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The Evolving Self Chapter 8 Discussion: The Transcendent Self | Flow Book Club
9th June 2022 • Travel Whys • K. Joia Houheneka at Delve Travel
00:00:00 01:30:33

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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 8: The Transcendent Self

Flow is a tool that can produce happiness…or destruction. According to Csikszentmihalyi, “To help guide the progress of evolution, it is not sufficient for a person to enjoy merely any kind of life, but a life that increases order instead of disorder” We need goals that lead to harmony, not entropy. In this chapter we explore how to develop a ‘Transcendent Self”, a self that will invest energy into the future to create a harmonious future.

Topics: “What Transcenders Are Like” “What Is the Self?” “Evolving Images of the Ideal Self” “The Development of the Self Through the Life Span” “Flow and the Growth of the Self” “The Skills of Spirituality and Wisdom” “The Challenges of the Future”


“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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