Saturday, October 2, 2010

γνῶθι σεαυτόν

The Y axis, on the left hand side, represents our "challenge level." The X axis, beneath the graph, represents our "skill level." The higher the challenge and the higher our skill level, the higher our flow. The Z axis, not shown, I imagine as our "interest level." I could conceivably be very good at, and challenged by something I have no interest in, and thus remain bored and unhappy by it.

I think the rest is self-explanatory. I don't know anyone who enjoys anxiety, worry, apathy or boredom, so I suggest we each do what we need to stay on the other side of that line -- keep challenging ourselves, and keep developing the skills to meet those challenges, not forgetting the Z axis, so that we ensure we're making a difference in an area we're interested in.

Perhaps there's a perfect point for you on the graph, somewhere between arousal and relaxation, either close to the edges or closer to the center. Is your point static or variable? If you're worried about something, take control of it. If you can't, find help, accept it, or let it go.

The title of this post is the Greek aphorism: "Know Thyself." We do, right? So let's go to the flow, keeping in mind that "flow = motion," and that we are human body water: Lean muscle tissue contains about 75% water by weight. Blood contains almost 70% water, body fat contains 10% water and bone has 22% water. Skin also contains much water. The human body is about 60% water in adult males and 55% in adult females.

The Ancient Greek philosopher Empedocles held that water was one of the four classical elements along with fire, earth and air, and was regarded as the ylem, or basic substance of the universe.

In 1891, James Legge wrote, "The highest excellence is like that of water."  He was correct, because water is the softest and weakest, yet for attacking things that are firm and strong, there is nothing more effective.

A waterfall is a river
which falls from a mountainside,
but ornaments are of gold.

~ Old Norwegian Rune Poem