There is the very strong perception that the universe and all of existence was no accident, but rather the result of an immense grand design. One is also left with a much stronger desire to do good for all other people, as well as all lifeforms. One is left with no doubt that we have the power to exert will and that we do have at least some control over our own existence, including our own behavior.
The concept of free agency is seen more in perspective so that one better understands the interrelationship between self and the environment. Even though each of us does exercise free agency, we are also being constantly challenged, influenced and buffeted by our surrounding environment, sometimes beyond any control that we might wish to exercise.
Jesus, Buddha, Mohammed and others all had similar episodes of enlightenment that suddenly brought forth new levels of understanding which literally changed the direction of their respective cultures. Each of them in their own individual ways crystallized certain universal thoughts which resulted in improved individual and group behavior. Each expressed concepts about love, giving, humility, forgiveness, sharing, perfection and other values that dramatically enhanced humankind's survival potential. I submit that each of these spiritual leaders had one or more peak experiences that gave them a more accurate perception of reality relative to the perceptions of others living at their various times. Identifying their respective experiences as peak experiences in no way detracts from their profoundness. They each achieved new insights into what types of necessary behavior would be required of each of us as individuals if humankind were to survive into the future.
P.E. might also be considered spiritual in the sense that the impact is so exceedingly strong and deeply felt that it leaves a very long-lasting impression upon one's memory. Such attitudes as wonder, awe, reverence, humility, surrender and even worship have been reported. It parallels the "near-death experience" and makes acceptance of death easy or even happy. It can result in a dramatic change in the direction of one's life thereafter. It also strongly impacts one's value system, resulting in a more group or society-oriented behavior that is more altruistic, ethical and humanistic. Our greatest spiritual leaders were all affected in this manner.
The total serenity of P.E. is so incredibly euphoric and desirable that it is itself an ultimate reward for achieving it. Once you have been there you wish that you could always stay there. The perception that one is left with is that if everyone were living in this state there would be no hate, hostility, aggression or war, only love, peace and total understanding of everyone and everything.
The higher-order concepts and vastly increased understanding of reality that I achieved during P.E. very closely paralleled all of the basic information already stored in my mind. It seemed to produce a synthesis of new insight, building upon concepts previously learned relative to my own mind, which was very heavily influenced by my level of scientific understanding, spiritual beliefs, philosophical bias, as well as all other information locked inside my unconscious mind. Suddenly all of my previously stored conscious and unconscious information merged together in such a fashion that it resulted in a new, higher level of comprehension and understanding of reality. It all made total and complete sense without any contradictions or dichotomies. All questions were answered. For several hours afterward I had the perception that I had understood virtually all answers to all questions. This extended into the early daylight hours of the following morning. This was accompanied by the most profound feeling of peace and tranquility.
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