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The Evolving Self Chapter 4 Discussion: Predators and Parasites | Flow Book Club
5th May 2022 • Travel Whys • K. Joia Houheneka at Delve Travel
00:00:00 01:50:40

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Join us as we continue with our exploration of flow, reading Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s Flow sequel: The Evolving Self: A Psychology for the Third Millennium (1993).

In the introduction, MC points out “ is difficult to build a happy life by the simple addition of a series of flow experiences. The whole in this case is definitely more than the sum of its parts”. Beyond just a number of flow experiences, what is needed is “…a system of meanings that gives purpose to one’s being”.

MC explains, “Flow ended with the proposition that by understanding better our evolutionary past we might generate the grounds for a viable meaning system, a faith that can give order and purpose to our lives in the future. To know ourselves is the greatest achievement of our species. And to understand ourselves – what we are made of, what motives drive us, and what goals we dream of – involves first of all our evolutionary past. Only on this foundation can we build a stable, meaningful future.” That is the project of this book.

Chapter 4: Predators and Parasites

In the last chapter, we explored illusions that arise for us as individuals from internal forces such as our genes or our sense of self. But some obstacles come from our interactions with others. In this chapter, we focus on the dangers of exploitation and oppression; as MC states, if we are to thrive, “… it is mandatory that we understand how much of our psychic energy is channeled away by those who drain our lives to enrich theirs.”

Topics: “The Forces of Selection” “Power and Oppression” “The Exploitation of Women and Children” “Individual Differences in Power” “The Transmission of Inequality” “Parasitic Exploitation” “The Strategy of Irresponsibility” “Exploitation Through Mimicry”


“Ask Me Why” by Matthew Billman and K. Joia Houheneka

This discussion is done in partnership with the Meetup group 52 Living Ideas.

Join us for more episodes of the Travel Whys podcast as we explore travel, continuous learning, and the psychology of flow.

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