Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Peak Experience and living your life

Recently found this phrase "peak experience" recurring in the last couple of days. It's strange, but different writers and different production schedules managed to coincide (coincidence?) using this term within 24 hours of each other.

So there is something to this term.

Should we cultivate our understanding of this phenomenon? Should we seek to bring this int0 our lives on a regular basis. Seems we can approach this through meditation/prayer. And so this would then explain religious visions.

Ideally, we would live from peak to peak - cultivating a very efficient means of bringing truly great things into our lives, as a habit. Needs more study.

Maslow's hierarchy of needs - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: "Maslow believes that we should study and cultivate peak experiences as a way of providing a route to achieve personal growth, integration, and fulfillment. Peak experiences are unifying, and ego-transcending, bringing a sense of purpose to the individual and a sense of integration. Individuals most likely to have peak experiences are self-actualized, mature, healthy, and self-fulfilled. All individuals are capable of peak experiences. Those who do not have them somehow depress or deny them.

Maslow originally found the occurrence of peak experiences in individuals who were self-actualized, but later found that peak experiences happened to non-actualizers as well but not as often:

I have recently found it more and more useful to differentiate between two kinds of self-actualizing people, those who were clearly healthy, but with little or no experiences of transcendence, and those in whom transcendent experiencing was important and even central… It is unfortunate that I can no longer be theoretically neat at this level. I find not only self-actualizing persons who transcend, but also nonhealthy people, non-self-actualizers who have important transcendent experiences. It seems to me that I have found some degree of transcendence in many people other than self-actualizing ones as I have defined this term…"