7 Ways to Live in Flow (Part II)
By living in flow, you extricate yourself from the ceaseless oscillatory dance that’s been going on since the genesis of physical matter. Besides being a majorly important step on the path to spiritual awakening, this way of being also makes life way more beautiful, blissful, and effortless.
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In the previous article of this series, we began to sketch out a working definition of what it means to live in flow.
We discussed how yogis and philosophers liken flow to adaptability, self-organization, and the ability to transcend situational dichotomies.
It’s about learning to dissolve the boundary that lies between the self and the other…to move beyond the reactivity of cause and effect…and to recognize that the divisive power of opposites holds no sway over us when we bring them into balance.
Because when you can integrate these polarities into a balanced middle point, magical things happen—you liberate yourself from what’s often called the Wheel of Karma.
By living in flow, you extricate yourself from the ceaseless oscillatory dance that’s been going on since the genesis of physical matter.
Besides being a majorly important step on the path to spiritual awakening, this way of being also makes life way more beautiful, blissful, and effortless.
So how do we break the cycle?
For starters, we need to identify what’s keeping us stuck in it.
Like I mentioned in Part I, there’s a perfectly good purpose behind the karmic craziness of the three-dimensional plane.
It all comes down to one simple principle: we’re here to learn.
We’re here to explore the infinite, shifting topography of consciousness—all its simplicities and complexities, all its ups and downs.
And just as audible sound is generated by the oscillation of waveforms, so is our experience generated by the oscillation of consciousness. The tension between poles provides force, and the movement between them carves the grooves that give context to our experience.
These grooves are impressions that help our higher selves find direction. As they build upon each other, they form more and more complex patterns of experience that propel us into increasingly evolved states of knowingness.
Still, finding context and direction in an infinite universe is challenging business.
Something we’ve learned over the course of our evolution is that this process becomes easier when we learn one thing at a time. Otherwise, we’re simply overwhelmed by the indefinite magnitude of Everything.
So, somewhere along the way, we were gifted the evolutionary advantage of being able to parse our experience of reality into pieces. We have a special word for this measurement of subjective reality: time.
By experiencing the world in time, we’re able to understand each of the parts that make up the whole, and we’re able to codify our passage through the world in a way that allows us to learn and progress.
But we’ve forgotten where we’re headed…
This seeming superpower helped our species for a while, but now things have gotten a little out of control. We’ve lost sight of the fact that time is a means to the end of more fully experiencing the timelessness of infinite reality.
The point of learning is not to keep the world divided into an infinite number of parts. Rather, it’s to take the knowledge of these parts and integrate it into holistic knowledge—what many mystics would call gnosis.
While there’s evidence that early humanity and ancient, quasi-etheric civilizations attained this gnosis for a time, it seems that we’ve now forgotten that there’s anything but the linear experience of time.
Our society tells us that time is a process, plain and simple…merely the discrete passage of experiential units. Moments mechanically tick by, each isolated from the rest, in an endless straight line.
But there’s more than one way to tell time
In Greek, this kind of mechanized time is called chronos. It is primarily a form of measurement, a way to pinpoint a certain occurrence on a continuum of experience.
But the Greeks had another word for time too: kairos.
Kairos is more about the meaning behind the marking of time, rather than the measurement of it. Douglas Rushkoff once provided the following illustration: “I crashed the car at 12:32pm” is an application of chronos, while figuring out the best moment to tell your dad that you crashed the car is an application of kairos.
One official definition of kairos is “the supreme and opportune moment.”
Kairos is the kind of time through which we can live in flow.
It doesn’t deny that time is a helpful tool, but only urges us to experience it as a malleable intersection of meaningful moments, rather than a cold, laconic march through existence.
It views time not as a straight line that can only be experienced one point at a time, but instead as an object that can be picked up, interacted with, and experienced from multiple perspectives simultaneously. For you physics buffs out there: kairos and chronos are quite like wave/particle duality. The former represents a fluid spectrum of possibility, and the latter represents a single point of actuality.
If all this is starting to sound far out, don’t worry. Just think of it this way: chronos says that everything needs to happen on time, whereas kairos says that everything needs to happen at the perfect time.
For now, let’s turn our focus to everyday, pragmatic ways to experience kairos.
As far as this process goes, our greatest teacher of all is the Gaian Mind.
Take cues from Mother Earth
The Earth has had over 4 billion years to refine its methods of experiencing the physical plane. After practicing anything for that long, you’re bound to be a master at it.
So when it comes to living in flow, we need look no further than the planetary organism that supports us all.
The flow of the natural world is self-evident. Anyone who immerses himself or herself in it for any length of time would be hard pressed not to feel its adroit balance of surrender and discipline, its perfect weaving of wildness and organization.
Here’s a few ways that you can learn to experience time Gaian-Mind-style…
Find time everyday to be in nature. The more often we remind ourselves that we are part of the biosphere, the easier it will be for us to live by its rhythms. Get outside everyday, seek out the natural sanctuaries that make your heart sing, and give thanks that you are a part of such a beautiful living system.
Go on a digital detox. Try spending at least three consecutive days in nature, and leave all of your time-keeping devices behind. You’ll find that every moment takes on a new richness and significance, and you’ll discover your own ways of moving through the world with less anxiety and more effectiveness.
Pay attention to natural cycles. Learn about how solar, lunar, and planetary cycles affect our planet. The more you delve into ancient sciences like astrology (and upcoming ones like chronobiology), you’ll see that they’re co-creative processes. The Earth dances with these cycles. It acts and is acted upon, and in the process creates a perfect, self-organizing flow state that sustains all life on the planet.
Throughout your journey, notice that the Earth’s rhythms serve to unite many seemingly disparate processes together, rather than dividing them. Most importantly, notice that the Earth never seems to be in a hurry.
It’s worth stating one more time: the incomprehensible grandeur and perfectly orchestrated complexity of the biosphere is the paragon of living in flow. It is structured but fluid, powerful but selfless…it accomplishes its wonders through grand collaboration (despite what the Darwinists might say), and it does so with rich beauty, meaning, and living vitality.
Sounds like a great way for all of us to live, doesn’t it?
Ask for its teachings, and it will gladly oblige you.
I hope you’re enjoying this series so far. Next time, I’ll conclude by discussing how living in flow is connected with art, aesthetics, gratitude, and meditation.
What does flow mean for you? Please feel free to share your thoughts, stories, and experiences in the comments section below.