Unself-conscious control: broadening the notion of control through experiences of flow and wu-weiReport as inadecuate




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(2011)ZYGON.46(1).p.5-25 Mark abstract This paper both clarifies and broadens the notion of control and its relation to the self. By discussing instances of skilful absorption from different cultural backgrounds I argue that the notion of control is not as closely related to self-consciousness as is often suggested. Experiences of flow and wu-wei exemplify a non self-conscious though personal type of control. The intercultural occurrence of this type of behavioural control demonstrates its robustness, and questions two long-held intuitions about the relation between self-consciousness and the experience of control. The first intuition holds that the conscious self initiates and controls actions, thoughts and feelings. The second is the view that losing this self-conscious type of control is a negative and upsetting experience. By focusing on “the paradox of control” in these experiences of skilful absorption, I argue that a feeling of control can occur without a self that narratively claims control. Furthermore, this type of control can be a very positive and pleasurable experience. Therefore, the common views of the notion of control are in need of broader conceptualisation and further refinement.

Please use this url to cite or link to this publication: http://hdl.handle.net/1854/LU-677491



Author: Valérie De Prycker

Source: https://biblio.ugent.be/publication/677491



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