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The Evolving Self Chapter 2 Discussion: Who Controls the Mind? | Flow Book Club
14th April 2022 • Travel Whys • K. Joia Houheneka at Delve Travel
00:00:00 01:28:08

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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 2: Who Controls the Mind?

In this chapter, we’re exploring how the mind functions. As MC says, “…to live an entire life without understanding how we think, why we feel the way we feel, what directs our actions is to miss what is most important in life, which is the quality of experience itself”. We’ll delve into those aspects of the brain-mind functioning that are built into us given our evolutionary heritage - and also explore our capacity for choice.

Topics: “Eternal dissatisfaction” “Chaos and Consciousness” “Why is Happiness So Elusive?” “The Limits of Reason” “The Addiction to Pleasure” “Stress, Strain, and Hormones”


“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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