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Thread: Flow State by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

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    Default Flow State by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

    Flow is the mental state of operation in which a person in an activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and success in the process of the activity. Proposed by Mihály Csíkszentmihályi, the positive psychology concept has been widely referenced across a variety of fields.

    According to Csíkszentmihályi, flow is completely focused motivation. It is a single-minded immersion and represents perhaps the ultimate in harnessing the emotions in the service of performing and learning. In flow, the emotions are not just contained and channeled, but positive, energized, and aligned with the task at hand. To be caught in the ennui of depression or the agitation of anxiety is to be barred from flow. The hallmark of flow is a feeling of spontaneous joy, even rapture, while performing a task although flow is also described (below) as a deep focus on nothing but the activity – not even oneself or one's emotions.

    Csíkszentmihályi identifies the following ten factors as accompanying an experience of flow:
    1. Clear goals (expectations and rules are discernible and goals are attainable and align appropriately with one's skill set and abilities). Moreover, the challenge level and skill level should both be high.
    2. Concentrating, a high degree of concentration on a limited field of attention (a person engaged in the activity will have the opportunity to focus and to delve deeply into it).
    3.A loss of the feeling of self-consciousness, the merging of action and awareness.
    4. Distorted sense of time, one's subjective experience of time is altered.
    5. Direct and immediate feedback (successes and failures in the course of the activity are apparent, so that behavior can be adjusted as needed).
    6. Balance between ability level and challenge (the activity is neither too easy nor too difficult).
    7. A sense of personal control over the situation or activity.
    8. The activity is intrinsically rewarding, so there is an effortlessness of action.
    9. A lack of awareness of bodily needs (to the extent that one can reach a point of great hunger or fatigue without realizing it)
    10. Absorption into the activity, narrowing of the focus of awareness down to the activity itself, action awareness merging.
    Not all are needed for flow to be experienced.

    Csíkszentmihályi hypothesized that people with several very specific personality traits may be better able to achieve flow more often than the average person. These personality traits include curiosity, persistence, low self-centeredness, and a high rate of performing activities for intrinsic reasons only. People with most of these personality traits are said to have an autotelic personality.
    It has not yet been documented whether people with an autotelic personality are truly more likely to achieve a flow state. One researcher did find that people with an autotelic personality have a greater preference for "high-action-opportunity, high-skills situations that stimulate them and encourage growth" than those without an autotelic personality. It is in such high-challenge, high-skills situations that people are most likely to enter the flow state.
    Taken from Wikipedia.

    Out of curiosity, have you experienced flow? How?
    As for me, I'm not sure; maybe when I'm running. My memory isn't good enough to say for certain. I'll have to pay more attention. I will say that it sounds like a great experience, though. Like a feeling of inner completeness.

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    Coldest of the Socion EyeSeeCold's Avatar
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    Once, and yeah it was during running. Sounds like an Si thing though.

    Other related threads:
    http://www.the16types.info/vbulletin...-SLIs-and-flow
    http://www.the16types.info/vbulletin...ng-In-The-Zone
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    Oh, sure. I didn't know there was a name for it. I've been that focused several times.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aquagraph View Post
    Abbie is so boring and rigid it's awesome instead of boring and rigid. She seems so practical and down-to-the-ground.

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    This article is getting to be viral.. The great Scott Sonnon posted it on his twitter account.

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    Quote Originally Posted by EyeSeeCold View Post
    Once, and yeah it was during running. Sounds like an Si thing though.

    Other related threads:
    http://www.the16types.info/vbulletin...-SLIs-and-flow
    http://www.the16types.info/vbulletin...ng-In-The-Zone
    Oh, I didn't know there were already threads about it. Search function would've been good.

    From the description, yeah, sounds Si. I'm kind of hesitant to label it under a specific category, though.

