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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very insightful and enlightening read
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...
Published on 29 July 2001 by P. Fleming

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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars "These aren't the droids you're looking for."
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...
Published 8 months ago by Allen Baird


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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very insightful and enlightening read, 29 July 2001
By 
P. Fleming (England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Religions, Values, and Peak-Experiences (Compass) (Paperback)
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
4.0 out of 5 stars Thought Provoking Psychological/Spiritual Writing, 22 Aug 2009
By 
Lark (North Coast of Ireland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Religions, Values, and Peak-Experiences (Compass) (Paperback)
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.

The contents follow an editorial introduction and preface and comprise the following, a further introduction; dichotomized science adn dichotomized religion; the "core-religious" or "transcendent" experience; organisational dangers to transcendent experiences; hope, skepticism, and man's higher nature; science and the religious liberals and non-theists; value free education? and conclusions. There are a number of appendices, which as it turns out in a shorter book can be as lengthy almost as some of the chapters, comprising religious aspects of peak-experiences; the third psychology; ethnocentric phrasings of peak experiences; what is the validity of knowledge gained in peak-experiences?; preface to "New Knowledge In Human Values"; Rhapsodic, Isomorphic Communication; B-Values as Descriptions of Perception in Peak-Experiences; Naturalistic Reasons for Preferring Growth-Values over Regression-Values under Good Conditions; An Example of B-Analysis. Finally the book has a bibliography for further reading.

All that said I would really, really hope that those chapter headings and titles wouldnt put people off, it is aimed at people with some sort of grounding in psychology and therefore there is a share of jargon but its not impenetrable to the general reader at all. There are many topics which should interest the psychologically, spiritually or religiously inclined, such as the boundaries and barriers between science and religion, which Maslow considers nebulous, obsticles in the way of true understanding and beneficial discoveries.

I particularly enjoyed the chapters describing how Maslow believes that practices discovered to facilitate peak experiences at one time become more important than the experience itself or an obsticle to achieving that experience at another time, likewise the conflicts in established religions between facilitating peak experiences and the transmission of knowledge and tradition to new generations was of particular interest too (I can see parallels not simply with ideology but also the practice of therapists, social services and other professionals as a kind of "hardening of the arteries" takes place). Less theroetically this is a book completely full of feeling, it is very humanitarian and speaks to real human needs, perhaps some people will find Maslow's attempt to cut across boundaries too much and a minimisation of real differences between theists and non-theists (for instance) or his perspective on culture and context too much of a generalisation but I'm sure they will still find something rewarding in reading the book.

While I would recommend this to general readers, the psychologically interested and spiritually interested I would also highly recommend it to anyone who has found spiritual insights and psychology Jung particularly enlightening or interesting.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Significant thinking for today's conditions, 30 Nov 2013
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This review is from: Religions, Values, and Peak-Experiences (Compass) (Paperback)
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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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars "These aren't the droids you're looking for.", 4 Jan 2014
By 
Allen Baird (Belfast, Northern Ireland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Religions, Values, and Peak-Experiences (Compass) (Paperback)
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).

This is again complicated in my mind by claims made by Edward Hoffman, Maslow's biographer. Let me quote from him on an article on PEs, easily found on the internet.

"Shortly before Maslow's sudden death from a heart attack in 1970, he began developing exercises to help people achieve the plateau state of consciousness, such as gazing at a tiny flower intensely and with total attention, or at a familiar family member or friend and imagining "that you [or he/she] is going to die soon." Such methods, Maslow proposed, can serve to break the dull, habitual way we relate to others and help us to see the world once more with freshness and delight."

Despite my best efforts, I haven't been able to find out any more about these intriguing exercises. Surely they are the very thing that people want from a book of PE? But we get none of it - the 'how to' stuff so loathed by academics - in RVAPE. The closest we come lies in Appendix A, "Religious Aspects of Peak-Experiences", easily the best part of the entire book (along with appendixes D and F). Here, Maslow list 25 points about PEs that hint, if not at methods, then at least at concrete descriptions and metaphors of attainment.

Interesting elements of Maslow's thinking in RVAPEs include:
* His use of Nietzsche's concepts of the Apollonian and the Dionysian to describe two tendencies in religious typology (viii, xi, 42)
* His negative comments on Freudian 'sublimation' as a possible basis for ego-transcending experiences (7)
* His critique of science without values (15-18)
* His shift in opinion from a position that certain people cannot have a PE ("non-peakers") to a belief that everyone can (22-23)
* His mentioning drugs and hypnosis as two artificial ways to induce PEs (27)
* His description of the opposite of a PE as a "desolation experience" (74)

Please be aware, then, before purchasing this book, that about 80% of it deals with Maslow's own naturalistic and dated reflection on religion, and that those parts that actually deal with PEs are mostly covered in his other books. RVAPE is a one-time read for Maslow groupies only. For practical information on PEs, we'll have to go elsewhere. But where, I don't know. Colin Wilson, maybe?

And if you don't get the title of my review, I refer you to Urban Dictionary, the source of all scholarly knowledge.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 5 Sep 2014
This review is from: Religions, Values, and Peak-Experiences (Compass) (Paperback)
fast delivery, item as advertised. very interesting read.
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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
This review is from: Religions, Values, and Peak-Experiences (Compass) (Paperback)
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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Religions, Values, and Peak-Experiences (Compass)
Religions, Values, and Peak-Experiences (Compass) by A. Maslow (Paperback - 24 Feb 1994)
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