The Art of Treating The Dissertation As Sacred

Sacred Dissertations.  How and why?

Man walks on rock edge.  Wonders where he put that dissertation idea.  Meditates.  Still wonders.

I begin this analogy by speaking of where I am coming from.  I am currently less than two weeks away from the hand-in date for my History dissertation, for which I am writing a social history on my home-town, King’s Lynn, during the first world war.  I’ve finished collecting all my research for it, but, with there only a little over two weeks to write 10,000 words in (I started writing a few days ago), you could say that I am some weeks or months behind schedule.  You could suggest that I should even have kept to my schedule of having a first draft fully written by today, as I wrote I would have in my dissertation proposal.  You could say many things, really.

I can see that my dissertation is a living being, that is gradually being pieced together.  I can play with it, and it can play with me.  Sometimes we drive each other crazy, whilst at others we work very well together.

I wanted to stop work having a destructive effect on me.  I already meditate very regularly, at least twice a day at more self-disciplined times, and I give offerings to my Krishna Bol murti in my room, and go to church often, and see many things outside of the conventional sense as being very sacred to me.  These things all make me feel strong, and at one with everything in the world, like as if I am not so separate from it all.  If I could feel this from doing this activities, what is to stop me from feeling exactly the same thing whilst writing this dissertation?

So here comes the guide.  It is by no means definitive, but I hope it sparks a spiritual revolution of sorts amongst students all across the world.  We have got to stop disconnecting ourselves from our work, but rather see ourselves and our faith and everything we believe in as also lying within our work.  I give four points for this, but I would welcome every point that anyone may wish to add to the list.

My first point on making the dissertation sacred is that

it has got to be given the opportunity to be what it is.

The dissertation is happening just as it is meant to be happening.  You can watch as your body and your mind does work, but you are not pushing anything either way.  Once you push things, you get tired, aggravated, and emotionally beaten up.  This is what you do to yourself.  You do not need to do this.  You can allow it to happen as it is already happening anyway, and give your body and mind some treats every now and then to show your appreciation towards them for being so great in this situation.  They are doing a fantastic job, even if you can’t see it.

Then we can start having fun with it.  An enjoyable dissertation is one that you enjoy writing, and the readers will pick up on the energy that you put into it.  Therefore,

Make the dissertation-writing experience one that you will never forget because it is so, so enjoyable.

Make what you will of this.  The important thing is to allow it to be as enjoyable as the most enjoyable thing you can think of.  You may have to detach yourself from rational-thinking for a moment as to be able to envisage it, but it is well worth the efforts.  Laugh with it, as it laughs with you.  It may help to do some laughter yoga whilst writing it, too (see here for an induction:

Then we get into the weird end of things.  Call me a fool or anything for what I’m going to suggest, but I truly see it as working a dream.

Treat the dissertation with reverence.
Pray to it.  Or give it arthi.  Or meditate on it.  Or call out to it for answers.  Or do elaborate rituals to it.  Or invoke it in woodlands.  Or sing to it.  Or mystify it.
You can do all of these if you like.  But see the dissertation as a higher power, one that you respect a huge amount, and one that is more than capable of providing you with lifeforce.  See God, or Allah, or Oneness, or Science, or Yourself, Many Gods, or Mother Nature, or the Breath, in your dissertation, or as your dissertation.  The dissertation is that which you respect most highly in the whole world.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly,

When the dissertation wants rest, allow it to rest.

We can, all too easily, force the dissertation through a lot more than it has energy for.  See, for yourself, how much energy the dissertation actually has got at any given time.  If it hasn’t got much energy, then maybe go for a walk, or take a rest yourself, or have some food…just have some time away from it, unless you know specifically how to reenergise it in a holistic way.  If you do not follow this step, then it probably doesn’t matter that you are following the other steps, the dissertation will become exhausted and weak.  And so will you, most probably.  Rest is very crucial to a sacred dissertation.  Allow it to be.

You are everything that you emanate.  Make it beautiful, just as you are beautiful.


Originally from: on May 05, 2013, 22:53.

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