Friday, December 19, 2008

Flow and Death

Death has been in my face lately ..... partly, it is because I have been reading Man's Search For Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl, which describes how the Holocaust survivors found the strength to survive. A small book but a tough read .....

As well as that we have had a reminder of the mortality of some loved-ones ..... never a pleasant experience. I took, what was quite a harrowing call from a friend, giving me the latest on his father's cancer - right in the middle of an electronics store that had Christmas carols playing merrily in the background. The absurdity of it was quite disturbing .... I felt guilty for this apparent lack of empathy but was unable to escape to a quieter area because I really was caught paying for some Christmas presents when he called on my mobile.

Christmas is not a good time to be diagnosed with incurable cancer ..... if there every is a good time for that.

But there it is ..... death and finality making itself be known to us in the holiday season. But death is more than the ultimate flow-buster!

It makes me think that the happiness that people attribute to being in flow must have something to do with losing all sense of time that we experience when in flow. If you are sufficiently absorbed in what you are doing to forget time, then you are also forgetting about the inevitability of death.