Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Zen, zen. popular presents FLOW: THE PSYCHOLOGY OF OPTIMAL EXPERIENCE, which offers advice for living the fully realized life through dedication to goals divided into achievable tasks. The project is framed in zen like terms of being focused and concentrating on whatever's at hand.

In reading different link aggregation sites, I've been surprised at how often subjects such as personal time management, personal organization, and the like are tagged as notable. "Lifehacker" and all that. The subject matter, the tag of these, is the management of one's life in a manner that leads to happiness. That is, they strike me as being very fundamentally religious questions.

Isn't the proper conduct of one's daily activity's the proper subject matter of religious activity. How does one live one's life righteously? Well, maybe it involves binder clipping a bunch of index cards together. Then go call yourself hipster, because these tools of self-management are also about creating a shared sense of identity, a knowledge that there are others out there with the appropriate number of folders.

And I can empathize. I have read a fair amount of this literature, and its reassurances fill me with hope. I feel that anything is possible that I am capable of greatness if I follow the faith. The literature cajoles you into believing in yourself by hinting at the great rewards if you endure the frustrations of a little effort and adherence to a system. Your current suffering will pass and you, too will enter the promised land if you follow the tenets of the faith.

Every day in every way I'm proclaiming the mystery of faith.

Incidentally, I must emphasize that I both like and recommend the linked essay.

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