In 1992, Michael Murphy, co-founder of Esalen – the womb of the human potential movement – published The Future of the Body: Explorations into the Further Evolution of Human Nature. In it he shared some of the fruits from his 40+ year collection of news articles and historic anecdotes of incidents in which individuals performed at levels that surpass consensus belief in what is humanly possible – physically, mentally and/or spiritually.
Now, in an era when science and technology are advancing so rapidly, and the abilities to decode the human genome – and to see inside the human brain – are expanding our understanding of the greater capacities of the human instrument we each inhabit, a group of scientists have set for themselves the extraordinary task of “mapping the genome of Flow by 2020 and open sourcing it to everyone.” These scientists are members of the Flow Genome Project, a “trans-disciplinary, international organization committed to The Flow State.”
We all know of flow through our own experience and on our own terms. Some call it ‘being in the Zone,’ others refer to ‘peak experiences’ and ‘runners’ high.’ In truth, there is no happier or more productive state than flow. So, now that technology makes it possible to see what happens to the brain when it’s in that state, members of the Flow Genome Project are seeking ways to reproduce the effect more often and more easily without the ‘flow or die’ demands that extreme sports impose.
The co-founder and director of research for the Project is Steven Kotler, best-selling author of The Rise of Superman (among other books). Jamie Wheal, a leading expert on the neuro-somatics of ultimate performance is the other co-founder and director of programs. As stated on the web site, he “leads a team of the world’s top scientists, athletes and artists dedicated to reverse-engineering the genome of the peak-performance state known as Flow.”
The Project’s Board of Advisors is also packed with fascinating luminaries. Among them are Dr. Andy Newberg, author of How God Changes Your Brain and the formerly director of the Center for Spirituality and the Mind at the University of Pennsylvania. Jason Silva, a young filmmaker, philosopher and TV personality recently described as “part Timothy Leary, part Ray Kurzweil, and part Neo from The Matrix” – is also an advisor.
But here’s the catch: those who achieve Flow most often are not usually the ones who are most intent on understanding how it happens and how to keep it going. So, the leaders of the Flow Genome Project are inviting You to help them create the ‘largest, open-source study of flow ever undertaken.’ So if you want to join the Project, and discover what you know and can share about flow, just go to their web site and see how you’d like to get connected: http://www.flowgenomeproject.co/connect/