The Evolving Self Chapter 7 Discussion: Evolution and Flow | Flow Book Club
Join us as we continue with our exploration of flow, reading Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s Flow sequel: The Evolving Self: A Psychology for the Third Millennium (1993).
In the introduction, MC points out “...it is difficult to build a happy life by the simple addition of a series of flow experiences. The whole in this case is definitely more than the sum of its parts”. Beyond just a number of flow experiences, what is needed is “…a system of meanings that gives purpose to one’s being”.
MC explains, “Flow ended with the proposition that by understanding better our evolutionary past we might generate the grounds for a viable meaning system, a faith that can give order and purpose to our lives in the future. To know ourselves is the greatest achievement of our species. And to understand ourselves – what we are made of, what motives drive us, and what goals we dream of – involves first of all our evolutionary past. Only on this foundation can we build a stable, meaningful future.” That is the project of this book.
Chapter 7: Evolution and Flow
We now get to examine flow in detail in connection with evolution! MC finds the connection in complexity. As he says, “In order to ensure their own continuation, evolutionary processes seem to have built into our nervous systems a preference for complexity…we experience enjoyment when we take on a project that stretches our skills in new direction, when we recognize and master new challenges.” Join us in this discussion to explore the nature and benefits of flow and flow’s ties to evolution.
Topics: “The Elements of Flow” “Why Is Flow Rewarding” “The Consequences of Flow” “What Happens When Flow is Absent” “Flow in Everyday Life"
“Ask Me Why” by Matthew Billman and K. Joia Houheneka
This discussion is done in partnership with the Meetup group 52 Living Ideas.
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