    If I have experienced it during running, it's only been a few times, when I'm only focused on breathing and time seems to pass by like nothing. Most of the time I'm just wondering how long it's been, when I'll be finished, or I'll be looking around because of boredom That was back then, though. Nowadays running's less boring for me; must've been all those 6-8 mile days running for a cross-country team. Positive consequences can come out of shitty experiences, I guess. Haha.

    Quote Originally Posted by Director Abbie View Post
    Oh, sure. I didn't know there was a name for it. I've been that focused several times.
    I didn't know either until a couple days ago. Read a book that mentioned it and figured I'd look it up.

    Quote Originally Posted by Saberstorm View Post
    This article is getting to be viral.. The great Scott Sonnon posted it on his twitter account.
    Seems like someone I should know, but don't.

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    The GREAT Scott Sonnon!!! YES, YES *** (insert creepy smile here)*** You should know him.

    http://www.facebook.com/#!/ScottSonnon

    That is is Facebook page. He is a police trainer/ martial arts guru. Ignore the video about the KKK, and the rest of his posts are about flow states and willpower and so on.

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    ...Im going to make a bold statement and say "Flow" is intrinsically Se.

    Anyways, yeah I tried researching this before and gave up since I can't really find any real shit on how to access it more often. One thing though, is that it definitely has to do with Alpha brain waves.

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    Yes I've been "in the zone" or whatever before, I've even found out a few things about stuff that prevents me from being more in the zone. Such as self-criticism and other small anxieties and tensions which prevent being in the zone.

    My guess is this doesn't have to do with function but perhaps interactions between functions in one's psyche which enable the presence of mind.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Uncertainty View Post
    Oh, I didn't know there were already threads about it. Search function would've been good.

    From the description, yeah, sounds Si. I'm kind of hesitant to label it under a specific category, though.

    If I have experienced it during running, it's only been a few times, when I'm only focused on breathing and time seems to pass by like nothing. Most of the time I'm just wondering how long it's been, when I'll be finished, or I'll be looking around because of boredom That was back then, though. Nowadays running's less boring for me; must've been all those 6-8 mile days running for a cross-country team. Positive consequences can come out of shitty experiences, I guess. Haha.
    It wasn't just straight running. I was chasing someone down.
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    I probably posted in that other thread, but flow is pretty much what I strive for when I'm doing physical stuff. In the context of actual activities, I guess I've experienced it most when I'm biking or loading boxes. It's one of those commonalities between disparate things that you realize is intrinsically valuable, so you try to sort of inculcate it into whatever various disciplines you find yourself in. I'm not sure how I would describe it. It's some kind of directional focused and all-self-encompassing euphoria, I guess.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saberstorm View Post
    The GREAT Scott Sonnon!!! YES, YES *** (insert creepy smile here)*** You should know him.

    http://www.facebook.com/#!/ScottSonnon

    That is is Facebook page. He is a police trainer/ martial arts guru. Ignore the video about the KKK, and the rest of his posts are about flow states and willpower and so on.
    That KKK video He does have a point though! Haha.
    It's like reverse psychology, I couldn't help but watch it.

    So this was the article you were talking about? http://www.huffingtonpost.com/scott-...b_1108113.html

    From the looks of it he's definitely a proactive kind of guy. Hopefully he has material for people looking to improve kick flexibility; I'm trying to get back to form.

    Quote Originally Posted by Agee View Post
    ...Im going to make a bold statement and say "Flow" is intrinsically Se.

    Anyways, yeah I tried researching this before and gave up since I can't really find any real shit on how to access it more often. One thing though, is that it definitely has to do with Alpha brain waves.
    Hmm, any explanation as to why it'd be Se?

    Alpha brain waves? I'm not familiar with that.

    Quote Originally Posted by HaveLucidDreamz View Post
    Yes I've been "in the zone" or whatever before, I've even found out a few things about stuff that prevents me from being more in the zone. Such as self-criticism and other small anxieties and tensions which prevent being in the zone.

