This may seem a bit philosophical, but read it to the end, anyway.
We hear a lot about “Flow” today. It’s a buzz word that is making the rounds once again. The resurgence began with Mihaly Csikszentmihali’s (say that 5 times fast) book about Flow from back in the 70’s. For the purpose of this article, I’ll just refer to him as Mihaly. His work is the basis for most modern thinking about flow, but there are a number of more recent books that get into flow even more deeply and philosophically.
Basically, “flow” refers to a mental state where someone is completely absorbed in what they are doing without regard for time or outside influences. Mihaly termed it “Flow” when his interviewees in the mid 1970s would often describe the experience as being like water flowing and carrying them along with the current.
Independently of Mihaly’s book, the late author and Unity Minister Eric Butterworth, wrote a book first published in 1975 called, In the Flow of Life where he describes flow as “Living life from inside – out”, and that life in “flow” echoes the theme expressed by the ancient philosopher Plotinus who suggested that “if you flow as life flows, you need no other power. Anything is evil that blocks the flow of creative action, and everything is healthy that flows with the Universe.” Butterworth uses the term “Superconscious Awareness” which seems to reflect some of the more modern interpretations of the meaning of “flow”, including a “flow mindset” as an “altered state” similar to that induced by hallucinogens.
What has all this to do with Health, Fitness and Personal Energy for Active Seniors? Butterworth writes that “Life does not grow old. Life does not deteriorate. Life does not die. Life is an eternal, dynamic, flowing process”. He continues: “Age is basically psychological rather than physiological and that we are as young as we think we are.”
All of this philosophy leads to this final quote from Eric Butterworth:
“Contrary to the common human belief, we do not begin to slow down because we are becoming old. We are becoming old because we are slowing down. The cells of our bodies are like water in a river. Motion helps them to stay in the flow and thus to purify themselves. There are literally thousands of moping people who could renew their strength and youthfulness to say nothing of finding freedom from aches and pains, if they would simply stir themselves in mind and body, get into the flow in consciousness and ‘into the swim’ of activities. The wisdom of the world has conditioned us to ‘act our age’. Now we must begin to act our youth—to act our experience in the flow of life.” — In the Flow of Life, Eric Butterworth, p. 139.
That says it pretty well.
Thank you for reading.