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By Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

The writer of stream demonstrates how, with a systematic base to morality, we will go beyond cultural and evolutionary programming and develop into extra complicated, built-in participants, operating for the typical solid. 50,000 first printing. $50,000 ad/promo. journey.

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Extra resources for The Evolving Self: A Psychology for the Third Millennium

Example text

T h e r e is evidence, however, that thought processes are less o r derly than o n e would like to believe. In fact, it could be argued that chaos, not order, is the natural state of the mind. W h e n no external stimulation engages attention—such as a conversation, a task that must be accomplished, a newspaper to be read, or a program on T V — t h o u g h t s begin to drift randomly. Instead of a pleasant, logical thread of mental experiences, disconnected ideas appear out of n o w h e r e , and even if we make an effort to do so, it is impossible to return to a coherent line of thought for m o r e than a few minutes.

Instead of a pleasant, logical thread of mental experiences, disconnected ideas appear out of n o w h e r e , and even if we make an effort to do so, it is impossible to return to a coherent line of thought for m o r e than a few minutes. O n e line of evidence for this statement comes from studies of stimulus deprivation. Individuals in solitary confinement—either in prison camps or in experimental deprivation tanks—where they are cut off from any meaningful pattern of sound, sight, or activity, soon WHO C O N T R O L S THE MIND?

An animal without a conscious self only needs to reproduce the information in its genes. B u t a person with a self will want to keep and spread the information in his or her consciousness as well. A self identified with material possessions will drive its o w n e r to accumulate m o r e and more property, regardless of consequences for anyone else. T h e self of Stalin, built around the need for power, did not rest until everyone w h o might challenge his absolute rule was dead. If the self takes 24 T H E E V O L V I N G SELF its form from a belief, the survival of that belief will mean more than even the survival of the body—the Christian martyrs felt more threatened by the consequences of compromising their faith than by lions.

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