ABSTRACT

This chapter explores the connection between the flow and spirituality, by discussing how the flow is mysticised. The Finnish respondents deny almost unanimously any spiritual or religious element in flow and questioned the responses of those who did believe in such a connection. They saw flow as neither spiritual nor religious, just as an exceptional experience. In contrast to ambivalence or rationalist scepticism, some musicians unequivocally associated flow with mystical or spiritual experiences. Flow was seen as a mystical experience involving a spiritual connection to the universe. The nature and meaning of particular experiences are defined by the community of this institution. It also seems likely that some explanation lies in the Lutheran sensibility, which is so prevalent in Finnish society, with its emphasis on the work ethic and the prestige that attaches to the active struggle of the individual, while spiritual explanations assign this responsibility to some other quasi-divine agency.