Dr. Harald S. Harung reports that the Journal of Human Values published his peak experience paper in January 2012 for their April 2012 issue.

He says, “world-class performers spontaneously experience all four higher states of consciousness during optimal performance. It suggests that we should be more bold about talking about higher states of consciousness since most people should be able to relate to it.”

The paper, Illustrations of Peak Experiences during Optimal Performance in World-class Performers: Integrating Eastern and Western Insights, is published in the Journal of Human Values, April 2012; vol. 18, 1: pp. 33-52. The paper is filled with many inspiring personal experiences from world-class athletes, musicians, and managers, which are symptomatic of all four higher states of consciousness. Attached is a pdf of the paper. The Abstract is posted online: http://jhv.sagepub.com/content/18/1/33.

Here is the Abstract:

Management and performance are interdisciplinary, spanning diverse fields such as business, industry, government, sports, arts, health and education.

In four studies, world-class performers in a variety of fields, for example, management, sports and classical music, have been found to display higher mind–brain development than matched average-performing control groups, including more frequent peak experiences.

In this article, we will use a selection of clearly articulated peak experiences reported by these world-class performers to illustrate the subjective or inner nature of optimal performance. Such performance seems to be characterized by inner calmness and happiness amidst dynamic activity, maximum wakefulness, effortlessness and ease of functioning, and a sense of perfection.

In order to provide an adequate theoretical framework for understanding peak experiences, we combine Western developmental psychology with the advanced growth range of higher consciousness (enlightenment), as outlined in the ancient Vedic knowledge of India.

Here is the Conclusion:

This article has illustrated how a wide range of world-class performers relate peak experiences to optimal performance. These top performers and others reported in the literature describe peak moments in terms of high intrinsic motivation, greatly expanded awareness, deep inner relaxation amidst dynamic activity, effortless functioning and inner joy. Previous quantitative research has found a significant difference between top performers and average-performing controls in terms of mind–brain development. The phenomenological experiences and qualitative research taken together indicates that higher development provides a common foundation for effective performance, thus suggesting a Unified Theory of Performance.

The two most salient points of this article are as follows:

(a) Most people report at least one brief peak experience in their life. However, frequent and lasting experiences of higher consciousness are rare. Thus, the potential for higher development and substantially higher performance may be generally available in society.

(b) To realize this growth potential, modern Western thinking has to be complemented by the ancient knowledge and practical procedures of the East.

He is obviously talking about Transcendental Meditation.

Dr. Harung gratefully acknowledges the help of Dr Fred Travis, Dr Craig Pearson and Dr Ragnhild Boes.

Congratulations to Harald and his associates.

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