    My guess is this doesn't have to do with function but perhaps interactions between functions in one's psyche which enable the presence of mind.
    Yeah, it's harder to focus when you're thinking about how you come across to others and constantly assessing the difficulty of the undertaking. Pretty much end up overthinking. I think the people who can access "flow" the best are the ones with more stable or inwardly-driven psyches, who can tune out those kinds of distractions or don't have them to begin with.

    What did you do to "get in the zone?"

    Quote Originally Posted by EyeSeeCold View Post
    It wasn't just straight running. I was chasing someone down.
    I'm really curious to know how this ends up becoming your defining "flow" moment.

    Quote Originally Posted by munenori2 View Post
    I probably posted in that other thread, but flow is pretty much what I strive for when I'm doing physical stuff. In the context of actual activities, I guess I've experienced it most when I'm biking or loading boxes. It's one of those commonalities between disparate things that you realize is intrinsically valuable, so you try to sort of inculcate it into whatever various disciplines you find yourself in. I'm not sure how I would describe it. It's some kind of directional focused and all-self-encompassing euphoria, I guess.
    Maybe that's what I should strive for, too.

    Sounds paradoxical, though. My goal would be to achieve a mindset from carrying out an activity in which I would appreciate the inherent value of that activity.
    Last edited by Uncertainty; 11-27-2011 at 04:38 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by HaveLucidDreamz View Post
    Yes I've been "in the zone" or whatever before, I've even found out a few things about stuff that prevents me from being more in the zone. Such as self-criticism and other small anxieties and tensions which prevent being in the zone.

    My guess is this doesn't have to do with function but perhaps interactions between functions in one's psyche which enable the presence of mind.
    Perhaps.

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    Yes, i'll explain later since im feeling lazy :/

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    I always assumed it was -related.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ritella View Post
    Over here, we'll put up with (almost) all of your crap. You just have to use the secret phrase: "I don't value it. It's related to <insert random element here>, which is not in my quadra."
    Quote Originally Posted by Aquagraph View Post
    Abbie is so boring and rigid it's awesome instead of boring and rigid. She seems so practical and down-to-the-ground.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Director Abbie View Post
    I always assumed it was -related.
    Indeed, that has been my experience as well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by OPer
    Yeah, it's harder to focus when you're thinking about how you come across to others and constantly assessing the difficulty of the undertaking. Pretty much end up overthinking. I think the people who can access "flow" the best are the ones with more stable or inwardly-driven psyches, who can tune out those kinds of distractions or don't have them to begin with.

    What did you do to "get in the zone?"
    Check this out http://wik.ed.uiuc.edu/index.php/Effortless_Mastery -- It's all about this topic and how the internal critic can interfere with with being in this zone, it was written by an improvisational musician, so its based in personal experience and not in pseduo-scientific new age bullshit.

    Most of my exposure to this thing started in high school when I began trying to learn how to play the trumpet improvisationally. I had a really good teacher for trumpet and he mentioned this book, only after a few years did I look into it and begin digesting it. Now I can even see the similarities between this and other concepts in certain eastern religions (I'm mainly thinking of buddhism) and I've even begun paying attention to this aspect of myself.

    As for when I notice this state, sometimes in physical activity, and sometimes in creative activities, and I can even begin to see it's application to things in general -- say even social situations, are you present and in the moment interacting with people, or are you self-consciously observing and attempting to control the social situation from afar using scripted social responses. I mean I can see applications everywhere to this. I know sometimes when I'm working on something creatively and I have built up a lot of focus, that I can get lost more easily into the activity and have my entire concentration on the present moment and what I'm creating. Sometimes I'll go into this state for 2-3 hours and when I get out of it and step away from what I'm working on it feels similar to waking up from a dream in a way.

