Flow versus consciousness
Is flow antithetic with consciousness?
From Andy Matuschak on October 18th, 2020:
I've noticed that consciousness recedes when I'm deep in a coding phase, many back-to-back days in flow. My mind narrows to tunnel-vision, fixated on the software and its issues. My sense of self shrinks; non-code ideas cease to arise; I get less curious; writing yields little.
It's an odd feeling: flow is experientially satisfying, but the creeping self-abnegation is worrying. I also notice it takes quite a while to "reset" from this phase, to start hearing myself think again, to feel like less of an automaton.
I don't experience this feeling when I spend many days back-to-back in flow doing other work: developing an idea, writing, designing. I wonder if it's bc those activities are more creative, involve more reflective thought. Or maybe it's that I'm worse at them—so flow's less deep!
Also, I haven't noticed this much until last year. Hypotheses: a) didn't happen before b/c I rarely stayed in flow for days at a time working on a team; b) I only notice it now b/c I've become more self aware; c) I only notice it now b/c I value insight more and execution less?