| 8 Apr 2008 @ 15:55, by David Bartholomew|
[excerpted from DoingIt!, July, 2005]
As sort of a part II to last month’s article written from the place of “in the soup” in the wake of the France trip, I wanted to delve into what I consider some common nuances of peak moments as I have experienced them—this perhaps as a means of distilling them to the point of being able to reproduce them on a more consistent basis (for all of us).
Where I have, on occasion, written certain pieces for DoingIt! while listening to a piece of music repeatedly (really repeatedly, as in programmed on the cd player or iTunes to just keep playing the same song over and over), my article on France (and this one on the heels of it) was written under the influence of the first track of the “Motorcycle Diaries Soundtrack”. “Apertura” is a kind of sweeping piece that slowly builds from sparse acoustic guitar strains to bold passages that feel to me like—flying, having broken free of a body, triumphant, liberated… in other words, in that unfettered place I have been in about all of the peak experiences of my life, whether back to the fast downhill bike rides or swingset incidents of my youth; near weightless immersions into pools, lakes or oceans; peak sexual experiences; the epiphanies of various healing excursions; or other mind-altering events of pure and natural causes.
I have to believe that such places are common to the experience and memory of each of us. They are individual expressions of where we get to on the wings of divine revelation, artistic fervor, from the runner’s high to the symphony to that crème brulee’ or event that takes you out… for whatever timeframe… and remind us that perhaps beyond or underlying the individual aspects… is the more profound common creative source point to which we all yearn to return.
While the “rush” of the individual incident is wild, those played out in conjunction with others-- as in the moment “the groove” hits at a concert, where five- or ten- or one-hundred-thousand egos yield to one pulse for moments to minutes-- are, to me, exponentially more satisfying.
I look at the various times and places such moments have occurred for me and feel I am drawing closer to putting my finger on a finite number of factors conducive to bringing me closer to such places on a more regular basis. It takes on an aspect of “revealing the man behind the curtain”, but more so replicates the ways advanced magicians reveal early versions of the trick… in order to stump us with the next, more complex, confounding and… thus ever more entertaining rendering.
These happenings consistently have an aspect of making one forget the physical body, even in those cases (e.g., a runner’s high) in which the body is the conveyance. From a lot of time in sensory deprivation tanks where the environment is designed to exclude to the degree possible all of the five senses… perhaps in order to evoke/awaken/stimulate sixth, seventh and beyond… to all-encompassing, awe-inspiring , non-aerobic adventures (such as my first attendance at a Cirque du Soleil performance or a World Cup semi-final)… I feel peak experience works to free us from the limitation of the body and allows the Spirit to soar free.
Progressive, multi-layered music from Genesis to Tangerine Dream and Philip Glass have done it for me. Folk music of all persuasions—Celtic, Cajun, African, Portuguese, you name it-- has also.
It can come by way of silence, meditation, contemplation, as well as in the eye of the storm of a bullride, car chase, high fall or other extreme stunt or sport. It was there as I was participant in a childbirth. I have had it happen during a walk in the woods.
I believe the point—of life actually—is to continue to stretch the “muscles” that facilitate our experience of gratitude, appreciation, the divine that are the signposts of such perfect moments… to include anything we might see, hear, touch, feel or taste… anyone we might meet… everything we might do… to fall into the definition of that which is perfect, and thus, peak.
To transform ourselves from within to be that glowing presence—such as the elevated masters, yogis, mystics, and saints to which we attribute these qualities and profess to aspire to be-- who only emanate such in their worlds, seems to me to be the only possible direction of civilization and growth. To become those who entrain to that perfect, resonant vibration with all. Who only see perfection in everything within their experience. Who revel in all of the myriad ways Spirit can manifest. These are the directions to the party of the century (B.Y.O.B.—bring your own being)!
I encourage you to try and view the events of your life through the following series of steps, and note whether they seem to be bringing you closer to peak experience, to your own experience “in the soup”, or to any greater awareness:
This is the roller-coaster we have each designed for our self-- our own scary movie, our own stories of conflict and resolution-- perhaps for no other reason than… our own enjoyment… and the thrill o f surprising our self in yet another way.
- The Crescendo— getting into the Mindset of beginning to look for the synchronicities, the “getting of it”,and Entrainment to the connection in all things
- Shaking Loose the Unworthiness— a biggie! Dropping the illusion that larger connection isn’t deserved, isn’t known.
- consciously Breathing Open the Receiving Vessel in the wake of this— Reaffirming your place here.
- Riding the Wave-- experiencing the joy/power/awe, riding the wheel of tears of sadness/tears ofjoy, exhilaration, stillness, your own process… as long as it is comfortable
- Expanding the Comfort Zone-- Trying to perhaps breathe it in a smidge longer
- then allowing the gradual Dissipation (denoument or falling action in screen- or playwriting), for the purpose of Assimilation and Perspective.
- Finally—to note the Conscious Allowing that the Experience May Drift Away, be forgotten, and there be another bout of getting caught up, and distanced from such experience… all the way to its opposite… before the inevitable payoff of yet another…
[And it should be said that numbers 6,7 and 8 have been the way we have done it up to now, and that we, with DoingIt!, continue to question that there has to be a falling out from “the bliss”, and will continue to stand for the possibility that this doesn’t have to be a foregone conclusion.]
I believe we will continue to experience deep connection in this way… until we have either tired of this convention/process and moved on to another as yet unremembered way, or learned to enjoy the ride without the highs and lows. In any case, you are DoingIt! as you continue to play with all that draws us into and out of your peak experiences.