    The matrix also reminds me of the concept of the zone. The matrix is a metaphor for one's perceptual world, not the "real world" but how one sees things. In the real world there are two aspects, humanity - which is organic, and the machines - which are the system or the deterministic/mechanized portion of people. Agents represent one's neurosis, one's security system in one's perceptual world, they prevent or hold back people to try to preserve order in one's perception. Neo becoming the one, and destroying the agent was similar to one overcoming one's neurosis. Seeing the code to one's perceptual world, is akin to being fully in the zone, or in an enlightened state. At the end of the matrix neo goes into the agent, and the agent dematerializes around him, him emerging in the core -- this furthers the metaphor of him breaking free from his inner doubt/worry/fear/anxiety/neurosis. The matrix has many elements of eastern spirituality in it.

    How do I attempt to achieve this state -- I have no idea lol. Maybe build focus, a lot of times I find that if I rush into an activity with a lot of worries and anxieties in the back of my mind that I end up breaking the flow in whatever I'm doing. I need to kind of tell myself mentally that everything's alright and I'm exactly where I should be, even though I may feel anxiety about the future or past. I may be worried about some future appointment I have that I don't feel like doing, or I may have a general sense of being behind in my life that creates a kind of urgency, or I may have something negative that bothered me looping over and over in my head that I'm just trying to ignore. I find that building focus and dispelling some of the tension behind all of that helps before entering into an activity. The first step I've discovered to doing this though is awareness of the anxiety I have, trying to cut through the bullshit and go straight to the heart of what is bothering me, instead of becoming overly focused on insignificant tangents.

    For example, I may loose the ability to create music because I'm too self-conscious about something someone said about a group they hate that I may have secretly liked, this causes me to over analyze everything I do and criticize it all in an attempt to not sound like this group this other person hates and therefore be rejected. Many people would get caught up in the rationalizations of this -- say spend time arguing over their musical taste, to bolster their ego to a point where they found the will to create music again or they may attempt to conform to the tastes of these people so they wouldn't have to be rejected. In both cases it's an obsessive over rationalization of the issue which is how you feel about your personal taste in music being rejected by someone else. I think being in the zone would require less self-consciousness of this, realizing your taste isn't going to always be the same as everyone else, and that overtime your and other people's tastes in music evolves, so its more important to focus on develop your own unique style and move forward with that with a sense of self-confidence. I find that deconstructing things like this helps me get to the heart of the issue and not spend large blocks of time getting caught up in tangents. So I guess my best strategy is to try to build focus through deconstructing my latent background anxieties that I may not even realize are there unless I concentrate on how I feel.

    I think the real goal is to have this sort of thing going on automatically so that the latent background anxieties aren't even created in your psyche and you don't get out of the zone, a person who was able to achieve such a state would be "enlightened"... but I'm very skeptical of anyone who claims to be like this, because what's more typical is the anxiety is there but people that think they are enlightened are just in denial or have a dissociative identity -- they are in the dream state and not self-possessed, which is how they get away with seeming like they are "enlightened" or constantly in the zone.

    I'm nowhere near being a master at this, I can just occasionally focus my efforts well in spurts, but I always eventually burn out lol.

