Remind is arguably the world's most legendary bboy. An artist, philosopher, and master of movement. He effortlessly fuses varying styles and inspirations into his dance to create a distinctively free flowing movement. Witnessing his dance is one of the best illustrations of enlightenment that I have yet to come across. It highlights a tremendous sense of letting go of anxiety and hesitation in order to surrender into the infinite beauty of the present. The above interview is a beautiful look at a movement master's depiction of his own flow state.
Perfection is just as much about control as it is about letting go
It's as if Remind is channelling something greater than himself. The ancient Greeks referred to creativity as, "something that which does not belong to you, but rather something that flows through you." Letting go of our knowledge, our sense of selves, and our comfort in order to touch something greater, something outside of our conscious realm, something subconscious. Something that science now refers to as flow states, and perhaps something that Buddhism refers to as nirvana. Steven Kotler, author of The Rise of Superman: Decoding the Science of Ultimate Human Performance describes it as:
Flow is technically defined as an optimal state of consciousness where we feel our best and we perform our best and most people have some experience with flow. If you got lost an afternoon to a great conversation or gotten so sucked into a work process that everything else is forgotten, you probably cater to the experience. In flow, what happens is our concentration gets so focused, laser focused, everything else just falls away, action awareness starts to emerge, our sense of self, our sense of self-consciousness vanish completely. Time dilates, which means it can slow down so that you can get that freeze frame effect like you have been in a car crash or can speed up so five hours can pass by like five minutes and if you are out all aspects of performance, mental and physical go through the roof. The reason we call the state ‘flow’ is because that’s the sensation conferred. In flow every action, every decision effortlessly, fluidly perfectly to the next, so one way I like to think about flow in short hand is its near perfect decision making.
This is mirrored perfectly when Remind describes his moments of optimal experience:
Think about touching freedom, touching enlightenment, touching a form of happiness that you can't really get anywhere else, you feel no pain, even when you fall, even when you bite it, you don't feel it until aftewards because you're in such a mode. In fact, I bet you if scientists put those monitors on our heads and measured the amount of chemicals, dopamine, serotonin that is released during those moments of bliss, I bet you they would be amazed!
What a heavenly description, and it turns out Remind is correct about the dopamine and serotonin released during these moments of bliss! Steven Kotler has this to say about the science of these neurochemicals:
Flow cocktails five of the most powerful neurochemicals the body can produce and each of these neurochemicals have a drug analogue. For example, when you snort cocaine. All the drug does is cause the brain to release copious amounts of the neurochemical dopamine. Well, dopamine is released in flow. So are norepinephrine (speed), anandamide (marijuana), endorphins (heroin) and serotonin (ecstasy). You actually couldn't produce this cocktail with drugs. Trying to take all those drugs at once and you’re going to end up drooling or dead. But the brain does it naturally. So yes, being in flow is an altered state, just like being on drugs. Does flow feel like any one of these drugs—not exactly. It actually feels a lot better. Moreover, while being addicted to drugs can lead backwards, being addicted to flow—because the state requires meeting challenges and learning new skills—leads forwards.
Essentially a state where, as Remind says, we're "touching bliss, touching happiness". Laird Hamilton refers to these states as the "aha" moments, and that "we were always in the aha moment, and then we got knowledge". It's important to realize that knowledge can be both beneficial and a burden. It simultaneously allows us to better understand the world around us while also making it difficult to see beyond the realm of the known, and beyond ourselves. During flow, the area of our brain responsible for our sense of self, along with our anxiety, hesitation, and self editing, goes quiet. Here's Mr. Kotler again:
During flow, the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex—the part of the brain charged with self-monitoring and impulse control—goes quiet. The DLPFC is our inner critic, that voice of doubt and disparagement. As a result, with this area deactivated, we’re far less critical and far more courageous, both augmenting our ability to imagine new possibilities and share those possibilities with the world.
The question becomes how do we begin letting go so that we may enter flow more consistently? There's a discomforting truth that we've always known deep inside: that the unknown has and always will outweigh the known. It's this healthy respect for the unknown that opens our window of understanding. All paths, both religion and science, have had aspects which were shown to be wrong in some shape or form in the past. If we cling to only what we currently know then we crown ourselves as being the master, yet the greatest master admits to forever being a student. The greatest student is never afraid of admitting that he or she does not know.
Becoming the student makes it easier to begin detaching from our sense of self. Clinging to the "known" definition of who we are gives rise to insecurity and anxiety. Letting go allows one to dissolve into the present world around us, into a state of no anxiety, no fear, and no pain. Just bliss. There's an initial sense of fear when we begin to let go of who what we think we are, but this fear can be used as a tool of liberation rather than stagnation. We don't have to be dancers or extreme athletes to experience these profound states. Each and every one of us has the potential to experience more awareness and bliss from every moment and activity. As Remind says, "Mine yourself, find the treasures, the gold, that lie within you".
Here's some clips of remind "catching the ghost" a.k.a. flow: