Tag Archives: peak experiences

How to Invite Peak Experiences

“Let us separate experiences you might call peak experiences from expe¬riences of extremes that served as learning devices. Peak experiences often follow occasions of happiness or trauma, but they do not happen within them. Peak experiences are what you can look forward to rather than back upon if you but choose the Peace of God.” (ACOL, T1:10.11)

Yes! This is the passage that presents us with Maslow’s concept of peak experiences—experiences that we can have without the extremes to which we have habitually contended ourselves. The “happiness” that Jesus mentions is the “high” of egoic attachment, and the “trauma” is the low. But we didn’t have, Jesus tells us, peak experiences at the point of those dramatic interludes! We probably thought, previously, that the highs and the lows were necessary for the peak experiences. But not so. And we would be well to realize that an even keel is the best practice possible to lead us to truly great experiences, the truly great experiences that we call “peak.”

When we live in a Zen-like composure, we invite peace and calm all day long. And we have better days, without fail. We only need to test this out to know that this is truly the way that things are set up to be. Our world is meant to be lived in with Christ-consciousness, not with separation from God nor with the ego that that mistake brought about. We are right now on the cusp of the next stage in spiritual evolution, when more and more of the world’s people will experience an Awakening. This can’t be rushed, but it can be prepared for—by removing the barriers to this gift. And an addiction to dramatic highs and lows keep us lost in the egoic separation.

We can do better than this, and we shall. It is just a matter of time before all individuals see the benefit of changing our ways and choosing God’s Way as the best and only sane solution to our problems.

May many of us reach that conclusion today, perhaps in a peak experience that lets us know without any tangible proof that God’s Way is superior to all egoic notions of happiness.

Prayer

I felt a mellowness steel over me as I decided to go ahead and post this blog. It is just as I was writing above, a post written several days ago and saved for later posting. I do invite a peak experience when I am mellow, turning aside from the drama of highs and lows in experience. Thank You for teaching me this in such a non-threatening way.

May I continue in this mellowness to a genuinely calm and tranquil peak experience this afternoon. This will be my proof that this particular passage in Jesus’s writing truly works.

I ask for Your help.

Amen.

Being Calm and Quiet in Zen-Like Peace

“There is a core of peace at the center of your Self now and the issues that you choose to deal with will not affect that core of peace at all. While you may find this almost disturbing, you will not go to extremes to break this peace.” (ACOL, T1:10.1)

Throughout A Course of Love, Jesus encourages us with indications that we are advancing spiritually. And this passage is one such indication: We are more at peace, and though we may question this emotion, we will not do anything untoward to break our peace. For those of us who have studied A Course in Miracles, the allusion here is obvious: We are dropping the dramas that have consumed us so often and so badly for all of our lives, the part of our lives spent in egoic attachment. Elsewhere Jesus says that we will sometimes come close to lamenting this new placidity. We will think that we are really living only when we are caught in another drama, experiencing highs and lows that we have previously thought were evidence of true living. Others will still experience these highs and lows, and we will sometimes come close to envy of their way of life—a way of life that we used to enjoy.

But we have already had experiences like this, and we know, if we think about it, that the low that follows the high is so devastating to us that we would forgo the high. A Course in Miracles is also close in interpretation to this line of thought. We are told in ACIM that the purpose of life is to become “perfectly calm and quiet all the time.” Now, certainly when we first read that in ACIM, we doubted that this peaceful way of life would actually be desirable. We were still caught up in the highs and lows, the drama, of the ego, and we thought that what we were doing was really living.

If we have gotten this far in ACOL, though, we know better. We are happier when we stay on an even keel. We are happier when we are perfectly calm and quiet. And both ACIM and ACOL indicate that happiness is God’s great desire for us. It is one of our functions (along with salvation and forgiveness). We will no longer desire the high, because of the low. This does not, though, mitigate against peak experiences. Jesus says elsewhere that peak experiences are what we can look forward to in the way of life that he is pointing out. Peak experiences occur with great regularity once we are firmly set on the pathway toward ultimate salvation, which is Christ-consciousness. Maslow knew what he was talking about, and here Jesus reaffirms Maslow’s concept of peak experiences in A Course of Love.

Let’s choose to enjoy peak experiences rather than the egoic ideal of great drama. The ego has never given us anything that is lasting, except turmoil and unhappiness. Now is the time to know the genuine euphoria of peak experiences through a Self Who comes from God, deep within each of us.

Prayer

I long to experience peak moments, and I know that these will come more and more frequently when I get all of my Self aligned with You. Help me to do this. Help me to let go of even the little dramas that disturb my peace, that keep me less than soothed.

I would ask You to soothe me. This is the best way, and I appreciate that I have reading in A Course of Love that does just that—soothe. Be with me today as I seek to slow down and savor all of life. Life’s richness is just there waiting for me. Thank You.

Amen.

Peak Experiences

“Let us separate experiences you might call peak experiences from experiences of extremes that served as learning devices. Peak experiences often follow occasions of happiness or trauma, but they do not happen within them. Peak experiences are what you can look forward to rather than back upon if you but choose the Peace of God. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Art of Thought, 10.11)”

Affirmation: “I look forward to peak experiences.”

Reflections:

1 – Better Future Ahead

We can look forward to peak experiences because A Course of Love makes many promises that presage a better future for us, better experiences ahead. We ought to consider well the assertion in this passage for today that peak experiences follow occasions of happiness or trauma, but they do not happen within them. So perhaps we are bringing something of our contemplation of the event that prompted the peak experience that follows the event. We experience the emotion, and then we, in our minds, carry the emotion into an assessment that constitutes a peak experience.

