Theresa O’Connor

(A mailing list post) Flow and the martial arts

Greg Wharton described “mind, no mind” as “an affected mental state achieved through long training by which the martial artist reaches ‘consciousness unburdened by thought,’” and asked if this conflicts with Objectivist notions of rationality and mental focus.

My short answer is: not at all!

In fact, I think “mind, no mind” describes the phenomenon of optimal experience called “Flow” on which Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi has written several books. Personally, I think flow is not just an Oism- compatible notion, but a necessary component of the good life as Objectivism would have it. If you haven't read Flow: the Psychology of Optimal Experience, I highly recommend it.

Since I have yet to write an introductory email, this post will do double-duty. Given that, hi! I'm Theresa O'Connor.

I've been studying taiji for a few months now, and I'm enjoying it quite a bit. I study at Siu-Fong & Lui Guojing Evans' JING Institute for Chinese Martial Arts in San Diego, CA. If you're in the area, I'd highly, highly recommend their studio for studying wushu or taiji.

Sorry that I haven't gone into much detail in this post; I'm in a bit of a rush.

(posted to's whoopass list)