Flow note the third #19

This is the third installment in a series of posts on Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s concept of flow. You might also want to take a look at the previous posts (first & second).

During the course of human evolution, every culture has developed activities designed primarily to improve the quality of experience. Even the least technologically advanced societies have some form of art, music, dance, and a variety of games that children and adults play. […] [A]rt, play, and ritual probably occupy more time and energy in most cultures than work. (Csikszentmihalyi 2002: 76.)

I’ve always been very drawn to art and play – as work. That’s perhaps where things have become confusing. Should I try to separate work and play (as, out of necessity, I’ve mostly done so far) or should I pursue my obsession to combine the two? Is the combination of the two permanently beyond my reach – and would achieving it inevitably make play less enjoyable, anyway?

Whatever my personal solution will be, as an arts advocate I’m still happy to have the importance of the arts to people’s welfare recognised. All work and no play makes the world a sadder place. That’s not to say that “work” couldn’t be enjoyable (or, indeed, arts-related) but that we need all sorts, and preferably active involvement in some creative field rather than mere passive consumption.

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Howl at the moon

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