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Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Maslow - Religions, Values, and Peak Experiences (A)


Religions, Values, and Peak Experiences

  Abraham H. Maslow


  Contents

       Editorial Introduction and Preface

I.     Introduction
II.    Dichotomized Science and Dichotomized Religion
III.   The "Core-Religious" or "Transcendent" Experience
IV.   Organizational Dangers to Transcendent Experiences
V.    Hope, Skepticism, and Man's Higher Nature
VI.   Science and the Religious Liberals and Non-Theists
VII.  Value-Free Education?
VIII. Conclusions

APPENDIXES:
A.   Religious Aspects of Peak Experiences
B.   The Third Psychology
C.   Ethnocentric Phrasings of Peak-Experiences
D.   What is the Validity of Knowledge Gained in
          Peak-Experiences?
E.    Preface to "New Knowledge in Human Values"
F.    Rhapsodic, Isomorphic Communications
G.   B-Values as Descriptions of Perception
          in Peak-Experiences
H.   Naturalistic Reasons for Preferring Growth-Values
          Over Regression-Values Under Good Conditions
I.    An Example of B-Analysis

Bibliography


Religions, Values, and Peak Experiences  ©1964 by Kappa Delta Pi and
©1970 (preface) The Viking Press. Published by Penguin Books Limited
ISBN 0 14 00.4262 8
NOTE:
Religions, Values, and Peak Experiences appears in The Psychedelic Library under the "Fair Use" rulings regarding the 1976 Copyright Act for NON-profit academic, research, and general information purposes. The Psychedelic Library presents this material in good faith and acts as any other lending library in such circumstances. Readers requiring a permanent copy of this material are advised to purchase a copy of the book from their preferred book retailer.


Editorial Introduction

    The world has seen increased communication among political and economic philosophies, among the social sciences, among religions, among the physical sciences, and among people in general. Although there are individual differences in the cultural and material developments of the nations of the world, there has been a growing movement toward the establishment of a world philosophy in the social and physical sciences.
    Concurrently with this growth of international communication and the unity it has brought about in the sciences, and the lesser amount of agreement it has engendered among political and social theorists, there has been a rising sentiment in favor of increased communication among, if not unity of, the religions of the world. Protestant groups have abandoned, or are abandoning, their strict sectarian views. The Ecumenical Council has brought changes that, although so far largely procedural, give promise of increased world co-operation between the Roman Catholic church and other faiths. And efforts have been and are being made to reconcile the views of the great religious leaders of all major religions—Jewish, Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, and Hindu—religions that, in the past, have been regarded by their followers as having been founded upon the direct revelation of a supreme being to a chosen earthly prophet.
    Traditionally, religion has been of the spirit; science, of the body; and there has been a wide philosophic gulf between the knowledge of body and the knowledge of spirit. The natural sciences and religion have generally been considered as natural and eternal opponents.
    William James, through his psychology, especially his Varieties of Religious Experience, and John Dewey, in his A Common Faith, have strongly influenced the views of Dr. Maslow in this, the thirty-fifth volume in the "Kappa Delta Pi Lecture Series." Dissenting from the followers of those prophets who claimed direct revelation from God, and from the nineteenth-century scientists who denied not only direct revelation but God himself, the author declares that these revelations were, in his words, "peak-experiences" which are characteristic not only of specially ordained emissaries of God but of mankind in general. Dr. Maslow considers these revelations valid psychological events worthy of scientific, rather than metaphysical, study—keys to a better understanding of a peculiarly "human" aspect of man's existence.
    This volume is presented as a contribution to philosophical and scientific thinking, as one interpretation of a fundamental aspect of life, as a step toward a better understanding among the religions of the world, and as a possible program for the development of a healthy relationship between modern science and modern theology.
E. I. F. Williams, Editor     
Kappa Delta Pi Publications
  

