I like to make lists.
For a long time, I've been working on a list of words that represent peak experiences.
Peak experiences is a term first coined by psychologist Abraham Maslow. Maslow uses this term to mean "moments of highest happiness and fulfillment." Peak experiences usually occur "during athletic, artistic, religious, or nature experiences, or during intimate moments with a friend or family member."
Epiphany is a word author James Joyce uses to mean the "sudden revelation of the whatness of a thing," or "when the soul of the commonest object seems to us radiant."
Psychologist William James talks about mystical states of consciousness, the underlying roots of religious experience. James goes on to further define the mystical states of consciousness as being defined by four characteristics: (1) defying expression in words, (2) direct insight into depths of truth unplumbed by mere intellect, (3) transient, and (4) self-transcendent.
Aldous Huxley, in hopes of entering a different state of consciousness, tried the drug mescaline, and describes the experiences as "the moment the doors of perception open."
Satori is a Buddhist term meaning enlightenment. A short exchange leading to satori is a koan. Kensho means seeing into one's own true nature. Satori is often used interchangeably with the word kensho. Kensho is generally considered a brief experience while satori is a longer-lasting experience.
Wu wei is action without effort, creative quietude, oneness of spirit.
Athletes often use the term in the zone. Others call it being in the moment or being engaged.
Psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi uses the word flow to describe a peak experience. Flow is characterized by being fully involved in what one is doing.
Author Vladimir Nabokov uses the word upsilamba to describe the joy, a tingle in the spine one feels while reading.
Play is thought of by many to be a peak experience.
Poet Jane Hirshfield speaks of the enchantment of rhythmic regularity.
An optimal experience is to experience deep enjoyment, creativity, with total involvement in life.
Zhuang Zhou found that the greatest of human happiness comes when one sees deeply into the nature of things, when one has what he calls great knowledge.
Author Maira Kalman suggests walks to allow one's brain to empty.
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