The signpost is not the destination
Signposts only can point to something but you need to see what they point to...

FLOW is not something we can ‘do’. It is a spontaneous happening. It is a creative expression of all that is free in us. Just like there is no formula for happiness, there is no formula for FLOW.  Since FLOW is not a mental state but a beingness state translated into fluid action, words cannot really transfer the state itself. Words can only be signposts. The experience itself demands that you move beyond the signpost. Too many people in the self development arena fall in love with signposts, like in having their total focus on a guru or teacher or method.

This being said, let’s have a look at the definition of the originator of the FLOW term, Dr. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi: ‘FLOW is the process of total relationship with life in which pleasure and creativity arise spontaneously.’ You know how a flock of migrating birds suddenly take a sharp turn as if all the birds in the flock were one single body? They do not follow set patterns, they move spontaneously in the moment and they move in harmonious unison. That is an example of FLOW in nature. Watch them dance in this wondrous video (click link):

Fascinating bird flock dance

The truth is, nature as a whole is in always FLOW; creation is FLOW and it is always NOW.  It is when we humans move away from the principles of the whole that we lose our sense of wholeness and our original FLOW state. The wholeness itself of course never disappears. Harmony is the implicit order of the universe. Since we humans mostly experience the universe through a fragmented mind, we have a hard time believing that harmony is the ‘nature of Nature’. Nevertheless: FLOW is a direct experience of this implicit harmony of life without any interference of our kaleidoscopic ego-mind. FLOW is a state of coherence, a state of alignment, a state of connectedness, a state of integrity, a state of congruency. FLOW is the exact opposite of the inner division, fragmentation, opposition, doubt, frustration, etc… of the ego. We could also define FLOW as ‘unfragmented experience’. FLOW is a state of total immersion, a state of total connectedness with NOW. In FLOW, we hold nothing back. In FLOW we are temporarily back in our original wholeness. We are totally engaged and totally present. We are so fully in the experience that we are the experience. In FLOW the dancer becomes the dancing. In FLOW the ‘doer’ disappears. In the East FLOW is called ‘wu wei’ or ‘doing without a doer’. We will talk more about ‘wu wei’ when we go into the link between FLOW and TAO.

Until next

Jan Bommerez

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