Preface

    Since this book was first written, there has been much turmoil in the world and, therefore, much to learn. Several of the lessons I have learned are relevant here, certainly in the sense that they are helpful supplements to the main thesis of the book. Or perhaps I should call them warnings about over-extreme, dangerous, and one-sided uses of this thesis. Of course, this is a standard hazard for thinkers who try to be holistic, integrative, and inclusive. They learn inevitably that most people think atomistically, in terms of either-or, black-white, all in or all out, of mutual exclusiveness and separativeness. A good example of what I mean is the mother who gave her son two ties for his birthday. As he put on one of them to please her, she asked sadly, "And why do you hate the other tie?"
    I think I can best state my warning against polarization and dichotomizing by a historical approach. I see in the history of many organized religions a tendency to develop two extreme wings: the "mystical" and individual on the one hand, and the legalistic and organizational on the other. The profoundly and authentically religious person integrates these trends easily and automatically. The forms, rituals, ceremonials, and verbal formulae in which he was reared remain for him experientially rooted, symbolically meaningful, archetypal, unitive. Such a person may go through the same motions and behaviors as his more numerous coreligionists, but he is never reduced to the behavioral, as most of them are. Most people lose or forget the subjectively religious experience, and redefine Religion [1] as a set of habits, behaviors, dogmas, forms, which at the extreme becomes entirely legalistic and bureaucratic, conventional, empty, and in the truest meaning of the word, anti-religious. The mystic experience, the illumination, the great awakening, along with the charismatic seer who started the whole thing, are forgotten, lost, or transformed into their opposites. Organized Religion, the churches, finally may become the major enemies of the religious experience and the religious experiencer. This is a main thesis of this book.
    But on the other wing, the mystical (or experiential) also has its traps which I have not stressed sufficiently. As the more Apollonian type can veer toward the extreme of being reduced to the merely behavioral, so does the mystical type run the risk of being reduced to the merely experiential. Out of the joy and wonder of his ecstasies and peak-experiences he may be tempted to seek them, ad hoc, and to value them exclusively, as the only or at least the highest goods of life, giving up other criteria of right and wrong. Focused on these wonderful subjective experiences, he may run the danger of turning away from the world and from other people in his search for triggers to peak-experiences, any triggers. In a word, instead of being temporarily self absorbed and inwardly searching, he may become simply a sel1ish person, seeking his own personal salvation, trying to get into "heaven" even if other people can't, and finally even perhaps using other people as triggers, as means to his sole end of higher states of consciousness. In a word, he may become not only selfish but also evil. My impression, from the history of mysticism, is that this trend can sometimes wind up in meanness, nastiness, loss of compassion, or even in the extreme of sadism.
    Another possible booby trap for the (polarizing) mystics throughout history has been the danger of needing to escalate the triggers, so to speak. That is, stronger and stronger stimuli are needed to produce the same response. If the sole good in life becomes the peak-experience, and if all means to this end become good, and if more peak-experiences are better than fewer, then one can force the issue, push actively, strive and hunt and fight for them. So they have often moved over into magic, into the secret and esoteric, into the exotic, the occult, the dramatic and effortful, the dangerous, the cultish. Healthy openness to the mysterious, the realistically humble recognition that we don't know much, the modest and grateful acceptance of gratuitous grace and of just plain good luck—all these can shade over into the anti rational, the anti-empirical, the antiscientific, the anti-verbal, the anti-conceptual. The peak-experience may then be exalted as the best or even the only path to knowledge, and thereby all the tests and verifications of the validity of the illumination may be tossed aside.
    The possibility that the inner voices, the "revelations," may be mistaken, a lesson from history that should come through loud and clear, is denied, and there is then no way of finding out whether the voices within are the voices of good or evil. (George Bernard Shaw's Saint Joan confronts this problem.) Spontaneity (the impulses from our best self) gets confused with impulsivity and acting out (the impulses from our sick self), and there is then no way to tell the difference.
    Impatience (especially the built-in impatience of youth) dictates shortcuts of all kinds. Drugs, which can be helpful when wisely used, become dangerous when foolishly used. The sudden insight becomes "all," and the patient and disciplined "working through" is postponed or devalued. Instead of being "surprised by joy," "turning on" is scheduled, promised, advertised, sold, hustled into being, and can get to be regarded as a commodity. Sex-love, certainly one possible path to the experience of the sacred, can become mere "screwing," i.e., desacralized. More and more exotic, artificial, striving "techniques" may escalate further and further until they become necessary and until jadedness and impotence ensue.
    The search for the exotic, the strange, the unusual, the uncommon has often taken the form of pilgrimages, of turning away from the world, the "Journey to the East," to another country or to a different Religion. The great lesson from the true mystics, from the Zen monks, and now also from the-Humanistic and Transpersonal psychologists—that the sacred is in the ordinary, that it is to be found in one's daily life, in one's neighbors, friends, and family, in one's back yard, and that travel may be a flight from confronting the sacred—this lesson can be easily lost. To be looking elsewhere for miracles is to me a sure sign of ignorance that everything is miraculous.
    The rejection of a priestly caste who claimed to be exclusive custodians of a private hot line to the sacred was, in my opinion, a great step forward in the emancipation of mankind, and we have the mystics—among others—to thank for this achievement. But this valid insight can also be used badly when dichotomized and exaggerated by foolish people. They can distort it into a rejection of the guide, the teacher, the sage, the therapist, the counselor, the elder, the helper along the path to self-actualization and the realm of Being. This is often a great danger and always an unnecessary handicap.
    To summarize, the healthily Apollonian (which means integrated with the healthily Dionysian) can become pathologized into an extreme, exaggerated, and dichotomized compulsive-obsessional sickness. But also the healthily Dionysian (which means integrated with the healthily Apollonian) can become pathologized at its extreme into hysteria with all its symptoms. [2]
    Obviously, what I am suggesting here is a pervasively holistic attitude and way of thinking. Not only must the experimental be stressed and brought back into psychology and philosophy as an opponent of the merely abstract and abstruse, of the a priori, of what I have called "helium-filled words." It must then also be integrated with the abstract and the verbal, i.e., we must make a place for "experientially based concepts," and for "experientially filled words," that is, for an experience-based rationality in contrast to the a priori rationality that we have come almost to identify with rationality itself.
    The same sort of thing is true for the relations between experientialism and-social reform. Shortsighted people make them opposites, mutually exclusive. Of course, historically this has often happened and does today still happen in many. But it need not happen. It is a mistake, an atomistic error, an example of the dichotomizing and pathologizing that goes along with immaturity. The empirical fact is that self-actualizing people, our best experiencers, are also our most compassionate, our great improvers and reformers of society, our most effective fighters against injustice, inequality, slavery, cruelty, exploitation (and also our best fighters for excellence, effectiveness, competence). And it also becomes clearer and clearer that the best "helpers" are the most fully human persons. What I may call the bodhisattvic path is an integration of self-improvement and social zeal, i.e., the best way to become a better "helper" is to become a better person. But one necessary aspect of becoming a better person is via helping other people. So one must and can do both simultaneously. (The question "Which comes first" is an atomistic question.)
