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The nature of peak experiences

Peak experiences are described by Maslow as especially joyous and exciting moments in life, involving sudden feelings of intense happiness and well-being, wonder and awe, and possibly also involving an awareness of transcendental unity or knowledge of higher truth (as though perceiving the world from an altered, and often vastly profound and awe-inspiring perspective). They usually come on suddenly and are often inspired by deep meditation, intense feelings of love, exposure to great art or music, or the overwhelming beauty of nature. Peak experiences can also be triggered pharmacologically. A 2006 double-blind clinical study by Griffiths and colleagues showed that psilocybin (the principal psychoactive component of various psychedelic mushroom species) induced intense peak experiences in a majority of study volunteers.[2] In a 14-month follow-up study, a majority of volunteers reported that the psilocybin-induced experience had been overwhelmingly positive and was among the five most personally meaningful spiritual experiences of their lives

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