What the experience of flow in sport may reveal about the nature of reality
One theme that has arisen time and again with sportspeople on DTMTS is the experience of flow: when we lose ourselves in whatever it is that we are doing.
Several sportspeople have spoken on DTMTS about the experience of "me" not being there in such moments. But what is that "me" that seems to disappear?
That’s a hig question and here to help address it is Rupert Spira, a philosopher interested in the nature of reality, and the nature of consciousness.
Nothing is more obvious and undeniable than the fact that we are conscious. Now in this case when we say conscious, we mean simply 'being aware'.
But, there is something called the hard problem of consciousness. It is our inability to explain how a lump of tissue or matter, in other words our brain, creates consciousness.
Rupert argues that we are looking in the wrong direction. This is a counterintuitive view, and we are not arguing that it’s true, but before you immediately dismiss it, here is a quote from one of the most important physicists of the 20th century – the Nobel prizewinner Max Planck.
"I regard consciousness as fundamental. I regard matter as derivative from consciousness. We cannot get behind consciousness."
In this episode, this is all brought back to sport, and the experiences sportspeople have – specifically while they are in flow.
The sporting examples of flow start from minute 36.
**additional production by Frank McWeeny**
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