    In this context I would like to refer to my demonstration in the Preface to the revised edition (1970) of my Motivation and Personality (59) [3] that normative zeal is notincompatible with scientific objectivity, but can be integrated with it, eventuating in a higher form of objectivity, i.e., the Taoistic.
    What this all adds up to is this: small r religion is quite compatible, at the higher levels of personal development, with rationality, with science, with social passion. Not only this, but it can, in principle, quite easily integrate the healthily animal, material, and selfish with the naturalistically transcendent, spiritual, and axiological. (See my "A Theory of Metamotivation: The Biological Rooting of the Value-Life," Journal of Humanistic Psychology, 1967, VII, 93-127).
    For other reasons also, I now consider that the book was too imbalanced toward the individualistic and too hard on groups, organizations, and communities. Even within these last six or seven years we have learned not to think of organizations as necessarily bureaucratic, as we have learned more about humanistic, need-fulfilling kinds of groups, from, e.g., the research in Organization Development and Theory Y management, the rapidly accumulating experience with T-groups, encounter groups, and personal-growth groups, the successes of the Synanon community, of the Israeli kibbutzim, etc. (See my listing of the Eupsychian Network, an appendix in the revised edition [1968] of my Toward a Psychology of Being (70).) As a matter of fact, I can say much more firmly than I ever did, for many empirical reasons, that basic human needs can be fulfilled only by and through other human beings, i.e., society. The need for community (belongingness, contact, groupiness) is itself a basic need. Loneliness, isolation, ostracism, rejection by the group—these are not only painful but pathogenic as well. And of course it has also been known for decades that humanness and specieshood in the infant are only a potentiality and must be actualized by the society.
    My study of the failure of most Utopian efforts has taught me to ask the basic questions themselves in a more practicable and researchable way. "How good a society does human nature permit?" and, "How good a human nature does society permit?" (For the implications of this way of asking the questions, see my Eupsychian Management: A Journal[1965] (69) and my paper "Some Fundamental Questions that Face the Normative Social Psychologist," Journal of Humanistic Psychology, 1968, VIII.)
    Finally, I would now add to the peak experience material a greater consideration, not only of nadir-experiences, the psycholytic therapy of Grof, confrontations with and reprieves from death, postsurgical visions, etc., but also of the "plateau-experience." This is serene and calms rather than a poignantly emotional, climactic, autonomic response to the miraculous, the awesome, the sacralized, the Unitive, the B-values. So far as I can now tell the high plateau-experience always has a noetic and cognitive element, which is not always true for peak experiences, which can be purely and exclusively emotional. It is far more voluntary than peak experiences are. One can learn to see in this Unitive way almost at will. It then becomes a witnessing, an appreciating, what one might call a serene, cognitive blissfulness which can, however, have a quality of casualness and of lounging about.
    There is more an element of surprise, and of disbelief, and of esthetic shock in the peak-experience, more the quality of having such an experience for the first time. I have pointed out elsewhere that the aging body and nervous system is less capable of tolerating a really shaking peak-experience. I would add here that maturing and aging mean also some loss of first-timeness, of novelty, of sheer unpreparedness and surprise.
    Peak-and plateau-experience differ also in their relations to death. The peak-experience itself can often meaningfully be called a "little death," and a rebirth in various senses. The less intense plateau experience is more often experienced as pure enjoyment and happiness, as, let's say, in a mother sitting quietly looking, by the hour, at her baby playing, and marveling, wondering, philosophizing, not quite believing. She can experience this as a very pleasant, continuing, contemplative experience rather than as something akin to a climactic explosion which then ends.
    Older people, making their peace with death, are more apt to be profoundly touched with (sweet) sadness and tears at the contrast between their own mortality and the eternal quality of what sets off the experience. This contrast can make far more poignant and precious what is being witnessed, e.g., "The surf will be here forever and you will soon be gone. So hang on to it, appreciate it, be fully conscious of it. Be grateful for it. You are lucky."
    Very important today in a topical sense is the realization that plateau experiencing can be achieved, learned, earned by long hard work. It can be meaningfully aspired to. But I don't know of any way of bypassing the necessary maturing, experiencing, living, learning. All of this takes time. A transient glimpse is certainly possible in the peak-experiences which may, after all, come sometimes to anyone. But, so to speak, to take up residence on the high plateau of Unitive consciousness—that is another matter altogether. That tends to be a lifelong effort. It should not be confused with the Thursday evening turn-on that many youngsters think of as the path to transcendence. For that matter, it should not be confused with any single experience. The "spiritual disciplines," both the classical ones and the new ones that keep on being discovered these days, all take time, work, discipline, study, commitment.
    There is much more to say about these states which are clearly relevant to the life of transcendence and the transpersonal and to experiencing life at the level of Being. All I wish to do here with this brief mention is to correct the tendency of some to identify experiences of transcendence as only dramatic, orgasmic, transient, "peaky," like a moment on the top of Mount Everest. There is also the high plateau, where one can stay "turned on."
    If I were to summarize both the book and my remarks in this Preface in a few words, I would say it this way: Man has a higher and transcendent nature, and this is part of his essence, i.e., his biological nature as a member of a species which has evolved. This means to me something which I had better spell out clearly, namely, that this is a flat rejection of the Sartre type of Existentialism, i.e., its denial of specieshood, and of a biological human nature, and its refusal to face the existence of the biological sciences. It is true that the word Existentialism is by now used in so many different ways by different people, even in contradictory ways, that this indictment does not apply to all who use the label. But justbecause of this diversity of usage, the word is now almost useless, in my opinion, and had better be dropped. The trouble is that I have no good alternative label to offer. If only there were some way to say simultaneously: "Yes, man is in a way his own project and he does make himself. But also there are limits upon what he can make himself into. The 'project' is predetermined biologically for all men; it is to become a man. He cannot adopt as his project for himself to become a chimpanzee. Or even a female. Or a baby." The right label would have to combine the humanistic, the transpersonal, and the transhuman. Besides, it would have to be experiential (phenomenological), at least in its basing. It would have to be holistic rather than dissecting. And it would have to be empirical rather than a priori, etc., etc.
    The reader who is especially interested in continuing developments along the lines of this book may be referred to the recently established (1969) Journal of Transpersonal Psychology (P. O. Box 4437, Stanford, California 94305), and to the older weekly, Manas (P. O. Box 32112, El Sereno Station, Los Angeles, California 90032). 
Dr. Abraham H. Maslow
The W. P. Laughlin Charitable Foundation     
1 Saga Lane
Menlo Park, California 94025
May, 1970
  

