George Santayana (1863-1952) was a philosopher, essayist, poet and novelist.
Thursday, April 29, 2021
Friday, April 23, 2021
“This concentration is not forced, like when an analyst concentrates on working out a difficult problem in a computer program,” wrote Nancy Wasserman.
“The concentration experienced in Dharana is more passive and occurs in a state of relaxed awareness… The meditator creates a deeper compartment that allows the mind to flow more rapidly in that one particular direction.”
Intense, effective focus through relaxed awareness is also, of course, the definition of flow.
Wasserman quoted a relevant remark by Ralph Waldo Emerson, who recommended, “…the stopping off decisively our miscellaneous activity, and concentrating our force on one or a few points; as the gardener, by severe pruning, forces the sap of the tree into one or two vigorous limbs, instead of suffering it to spindle into a sheaf of twigs.”
Rechanneling that sap could be akin as flow, which Csikszentmihalyi described as “…a state in which people are so involved in an activity that nothing else seems to matter; the experience is so enjoyable that people will continue to do it even at great cost, for the sheer sake of doing it.”
Csikszentmihalyi said this comes easiest to those who possess what he called the “autotelic personality” — the internally driven people who have a tendency to engage in an activity for its own sake.
Those who have an autotelic personality are said to experience less stress during their complete absorption in flow.
For me, writing and art can slip easily and almost imperceptibly into a flow state. The feeling is unselfconscious and immensely gratifying.
But any number of activities can be translated into flow.
Vladimir Drkulec said, “I have experienced flow when playing chess, dancing, at a party, in karate class, in aikido class, in a fight when attacked by two people, in tense situations where a fight seemed imminent, while out in nature, when walking. The compression or expansion of time seemed to happen so that you perceived yourself to be moving slow as molasses while the other people around you were moving even slower.
“In one case, I played a chess game that lasted almost 13 hours and was barely conscious of the passage of time. Only when the game was over did I realize that I had skipped lunch and was well past the dinner hour.”
Mike Oppland observed, “It’s important to note that one can’t experience flow if distractions disrupt the experience. Thus, to experience this state, one has to stay away from the attention-robbers common in a modern fast-paced life. A first step would be to turn off your smartphone when seeking flow.
“Also, the balance of perceived challenges and skills are important factors in flow. On the one hand, when a challenge is bigger than one’s level of skills, one becomes anxious and stressed. On the other hand, when the level of skill exceeds the size of the challenge, one becomes bored and distracted.
“Since the experience of this state is just in the middle, the balance is essential.”
Friday, April 16, 2021
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Wednesday, March 24, 2021
|“(I)n fact, you can find that the lack of basic resources, material resources, contributes to unhappiness, but the increase in material resources do not increase happiness,” Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi said.|
Saturday, March 13, 2021
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The Hungarian-born psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (pronounced Me-high Cheek-sent-me-high) regards this trait as a key element of the autotelic personality — those internally driven people who have a tendency to engage in an activity for its own sake.
Those who have an autotelic personality are said to experience less stress during their complete absorption in an activity, the state he called “flow.”
Sunday, January 24, 2021
Saturday, January 23, 2021
Friday, January 22, 2021
The corporate news media has already ignored the Republican use of torture, the Republican war of lies that murdered several hundred thousand innocent people in Iraq, and the Republican Wall Street deregulation that caused the 2008 global financial crash.
So why not this too?
“Breath connects the inside of the body with the outside world — taking the outside world in, and expelling the inside world out.”
Wednesday, January 20, 2021
The overwhelming of our inner reality by the demands of the outer world, in ways never before possible, is a central problem of the 21st century.
Outer communications technology must be counterbalanced by — and ultimately tamed by, and enhanced by — inner mental technique.
Monday, January 18, 2021
|Republicans always cry "Unity!" after the disasters they’ve designed rain down on our heads. They want some breathing space to plan the next fascist attack they intend to launch against us.|
“Sorry, but anyone who can look around at this point and continue to support this treasonous president is deplorable… As the fever in our politics finally breaks, Trumpism doesn’t need to be ‘understood’ any more than white supremacy or Nazism or any other toxic philosophy does. It just needs to be defeated."
Sunday, January 17, 2021
Saturday, January 16, 2021
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Wednesday, January 13, 2021
“We’re reaping, in my view, the consequences of President Obama’s failure to do accountability in 2008, with the financial crisis and the Iraq war and the torture regime,” said the Yale philosophy professor Jason Stanley.
“The message then was, ‘It doesn’t matter what sort of violations you do. You can lie to the American people, you can cheat us out of money as the bankers did, and there are no consequences.
“And to have no consequences again? We’ll have a social and political movement that will make Trumpism seem mild by comparison.”
Monday, January 11, 2021
Sunday, January 10, 2021
|George Segal and Alec Guinness in "The Quiller Memorandum"|
Watching The Quiller Memorandum from 1966.
“We’ve been engaged in some rather tough work here,” says Alec Guinness, in low, ominous tones. “Nazis, from top to toe, in the classic tradition. Not just the remains of the old lot, oh no. There’s quite a bit of new blood. Youth. Firm believers, very dangerous. It wouldn’t do to underestimate them.”
Yeah, tell me about it, Alec.
Monday, January 4, 2021
“Only we humans worry about the future, regret the past and blame ourselves for the present,” wrote psychologist Rick Hanson in Buddha’s Brain: The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love, and Wisdom.
“Neurons that fire together wire together. Mental states become neural traits. Day after day, your mind is building your brain. This is what scientists call experience-dependent neuroplasticity.”
“By taking just a few extra seconds to stay with a positive experience — even the comfort in a single breath — you’ll help turn a passing mental state into lasting neural structure.”