Brief flow discussion|
Michael Hoffman and James Kent
Power of the Flow vs. personal control vs. alien purpose
This message in is response to the concept of "Flow" introduced within the text of Psychedelic Information Theory.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Michael Hoffman"
To: "'James Kent'"
Sent: Monday, April 10, 2006 12:37 AM
Subject: Power of the Flow vs. personal control vs. alien purpose
Does the Flow, or does it not, include all our thoughts? Do thoughts
count as "all matter and energy", or not? You say everything is
connected, and that the mystic state requires relinquishing control to
the Flow, but you dismiss the "psychic ether that permeates the
thoughts and dreams of all living things". Do you hold that
everything material is controlled by the Flow, but we simply control
our own thoughts, or is personal control some sort of hybrid of 2 or
Is the Flow something other than the alien force you dismiss? If an
alien purposeful controlling agency doesn't exist, is the Flow
trustworthy? On what basis can we trust the flow, on the advice of
"go with the flow"? If the Flow permeates all, then is not the
struggle against "the Experience" itself "going with the flow", in the
sense that whatever happens is by definition the Flow? You advise not
getting in the way of the flow, but that seems to set up and reify
"you" as something apart from the Flow, which seems to contradict the
Flow by definition.
If I am something other than the Flow, something that could "get in
the way" of the flow, then the Flow seems to be defined by you, in
practice, as everything except this 'me' who stands apart from the
Flow, struggling against it and "fighting it".
Without knowing whether you define the Flow as containing all our
conscious control-related thoughts, I can only ask this semi-valuable
set of questions for clarification.
----- Reply ------
From: "James Kent"
To: "Michael Hoffman"
Subject: Re: Power of the Flow vs. personal control vs. alien purpose
Date: Mon, 10 Apr 2006 10:21:29 -0700
Interesting questions that I have not really pondered, but I think I can come up
with some answers.
We are part of the flow, the flow is just a the quantum cascade of energy
interacting through time. So the flow is actually motion and the passing of
time. However, the flow is not uniform. Within the flow are eddies, vortexes,
blockades etc. This "channeling of the flow" is why our universe has evolved in
a non-uniform way, what cosmologists sometimes refer to as "clumping" of early
gas pockets into denser states. Within something like a plasma, the flow is near
infinite, but when you get to heavy minerals (or absolute zero temperatures),
the flow moves towards zero.
Obviously, the flow of electrochemical information through our brains (our
thoughts) are part of the causal chain of the larger flow of the universe.
However, within our own network we have a limited kind of flow control, which is
our conscious thought (freewill?). We can channel flow to move our arm, or think
about horses, or say the word "peace", etc. Those are conscious decisions that
actually gate, filter, and direct flow, channeling the energy of the flow to do
some kind of specific "work", much like a farmer might redirect a small part of
a rushing river to irrigate his crops, or use a windmill to grind the corn, etc.
In terms of "going with the flow," this is specifically a kind of Taoist
sentiment (or sometimes used in Christ consciousness) where you live in a state
of the universe (or god) acting through you effortlessly and without conscious
restraint. In other words, going with the flow is like surrendering your
freewill to the greater will of the universe. Some may see this as taking the
path of least resistance, being a passive re-actor instead of an active actor.
Both of these states are part of the human spectrum of being, and neither (I
think) is more valid than any other. However, in terms of entheogenic
experience, it is often easier (and more rewarding) to simply be a passive
reactor (surrender personal will to the larger other) as opposed to actively
fighting or manipulating the flow to a specific end, which is essentially the
job of the shaman, and is more of an advanced skill (or so it seems to me).
You cannot stop the flow, but you can fight against it and redirect it into new
channels. The flow is not an agency or intellect, it is dumb and mechanistic,
which can either be interpreted as cold and evil (uncaring, unyeilding,
machine-like) or secure and loving (sustaining, dependable, consistent),
depending on your world view. We are part of the flow just as fish are part of
the river. The river controls the movement of the fish in a macro sense, but the
more you get down to organism level the more you see the fish has control over
tiny variations in how it reacts within the flow. We sense that we are "apart
from the flow", but we are more like a maze of channels that filter flow into
The flow is not something to be trusted or denied, it just is what it is. The
flow is responsible for the flower blooming just as it is responsible for the
eighteen-wheeler jack-knifing on the freeway and killing dozens of people. You
can rail against it or call it God, but that is just anthropomorphization of
power that is essentially beyond our control. So, when I say "Go with the flow,"
I am basically saying, "When facing a tsunami, don't build a dam, grab your
Of course, these metaphors start to break down when you have numerous actors
seeking to channel flow to a specific end, like political parties and such. If
Hitler is in power and forcing all the Jews to get on the train, should we just
"Go with the flow?" Obviously this kind of manipulation has to do with
preconceived notions of morality, religion, ethics, political power, etc. In
this situation, "Going with the flow" actually means "Going with Hitler's flow",
which is not what I am talking about at all. The only way to truly go with the
flow is to remove the preconceived notions that lock you into a particular "flow
pattern" (ego, identity, routine, behavior, the self, etc.) and allow yourself
to open to the flow without restraint. This is, I supposed, akin to a mystical
experience, when the lenses of the self are cleansed and reality is seen as it
truly is (or something like that).
Tags : flow alien mysticism tao
Posted on: 2006-04-12 12:53:07