Footnotes

    1. I have found it useful to differentiate the subjective and naturalistic religious experience and attitude from the institutionalized, conventional, organized Religions by using lower case for the former (calling it "small r" religion") and capitalizing the R in "big R Religion."
    2. Colin Wilson's "Outsider" series will furnish all the examples necessary.
    3. Numbers in parentheses refer to items in the Bibliography.
============

 Chapter I.   Introduction



    Some time ago, after the Supreme Court decision on prayer in the public schools, a so-called patriotic women's organization—I forget which one—bitterly attacked the decision as antireligious. They were in favor of "spiritual values," they said, whereas the Supreme Court was destroying them.
    I am very much in favor of a clear separation of church and state, and my reaction was automatic: I disagreed with the women's organization. But then something happened that set me to thinking for many months. It dawned on me that I, too, was in favor of spiritual values and that, indeed, my researches and theoretical investigations had gone far toward demonstrating their reality. I had reacted in an automatic way against the whole statement by the organization, thereby implicitly accepting its erroneous definition and concept of spiritual values. In a word, I had allowed these intellectual primitives to capture a good word and to put their peculiar meaning to it, just as they had taken the fine word "patriotic" and contaminated and destroyed it. I had let them redefine these words and had then accepted their definitions. And now I want to take them back. I want to demonstrate that spiritual values have naturalistic meaning, that they are not the exclusive possession of organized churches, that they do not need supernatural concepts to validate them, that they are well within the jurisdiction of a suitably enlarged science, and that, therefore, they are the general responsibility of all mankind. If all of this is so, then we shall have to reevaluate the possible place of spiritual and moral values in education. For, if these values are not exclusively identified with churches, then teaching values in the schools need not breach the wall between church and state.
    The Supreme Court decisions on prayer in the public schools were seen (mistakenly, as we shall see) by many Americans as a rejection of spiritual values in education. Much of the turmoil was in defense of these higher values and eternal verities rather than of the prayers as such. That is to say, very many people in our society apparently see organized religion as the locus, the source, the custodian and guardian and teacher of the spiritual life. Its methods, its style of teaching, its content are widely and officially accepted as the path, by many as the only path, to the life of righteousness, of purity and virtue, of justice and goodness, etc.[1]
    This is also true, paradoxically enough, for many orthodoxly positivistic scientists, philosophers, and other intellectuals. Pious positivists as a group accept the same strict dichotomizing of facts and values that the professional religionists do. Since they exclude values from the realm of science and from the realm of exact, rational, positivistic knowledge, all values are turned over by default to non-scientists and to non-rationalists (i.e., to "non-knowers") to deal with. Values can be arbitrarily affirmed by fiat only, they think, like a taste or a preference or a belief which cannot be scientifically validated, proven, confirmed, or disconfirmed. Therefore, it appears that such scientists and such philosophers really have no argument either for or against the churches; even though, as a group, they are not very likely to respect the churches. (Even this lack of respect is, for them, only a matter of taste and cannot be supported scientifically.)
    Something of this sort is certainly true for many psychologists and many educators. It is almost universally true for the positivistic psychologists, the behaviorists, the neo-behaviorists, and the ultra-experimentalists, all of whom feel values and the life of value to be none of their professional concern, and who casually renounce all consideration of poetry and art and of any of the religious or transcendent experiences. Indeed, the pure positivist rejects any inner experiences of any kind as being "unscientific," as not in the realm of human knowledge, as not susceptible of study by a scientific method, because such data are not objective, that is to say, public and shared. This is a kind of "reduction to the concrete," to the tangible, the visible, the audible, to that which can be recorded by a machine, to behavior.[2]
    The other dominating theory of psychology, the Freudian, coming from a very different compass direction winds up at a similar terminus, denying that it has anything much to do with spiritual or ethical values. Freud himself and H. Hartman (28)[3] after him say something like this: "The only goal of the psychoanalytic method is to undo repressions and all other defenses against seeing unpleasant truth; it has nothing to do with ideologies, indoctrinations, religious dogmas or teaching a way of life or system of values." (Even Alan Wheelis (89), thoughtful and probing though he may be, comes to a similar conclusion.) Observe here the unwitting acceptance of the unexamined belief that values are taught, in the traditional sense of indoctrination, and that they must, therefore, be arbitrary, and also that they really have nothing to do with facts, with truth, with discovery, with uncovering the values and "value-hungers" that lie deeply within human nature itself.
    And so official, orthodox, Freudian psychoanalysis remains essentially a system of psychopathology and of cure of psychopathology. It does not supply us with a psychology of the higher life or of the "spiritual life," of what the human being should grow toward, of what he can become (although I believe psychoanalytic method and theory is a necessary substructure for any such "higher" or growth psychology (70)). Freud came out of nineteenth-century, mechanistic, physical-chemical, reductionistic science; and there his more Talmudic followers remain, at least with respect to the theory of values and everything that has to do with values. Indeed this reductionism goes so far sometimes that the Freudians seem almost to say that the "higher life" is just a set of "defenses against the instincts," especially denial and reaction-formation. Were it not for the concept of sublimation, that is what they would have to be saying. Unfortunately, sublimation is so weak and unsatisfactory a concept that it simply cannot bear this huge responsibility. Thus, psychoanalysis often comes perilously close to being a nihilistic and value-denying philosophy of man. (It is fortunate that any really good therapist in practice pays no attention to this philosophy. Such a therapist often functions by an unconscious philosophy of man which may not be worked out scientifically for another century. It is true that there are interesting and exciting developments in psychoanalysis today, but they are coming from the unorthodox.) It must be said to Freud's credit that, though he was at his poorest with all the questions of transcendence, he is still to be preferred to the behaviorists who not only have no answers but who also deny the very questions themselves.
    Neither are the humanistic scholars and artists of any great help these days. They used to be, and were supposed to be, as a group, carriers of and teachers of the eternal verities and the higher life. The goal of humanistic studies was defined as the perception and knowledge of the good, the beautiful, and the true. Such studies were expected to refine the discrimination between what is excellent and what is not (excellence generally being understood to be the true, the good, and the beautiful). They were supposed to inspire the student to the better life, to the higher life, to goodness and virtue. What was truly valuable, Matthew Arnold said, was "the acquainting ourselves with the best that has been known and said in the world." And no one disagreed with him. Nor did it need to be spelled out that he meant knowledge of the classics; these were the universally accepted models.
    But in recent years and to this day, most humanistic scholars and most artists have shared in the general collapse of all traditional values. And when these values collapsed, there were no others readily available as replacements. And so today, a very large proportion of our artists, novelists, dramatists, critics, literary and historical scholars are disheartened or pessimistic or despairing, and a fair proportion are nihilistic or cynical (in the sense of believing that no "good life" is possible and that the so-called higher values are all a fake and a swindle).
    Certainly the young student coming to the study of the arts and the humanities will find therein no inspiring certainties. What criterion of selection does he have between, let us say, Tolstoy and Kafka, between Renoir and DeKooning, or between Brahms and Cage? And which well-known artists or writers today are trying to teach, to inspire, to conduce to virtue? Which of them could even use this word "virtue" without gagging? Upon which of them can an "idealistic" young man model himself?
    No, it is quite clear from our experience of the last fifty years or so that the pre-1914 certainties of the humanists, of the artists, of the dramatists and poets, of the philosophers, of the critics, and of those who are generally inner-directed have given way to a chaos of relativism. No one of these people now knows how and what to choose, nor does he know how to defend and to validate his choice. Not even the critics who are fighting nihilism and valuelessness can do much except to attack, as, for instance, Joseph Wood Krutch does (40, 41); and he has nothing very inspiring or affirmative to suggest that we fight for, much less die for.
    We can no longer rely on tradition, on consensus, on cultural habit, on unanimity of belief to give us our values. These agreed-upon traditions are all gone. Of course, we nevershould have rested on tradition—as its failures must have proven to everyone by now—it never was a firm foundation. It was destroyed too easily by truth, by honesty, by the facts, by science, by simple, pragmatic, historical failure.
    Only truth itself can be our foundation, our base for building. Only empirical, naturalistic knowledge, in its broadest sense, can serve us now. I hesitate to use the word "science" here, because this itself is a moot concept; and I shall be suggesting later in this essay an overhauling and redefinition of science that-could make it capable of serving better our value purposes, to make it more inclusive and less excluding, more accepting of the world and less snobbish about its jurisdictions. It is in this broader sense, which I shall be sketching out, that science—meaning all confirmable knowledge in all its stages of development—begins to look capable of handling values.
    Especially will our new knowledge of human nature probably give the humanists and the artists, as well as the religionists, the firm criteria of selection, which they now lack, to choose between the many value possibilities which clamor for belief, so many that the chaos may fairly be called valuelessness.

Footnotes

    1. As a matter of fact, this identity is so profoundly built into the English language that it is almost impossible to speak of the "spiritual life" (a distasteful phrase to a scientist, and especially to a psychologist) without using the vocabulary of traditional religion. There just isn't any other satisfactory language yet. A trip to the thesaurus will demonstrate this very quickly. This makes an almost insoluble problem for the writer who is intent on demonstrating that the common base of all religions is human, natural, empirical, and that so-called spiritual values are also naturally derivable. But I have available only a theistic language for this "scientific" job.
    Perhaps I can get out of this terminological difficulty in another way. If you look up the words "sacred," "divine," "holy," "numen," "sin," "prayer," "oblation," "thanksgiving," "worship," "piety," "salvation," "reverence," the dictionary will most often tell you that they refer to a god or to a religion in the supernatural sense. Now what I want to say is that each and all of these words, and many other "religious" words, have been reported to me by non-theistic people in their effort to describe particular subjective happenings in "non-religious" (in the conventional sense) peak-experiences and illuminations. These words are the only words available to describe certain happenings in the natural world. This vocabulary is the language of a theory which people have had about these subjective happenings, a theory which is no longer necessary.
    I shall, therefore, use these words, since I have no others to use, to refer to subjective happenings in human beings without necessarily implying any supernatural reference. I claim that it is not necessary to appeal to principles outside of nature and human nature in order to explain these experiences.     2. This is an especially fantastic notion in the context of this lecture because human behavior is so often a defense against motives, emotions, and impulses. That is, it is a way of inhibiting and concealing them as often as it is an expression of them. Behavior is often a means of preventing the overt expression of everything I'm talking about, just as spoken language can also be. How then can we explain the quick spread of that theory-bound, sectarian, question-begging phrase: "The behavioral sciences"? I confess that I cannot.
    3. Numbers in parentheses refer to items in the Bibliography.
======================