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    I think I've experienced it for very short moments on a few occasions and I think those moments revealed the poverty my consciousness is usually otherwise in. Although it's important to me to craft and hone my experience of consciousness, I seem to always be too lazy to put in the necessary disciplined work. Although this is not the same thing as flow, it's related... my consciousness now would only transform into a state such as flow by some random arrangement of circumstances, or by accident. Also I suppose there is rebellion with things I don't like in my life... when I feel I have to do something (like my job) when I really don't like it, I seem to fragment my mind further so that it can live in its own land while not having to suffer the tedium of the tasks I engage very little of it in. But in doing this I'm training my mind to not be present at all and so over time it all gets worse. I'm not sure what it would take to let go of my rebellion, but I think it might be to accept some sort of power in my life or something, rather than seeing myself as some small particle caught by all the winds and moved about where I didn't wish to go. Perhaps I console myself by seeing myself as a victim of my life or of reality. I probably need to learn that I have some control, and that a choice that I bury under all of these circumstantial things that I perceive as having happened to me, is still a choice. In a very E9-ish way I think that I fracture off the part of me that actually makes certain willful decisions... the way those decisions are carried out are always in these convoluted, subtle ways that don't really always show up, and this muffles the source of the decision... So it ends up where I'm on different tracks of life at the same time, where my conscious experience of life may be divorced from an instinctual being beneath who makes certain decisions, and from the wiser self beneath who emerges now and then reminding me that I knew it all had to go a certain way because I was trying to learn or change something (but that "wiser self" is not an island unto itself and so when ignored long enough may fall into being someone who is a poor guide--seeking ideals that only get me more off track). Anyway the point is that I am in all of these layers and rarely do they all convene together to make one voice or discussion, or converge as one single sharp point where all of my active, awake and alert consciousness is concentrated. That is not flow either, but in such a state, I think that flow would be easy to shift into. I think flow is largely about actually engaging with something else, which is why I think it's mostly reported by people who are fully involved in something they are doing. Perhaps it's a more active state, where as what I was talking about is the corresponding passive state... so it's the same thing, but like shifting into a higher gear from the lower one or something.

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    Yeah, I know that state of mind. I have experienced it in both physical and mental tasks.
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    I kind of wonder if flow is how Si/Ne types experience Se. I can enter this kind of state almost at will when I am engaged in an appropriate activity. Its happens when I work out, especially mountain biking. Also it used to happen a lot when I worked as a barista at a coffee shop wit shittons of customers, when it got really busy and i was on the bar i would just go into this crazy zen berzerker modeand work insanely fast. It was like being high in a way.
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    Out of curiosity, have you experienced flow?
    Yes.

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    I can get like this quite often, but it's generally in something totally unproductive.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Agee View Post
    Yes, i'll explain later since im feeling lazy :/
    And wanker.

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    fuck yeah flow

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    This happens to me something like a few times a month, particularly when I'm doing something artsy or math. Though I wouldn't describe it as spontaneous joy--isn't the whole point that it's more directed? Anyway, physical discomfort knocks me out of it (I have chronic pain from spinal cord tumors), so I bet it would occur even more often if I didn't have that problem.

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    I'm not sure about joy, but it does put me in a good mood. Unless I end up with an outrageous obstacle. That could put me in a bad mood, like riding a bike downhill in great weather and suddenly the bearings all stop working.

    I've never had pain get me out of it; only completion of a major stage does.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ritella View Post
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aquagraph View Post
    Abbie is so boring and rigid it's awesome instead of boring and rigid. She seems so practical and down-to-the-ground.

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    i bet that guy achieves flow while trying to pronounce his last name

    he has a TED talk which I've seen some time ago but it doesn't fully mirror my experiences so i guess i don't experience it - some of those criteria apply to me but not others, so his construct doesn't really match me

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    Quote Originally Posted by siuntal View Post
    i bet that guy achieves flow while trying to pronounce his last name

    he has a TED talk which I've seen some time ago but it doesn't fully mirror my experiences so i guess i don't experience it - some of those criteria apply to me but not others, so his construct doesn't really match me
    Link to that talk here: http://www.ted.com/talks/mihaly_csik...i_on_flow.html

    I think I've definitely felt this once or twice before when writing music, but it's rare. That sort of ecstasy seems like the kind of thing that must be rare, or else its power diminishes if it happens too rapidly. I think I'm also just too afraid to consciously let go of myself.
    "And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don't believe in magic will never find it." -Roald Dahl

    http://forum.socionix.com/
    It's pretty cool

  28. #28
    Creepy-male

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    This entire concept seems irrespective of feelings to me, it's more about the mind and space and time. Being in the zone doesn't always mean what's in the zone is a positive or negative experience, it seems to be more related on being fully "there" in the present moment.

