Samuel Taylor Coleridge, had once a dream of a beautiful poem in his sleep and when he woke up and started writing. He could only note down a third of it before being interrupted. That poem was named The Kubla Khan. The beauty of this incomplete poem lies in the literary merit and richness of the composition and it is regarded as one of the best composition’s of Coleridge. It does tend to get incoherent like all dreams, but has a lot of merit to it. It was inducted as a part of our school literature course and least to say, I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Kubla Khan
By Samuel Taylor Coleridge

In Xanadu did Kublai Khan
A stately Pleasure-Dome decree,
Where Alph, the sacred river ran
Through caverns measureless to man
Down to a sunless sea.

So twice five miles of fertile ground
With walls and towers was girdled ’round,
And there were gardens bright with sinuous rills,
Where blossomed many an incense-bearing tree;
And here were forests ancient as the hills,
Enfolding sunny spots of greenery.

But, oh! That deep, romantic chasm which slanted
Down the green hill, athwart a cedarn cover:
A savage place! As holy and enchanted
As e’er beneath the waning moon was haunted
By woman wailing for her Demon Lover!
And from this chasm with ceaseless turmoil seething,
As if this Earth in fast, thick pants were breathing,
A mighty fountain momently was forced,
Amid whose swift, half-intermitted burst
Huge fragments vaulted like rebounding hail,
Or chaffy grain beneath the thresher’s flail;
And ‘midst these dancing rocks at once and ever,
It flung up momently the sacred river!
Five miles meandering with ever a mazy motion,
Through wood and dale the sacred river ran,
Then reached the caverns measureless to man,
And sank in tumult to a lifeless ocean.
And ‘mid this tumult, Kublai heard from far
Ancestral voices prophesying war!

The shadow of the Dome of Pleasure
Floated midway on the waves,
Where was heard the mingled measure
From the fountain and the caves.
It was a miracle of rare device:
A sunny Pleasure-Dome with caves of ice!

A damsel with a dulcimer
In a vision once I saw:
It was an Abyssinian maid,
And on her dulcimer she played,
Singing of Mount Abora.
Could I revive within me
Her symphony and song,
To such deep delight ‘twould win me
That with music loud and long,
I would build that dome within the air!
That sunny dome, those caves of ice,
And all who heard should see them there,
And all should cry: “Beware! Beware!
His flashing eyes, his floating hair!
Weave a circle ’round him thrice,
And close your eyes in holy dread:
For he on honeydew hath fed,
And drunk the milk of Paradise!”



One thought on “The ‘Kubla Khan’ syndrome

  1. Amazing post as always 🙂 Strange that it happens to me too. I am beginning to think that there is some mysterious connection between water and creativity. Let me explain. 3 places that drive my mind to uncountable thoughts : Potty, seashore and shower….and the common denominator happens to be WATER.

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