  Chapter II.   Dichotomized Science and Dichotomized Religion



    My thesis is, in general, that new developments in psychology are forcing a profound change in our philosophy of science, a change so extensive that we may be able to accept the basic religious questions as a proper part of the jurisdiction of science, once science is broadened and redefined.
    It is because both science and religion have been too narrowly conceived, and have been too exclusively dichotomized and separated from each other, that they have been seen to be two mutually exclusive worlds. To put it briefly, this separation permitted nineteenth-century science to become too exclusively mechanistic, too positivistic, too reductionistic, too desperately attempting to be value-free. It mistakenly conceived of itself as having nothing to say about ends or ultimate values or spiritual values. This is the same as saying that these ends are entirely outside the range of natural human knowledge, that they can never be known in a confirmable, validated way, in a way that could satisfy intelligent men, as facts satisfy them.
    Such an attitude dooms science to be nothing more than technology, amoral and non-ethical (as the Nazi doctors taught us). Such a science can be no more than a collection of instrumentalities, methods, techniques, nothing but a tool to be used by any man, good or evil, and for any ends, good or evil (59).
    This dichotomizing of knowledge and values has also pathologized the organized religions by cutting them off from facts, from knowledge, from science, even to the point of often making them the enemies of scientific knowledge. In effect, it tempts them to say that they have nothing more to learn.
    But something is happening now to both science and religion, at least to their more intelligent and sophisticated representatives. These changes make possible a very different attitude by the less narrow scientist toward the religious questions, at least to the naturalistic, humanistic, religious questions. It might be said that this is simply one more instance of what has happened so often in the past, i.e., of snatching away another territory from the jurisdiction of organized religion.
    Just as each science was once a part of the body of organized religion but then broke away to become independent, so also it can be said that the same thing may now be happening to the problems of values, ethics, spirituality, morals. They are being taken away from the exclusive jurisdiction of the institutionalized churches and are becoming the "property," so to speak, of a new type of humanistic scientist who is vigorously denying the old claim of the established religions to be the sole arbiters of all questions of faith and morals.
    This relation between religion and science could be stated in such a dichotomous, competitive way, but I think I can show that it need not be, and that the person who is deeply religious—in a particular sense that 1 shall discuss—must rather feel strengthened and encouraged by the prospect that his value questions may he more firmly answered than ever before.
    Sooner or later, we shall have to redefine both religion and science.    As always, dichotomizing pathologizes (and pathology dichotomizes). Isolating two interrelated parts of a whole from each other, parts that need each other, parts that are truly "parts" and not wholes, distorts them both, sickens and contaminates them (54). Ultimately, it even makes them non-viable. An illustration of this point can be found in Philip Wylie's fascinating novel The Disappearance. When men and women disappear into two separated, isolated worlds, both sexes become corrupted and pathologized. The point is driven home fully that they need each other in order to be themselves.
    When all that could be called "religious" (naturalistically as well as supernaturalistically) was cut away from science, from knowledge, from further discovery, from the possibility of skeptical investigation, from confirming and disconfirming, and, therefore, from the possibility of purifying and improving, such a dichotomized religion was doomed. It tended to claim that the founding revelation was complete, perfect, final, and eternal. It had the truth, the whole truth, and had nothing more to learn, thereby being pushed into the position that has destroyed so many churches, of resisting change, of being only conservative, of being anti-intellectual and anti-scientific, of making piety and obedience exclusive of skeptical intellectuality—in effect, of contradicting naturalistic truth.
    Such a split-off religion generates split-off and partial definition of all necessary concepts. For example, faith, which has perfectly respectable naturalistic meanings, as for example in Fromm's writings, tends in the hands of an anti-intellectual church to degenerate into blind belief, sometimes even "belief in what you know ain't so." It tends to become unquestioning obedience and last-ditch loyalty no matter what. It tends to produce sheep rather than men. It tends to become arbitrary and authoritarian (46).
    The word "sacred" is another instance of the pathologizing by isolation and by splitting-off. If the sacred becomes the exclusive jurisdiction of a priesthood, and if its supposed validity rests only upon supernatural foundations, then, in effect, it is taken out of the world of nature and of human nature. It is dichotomized sharply from the profane or secular and begins to have nothing to do with them, or even becomes their contradictory. It becomes associated with particular rites and ceremonies, with a particular day of the week, with a particular building, with a particular language, even with a particular musical instrument or certain foods. It does not infuse all of life but becomes compartmentalized. It is not the property then of all men, but only of some. It is no longer ever-present as a possibility in the everyday affairs of men but becomes instead a museum piece without daily usefulness; in effect, such a religion must separate the actual from the ideal and rupture the necessary dynamic interplay between them. The dialectic between them, the mutual effect and feedback, the constant shaping of each other, their usefulness to each other, even, I would say, their absolute need for each other is disrupted and made impossible of fulfillment. What happens then? We have seen often enough throughout history the church whose pieties are mouthed in the middle of human exploitation and degradation as if the one had nothing to do with the other ("Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar's"). This pie-in-the-sky kind of religion, which often enough has turned into an actual support of daily evil, is almost inevitable when the existent has no intrinsic and constant connection with the ideal, when heaven is off some place far away from the earth, when human improvement becomes impossible in the world but can be achieved only by renouncing the world. "For endeavor for the better is moved by faith in what is possible, not by adherence to the actual," as John Dewey pointed out. (14, p. 23).
    And this brings us to the other half of the dichotomy, dichotomized science. Whatever we may say about split-off religion is very similar or complementary to what we may say of split-off science.
    For instance, in the division of the ideal and the actual, dichotomized science claims that it deals only with the actual and the existent and that it has nothing to do with the ideal, that is to say, with the ends, the goals, the purposes of life, i.e., with end-values. Any criticism that could be made of half-religion can equally be made of half-science in a complementary way. For instance, corresponding to the blind religions' "reduction to the abstract" (71)—its blindness to the raw fact, to the concrete, to living human experience itself—we find in non-aspiring science a "reduction to the concrete," of the kind that Goldstein has described (23, 24), and to the tangible and immediately visible and audible. It becomes amoral, even sometimes anti-moral and even anti-human, merely technology which can be bought by anyone for any purpose, like the German "scientists" who could work with equal zeal for Nazis, for Communists, or for Americans. We have been taught very amply in the last few decades that science can be dangerous to human ends and that scientists can become monsters as long as science is conceived to be akin to a chess game, an end in itself, with arbitrary rules, whose only purpose is to explore the existent, and which then makes the fatal blunder of excluding subjective experience from the realm of the existent or explorable.
    So also for the exclusion of the sacred and the transcendent from the jurisdiction of science. This makes impossible in principle the study, for instance, of certain aspects of the abstract: psychotherapy, naturalistic religious experience, creativity, symbolism, play, the theory of love, mystical and peak-experiences, not to mention poetry, art, and a lot more (since these all involve an integration of the realm of Being with the realm of the concrete).
    To mention only one example that has to do directly with education, it could be shown easily that the good teacher must have what I have called elsewhere B-love (unselfish love) for the child, what Rogers has called unconditional positive regard (82), and what others have called—meaningfully, I would maintain—the sacredness of each individual. To stigmatize these as "normative" or value-laden and, therefore, as "unscientific" concepts is to make impossible certain necessary researches into the nature of the good teacher.
    And so it could go on and on almost indefinitely. I have already written much on scientistic, nineteenth-century, orthodox science, and intend to write more. Here I have been dealing with it from the point of view of the dichotomizing of science and religion, of facts (merely and solely) from values (merely and solely), and have tried to indicate that such a splitting off of mutually exclusive jurisdictions must produce cripple-science and cripple-religion, cripple-facts and cripple-values.
    Obviously such a conclusion concerns the spiritual and ethical values that I started with (as well as the needs and hungers for these values). Very obviously, such values and such hungers cannot be handed over to any church for safekeeping. They cannot be removed from the realm of human inquiry, of skeptical examination, of empirical investigation. But I have tried to demonstrate that orthodox science neither wants this job nor is able to carry it out. Clearly what is needed then is an expanded science, with larger powers and methods, a science which is able to study values and to teach mankind about them.
    Such a science would and—insofar as it already exists—does include much that has been called religious. As a matter of fact, this expanded science includes among its concerns practically everything in religion that can bear naturalistic observation.
    I think I may go so far as to say that if we were to make a list of the key words which have hitherto been considered to be the property of organized religion and which were considered to be entirely outside the jurisdiction of "science" of the older sort, we would find that each and all of these words today are acquiring a perfectly naturalistic meaning, i.e., they are within the jurisdiction of scientific investigation. (See Appendix A.)
    Let me try to say it in still another way. One could say that the nineteenth-century atheist had burnt down the house instead of remodeling it. He had thrown out the religious questions with the religious answers, because he had to reject the religious answers. That is, he turned his back on the whole religious enterprise because organized religion presented him with a set of answers which he could not intellectually accept—which rested on no evidence which a self-respecting scientist could swallow. But what the more sophisticated scientist is now in the process of learning is that though he must disagree with most of the answers to the religious questions which have been given by organized religion, it is increasingly clear that the religious questions themselves—and religious quests, the religious yearnings, the religious needs themselves—are perfectly respectable scientifically, that they are rooted deep in human nature, that they can be studied, described, examined in a scientific way, and that the churches were trying to answer perfectly sound human questions. Though the answers were not acceptable, the questions themselves were and are perfectly acceptable, and perfectly legitimate.
    As a matter of fact, contemporary existential and humanistic psychologists would probably consider a person sick or abnormal in an existential way if he were not concerned with these "religious" questions.
=====================

