Peak Experiences and an Enduring Plateau of Consciousness

Christine went to the hospital at 3AM that morning. She had been just a little worried that evening, but when her heart started to pound and race, she began to panic. What was it? She knew something was wrong, and even calling for the ambulance did not ease the terror. Hours later, the crisis had passed, and even now was fading into memory.

But somehow, everything was a little different. It was not as if Christine had cheated death, but somehow death became less important. She looked at the other people in the ward and felt a deeper connection to them. And a deeper connection to everything. The bed, the walls, the floor. Everything just became part of an interconnected whole, and she was a meaningful part of it all. She felt a glow of joy, as if all was right in the universe. And that there is an intimate connection that runs just beyond the limitations of our everyday lives. She thanked God and her Jesus for the release from her small minded world.

This is a peak experience. It can come from any number of places, but it only happens when something is able to touch your core in ways that are truly meaningful to you. And then your core shines with a glow that connects you to the farthest points in the universe. It is as if you had lived in a dark place full of strange and unknown shapes, and somehow a light goes on and you see the world as a different place: the fearsome shadow in the corner is no longer a snake, but merely a coil of rope.

A peak experience may come anytime, from any direction. For some, it may come from reading a chapter of the Bible or the Book of Tao. For others, it may be a Bhuddist Meditation. For others, a deep merging in a blissful sexual union. It may happen at the birth of your child or grandchild. It may be when you realize that your life-partner totally resides somewhere just behind those eyes that are gateways to his soul.

Sometimes, these states are so out-of-tune with our normal lives that we may suppress them, or some well meaning friend or authority makes them seem insignificant or unworthy. Any peak experience that allows a great connection of spirit is valid: no one, let alone yourself, should be allowed to take it from you.

Over at Romance Capitol you can find ways to enjoy the pursuit of those experiences, and that the soul of romance is that pursuit. Here, the view is that there are long stretches where you can fully acknowledge the worth of that deep connection. Abraham Maslow defined willfully induced extended peaks or plateau experiences as a characteristic of the self-actualized; those who have transcended the mere retreat from negative experiences It is possible, and can be had only for the doing. It is a choice, a choice to a journey of impossible goals, but as soon as you make that choice the journey becomes possible. The Buddhas do but tell the way; it is for you to swelter at the task.

Gaining an enlightened consciousness requires the five aspects of romance: energy — the fuel to keep on going; proper communication — both with others and with yourself; aligned values — values that do not serve your pursuit are like roadblocks on your journey; Right Action — doing what you know you must; and finally vows to keep you aimed at that impossible goal.

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