    Apparently people that live out traumatic experiences will actually have a dissociative memory of the event, where their experience of the event is remembered as happening to someone else other than themselves. Maybe this is one instance where people don't want to be in the zone, where there defense mechanisms prevent them from being in the zone.

    Anyways I attribute extreme versions of being in the zone to certain eastern spiritual concepts which find their way into modern culture in things like Lucas' Jedi and The Matrix. It's hard to find this concept in western thought outside of philosophy and psychology. Christianity tends to focus on the good-evil paradigm heavily -- original sin, jesus dying for people's sins, the heaven-hell concept, and a transcendental being that judges people. It's more focused on alleviating people's anxiety about death and being evil, but occasionally it backfires horribly and actually causes people to be more anxious about death and being evil.

  29. #29
    The Iniquitous inumbra's Avatar
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    I see a slight difference between my understanding of "flow" and being "in the zone" and am not sure it's the same thing exactly. I've felt "in the zone" before and this was different than my brief instances of flow were. My most memorable accidental experience of flow was the first time it happened one day when I was playing the piano. I try to play right out of my head although my miserable knowledge limits things a bit and I haven't been in the position to learn more. Anyway this time I suddenly became sucked into the totality of it and I felt myself and the piano and what I was doing all becoming one thing where I couldn't tell them apart anymore. Time actually slowed down and awareness of each moment crystallized. Unfortunately I didn't subsist long in this state because I panicked. I didn't understand why I had become a piano and it was freaking me out--I was afraid of having fallen into the piano and that I was losing my identity inside it and I didn't know if I'd be able to get myself back. But in that time the connection between my mind and what I heard in it and what I was playing was perfect, and aside from my reaction of fear, part of me wanted to stay there forever. But I chickened out of exploring it more (but really it doesn't matter because it was so fragile anything would have broke me out of it--I arrived there by total accident after all). Anyway I'm not entirely certain this was "flow" but at the time I'd read several different things about flow before and when I thought about it later, it rung true as qualifying to match what I had read. I can be in the zone while playing a computer game or something at times, but it is not flow... time isn't slowing down, awareness isn't becoming perfect, it's more that I'm just performing well. I mean I think that sort of being in the zone is close to flow, but it needs something more to actually shift into being flow. Maybe "the zone" stretches from "auto-pilot" a state of limited awareness all the way to "flow," a state of high awareness, and so most of the other in the zone experiences I had just didn't have that high level of awareness, but were somewhere in the middle. I see flow as just very much related to fully being in the present and fully experiencing each moment of awareness and so I would imagine an "enlightened" person would be in this state pretty much all the time. Maybe some drugs can mimic the state as well--although I always feel there's something artificial about the effects of drugs... it's like cheating on an exam or something and so you get a good grade but it doesn't mean anything because you still understand nothing, and you certainly can't do it again on your own without cheating. So it can show you what it might be like, and maybe that will inspire you to want to put in the work... and this analogy is just beginning to suck.

    Quote Originally Posted by HaveLucidDreamz View Post
    Anyways I attribute extreme versions of being in the zone to certain eastern spiritual concepts
    I didn't read your entire post. But I agree with this, and I think I pretty much agree with the rest of what you're saying up until this point. I actually think Christianity kind of gets at the same thing really. When I read the Gospel of Thomas years ago, really it seemed that Jesus was talking about very similar things to Eastern spiritual concepts. I think that the mainstream way of Christianity, focusing on many later written gospels and kind of divorcing things from their historical contexts, kind of gets off track from some of these concepts that actually can be found in various older gospels.

