Filed in Science

The Transcendent Imperative

At a time when our spiritual traditions struggle to remain relevant in a culture dominated by scientific materialism, Andrew Cooper considers the pros and cons of a new religious model based on the psychology of “flow.”

Andrew Cooper

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The observation that people do things for no other reason than that they bring enjoyment is hardly earth-shattering. But its simplicity can obscure the richness of its implications. For Csikszentmihalyi, it pointed directly to the deep and elusive question of human happiness. What, he wondered, do people feel when they are most happy? Why do certain activities bring enjoyment and others do not? What can we do to enhance our capacities to find enjoyment throughout the events of daily life? After receiving his doctorate, Csikszentmihalyi eventually joined the faculty of the University of Chicago, where he was able to pursue these questions systematically and thoroughly.

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