In praise of idleness

If you want to be creative, instead of doing hard work only, you  must learn to be lazy as well, to dream and  doze. Otherwise, you won’t be creative and have to remain content with producing stereotyped work, doing the same thing over and over again, cannot come out of the groove and the daily grind out of it. Constant hard work, and no rest steals the creativity. You must take time off from hard work to doze, dream and be leisurely, otherwise creativity within you will die.

In your personal life, you must have had some experience like mine, when you have a problem to solve, and scratch your head, without sight of a solution. Then suddenly a time comes when you are on a toilet seat, or taking bath in cold water on a hot summer day, or relaxing half awake half sleep, suddenly the solution pop up without your actively and consciously working at it, and when you  have forgotten the issue completely. First clue of many works of great literature or scientific discovery was revealed in a dream or  idleness or while  its creator was resting.

Inventor of sewing machine was stuck at a point badly and was wondering where to put the hole in the needle, for until then, hole of the needle was at the base of a needle. Making hole  at the tip of a needle , was never thought of , and was beyond human  imagination in this context. The would-be-inventor, was sleeping,  saw a dream at the dead of night, that a group of savages lighting a fire attacked him with a rod like weapon that had the hole at the head of rod. Inventor jumped out of bed as he got the answer to  his problem–that his needle of machine would have the hole at the tip only, so far unknown. Thus came the new invention.

Archimedes suddenly called out Eureka, Eureka to announce that he  found the principle to find the impurities in the Gold crown  while he was relaxing  taking bath in cold water in a bath- tub. A new discovery.

There are many example where great work of literature was inspired in a dream, later those became worldwide best sellers. The famous  poem  ‘Kubla Khan’ appeared to Coleridge while he was  in a sort of reverie,  he did  only  put down the ready made poem found in dream on a piece of  paper. There are many other outstanding work of literature which were inspired while the author was relaxing in a dream, and those are namely—‘Twilight’ by Stephenie Meyer, ‘Misery’ by Stephen King, ‘Frankenstein’ by Mary Shelley, ‘Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde’ by Robert Louis Stevenson, ‘Jonathan Livingston Seagull’ by Richard Bach.

A creative brain needs time to think and here he requires freedom and ample time to dream and doze. The culture of only hard work, and nothing else, kills the creativity in man. Our first work of literature –Rig veda, were written when the hard working hunter gatherers learned agriculture, and began to settle in the fertile Gangetic plains. At this period of history they no more required to wander about , settled at a place permanently, did get ample time to rest and think. Our vedas were written in this period of history.


Author: Your useful Books.

An online seller of books. Lives in Mumbai and Kolkata.