PEAK EXPERIENCE INTEGRATION
Going beyond the known
Many of you have had those experiences of pure bliss or ecstatic rapture. Moments of profundity and transcendental insight. Where you experienced or knew something beyond what your ordinary senses and mind experience on a day to day basis. Something that left you feeling touched, moved, alive, open, integrated and whole. Words often cannot describe these experiences. In fact when we use words to explain them, the words tend to make the experiences seem more ordinary than they are. Yet often we want to share something of these moments with others so we do our best to translate them into mental thoughts and ideas, even though they will never truly fit inside of them.
Peak experiences are gateways for waking up our awareness to the fact that there is more than what we’ve been experiencing life to be. They stretch us beyond our known world into something more expansive and inclusive. They often show us that there is indeed something behind the appearance of solid matter and physicalness, and beyond the ordinary thoughts we think. If we’ve never had a peak experience it’s hard to believe that there is anything more to existence than what we experience as our everyday reality. We simply have to take it on faith that there is something more, that is until something pops us out of our ordinary experiencing. Even if we had 1, 2, 10 or a 100 peak experiences it can still be easy to fall back into our normal, habituated way of seeing reality as a physical machine devoid of spirit or essence.
Peak experiences can occur at any moment and don’t necessarily require anything on our behalf in order to “make” them happen. There are however certain conditions that seem to make the probability of them occurring more likely. One is an earnest and sincere desire to know one’s self or know the true nature of reality even if you don’t fully know what that means. Our desire for this creates the internal conditions along with an attractive force that set the stage for extrasensory or beyond sensory peak type of experiences. Any type of inner or somatic work that you do, which helps dismantle your physical and mental defenses, increases your receptiveness to these types of experiences as well. Other activators can be near death experiences, traumatic experiences such as car accidents or other physical/emotional threats, consuming psychedelic substances, meditation, lucid dreaming, sweat lodges and other healing work, particularly when there is a group field effect in place that supports going beyond the known.
FUNCTION OF PEAK EXPERIENCES
Bring the extraordinary to life
The function of the peak experience seems to be to give us a new or wider perspective on what is, viewing life in a different light than how we’ve been seeing it. They also tend to increase our hunger for truth, knowing more of what is, and bring us more into alignment with ourselves and the larger organizing principles of life. We get to feel what it’s like to vibrate at a higher energetic state with more awareness, openness and inclusion. I find that it’s fairly natural to desire more of these experiences once you begin to taste them, yet the peak experience without the integration of it, is simply chasing pleasure and in the longterm is not fulfilling. It’s like sex without love. It may feel good in the moment, but it doesn’t have any lasting ripples on your state of being or what you create as your day to day reality.
For many the desire for these experiences is to help bridge the so called gap between what is experienced on the more ordinary levels of reality and what gets glimpsed, tasted and known as reality through them. Our minds may not believe that the essence of those experiences can really become our day to day reality, and that is the very debris that we need to clear. Sometimes peak experiences are not “pleasurable” in the ordinary way we think of pleasure, but rather they are uncomfortably revealing. They reveal where we have thoughts and beliefs that don’t support a more alive, rich and expansive way of being. It’s like interference in the system of naturalness or our natural state of being. That interference is made of up of stories and perspectives that we’ve created about our experiences that are distorted or not in alignment with the truth of what is. Even though we might be very convinced of our perspectives and feel that they are all very accurate, our conviction doesn’t make them true if they are not in alignment with how the larger organizing principle views life, which is always love and acceptance of all.
The desire to hold anything separate decreases as we open into more and more. As our rigidities soften, our dissociations land home, and our completeness is accepted by us there is less and less that we can even perceive as separate. This is the perspective you taste during peak moments, and yes for the most part it feels good, or better stated it feels like unified ecstasy that is grounded and all pervasive, that knows without figuring anything out, that loves without thought, and that is without anything. Integrating these experiences is work. It’s the core reason why we do any of this inner work to begin with. To live the truth of our being, which is free, boundless, unified, whole, in love and at peace, that’s why we do it.
There is infinite oneness from which infinite possibilities are birthed and brought into expression. The deeper you know this infinite oneness to be the truth of existence and the source of all, the more available and capable you are to bring these possibilities to life. Beyond ordinary, non-ordinary and extraordinary is increasingly and increasingly more probable to be your lived experience as you commit to integrating and bringing your peak experiences to life.
Dr. Amanda Love, Chiropractor, Network Spinal Analysis & Somato-Respiratory Integration, Boulder, Colorado