2 – Personal Experience

I do know that only in retrospect have I frequently called an event a peak experience. There has to be some time delay. But many of us, perhaps, have not realized that peak experiences follow the emotion. Peak experiences are a great blessing, and I have known several in my lifetime, but they were spaced out in time and relatively infrequent. I would like to recognize more as time passes, and I think that this will be possible, now that I am more attuned to the concept of peak experiences.

3 – Drop Extremes

We do need to drop the extremes that have been used as learning devices. The time for such learning devices is passing, as we read through A Course of Love. Extremes are of the ego, and we have left extremes behind, with the ego. Remnants of the ego may still prevail, of course, but by now in our study the ego has been weakened considerably. We best serve when we are perfectly calm and quiet all the time (from A Course in Miracles). Right now we may not recognize what blessings are ours when we let go of extremes, let go of drama, but we will come to know–first in glimpses, and then as a steady state of mind and heart.

4 – Mists before the Sun

We need to choose the Peace of God. When we do, in earnest, many of our problems will dissipate as mists before the sun. We have peak experiences ahead of us, because we have chosen the Peace of God. We no longer want drama, extremes of emotion, as these only take us away from that ineffable Peace. May we follow the pathway to an enlightenment, a Christ-consciousness, that will engulf us sooner rather than later. And when we leave anger and attack behind, I believe that Awakening will follow quickly. These words that I am using–enlightenment, Christ-consciousness, Awakening–all mean the same thing. May all of us walk together in the sunlight, blessed by the presence of God, Who (metaphorically) lifts us up when He knows that we are ready for the blessing of Awakening.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I ask for and receive a peak experience today. I realize that part of the experience comes from my personal self, part from my Self. I would know You, and peak experiences, I believe, are one way that we better communicate. Thank You for the several experiences in my life that I have, in retrospect, called “peak.” I have also called several of these “holy instants.” And so they have been.

Thank You for the holy instant that I knew when I first realized that prayer was the answer for me, because of the witness from another that I received. May prayer answer all things, not some, but all. Communing with You is a great blessing, and feeling Your presence sets right my day.

May all whom I touch today know Your presence as well as Your saving grace. Thank You for being with me today, and I ask that You be with my brothers and sisters as well.

Amen.

Do Not Make Errors “Real”

“To perceive errors in anyone, and to react to them as if they were real, is to make them real to you” (T167).

Affirmation:  “I will not make errors real today.”

Reflections:

1 – Do Not See Error

A Course in Miracles would have us see our brothers and sisters as innocent, caught in a dream of attack and grievances, but able to find their way to a real world that is very different, through the help of the Holy Spirit.  To effect this change in our perceptions is easy, once we turn over our judgments over to the Holy Spirit.  We literally do not see error in our brothers and sisters.  We extend love to them, and our perceptions are modified accordingly.  This is really all that we have to do.

2 – We Have Sinned in Time, but Not in Eternity

A Course in Miracles notes that we have “sinned” in time, but not in eternity.  And there is, ultimately, no time, because time is an illusion.  We have only made errors or mistakes in eternity, and we are strong and wise enough to recognize the value in forgiving errors in ourselves and our brothers and sisters in this world.  If we are blaming God for anything, we can likewise let go of those grievances–a gesture that will be freeing to us.

3 – Let Us Seek to Live in the Real World

To live in the “real world” is not described conclusively in ACIM.  But much note is made of the fact that following the ego is only following illusions, and that following the ego makes it impossible to live in the real world, otherwise known as simply “reality.”  We can interpret ACIM by realizing that the real world is composed of the attributes of love–the joy, the peace, the forgiveness.  Sometimes we do reach the real world fleetingly.  All of us remember times when all seemed right with our little world, and we were completely at peace.  We may have recognized this as a “peak experience,” a term used by Maslow and receiving much press in popular psychology.

4 – Peak Experiences

If we want more peak experiences, we need to live in the flow that will give us the real world (an interpretation, not stated in ACIM).  Living in the flow is a concept that all of us can appreciate.  We throw ourselves into some task, and time disappears for us.  We realize, minutes or even hours later, that we have experienced a peace in those moments that usually eludes.

5 – Forgive = the Secret

Jesus would have us forgive ourselves and others, and thereby to invite the forgiveness of the errors that we all, without exception, make.  Then those errors do not become “real” in our experience of them, and we are walking gaily on the pathway home.

Prayer:

 Dear Father/Mother,

 I would begin this new year with high hopes and many expectations that I will live in You and not in my ego.  I would let the ego wither away.  By this I mean that my false sense of self needs to go.  You know this better than I.  Thank You for the words in ACIM that caution my reliance on the ego, a part of my belief about myself.

 I would invite peak experiences this year.  I know that You would have me live in a better way than I did last year, and I would hope not to disappoint You.  Be with me as I seek to come to understand Your wishes for me ever more completely.

 Let me be good to my significant others as well as all others who cross my path this year.  We need each other.  We need to let attack and anger go, knowing that poor behavior is a sign that we need help.  All of us will still need some help along the way, but I would live in Your love so completely this year that I do not cause others to distress. 

 Help me to live up to my resolutions this year, to be a better person, to love ever more deeply, to let the ego just disappear as a part of my belief about myself.  Thank You for your ever-present help.

 Amen.