Chapter III.   The "Core-Religious," or "Transcendent," Eperience



    The very beginning, the intrinsic core, the essence, the universal nucleus of every known high religion (unless Confucianism is also called a religion) has been the private, lonely, personal illumination, revelation, or ecstasy of some acutely sensitive prophet or seer. The high religions call themselves revealed religions and each of them tends to rest its validity, its function, and its right to exist on the codification and the communication of this original mystic experience or revelation from the lonely prophet to the mass of human beings in general.
    But it has recently begun to appear that these "revelations" or mystical illuminations can be subsumed under the head of the "peak-experiences"[1] or "ecstasies" or "transcendent" experiences which are now being eagerly investigated by many psychologists. That is to say, it is very likely, indeed almost certain, that these older reports, phrased in terms of supernatural revelation, were, in fact, perfectly natural, human peak-experiences of the kind that can easily be examined today, which, however, were phrased in terms of whatever conceptual, cultural, and linguistic framework the particular seer had available in his time (Laski).
    In a word, we can study today what happened in the past and was then explainable in supernatural terms only. By so doing, we are enabled to examine religion in all its facets and in all its meanings in a way that makes it a part of science rather than something outside and exclusive of it.
    Also this kind of study leads us to another very plausible hypothesis: to the extent that all mystical or peak-experiences are the same in their essence and have always been the same, all religions are the same in their essence and always have been the same. They should, therefore, come to agree in principle on teaching that which is common to all of them, i.e., whatever it is that peak-experiences teach in common (whatever is different about these illuminations can fairly be taken to be localisms both in time and space, and are, therefore, peripheral, expendable, not essential). This something common, this something which is left over after we peel away all the localisms, all the accidents of particular languages or particular philosophies, all the ethnocentric phrasings, all those elements which are not common, we may call the "core-religious experience" or the "transcendent experience."
    To understand this better, we must differentiate the prophets in general from the organizers or legalists in general as (abstracted) types. (I admit that the use of pure, extreme types which do not really exist can come close to the edge of caricature; nevertheless, I think it will help all of us in thinking through the problem we are here concerned with.)[2] The characteristic prophet is a lonely man who has discovered his truth about the world, the cosmos, ethics, God, and his own identity from within, from his own personal experiences, from what he would consider to be a revelation. Usually, perhaps always, the prophets of the high religions have had these experiences when they were alone.
    Characteristically the abstraction-type of the legalist-ecclesiastic is the conserving organization man, an officer and arm of the organization, who is loyal to the structure of the organization which has been built up on the basis of the prophet's original revelation in order to make the revelation available to the masses. From everything we know about organizations, we may very well expect that people will become loyal to it, as well as to the original prophet and to his vision; or at least they will become loyal to the organization's version of the prophet's vision. I may go so far as to say that characteristically (and I mean not only the religious organizations but also parallel organizations like the Communist Party or like revolutionary groups) these organizations can be seen as a kind of punch card or IBM version of an original revelation or mystical experience or peak-experience to make it suitable for group use and for administrative convenience.
    It will be helpful here to talk about a pilot investigation, still in its beginnings, of the people I have called non-peakers. In my first investigations, in collaboration with Gene Nameche, I used this word because I thought some people had peak experiences and others did not. But as I gathered information, and as I became more skillful in asking questions, I found that a higher and higher percentage of my subjects began to report peak-experiences. (See Appendix F on rhapsodic communication. ) I finally fell into the habit of expecting everyone to have peak-experiences and of being rather surprised if I ran across somebody who could report none at all. Because of this experience, I finally began to use the word "non-peaker" to describe, not the person who is unable to have peak-experiences, but rather the person who is afraid of them, who suppresses them, who denies them, who turns away from them, or who "forgets" them. My preliminary investigations of the reasons for these negative reactions to peak-experiences have led me to some (unconfirmed) impressions about why certain kinds of people renounce their peak-experiences.
    Any person whose character structure (or Weltanschauung, or way of life) forces him to try to be extremely or completely rational or "materialistic" or mechanistic tends to become a non-peaker. That is, such a view of life tends to make the person regard his peak-and transcendent experiences as a kind of insanity, a complete loss of control, a sense of being overwhelmed by irrational emotions, etc. The person who is afraid of going insane and who is, therefore, desperately hanging on to stability, control, reality, etc., seems to be frightened by peak-experiences and tends to fight them off. For the compulsive-obsessive person, who organizes his life around the denying and the controlling of emotion, the fear of being overwhelmed by an emotion (which is interpreted as a loss of control) is enough for him to mobilize all his stamping-out and defensive activities against the peak-experience. I have one instance of a very convinced Marxian who denied—that is, who turned away from—a legitimate peak-experience, finally classifying it as some kind of peculiar but unimportant thing that had happened but that had best be forgotten because this experience conflicted with her whole materialistic mechanistic philosophy of life. I have found a few non-peakers who were ultra-scientific, that is, who espoused the nineteenth-century conception of science as an unemotional or anti-emotional activity which was ruled entirely by logic and rationality and who thought anything which was not logical and rational had no respectable place in life. (I suspect also that extremely "practical," i.e., exclusively means-oriented, people will turn out to be non-peakers, since such experiences earn no money, bake no bread, and chop no wood. So also for extremely other-directed people, who scarcely know what is going on inside themselves. Perhaps also people who are reduced to the concrete a la Goldstein, etc. etc.) Finally, I should add that, in some cases, I could not come to any explanation for non-peaking.
    If you will permit me to use this developing but not yet validated vocabulary, I may then say simply that the relationship between the prophet and the ecclesiastic, between the lonely mystic and the (perfectly extreme) religious-organization man may often be a relationship between peaker and non-peaker. Much theology, much verbal religion through history and throughout the world, can be considered to be the more or less vain efforts to put into communicable words and formulae, and into symbolic rituals and ceremonies, the original mystical experience of the original prophets. In a word, organized religion can be thought of as an effort to communicate peak-experiences to non-peakers, to teach them, to apply them, etc. Often, to make it more difficult, this job falls into the hands of non-peakers. On the whole we now would expect that this would be a vain effort, at least so far as much of mankind is concerned. The peak-experiences and their experiential reality ordinarily are not transmittable to non-peakers, at least not by words alone, and certainly not by non-peakers. What happens to many people, especially the ignorant, the uneducated, the naive, is that they simply concretize all of the symbols, all of the words, all of the statues, all of the ceremonies, and by a process of functional autonomy make them, rather than the original revelation, into the sacred things and sacred activities. That is to say, this is simply a form of the idolatry (or fetishism) which has been the curse of every large religion. In idolatry the essential original meaning gets so lost in concretizations that these finally become hostile to the original mystical experiences, to mystics, and to prophets in general, that is, to the very people that we might call from our present point of view the truly religious people. Most religions have wound up denying and being antagonistic to the very ground upon which they were originally based.
