I’ve just finished a 4 day workshop on psychosynthesis psychotherapy. We talked about peak/spiritual experiences. Psychosynthesis is big on the more intangible aspects of what it is to be human and our innate pull to incarnate into something more than just the material form we exist in. What Maslow would describe as the pull to self-actualisation. I spoke at length to the group about my own LE and how in part i felt it was a spiritual awakening. Prior to L, i was spiritually bankrupt.
As fascinating was when we paired up to discuss our own peak experiences, i was paired with a married woman that a few months back had fell in love with her best friend’s husband. Either limerence is not as uncommon as people let on or magic was in the air!
I also wonder if a spiritual awakening is too overwhelming for some of us. To suddenly be open to and to feel the enormity of our own spirit, our own full potential overloads our circuits – we have a major power interruption. Perhaps the only way for some of us to cope with the experience is to project all our feelings onto a suitable object – and what better than an object of love? And now i question the chicken and egg. Does the LO trigger the SE (spiritual experience) or are we on the brink of an SE and along comes an object that we can put the feelings onto as we are unable to make sense of the transition we are entering?
We were asked some interesitng questions about our peak expereince at this workshop:
What was happening in our lives in the days before our SE?
What happened in the days after the SE?
What happened in the weeks and months after the SE?
What were the longer term lessons and changes we made?
I suspect many of us here have pondered these questions at length. I for sure had.
And googling brought up this interesitng article
The biggest pitfall on the spiritual path, in the sense mentioned above, is what psychosynthesis calls the crisis of duality. Why are peak experiences called peaks? Why aren’t they called ‘pit’ experiences? In the moment, which is precious and right and full of goodness, it feels as if I have approached a sense of pure Being and everything else seems unreal.
But sooner or later, I’m not there anymore -and in the next moment I am looking at the fact that there is war and starvation, or I’m talking to my mother on the telephone and feel irritated and angry. How can this gap between what could be and what is, be so large? It can be very painful and crazy making. It’s as if our personality has been temporarily overwhelmed by the peak experiences but it isn’t permanently transformed, and all the rubbish concealed by the high tide is revealed again.
Roberto Assagioli likened it to climbing in the Himalayas. We can reach ever-greater heights in our Being, but we can’t stay there permanently because we can’t breath there. The trouble is that after these vivid flashes and realization of Being, ordinary life can feel like an illusion. Then we have the illusion that everything is an illusion.Every level of reality that we experience is valid and has its own place. Otherwise Being would not have chosen to play the great game of evolution.
Abraham Maslow called it ‘higher sidetracking’, Where we become so identified with the transcendent content of our spiritual experience that we devalue the rest of our life. It can make us crazy. It can form a ‘tyranny of the positive’ , where we are driven by our vision and our spiritual experiences.
We tend to identify with the contents of our spiritual experience -with our love, with our joy, with our sense of unity. So that any time I’m not experiencing love, or not being joyful, I’m not being who I really am, and so I become only conditionally alive.