The following posts were written after reading about flow. Flow is a state of consciousness that we have long known about but only recently started taking it seriously. Thanks to authors like Csikszentmihalyi who coined the term, and Perry who’s book “Writing in Flow” I am working through, we can learn more about what creates a flow state and how we can enter into this state of consciousness. Flow is a state in which whatever you are doing becomes effortless, it flows. It happens when we apply ourselves to a task long enough that it becomes second nature. Perry states, “To enter flow, you have to be doing something that presents enough of a challenge to use your skills so that you feel truly engaged, neither bored nor anxious” (Perry, 1999, p.11). I imagine a few upcoming posts will involve discussion of flow whether it is open discussion about this state of being, or it is embedded work in which I attempt to enter flow during writing.  I hope the reader will enjoy what is offered. What is here is one half creative, one half letting flow, and one half conspiracy of light preaching.

Decisions

1000 rivers run past my door and I on the unmoving rock

casting glances for the shore and planning to move the plot

forward into the fray the depth of the rivers beckons

I instead slip into day ignoring the rivers reckon

I see those channels flowing round and fear becomes alive

I live in panels fortified in words I am chained and bound

Yet swim I must in times due course the river choosing me

No need to struggle or initiate force just slide into the sea

I pray the currents take me there to the home of heart and soul

It warrants only faith and care and ignoring times of slow

River take me onward roll me into the night

I release, relax, respond, I give in without a fight

For somewhere down that flow at the end of the long embrace

I find myself on promised shore a smile upon my face.

Idea Factory

Where does a new idea come from? It hits me as if it is percolating up. Somewhere the deep erupts and an idea is given and I am left to defend it, play with it, take it for a ride until I am either unceremoniously dumped or the idea and I are both satiated. The thing is, ideas are always percolating. Some hidden voice casting words into the void throughout the day. Lost in my daily activities, ideas pop like bubbles or pass quietly into memory. Sometimes I pretend that I am going to “hold onto” that one. To file it somewhere to be called up again, but often they just fall back into oblivion never to be seen again. Who knows, we could all be on the verge of something but the idea is so subtle, so slippery that only the most masterful observers even glimpse its existence.

Then there are the moments in which I stand before a chaotic jumble, ideas swimming entangled, waiting to be dethreaded like one of the death knots in a rope. Then it is my job to untangle and release. There is always the release. A thing arises and perhaps through writing, or other forms of expression, it gets caught. There is the newly formed paper universe in which it lives, a book, a story, a letter, a poem, and then there is the living dialog when an idea passes from one person to another through discussion, the birth of the meme.

I wish I could watch where it goes. You know if I have an idea, a bubble of beauty, and it has meaning to others, it would be amazing to watch it pass from mind to mind. To be shaped by everyone who comes in contact with it until it later no longer resembles its birthed self but instead is an amalgamated hybrid of all of the shapers through which it has passed. How many simple ideas have been birthed and grown awaiting action until some well prepared catcher takes it and brings the idea into physical manifestation? How much does what I say here and now inform the future? Is there hidden within my own words the cure for cancer, a new form of weapon, the destruction of humanity? Yet I can’t take responsibility for these eventualities. Each of us has a responsibility to shape what comes along into the best it can be. We have to assume that the others of the world will take the idea into a positive direction. Words do have power. Ideas do light fuses. It is up to each of us to address each idea anew and lovingly shape them for the betterment of self and other. We are all caretakers of universal imagination. Creation flows, and channels from our bodies and minds, our hearts and souls.

A conspiracy of light recognizes that we all have a place in the great dialog. It is a dialog that happens out of sight, in the background. It is happening now and each of us tap in as we may. But we are surrounded by cliche, eddies in the flow. Those things that mask themselves as unique or original but yet only serve to slow the rise and fall of ideas. Commercials, soundbites, thoughts without give, all of these obstruct our collective dialog. We collect around them like moths at a flame. We are all part of this dance. But being conscious of such possibilities, cultivating awareness would seem to be the only cure. Being aware of the ways in which we are all a multiplicity.

We are as the Buddah would say ‘neti neti’, not this and not that. We are the press of all things into a holding space. Memory and pattern hold us in place amidst the cascade of ideas around us. But there is attrition. We shape ideas and ideas shape us the way the wind is no longer the same after it carves a canyon. It is a humbling awareness. We co-create our world daily. Lets try and create something of which we can all be proud. Let go of the hatred and guilt that destroys ideas and seeks to separate itself from all else by walling itself in. You can hang out in your castle, surrounded  by the things that you love, but unless you venture into the world you are rotting, going stale from the failure of accepting and intermingling with the other.

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Collective Mind

There is the possibility that the entire world is one collective mind. Like drops in the water we all make up the mind without being the mind. Within that mind, larger conglomerations of people form cultural minds. We are the neurons, firing information to each other. When a group or culture gathers around an idea of exclusion, we all lose. The richness of the world is diminished. There are groups out there that work to silence the voices of the gay community, of African Americans, or Latinos, of women, of the homeless, of the poor, of the Christians. If you can name a subculture, there is almost a guarantee that some other subgroup opposes them. I am not saying that we should allow the actions of those who spread hatred. Neo Nazi’s and Nihilists should have the right to express their ideology as long as their actions are kept in check. It is when the idea of shutting out others becomes an active physical expression that we must step in and take action.

None of this is easy philosophical banter. There are necessarily loose threads waving in the wind. I am not seeking to dictate to others how they should live their lives. That is up to you to decipher and work through. I am instead advocating for an openness towards the other, whoever that other may be. Developing a sense of compassion for those that we have no connection with could be the greatest challenge of your life, but on the other side of that divide is the space in which we can develop a harmonic existence. Lion and lamb, Christian and prostitute, straight and gay, liberal and republican, and yes even the libertarian. It only comes through work. It only emerges when we tend to our own candles and keep them trimmed and burning. Then and only then will light be less a conspiracy and more of a daily attitude. I urge one and all to go out and shine.

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Rush- Closer to the Heart

And the men who hold high places
Must be the ones who start
To mold a new reality
Closer to the heart
Closer to the heart
The blacksmith and the artist
Reflect it in their art
They forge their creativity
Closer to the heart
Closer to the heart

Philosophers and ploughmen
Each must know his part
To sow a new mentality
Closer to the heart
Closer to the heart
You can be the captain
I will draw the chart
Sailing into destiny
Closer to the heart

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