We are becoming more.
More of ourselves.
We are relearning how to operate the human body to heal, break through boundaries and extend lifespan.
Forget linear. Go bigger and broader. Think expansive, multidimensional and exponential.
For in truth, we are cosmic revolutionaries. Creators of galaxies. Purveyors of wisdom. Envoys of truth.
This is who we are. This is why we are here.
It is now time for us to reach for the stars.
Why now? What has changed?
Consciousness is now mingling, hanging out and even going to parties with chemistry, biology and physics. They are now friends. And together, they are swiftly changing the landscape of our world systems. Everything from healthcare and education to business and scientific research is evolving because Meditation, achieving states of bliss, breath work to guide the autonomic nervous system, and yoga to enhance life force energy is no longer relegated to the land of woo-woo.
“We must never forget that we are cosmic revolutionaries, not stooges conscripted to advance a natural order that kills everybody.” Alan Harrington
Serious researchers — thanks in part to advancements in brain imaging technologies — now have access to real metrics to produce controlled experiments, quantifiable data and mathematical models rather than subjective observation.
And, they are using this higher degree of accuracy and objectivity to explore consciousness like never before. The primary aim of this research is to understand the true depth and breadth of human potential.
Catalysts for Exploring and Pushing the Limits of Human Potential
The Fearless Come Forward Saying Anyone Can Do it
Daredevils — like Wim Hoff (who holds 26 world records , is known as “The Ice Man” because of his ability withstand extreme cold, and holds a world record for the longest ice bath) and David Blaine (famed magician whose first live performance had him entombed in an underground plastic box beneath a three-ton water tank for seven days) — are continuing to defy the limits of human potential. More importantly, these boundary-pushers are providing tools and practices for others to follow in their footsteps.
“I saw a vision of every race, religion, and age group banding together.” David Blaine after spending 7 days buried alive.
And, at the foundation of this heroic prowess is an enhanced mind-body connection.
This is a relationship, which in the past received very little serious consideration, but is now making it to mainstream discussions in business and scientific circles alike. We are learning that we have the ability to direct our biology through breath, body movement, and our choice of focus and thoughts.
Breath, Movement, Thought and Focus can shape our experience, expand our physical abilities and heal our bodies. This is no longer subjective woo-woo. Science is telling us this is so.
“As a magician, I think that everything is possible. And I think if something is done by one person, it can be done by anyone.” David Blaine
In the Discover Magazine blog post, “Can Breathing Like Wim Hoff Make us Superhuman?”, the author describes Hoff’s abilities and mindset as aligning ‘with the core tenets of yoga and other practices that aim to grant us more control of our physiology. Breath control is at the center of many of these techniques, and the concept has worked its way into modern medicine as well’.
Translation of the message from both Hoff and Blaine: These are fundamental human abilities. You access them through conscious breathing and emotional mastery. With wisdom, practice, and focus, you can become superhuman. You can do what we do. And, oh, by the way, you can heal yourself too.
Drop the mic.
I like to think of these larger-than-life homo sapiens as operating through ancient sacred knowledge offered by sages, scholars and philosophers for millennia. The communique’: Don’t worship me — follow me. Emulate my way of being. And you can become what I am.
“If you can learn how to use your breath, anything is possible.” Wim Hoff
Flow Science Goes Mainstream
Flow Science — what I define as the study of how our consciousness optimally moves through the biological technology we call our body — actually dates back to the 1870’s with seminal work by Claude Bernard (homeostasis) and Walter Bradford Cannon (flight or fight response). However, it wasn’t until the last few decades that this research gained any kind notoriety.
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (pronounced Me-High Chick-Sent-Me-High), one of the pioneers of the scientific study of happiness, published his famous tome, Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience (1990), which not only gave a name to this state of being but also brought a more conventional awareness to the value of the mind-body connection.
“We can train our brains to find our minds.” Steven Kotler
That is, when we let go of the filters of the ego mind to allow pure, unfiltered consciousness to take the wheel, the state of flow blossoms. And makes way for superhuman abilities. And, a huge uptick of creativity and productivity goes hand in hand with this experience.
