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  • Writer's pictureCadu Lemos

#13/Flow Infinity: The Universal Connection Hypothesis

Updated: Mar 29

Since the dawn of humanity, philosophers, sages and thinkers have tried to decipher the nature of human existence and the universe around us.

Among the many theories and conjectures, one fascinating idea emerges: the hypothesis that we are constantly immersed in a state of flow, interconnected to the cosmos in ways that transcend our conventional understanding.

This hypothesis challenges the common notion that we are separate beings, limited to our mind and body, and proposes that restlessness and intermittent thoughts are merely veils that obscure our true nature.

The Flow State: A Constant Journey

To understand this hypothesis that I'm presenting here for the first time (those of you who follow me know that the state of flow has been my main topic in texts, courses, workshops and experiences for some years now), it's crucial to understand the concept of "flow".

Studied and made better known in the 1970s by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (PhD in Psychology, University of Chicago), #flow is a mental state in which a person is totally immersed in an activity, losing track of time and space, and experiencing deep involvement and satisfaction.

Traditionally, flow has been associated with moments of intense concentration and focus, such as during the practice of a sport or hobby, an engaging read, the execution of a creative task or the challenge of solving a complex problem (read my article "Flow is good business", here).

It can even occur in repetitive activities, as Professor Csikszentmihalyi (pronounced: tik cent mirrai) details in his book released in Brazil at the end of 2020 (see here).

However, the bold hypothesis we propose goes beyond this conventional conception of flow. Instead of considering the state of fluidity as a transitory and occasional state, glimpses of which are made possible by some activation practices, we suggest that it is the fundamental condition of human existence.

From the moment we are born until our last exhale, we are immersed in a constant flow of experiences, thoughts and sensations. Every moment of our life is a continuous dance between the individual self (the false 'I') and the infinite universe - see the Flow & Non-duality series of videos and articles here and here).

The Illusion of Separation: Limitations of Body and Mind

What prevents us from realizing this intrinsic connection with the universal flow? We argue that it is the illusion of separation - the deep-rooted belief that we are isolated beings, distinct from the world around us. This illusion manifests itself in various ways, from over-identification with the ego to a limited perception of time and space.

Our mind and body, although essential vehicles for our experience on this earthly plane, can also be sources of limitation. The mind, with its repetitive and self-limiting thought patterns, often keeps us trapped in a cage of worries, anxieties and suffering. The body, subject to the adversities of illness, pain and decay and finitude, can delude us into believing that we are fragile and transitory.

However, we suggest that these limitations are only superficial. Below the surface, we are beings of energy, interconnected in a vast cosmic fabric, through a single consciousness, which gives life to the body and mind apparatus we use to be able to live this experience in which we have been involved since birth.

The Intermittent Nature of Thoughts: The Veil of Restlessness

If we are constantly immersed in a state of flow, why then do we often feel disconnected and distracted?

We argue that the intermittence of thoughts is one of the main obstacles to realizing our inherent connection with the whole. Our minds are often agitated, jumping from one thought to another, like restless monkeys jumping from branch to branch.

As someone once said, we can't stop the flow of the waves, but we can learn to surf, that is, we can create space between one thought and another by observing them. It is this space that we are looking for when we talk about what remains, what stays, what is perceived when the mind stops working, thinking, anticipating, solving, etc.

This is the one, or the thing, that perceives, that is aware.

This mental restlessness creates a veil that obscures our perception of the reality of our nature. Instead of experiencing the present moment in its fullness, we get stuck in a maze of past and future worries, in a time shift that robs us of attention for an average of 47 to 60% of our time - every day (see more about this research here).

Instead of feeling like an integral part of the universe, we feel isolated and alienated, ruminating on the past or suffering for a future that hasn't arrived yet - and will certainly be different from what we imagine...

However, the idea that we can transcend this restlessness through the practice of self-inquiry and deep contemplation is thought-provoking. By cultivating the ability to quieten the mind and attune our consciousness to the constant flow of life, we can begin to glimpse the true nature of our existence, to take an interest in who is aware of our experience, who or what has been watching all along, what our body/mind "apparatus" is doing, thinking, feeling.

The Connection with the Whole: Beyond the Limits of Mind and Body

Once we recognize the illusion of separation and overcome the restlessness of thoughts, we can begin to experience the deep connection we share with the whole. We are not just isolated individuals wandering in this world; we are unique expressions of a cosmic and awakened consciousness in constant evolution, manifestations of that consciousness, like waves that are born, break on the beach and return to the ocean, or an everlasting firmament that observes the passage of clouds (thoughts, emotions, experiences).

This connection manifests itself in many ways, from the feeling of oneness with nature to compassionate empathy for other sentient beings and for those who are still searching for this external and internal observer, but still living on autopilot.

Implications for Everyday Life: Living in Harmony with the Universal Flow

If we accept the hypothesis that we are constantly immersed in a state of continuous, infinite flow, this has profound implications for the way we live our lives. Instead of fighting against the current of existence, we can learn to flow with it, embracing impermanence and change as inevitable aspects of life.

This means abandoning the need for control and security, and embracing the uncertainty and adventure that life has to offer. It means living with an open heart and a receptive mind, ready to receive the blessings and challenges that each moment brings. Doing what you know and what you set out to do, but without forcing a desired result to emerge.

Let whatever has to happen be what was necessary.

This is one of the most interesting concepts of the Chinese Tao, Wu Wei (see more here and here).

Moreover, this attitude means cultivating a deep gratitude for the wonder of existence and a profound reverence for the interconnectedness of all things.

Every encounter, every experience, every breath is an opportunity to dive deeper into the mystery of life.

In our busy day-to-day lives, it's easy to forget our true nature and get lost in the labyrinths of the mind and ego and that there is an 'I' separate from everything else.

However, by embracing the bold hypothesis that we are constantly immersed in a state of infinite flow, we can begin to awaken to the wider reality of our existence.

What or who is aware of your life? Aware of experiences, thoughts and emotions?

The answer to this question is the aim of much of my work.

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"Psychonaut" is a word based on Greek roots that translates into "explorer of the mind". It's a mixture of "psycho", a prefix used to describe mental processes or practices such as psychology, and terms like argonaut and astronaut, whose "voyages and explorations of the seas and space" evoke a high or spiritual transcendence. The idea is to provoke, reflect and act on themes of the mind and spirit on a monthly basis.

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