The Peak Experience

Abraham Maslow was an American psychologist, best known for creating Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and the term used to describe a euphoric mental state achieved by self-actualization.

He said, “peak experiences are sudden feelings of intense happiness and well-being, possibly the awareness of an “ultimate truth” and the unity of all things … the experience fills the individual with wonder and awe … he  feels at one with the world, and is pleased with it …”

So how might one describe this experience? You might try some B-Values. Maslow’s research identified what he called “Being-Values”, they are:

  • Wholeness
  • Perfection
  • Completion
  • Justice
  • Aliveness
  • Richness
  • Simplicity
  • Beauty
  • Goodness
  • Uniqueness
  • Effortlessness
  • Playfulness
  • Truth
  • Self-sufficiency

What does it all mean? Does this mean peak experiences are only within reach of the very enlightened; the mystics and gurus of the world? I think not. They may come without preparation or warning, but I believe that your chances are better if you put a little thought into it.

Some things to think about:

  • Your Health
    • Take care of yourself, avoid vices and junk food, get enough rest.
  • Diligence
    • Peak experiences aren’t going to happen just because you woke up this morning and said, “I think I’ll have a peak experience today.” In fact Maslow said that they happen in the ordinary things we do everyday. Sorry, no Tibetan monastery required.
  • Alertness
    • Be aware of what’s happening around you. Walk with your head up, look (and see) at the people around you. the smallest things may be the catalyst that brings you to an epiphany.
  • Be Prepared
    • It’s going to take practice, get ready before the next eclipse, or more likely, a drop of rain on a flower petal.

Safe travels on your journey to enlightenment.

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