My personal critique of the work of Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi is that it is very focused on ‘doing’. He describes FLOW as the result of being totally absorbed in what you DO. This implies a dependence on DOING to get into FLOW. Example: ‘when I do dangerous skiing I get into FLOW’. Some people will do the most outrageous things like jumping off buildings with a parachute to feel a rush of adrenaline. But is that really what FLOW is? Or is that an addiction to certain body chemicals? How do we explain that small kids just ARE in FLOW most of the time without doing anything? Here is my definition of FLOW: a state of being characterized by great expansion. The corollary to this is that all non-FLOW states are states of relative contraction. My definition of FLOW aligns with Abraham’s definition of ‘the Vortex’. Abraham defines the Vortex as a state of high frequency energy in which limitations just fall away. In interviewing people about FLOW, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi noticed that they often reported oneness experiences. His ‘research subjects’ basically gave him a larger definition of FLOW than his own definition. Let’s look at this more closely: Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi defines FLOW as ‘a state of concentration so intense that one gets totally absorbed in the action’. The essence of this definition is: total connection with an action. The larger definition of FLOW is one of being totally connected with another person (as in ‘falling in love’), with Nature (as in ‘falling in FLOW’ by seeing a majestic sunset) or even with the entirety of Life (‘falling into a Oneness experience’). The most important ‘C’ (see the article on FLOW catalysts) is the ‘C’ of CONNECTION.

Let’s explore another definition of FLOW together:

FLOW – or the Vortex – is the experience of our unlimited self while at the same time not losing the connection with our limited psycho-physical self.

Let these words really enter into your awareness. Absorbed them slowly and fully… We have been trained in ‘either-or-thinking’: you are either this or that. But what if we can be this and that and that and that? You can be physical, emotional, psychological, psychic and spiritual without any contradiction in it. The secret to ‘being in FLOW’ aka ‘being in the Vortex’ lies in the ALIGNMENT of all the aspects of ‘you’. That is what the Law of Attraction is really about. When we (as psycho-physical beings) are aligned with our highest Inner Self, we are ‘magnets for the highest good’. The bridge between our outer and inner self is to be found in our feeling self and FLOW or ‘the Vortex’ is the state of optimum feeling.

Old school spirituality tries to give our human self a bad reputation. We are told we need to get rid of ‘the ego’ or that we are ‘fallen beings’. Says who? Without our human self we would be unable to experience the sensory world (let’s not forget ‘we’ means: the expression of Source in conscious beings). I suggest we need to shift to another paradigm: not ‘erasing the ego’ but aligning all aspects of who we are with our highest aspect. Who cares that the sensory world is an illusion? Who even cares that the ‘ego’ is an illusion too? That is not the real issue. The real issue is: how can we create ‘the illusion’ in such a way that it is joyful and fulfilling? How can we create Heaven on Earth as described in the Bible? The issue is: are you a victim of some ‘forces’ outside you or are you a creator? Does life happen to you or are you creating it (whether you admit it or not)? And if you are creating it, then how are you creating it?

It’s time for a synthesis of East and West into a higher paradigm. In the East spirituality was all about ‘escaping the world’ because it was seen as bondage and misery. In the West the idea was to get a ‘maximum of pleasure out of the world’. Both are extreme, off balance positions. Seeing the world as a source of misery makes you disconnect from the external world (believe me, I have been there…) and seeing the world as the primary source of pleasure makes you disconnect from your inner world (hundreds of millions are in that state).

Here is another way of sensing what we mean: FLOW is a state of CONNECTION which allows for a free flow of the divine energy. Corollary: all states of non-flow are degrees of disconnection, implying barriers (resistance) and thus impeded energy flows.

FLOW, ‘the Vortex’, ‘the state of grace’ or ‘the state of connection’ is the bridge between the world of Oneness and the world of differences. FLOW is the optimum state of access to the Inner and the Outer world at the same time. It’s the best of both worlds and it feels like Heaven. If the goal was to escape the world, then why come here in the first place? Silly right? If on the other hand the goal becomes to extract pleasure from the world while forgetting who you really are, you’re in trouble too right? Better go for FLOW or the synergy of both worlds. FLOW is being in the sensory world while consciously being rooted in the Inner World. FLOW is a state of alignment and alignment means that all parts of who we are work in synergy as one system, in wholeness.

I got a lot of insight from this saying of Lester Levenson: ‘Creation is the level just under Being’. We cannot help but being. Nothing will ever change that. We ultimately are the Ultimate, the Absolute. What we can ‘help’ though is wether we – as extensions of Source – are living as creators or as victims. Creating is what FLOW is about. Creating is what the Vortex is about. Creating is what the Law of Attraction is about in its optimum application. We feel happiest when we create our life as a work of art – we feel the unhappiest when we feel dis-empowered, when we behave like victims of circumstances.

In the traditional language FLOW is also known as the ‘state of grace’. When we ‘fall from grace’, we fall into lower and lower relative states of being until we are totally in apathy, totally depressed, total victims.

Look at the following Abraham scale of relative states of being, of progressive energy frequencies. It can be used as a road map back to the state of grace (FLOW) and even back into the full experience of Being (awakening into Oneness). It is also known as the emotional scale. I have added the word FLOW to the top of the scale and I have added the notions of ‘speed versus slowness’ and ‘allowing versus resisting’. Please click on the picture to see it in full size.

The scale of relative beingness states
The scale of relative beingness states, FLOW at the top of the scale

How does one move back up this scale? By releasing resistance, by constantly choosing relief over resistance, however small at first. We will get back to this in several articles. For now, let’s close with this: we (the Ultimate in relative state and suffering from memory loss), can create Heaven on Earth if we align with Source OR we can keep creating total hell when we keep acting without being connected to the Inner Perfection (the metaphor of Adam and Eve losing Paradise).

It’s time to go back to Eden. Wouldn’t you agree?

Till next

Jan Bommerez

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