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Religions, Values, and Peak-Experiences (Compass) [Paperback]

A. Maslow
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
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Religions, Values, and Peak-Experiences (Compass) + Toward a Psychology of Being + On Becoming a Person
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Product details

  • Paperback: 143 pages
  • Publisher: Atlantic Books (24 Feb 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140194878
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140194876
  • Product Dimensions: 19.9 x 13 x 1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 146,472 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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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. Read the first page
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very insightful and enlightening read 29 July 2001
Maslow is to me one of the most insightful and enlightening person I can think of. His work is extremely thought provoking and to me goes far beyond seeing Psychology purely as a science or study of behaviour. Rather, Maslow truely is looking at life itself and what it is to be human.
His views on religion and conventional science and education are really a breath of fresh air in a society which seems so mechanistic and beauracratic.
The only slight criticism I have is that some of the language he uses is clearly directed towards the psychology profession and that he refers to a lot of his other work which the laymen may not be aware of.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Buying this book I and was admittedly a little sceptical about it. There was a nagging doubt that maybe it was one of those books generated during more hopeful times by well funded academics self-reporting their journey of personal development for an audience of hippies dropping out to "find themselves". Thankfully I can report it is anything but this sort of thing and I can highly recommend it, I give it four stars rather than five because of the ommission of an index which I think in a book of this kind would have been really helpful.

Maslow is a social psychologist of "hierarchy of needs" fame, an idea which failing to capture the imagination of fellow psychologists or therapists was instead embraced by management and motivational thinkers and consultants. The core of the theory being that human needs form a pyramid, the basis of which are the most basic of survival-subsistance needs, like food, shelter, air, water, the pinnacle of the pyramid being "self-actualisation", which is variously defined and possibly culturally specific (although Maslow himself didnt think so). As theories on the judgement of needs go its been pretty much unsurpassed, the idea that people are striving to satisfy these needs from the basic to complex, perhaps even unconsciously, has informed a lot of further research. In this book Maslow very much addresses the sorts of experiences which in sum amount to or contribute to self-actualisation and for this reason I found it very interesting, engaging and rewarding.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Significant thinking for today's conditions 30 Nov 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Maslow is best known for his 'hierarchy of needs' which has influenced a great deal of modern nthinking about how we manage our affairs. This book takes his thinking to a new level, relevant to the work of Beck and Cowan on Spiral Dynamics, Susanne Cook-Greuter on Action Logics and others. This thinking enables us to cut through paralysing arguments about complexity by giving us referent points that confirm our humanity.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars "These aren't the droids you're looking for." 4 Jan 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
If I were writing a review of Maslow the psychologist, then five stars out of five would be his mandatory portion. His contribution to the field of psychology, the reach of his impact on fields like management and education, and the quality of his concepts, are all of the highest calibre. But I'm not reviewing him, his ideas or his legacy. I'm reviewing this particular book (RVAPE).

I bought this book because I wanted a primary source on Maslow's theory of 'peak experiences' (PEs). I had read bits and pieces about this topic in some of this other works, particularly in 'Towards a Psychology of Being' and few papers. I assumed that this book, bearing as it does the phrase "peak-experiences" in its title, would constitute Maslow's magnum opus on the topic.

I bought RVAPE, furthermore, because of a promise make on the book's back cover. Allegedly, in this book, referring to 'peak-experiences', Maslow "reveals how they can - and why they should - be experienced by virtually anyone". Only he doesn't. In fact, from what contradictory evidence I've been able to glean from interviews, Maslow denied that it is possible to induce PEs by triggers or techniques at all.

Maslow does, in RVAPE, seem to make a distinction between two different levels of PE: nadir-experiences and plateau-experiences (xiv). The former are exemplified in mystical or "core-religious" experiences, while the latter are lower-level feelings of serenity and well-being. From what I can tell, confusion can arise because sometimes it seems that Maslow (1) describes all PEs in a nadir-type way, (2) explicitly denys that they can be manufactured, and (3) then claims that PEs "can be achieved, learned, earned by long hard work" (xv-xvi).
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13 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars highly intellectual 5 May 1999
By A Customer
I had a peak experience five years ago. IT was life transforming, much like an after death experience... The energy, comprehending everything about the universe, and most of all telepathic communication with a higher power. I thought I went completely mad, but finding this book a month after it happened was a miracle in itself. I found a lot of assurance in Maslows book. It happens and more frequently than you would think (and I am not mad!!!). Maslow mentioned 'peak experiences' happen during child birth and listening to classical music which I have a hard time with, but who am I to disagree? The odd thing about my peak experience is that my life improved greatly after it occurred. The sad thing is that 8 months after it happened my fiancee was killed in a traffic accident. In everyway that peak experience kept me alive. A simple knowledge that 'things happen for a reason -even though we may never comprehend it'. There is a downside to peak experiences which Maslow didn't discuss. That is the obligation one feels after it happens. I really identify with the character John Travolta played in the movie "Phenomenon". Why did it happen to me? What am I to do with this knowledge? I hate it. Anyway, if you have had a peak experience I would love to talk to you.
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