Monday 9/12/2016 The Mystic is a Guide to “Being in the Flow”

When I was doing my PhD I had a class with a Professor Fred Frohock. It could have been something I wrote in class which led to him interviewing me for a book. In the book he referred to me as a mystic. In all honesty, I was already wearing half of that Merlin outfit, but to have a professor confirm it. That was 20 years ago. And although the allure tugs at a spot in my ego, I also know that the other half of the outfit is the Emperor’s Clothes. There is a story we carry about the “wise one”, the mystic, prophet, healer. Whether it is Merlin, Moses, Christ, Einstein, Gandhi, or Mother Theresa, they all hold that mystic portrait for us to view. The Star Wars movies show man’s advancement into the future with a bit of hope, hope that resonates with the cultural image of the mystic teachings, connecting with “the force” was learned from a mystic teacher. We are all on a journey similar to Jedi Knight’s journey, all looking for a moment where we feel connected. One modern day description might be called “being in the Flow moment” as offered by author Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. Here is his Ted talk: Another example of this “flow experience” is well portrayed in the movie Bagger Vance where Will Smith plays a golf tutor. There is a particular scene where the coach actually is in the flow moment along with the student. I have personally experienced this, with multiple students, during the process of teaching them about the path to well being which is available to them. Flow moments happen when we are fully engaged with STEM Flow, as fully as is possible for our level of development at that time. In the presence of a teacher/guide even beginning students may experience moments of flow as part of their education (we will discuss misinterpretations of this later). Once a student has experienced this then it becomes more easily recognizable in their daily lives. This flow can be experienced along the contemplative apprentice path. When Luke Skywalker hears his teacher say “Let go, be one with the Force” he’s saying to Luke, let yourself experience a personal flow moment right NOW. We all have brief moments of flow, moments when we are so engaged with what we are doing that life around us disappears and time stands still (an hour seems like seconds). During these moments there is sense of clarity about life, a sense of connectedness and purpose. There can be some form of bliss and an experience of awe. The teacher/guide is there to help us see these, experience these, and to help make sense of them. This is one half of how I dress the mystic image. The other half is one of the solo traveler, one who seeks to understand, to know. Why do two-year olds have that ever nagging “Why?” spewing forth. Why has man been on this quest to know more about the world? Why do we have so many self-help books? It is because we are meaning seeking beings. We are wired to seek our meaning, and in in those moments when we are able to sit, even if for but seconds, in our personal flow connection to meaning, it is then we also find purpose and wellbeing. This discovery of meaning and purpose as essential to quality of life is not isolated to the mystic. It is a journey we all travel.
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