Thread on Plateau, Flow, and Symbols

Author: @meekaale on Twitter

Full Title: Jeffery Martins of the "...

Category: #tweets

URL: https://twitter.com/meekaale/status/1348533062808850433

Highlights from January 11th, 2021.

Jeffery Martins of the "Center for the Study of Non-Symbolic Consciousness" talks about Maslow's "plateau" that's beyond the "peaks" of experience, and relates it to a feeling of not "task flow" but "life flow." https://t.co/lW43hhn10U https://t.co/1mxJgjOHnG

"there's more of a sense of flow, really of like a sense of life flow, as opposed to the traditionally defined psychological task flow, where there has to be a goal orientation [...] this doesn't require that type of orientation yet you still have a very similar sense of flow"

Jaida Simone: "The plateau experience is a more permanent state of direct experience than the peak experiences (things that drive motivation, seeking acceptance, stress and anxiety, excitement, etc.), leading to eventual stabilization if one engages in extended practice of it."

Maslow: "I now perceive under the aspect of eternity and become mythic, poetic, and symbolic about ordinary things […] one lives in a world of miracles all the time. There is a paradox because it is miraculous and yet it doesn’t produce an autonomic burst."

"This type of consciousness has certain elements in common with peak experiences — awe, mystery, surprise, and esthetic shock … but are constant rather than climactic … The words I would use to describe this kind of experience would be a ‘high plateau.’"

(Quotes from Jaida Simone's article.) https://t.co/nG9ctM6j6G

It's interesting how Maslow becomes "mythic, poetic, and symbolic about ordinary things" in this relaxed and freely flowing state. Is that relevant to "how our conceptual capacities grow out of our nonconceptual ones"? https://t.co/aNPeLWF6Cp

Oh, I'm thinking my issue with Dreyfus is that I don't know how his ideas fit with a kind of playful relaxed symbolic cognition. He always seems to describe symbolic cognition as originating in anxiety, loss, confusion, etc—as with Heidegger's infamous broken hammer.

Vervaeke describes "symbols" in the aesthetic sense as being like openings that invite the current "frame" to be enlivened by another frame, often a somehow higher frame—like ⚖ the scales that invite the virtue of balance via a visual icon.

Similarly he takes 🌬 the breath in meditation as being a "symbol" in this sense: you attune to it and come to pay attention to its qualities, like impermanence, and the breath comes to symbolize those qualities, which invites a wider attunement to impermanence in the world.

I think 🍵 tea is also a great example of such a Symbol—it seems universally loved for the qualities it evokes! https://t.co/SpPExQu1sl

Like, to some extent, just seeing a picture of a tea cup can be enough to "invite" the general vibe of drinking tea: relaxed presence, non-cravenous subtle enjoyment, patience, etc.

And so the strongest examples of symbols are religious symbols—the cross, the seated Buddha, all kinds of icons and devotional figurines, etc. There are aural symbols like bells and fragrant symbols like incense. https://t.co/6pFqPfjUW9

This makes me think that also Heidegger's hammer, aside from its functional role in the equipmental nexus, has a symbolic aspect—where the tool as "icon" attunes me to the tool, the work, and general virtues of craft. https://t.co/cdY4awaPa8

So craftspeople like to have tools that are truly beautiful, which themselves exhibit the qualities of good craftsmanship. Beloved hand tools are exceptionally radiant examples of the Christopher Alexander type of quality—like, they have the "inner calm" property.

So I wonder if Maslow, when in the plateau state he becomes "mythic, poetic, and symbolic about ordinary things," by being calmly & vividly present can attune to the symbolic invitations of things?