Yep, She’s Out Of Town Again…

   In his Once And Future King, T. H. White wrote: “Don’t ever let anybody teach you to think, Lance, it is the curse of the world”.  Ever feel like that?  Analysis paralysis.  Think too much and you invariably come up with the wrong answer.  Unfortunately my usual M.O..

  I’m not talking about working a problem – more like when the problem is working you.  The opposite of being in the ‘zone’, or in ‘flow’ – the term coined by researcher Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi*.  So absorbed in a task or activity that there is no extraneous cerebration. 

  Take last week’s England v Germany game in the Bloemfontein-Free State Stadium.  It was clear that the lads were thinking too much.  The Germans floated through them like Luke Skywalker and the rebels through the forests on the moon of Endor at 500 kilometers per hour.  It was as if the English (and the trees) weren’t even there.

  Or take metaphysics.  How much mental energy has been spent, pain wrought, and lives lost trying to know the unknowable.  A famous Zen mondo illustrates another approach.  A samurai once asked Zen Master Hakuin what happened after death.  “How should I know” was his answer. The astounded samurai responded: “How should you know? You’re a Zen Master!!”  “Yes, but not a dead one” Hakuin replied.

  A personal example?  Well, thirty three years ago on this date I was at the start of a several day funk.  My heart told me that I should ask this one really cute girl to be my permanent roommate.  My head was certain that I ought to analyze every possible sequence of events from the hoped for positive response through to the end of time.  Finally, on July 4, in the rustic spot** pictured above, before that cold St Pauli Girl touched my lips, I went with the flow of my emotions.

  Fireworks ever since.  Sometimes you just have to get out of your own way.

* Flow – The Psychology of Optimal Experience, NY, Harper and Row, 1990.  Csikszentmihaly has written many interesting books.  Read my post of March 21, 2008 to hear about Talented Teens,  his study of what lead some identified as gifted to continue making the most of their talents throughout high school while many do not.

**Millsite Inn.  Ward, Colorado.

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One Response to “Yep, She’s Out Of Town Again…”

  1. permanent roomie Says:

    If you asked me again I would definately say yes a zillion times. Miss you 🙂

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