    If you look closely at the internal history of most of the world religions, you will find that each one very soon tends to divide into a left-wing and a right-wing, that is, into the peakers, the mystics, the transcenders, or the privately religious people, on the one hand, and, on the other, into those who concretize the religious symbols and metaphors, who worship little pieces of wood rather than what the objects stand for, those who take verbal formulas literally, forgetting the original meaning of these words, and, perhaps most important, those who take the organization, the church, as primary and as more important than the prophet and his original revelations. These men, like many organization men who tend to rise to the top in any complex bureaucracy, tend to be non-peakers rather than peakers. Dostoevski's famous Grand Inquisitor passage, in his Brothers Karamazov, says this in a classical way.
    This cleavage between the mystics and the legalists, if I may call them that, remains at best a kind of mutual tolerance, but it has happened in some churches that the rulers of the organization actually made a heresy out of the mystic experiences and persecuted the mystics themselves. This may be an old story in the history of religion, but I must point out that it is also an old story in other fields. For instance, we can certainly say today that professional philosophers tend to divide themselves into the same kind of characterologically based left-wing and right-wing. Most official, orthodox philosophers today are the equivalent of legalists who reject the problems and the data of transcendence as "meaningless." That is, they are positivists, atomists, analysts, concerned with means rather than with ends. They sharpen tools rather than discover truths. These people contrast sharply with another group of contemporary philosophers, the existentialists and the phenomenologists. These are the people who tend to fall back on experiencing as the primary datum from which everything starts.
    A similar split can be detected in psychology, in anthropology, and, I am quite sure, in other fields as well, perhaps in all human enterprises. I often suspect that we are dealing here with a profoundly characterological or constitutional difference in people which may persist far into the future, a human difference which may be universal and may continue to be so. The job then will be to get these two kinds of people to understand each other, to get along well with each other, even to love each other. This problem is paralleled by the relations between men and women who are so different from each other and yet who have to live with each other and even to love each other. (I must admit that it would be almost impossible to achieve this with poets and literary critics, composers and music critics, etc.)    To summarize, it looks quite probable that the peak-experience may be the model of the religious revelation or the religious illumination or conversion which has played so great a role in the history of religions. But, because peak-experiences are in the natural world and because we can research with them and investigate them, and because our knowledge of such experiences is growing and may be confidently expected to grow in the future, we may now fairly hope to understand more about the big revelations, conversions, and illuminations upon which the high religions were founded.
    (Not only this, but I may add a new possibility for scientific investigation of transcendence. In the last few years it has become quite clear that certain drugs called "psychedelic," especially LSD and psilocybin, give us some possibility of control in this realm of peak-experiences. It looks as if these drugs often produce peak-experiences in the right people under the right circumstances, so that perhaps we needn't wait for them to occur by good fortune. Perhaps we can actually produce a private personal peak-experience under observation and whenever we wish under religious or non-religious circumstances. We may then be able to study in its moment of birth the experience of illumination or revelation. Even more important, it may be that these drugs, and perhaps also hypnosis, could be used to produce a peak-experience, with core-religious revelation, in non-peakers, thus bridging the chasm between these two separated halves of mankind.)
    To approach this whole discussion from another angle, in effect what I have been saying is that the evidence from the peak-experiences permits us to talk about the essential, the intrinsic, the basic, the most fundamental religious or transcendent experience as a totally private and personal one which can hardly be shared (except with other "peakers"). As a consequence, all the paraphernalia of organized religion—buildings and specialized personnel, rituals, dogmas, ceremonials, and the like—are to the "peaker" secondary, peripheral, and of doubtful value in relation to the intrinsic and essential religious or transcendent experience. Perhaps they may even be very harmful in various ways. From the point of view of the peak-experiencer, each person has his own private religion, which he develops out of his own private revelations in which are revealed to him his own private myths and symbols, rituals and ceremonials, which may be of the profoundest meaning to him personally and yet completely idiosyncratic, i.e., of no meaning to anyone else. But to say it even more simply, each "peaker" discovers, develops, and retains his own religion (87).
    In addition, what seems to be emerging from this new source of data is that this essential core-religious experience may be embedded either in a theistic, supernatural context or in a non-theistic context. This private religious experience is shared by all the great world religions including the atheistic ones like Buddhism, Taoism, Humanism, or Confucianism. As a matter of fact, I can go so far as to say that this intrinsic core-experience is a meeting ground not only, let us say, for Christians and Jews and Mohammedans but also for priests and atheists, for communists and anti-communists, for conservatives and liberals, for artists and scientists, for men and for women, and for different constitutional types, that is to say, for athletes and for poets, for thinkers and for doers. I say this because our findings indicate that all or almost all people have or can have peak-experiences. Both men and women have peak-experiences, and all kinds of constitutional types have peak-experiences, but, although the content of the peak-experiences is approximately as I have described for all human beings (see Appendix A), the situation or the trigger which sets off peak-experience, for instance in males and females, can be quite different. These experiences can come from different sources, but their content may be considered to be very similar. To sum it up, from this point of view, the two religions of mankind tend to be the peakers and the non-peakers, that is to say, those who have private, personal, transcendent, core-religious experiences easily and often and who accept them and make use of them, and, on the other hand, those who have never had them or who repress or suppress them and who, therefore, cannot make use of them for their personal therapy, personal growth, or personal fulfillment.

