FloW

In the early 1980’ies, I attended summer school in Dallas, Texas. My uncle lived there and while going to school I also practiced martial arts. It was around this time that I was first introduced to the writings of the Japanese Zen Master and swordsman Takuan Sōhō.  
The writings still mean a lot to me and sum up the concept of being in a state of flow. I try to achieve a state of flow whenever I’m climbing a mountain, practicing martial arts, in a creative brainstorm or in business negotiations.

Master Takuan Sōhō wrote: 
“The mind must always be in the state of 'flowing,' for when it stops anywhere that means the flow is interrupted and it is this interruption that is injurious to the well-being of the mind. In the case of the swordsman, it means death. When the swordsman stands against his opponent, he is not to think of the opponent, nor of himself, nor of his enemy's sword movements. He just stands there with his sword which, forgetful of all technique, is ready only to follow the dictates of the subconscious. The man has effaced himself as the wielder of the sword. When he strikes, it is not the man but the sword in the hand of the man's subconscious that strikes.”

Around the same time, I stumbled upon the papers and writings of Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. The Hungarian born, Chicago based, psychologist is considered the modern father of the theory of flow. Founded in positive psychology Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi has a ‘to the point’ approach. His writings, and especially his first book, meant so much to me that when the first book was published in Danish, around 1990, I bought 15 copies and gave to most of my friends. 

A flow of consciousness occurs when you engulf yourself in activities that challenge you. When you are in flow you lose yourself, or more specifically you lose your self-awareness of what you do. Your mind directs all of its attention on the task at hand. You become engulfed, allowing yourself to become better at the activity in which you are engaged. 

The more you experience flow, the better you become at reaching the state of mind. 
It is the place you go to lose or find yourself.

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The Arts

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My passion for arts has grown tremendously during the last 10 years. Today, I collect, view and read avidly about contemporary art. Art comes in many forms. 

Regarding literary art Henry Miller is one of my many favourites. He once said: 
“Develop interest in life as you see it; in people, things, literature, music - the world is so rich, simply throbbing with rich treasures, beautiful souls and interesting people. Forget yourself.“
Through this Miller manages to interlink the arts with flow. It serves as an explanation to how the arts can provide you with a lifelong source of experiences and inspiration. For me the arts are a source of inspiration, personally and professionally. 


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The arts teach you to use your eyes and ears in different ways, to think more divergently as well as conceptually and to create new and alternative associations.

The artist, “with” whom I have spent most time is Leonard Cohen. This godfather of gloom, the bard of the boudoir, has, through his songs, poems and prose, been an endless source of inspiration to me. 
Leonard Cohen leads, and has led, an interesting and poetic life and I feel you can learn a lot from him. I recognize many of his dilemmas; the wish to live the worldly life with women, poetry and art, while simultaneously wanting to live a more grounded and calmer existence. There is a contrast between seeking a spiritual development while concurrently bursting with lust and ordinary desire.
In his book “Book of Longing,” he, through his poetry, vividly describes living in a Buddhist temple for 7 years. He depicts getting out of bed at 5 in the morning at Mount Baldy and fighting to hide his erection with his monk’s robe. This is a good illustration of the contrast between lust and spirituality.

Furthermore, the whole beat generation is really up there, from Kerouac and Burroughs to Ginsberg. Their poems are fantastic, not only for their time but also today. Ginsberg was really the first hippie, the first free speech activist and he was also very active in terms of promoting Buddhism to the west.
I also have a thing for DADA poetry - especially the works of Tristan Tzara.
He once wrote: "The horse eats coloured snakes be quiet!" Anybody capable of devising a sentence like that, I can only have the profoundest respect for. 

When collecting art some of my favourites are: John Copeland, Wes Lang and Eddie Martinez from the quasi new figuristic and expressionistic scene, spearheaded in Brooklyn and lower East Side NYC. 
Also more surreal contemporary artists like Richard Colman, Ashley Macomber, Johan Muyle and Danish talent, newcomer, Kaspar Oppen Samuelsen are among my favourites 

Another Danish favourite is Troels Carlsen, who also works within figurism but also with mixed media and assemblage like works. Over the years I have also collected quite a few sculptures by the very innovative Australian artist Stephen Ives. 

When visiting museums and galleries during my holidays, I'm very into the likes of George Condo, Basquiat, Francis Bacon, Cecily Brown, Adrian Ghenie, Chapman brothers, Frida Kahlo, Picasso, Matisse, James Ensor, Hieronymus Boschand again most things DADA.

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