We all know this feeling of ecstasy. We have all been there. As a writer, words pour out of me, time stands still and I am transported to another realm of existence. In fact, all of humanity’s life-changing inventions and extraordinary artistic masterpieces came to those in a particular brainwave state to allow inspiration to flow through them.
In the zone.
Tapped in and turned on.
In meditation, when you’ve really nailed it, it’s called bliss. These are all familiar descriptions of accessing this altered state of consciousness
Csikszentmihalyi describes a flow-like state as when ‘we exercise control over the contents of our consciousness rather than allowing ourselves to be passively determined by external forces’ coupled with ‘a voluntary effort to accomplish something difficult and worthwhile.’
Regardless of the unique descriptions and nomenclature, one thing is certain, the benefits of this heightened state of being have gained traction and it’s here to stay.
Reputable Studies & Astounding Revelations
In a 10-year McKinsey study, top executives reported being five times more productive in flow. Just to be clear, that is 500% more productive! This study also determined that most of us spend less than 5% of our work life in flow. And, if that number increased to 20%, the overall workplace productivity would double.
Take a minute to consider the potentials and implications of the results of this study alone. It’s mind-blowing.
Steven Kotler, author, journalist, entrepreneur and prolific writer about all things flow — who also used the state of flow achieved through surfing to heal from a near-fatal battle with Lyme disease — often refers to the above study, as well as the following two hard data bullet points:
- “And the learning research is more of the same. In studies run everywhere from brick-and-mortar schools to electronic learning environments (e-learning, video games, etc.), scientists have found direct and significant correlations between flow states and higher learning attitudes and outcomes.”
- “When DARPA researchers induced flow artificially (using transcranial stimulation) they found the target acquisition skills of military snipers improved 230%. In a similar, but non-military study, researchers at Advanced Brain Monitoring in Carlsbad, CA found that an artificially induced flow state cut the time it took to train novice snipers up to the expert level by 50%.
Current Collaborative Projects
When it comes to this topic, the Flow Genome Project is probably one of the most compelling examples of where we are headed. Co-founders Steven Kotler and Jamie Wheal have partnered in their passion to explore, understand, and push the boundaries of how flow opens up the next level of human performance. What’s even more exciting is their commitment to open-source this project to the world and provide both individuals and organizations the opportunity to leverage the benefits of flow in their lives and work.
“Flow Genome Project is a interdisciplinary, global organization committed to mapping the genome of Flow by 2020 and open sourcing it to everyone.” Mission Statement of the Flow Genome Project
To even more firepower to these efforts, they have brought together an extraordinary team of leading experts in areas such neurophysiology, neuroscience, philosophy, action-adventure sports, performance psychology and neurofeedback.
“The self expands through acts of self forgetfulness.” ― Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
Stealing Fire, Kotler and Wheal’s co-authored new book, offers readers an inside look at what fuels their dedication to this project. In it, they refer to what they call ‘a $4 trillion dollar underground revolution in altered states of consciousness and human performance.
It’s a revolution being driven by ‘some of the most elite and high performing individuals and organizations in the world’ — from Navy Seals, Google, and top scientists at the Ivy’s — to spiritual seekers, homeopathic doctors and action adventure athletes.
What do they all have in common? They are all looking for this altered state of consciousness — most commonly known as flow — to enhance their health, lives, and careers.
Kotler and Wheal use the acronym S.T.E.R to describe the state of flow — which they have rebranded through the Greek word Ekstasis (to be or stand outside of oneself).
S — Selfless
T — Timeless
E — Effortless
R — Richness
These four words beautifully encapsulate the qualities of tapping into this field of consciousness.
I expect big outcomes from this project and these two men in particular. Truly the sky’s the limit.
What Does this Mean for Humanity?
Humanity is poised for explosive growth — primarily mobilized by a more enlightened and mature perspective, awareness and understanding of consciousness and its relationship with our biological technology (the human body).
Accessing higher states of being that greatly enhance creativity, productivity and healing is available to everyone. We have the hard data to support this truth.
Get excited and inspired by what’s ahead of us. Consider how you intend to contribute to the evolution in consciousness on our doorstep. Each and every one of us matter and is a valuable contributor to the shift.