Footnotes

    1. If we were to go further with our analysis we should find that succeeding upon the discovery of the generality of all peak-experiences there are also "specific" factors in each of the peak-experiences which differentiate them from each other to some extent. This relationship of specific to general is as figure to ground. It is something like that described by Spearman for "g" and "s" factors in intelligence.
    I do not discuss these "s" factors here because the "g" factor is far more important for the problem at hand and at this stage in its development.    2. I have made no effort in this chapter, or in the next, to balance accounts by detailing the virtues and even the unavoidable necessity of organizations and organizers. I have written about these elsewhere (69).
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  Chapter IV.   Organizational Dangers to Transcendent Experiences



    It has sometimes seemed to me as I interviewed "nontheistic religious people" that they had more religious (or transcendent) experiences than conventionally religious people. (This is, so far, only an impression but it would obviously be a worthwhile research project.) Partly this may have been because they were more often "serious" about values, ethics, life-philosophy, because they have had to struggle away from conventional beliefs and have had to create a system of faith for themselves individually. Various other determinants of this paradox also suggested themselves at various times, but I'll pass these by at this time.
    The reason I now bring up this impression (which may or may not be validated, may or may not be simply a sampling error, etc. ) is that it brought me to the realization that for most people a conventional religion, while strongly religionizing one part of life, thereby also strongly "dereligionizes" the rest of life. The experiences of the holy, the sacred, the divine, of awe, of creatureliness, of surrender, of mystery, of piety, thanksgiving, gratitude, self-dedication, if they happen at all, tend to be confined to a single day of the week, to happen under one roof only of one kind of structure only, under certain triggering circumstances only, to rest heavily on the presence of certain traditional, powerful, but intrinsically irrelevant, stimuli, e.g. organ music, incense, chanting of a particular kind, certain regalia, and other arbitrary triggers. Being religious, or rather feeling religious, under these ecclesiastical auspices seems to absolve many (most?) people from the necessity or desire to feel these experiences at any other time. "Religionizing" only one part of life secularizes the rest of it.
    This is in contrast with my impression that "serious" people of all kinds tend to be able to "religionize" any part of life, any day of the week, in any place, and under all sorts of circumstances, i.e., to be aware of Tillich's "dimension of depth." Of course, it would not occur to the more "serious" people who are non-theists to put the label "religious experiences" on what they were feeling, or to use such words as "holy," "pious," "sacred," or the like. By my usage, however, they are often having "core-religious experiences" or transcendent experiences when they report having peak-experiences. In this sense, a sensitive, creative working artist I know who calls himself an agnostic could be said to be having many "religious experiences," and I am sure that he would agree with me if I asked him about it.
    In any case, once this paradox is thought through, it ceases to be a paradox and becomes, instead, quite obvious. If "heaven" is always available, ready to step into (70), and if the "unitive consciousness" (with its B-cognition, its perception of the realm of Being and the sacred and eternal) is always a possibility for any serious and thoughtful person, being to some extent under his own control (54), then having such "core-religious" or transcendental experiences is also to some extent under our own control, even apart from peak-experiences. (Having enough peak-experiences during which B-cognition takes place can lead to the probability of B-cognizing without peak-experiences.) I have also been able, by lecturing and by writing, to teach B-cognition and unitive consciousness, to some students at least. In principle, it is possible, through adequate understanding, to transform means-activities into end-activities, to "ontologize" (66); to see voluntarily under the aspect of eternity, to see the sacred and symbolic in and through the individual here-and-now instance.
    What prevents this from happening? In general, all and any of the forces that diminish us, pathologize us, or that make us regress, e.g., ignorance, pain, illness, fear, "forgetting," dissociation, reduction to the concrete, neuroticizing, etc. That is, not having core-religious experiences may be a "lower," lesser state, a state in which we are not "fully functioning," not at our best, not fully human, not sufficiently integrated. When we are well and healthy and adequately fulfilling the concept "human being," then experiences of transcendence should in principle be commonplace.
    Perhaps now what appeared to me first as a paradox can be seen as a matter of fact, not at all surprising. I had noticed something that had never before occurred to me, namely that orthodox religion can easily mean de-sacralizing much of life. It can lead to dichotomizing life into the transcendent and the secular-profane and can, therefore, compartmentalize and separate them temporally, spatially, conceptually, and experientially. This is in clear contradiction to the actualities of the peak-experiences. It even contradicts the traditionally religious versions of mystic experience, not to mention the experiences of satori, of Nirvana, and other Eastern versions of peak-and mystic experiences. All of these agree that the sacred and profane, the religious and secular, are not separated from each other. Apparently it is one danger of the legalistic and organizational versions of religion that they may tend to suppress naturalistic peak-, transcendent, mystical, or other core-religious experiences and to make them less likely to occur, i.e., the degree of religious organization may correlate negatively with the frequency of "religious" experiences.[1] Conventional religions may even be used as defenses against and resistances to the shaking experiences of transcendence.
    There may also be another such inverse relationship—between organizationism and religious transcendent experiencing—at least for some people. (For however many this may be, it is a possible danger for all. ) If we contrast the vivid, poignant, shaking, peak-experience type of religious or transcendent experience, which I have been describing, with the thoughtless, habitual, reflex-like, absent-minded, automatic responses which are dubbed "religious" by many people (only because they occur in familiar circumstances semantically labeled "religious"), then we are faced with a universal, "existential" problem. Familiarization and repetition produces a lowering of the intensity and richness of consciousness, even though it also produces preference, security, comfort, etc. (55). Familiarization, in a word, makes it unnecessary to attend, to think, to feel, to live fully, to experience richly. This is true not only in the realm of religion but also in the realms of music, art, architecture, patriotism, even in nature itself.
    If organized religion has any ultimate effects at all, it is through its power to shake the individual in his deepest insides. Words can be repeated mindlessly and without touching the intrapersonal depths, no matter how true or beautiful their meaning, so also for symbolic actions of any kind, e.g., saluting the flag, or for any ceremonies, rituals, or myths. Theycan be extremely important in their effects upon the person and, through him, upon the world. But this is true only if he experiences them, truly lives them. Only then do they have meaning and effect.
    This is probably another reason why transcendent experiences seem to occur more frequently in people who have rejected their inherited religion and who have then created one for themselves (whether they call it that or not). Or, to be more cautious, this is what seems to occur in my sample, i.e., mostly college people. It is a problem not only for conservative religious organizations but also for liberal religious organizations, indeed for any organization of any kind.
    And it will be just as true for educators when they will finally be forced to try to teach spirituality and transcendence. Education for patriotism in this country has been terribly disappointing to most profoundly patriotic Americans, so much so that just these people are apt to be called un-American. Rituals, ceremonies, words, formulae may touch some, but they do not touch many unless their meanings have been deeply understood and experienced. Clearly the aim of education in this realm must be phrased in terms of inner, subjective experiences in each individual. Unless these experiences are known to have occurred, value-education cannot be said to have succeeded in reaching its true goal.[2]

Footnotes

    1. I have just run across similar statements in Jung's autobiography (35). "The arch sin of faith, it seemed to me, was that it forestalled experience... and confirmed my conviction that in religious matters only experience counted" (p.92). "I am of course aware that theologians are in a more difficult situation than others. On the one hand they are closer to religion, but on the other hand they are more bound by church and dogma" (p. 94). (I hope that we are all aware that it is easier to be "Pure" outside an organization, whether religious, Political, economic, or, for that matter scientific. And yet we cannot do without organizations. Perhaps one day we shall invent organizations that do not "freeze"?)    2. The whole of Chapter 1. "Religion Versus the Religious," (and especially the last two paragraphs) in John Dewey's A Common Faith are relevant to the theme of this chapter. As a matter of fact, the whole of Dewey's book should be read by anyone interested in my theses.
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