Peaking into Spiritual Development
Spiritual is the adjective form of the word spirit, which comes from the Latin word for “breath,” which means the thing that animates life.
From biology we know that even bits of stem or leaf stalk can regenerate their entire root system, given the chance. An entire plant can grow from a single cell. This tendency to seek completeness is inherent in and animates every living system.
Every human being naturally has the wholeness of life within, just as a leaf stalk contains the potential for the whole plant. If we are not enjoying this wholeness, bliss and peace in our lives, then our experience of life is less than full, and we have an underlying feeling that something is missing—that there is more to life. So we continue to quest for that quality of experience that will bring us to full spiritual maturity.
World-famous American psychologist and author Abraham Maslow refers to spiritual experiences as ”perfectly natural human peak-experiences” to be had by anyone. We associate these peak experiences with what athletes or musicians have when they’re ”in the zone” or ”in the flow.”
These peak performers are fully engaged, energized, focused, clear, and in a state of enjoyment beyond the norm. Maslow refers to these experiences as ”the private, personal illumination, revelation, or ecstasy of some acutely sensitive prophet or seer.”
Both Maslow and Maharishi talk about peak experiences becoming a permanent reality. As we continue on the path toward self actualization, the peak moments develop into ”plateau-experiences,” in which we enjoy a more sustained state of clarity, serenity and bliss.
Maslow also felt that life moves inexorably toward completeness, which he described as follows: ”Self-actualization is the intrinsic growth of what is already in the organism, or more accurately, of what the organism is.”
Spiritual development is the birthright of everyone and there is a natural questing quality in our experience to seek that fulfilled spiritual maturity. Maharishi says: “Enlightenment (self actualization) is the normal, natural state of health for the body and mind. It results from the full development of consciousness…when one is using the full potential of the mind and body in this way, every thought and action is spontaneously correct and life-supporting. This is life free from suffering, life lived in its full stature and significance.”
Through Transcendental Meditation, we naturally unfold the transcendent wholeness within—the spiritual essence of life.
About the Author
Vanessa Vidal is the national director of TM for Women in the USA