FLOW is harmony of Yin and YANG

‘When Yang and Yin are in harmony, Yang becomes effortlessness and Yin becomes simplicity.’

(The I-Ching)


This Taoist quote really is a perfect description of the state of FLOW. When we are in FLOW we experience effortlessness and a total absence of complexity. Things just seem to work out themselves. When we are in our natural state, life is simple and enjoyable. All complexity and grief comes from the ego. From the previous statements, it also follows that all ego states are states of imbalance and that FLOW is not only a state of balance, but also a state of no-ego. When the ego is absent, there literally are no problems – there is only harmony and FLOW.

All problems are ego-related  – Lester Levenson

Here is how Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi describes the same phenomenon: : ‘When someone is completely absorbed in what he does, there is no more room for past or future. There is only now. The most amazing thing  however is that when this happens, the concept of a separated self also disappears…/… ‘This disappearance of a separated self is sometimes accompanied by a sense of oneness with the surroundings, be it a mountain or a team…/… What disappears during FLOW is not the actual self-awareness but the concept of the self that we had created to tell ourselves who we are.’

FLOW is the direct experience of who we really are and conversely all non-FLOW states or ego-states are twisted stories about who we are… The entire work of Byron Katie is about giving up our stories so we can rediscover who we really are. The basic misunderstanding underlying the entire ‘ego-drama’ is that there is anything separate from who we are, like: ‘another person’ or ‘the world’. Where do I end and where do you begin? There is no answer to this question but still we feel there is. We feel separated from others and the world. When however we can let go of the idea that there is a separate reality apart from us, all tension has to fall away because at that time there is no polarity left. Polarity is a very relative reality. It only exists at the lower frequency levels in the energy spectrum. When we move up in frequency, we more and more experience the connectedness of all things and eventually, at the very top of the scale we can even experience oneness. Please click the following image for full size.

Polarity to oneness
Polarity to oneness

The only way to get out of the ‘tension of the opposites’ or the ‘ego-band’ of the frequency scale is to transcend the polarities by introducing a third factor, a higher order. We will look at this reconciling force in Part 2 of this article (Gurdjieff students know what is coming…)

Tai Chi - Yin and Yang as one system

Yin and Yang are not separate realities but different aspects of the same reality, not unlike hot and cold both are only different degrees of the same reality: ‘temperature’. Life or existence is the interplay of Yin and Yang. They constantly arise out of each other like the night arising from the day and the day from the night. What we call ‘solid form’ is the very rapid alternation of presence (Yang) and absence (Yin) of particles. Not one particle actually ever ‘stays’. They come and go at speeds like 50,000 miles or more per second. At a deeper level than the sensory level, objects are energy streams. Objects only look solid to our relatively slow brains because we cannot assimilate this type of speed in real time. Our bodies are more like the flame of a candle – constantly changing – than they are ‘solid’. Just like we cannot step twice in the same river (Heraclitus), we cannot wake up twice in the same body. Once we can truly see the impermanence of forms, we can be free of tension because we can stop holding on. There really is nothing to hold on… The whole idea of identifying with an apparent permanence is what creates all our fears. Once we know we are the FLOW and not the form, we also know there is no death. The FLOW is eternal, only its expressions are temporary, not unlike the waves on an ocean: they come and go but the ocean stays. Our TRUE POWER is the power of the ‘ocean’. A wave is powerless by itself. Put it in a bucket and it’s no longer a wave… It totally depends on the ocean to be ‘alive’. What we are is something that is ‘being done by the entire Universe’. The wave may be ‘rolling’ but the Universe is DOING the rolling. You might want to take the time to watch the Alan Watts video about Yin and Yang in our video section…

In Part 2, we will look further into why the dualistic ego is a necessary evolutionary step and how it can be transformed by introducing a third force, like in ‘electrons, protons and neutrons‘. Stay tuned…

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until next


Jan Bommerez