  30. #30
    Creepy-male

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    Quote Originally Posted by Loki View Post
    I actually think Christianity kind of gets at the same thing really. When I read the Gospel of Thomas years ago, really it seemed that Jesus was talking about very similar things to Eastern spiritual concepts. I think that the mainstream way of Christianity, focusing on many later written gospels and kind of divorcing things from their historical contexts, kind of gets off track from some of these concepts that actually can be found in various older gospels.
    Well yea there's an entire history to the development of religions -- American Evangelical Christianity and Mormonism is going to be different from Middle Ages Christianity which is going to be different from Pre-Catholic Christianity which is different from Judaism. It's definitely possible certain offshoots at some time in history have shared similarities with eastern religions but the actual mainstream that has survived from Pre-Catholic times is mostly focused on different issues than mindfulness/awareness -- if I could attempt to simply articulate the core of what I perceive modern Christianity as it would be "Follow the laws of god and believe in Jesus and be rewarded by going to Heaven", it emphasizes loyalty and faith over mindfulness/awareness and where as the paradise in Christianity is a place, the paradise in eastern religion is a state of mind. And I'm not saying this as a pro-religion or against religion thing, I just find studying this stuff interesting.
    Last edited by male; 11-29-2011 at 08:16 PM.

  31. #31

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    Quote Originally Posted by Analyst Trevor View Post
    Yes.
    Quote Originally Posted by timewu View Post
    fuck yeah flow


    Quote Originally Posted by Loki View Post
    I see a slight difference between my understanding of "flow" and being "in the zone" and am not sure it's the same thing exactly. I've felt "in the zone" before and this was different than my brief instances of flow were. My most memorable accidental experience of flow was the first time it happened one day when I was playing the piano. I try to play right out of my head although my miserable knowledge limits things a bit and I haven't been in the position to learn more. Anyway this time I suddenly became sucked into the totality of it and I felt myself and the piano and what I was doing all becoming one thing where I couldn't tell them apart anymore. Time actually slowed down and awareness of each moment crystallized. Unfortunately I didn't subsist long in this state because I panicked. I didn't understand why I had become a piano and it was freaking me out--I was afraid of having fallen into the piano and that I was losing my identity inside it and I didn't know if I'd be able to get myself back. But in that time the connection between my mind and what I heard in it and what I was playing was perfect, and aside from my reaction of fear, part of me wanted to stay there forever. But I chickened out of exploring it more (but really it doesn't matter because it was so fragile anything would have broke me out of it--I arrived there by total accident after all). Anyway I'm not entirely certain this was "flow" but at the time I'd read several different things about flow before and when I thought about it later, it rung true as qualifying to match what I had read. I can be in the zone while playing a computer game or something at times, but it is not flow... time isn't slowing down, awareness isn't becoming perfect, it's more that I'm just performing well. I mean I think that sort of being in the zone is close to flow, but it needs something more to actually shift into being flow. Maybe "the zone" stretches from "auto-pilot" a state of limited awareness all the way to "flow," a state of high awareness, and so most of the other in the zone experiences I had just didn't have that high level of awareness, but were somewhere in the middle.
    That's damn interesting. Complete coalescence with the piano.

    Maybe flow can have different intensities? I don't think there are any specific parameters for "flow," so the existence of different degrees of it seems possible, if not plausible.

  32. #32
    force my hand's Avatar
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    I definitely think there are different intensities. I experience it most strongly when doing something physical that has a component of gameful challenge/reward, such as hockey and single-track mountain biking, and to lesser extent, running (though not to be confused with second wind).

    I experience its lesser form when working or 'tasking'.

    The reason I believe flow stems from Si+Te and not Se is that it's directly related to the sensory characteristics and spatial relationships of objects, and their emergent, productive output and, more importantly, capacity for output. I imagine Se to be more concerned about personally effecting an outcome than leaving it to the objects.
    SLI/ISTp -- Te subtype

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    I don't think I've experienced it. I've experienced zoning out, and doing something fast-paced that requires a lot of attention coupled with the joy of constantly getting it right (piano, dancing)... which sounds like descriptions of flow, but I don't experience it as a distinct mental state.
    Quote Originally Posted by Agee The Great View Post
    Nobody here...besides me, seems to know what SLE is except for maybe Maritsa.

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