Whenever information disrupts the consciousness by threatening its goals, we have a condition of inner disorder, or psychic entropy. It is a disorganization of the self that impairs its effectiveness. Prolonged experiences of this kind can weaken the self to the point that it is no longer able to invest attention in pursuing its goals.
Psychic energy is attention. Anything that takes away our attention is using our psychic energy. The more psychic energy you can give to a thing, the more it will develop and grow. What you focus on expands.
A new piece of information will either create disorder in consciousness by distracting us with a problem, or it will create inner order by freeing up psychic energy for our goals. That’s the difference between feeling everything is in order or feeling lost.
The opposite state from the condition of psychic entropy is optimal experience. Flow is the psychology of optimal experience. It is the state of complete involvement. Where the skill matches the challenge. Time just seems to go by without you perceiving it. It is the experience in which you find what you’re doing as meaningful and enjoyable.
Flow helps to integrate the self because in the state of deep concentration, consciousness is unusually well ordered. Thoughts, intentions, feelings and all the senses are focused on the same goal. Experience is in harmony. When the flow episode is over, one feels more “together” than before, not only internally but also with respect to other people and to the world in general.
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