by Maharishi University of Management, Fairfield, Iowa, USA, The Review
29 June 2012
Maharishi University of Management adjunct faculty researcher Harald Harung has published a paper on peak experiences in world-class performers, finding that during optimal performance they spontaneously experience the four higher states of consciousness described by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.
Published in the Journal of Human Values, the paper reviews research on peak experiences, including four quantitative studies Dr. Harung has coauthored on world-class performers in management, sports, classical music, and a variety of professions.
In these four studies, the brains of the world-class performers were found to have specific characteristics, significantly more so than the controls. The top performers and controls also reported on their subjective experiences during peak performance.
In the current paper Dr. Harung presents a selection of clearly articulated peak experiences reported by these world-class performers to illustrate the subjective or inner nature of optimal performance.
He found their performance to be characterized by inner calmness and happiness amidst dynamic activity, maximum wakefulness, effortlessness and ease of functioning, and a sense of perfection.
"The paper suggests that we could be more bold talking about higher states of consciousness since most people should be able to relate to it," Dr. Harung said.
For example, Dr. Harung gives a number of experiences of Heidi Tjugum, a world-class handball player whose team won a world championship. He characterizes the nature of cosmic consciousness as described by Maharishi and then quotes Ms. Tjugum as reporting, "Sometimes I have felt that I am an observer—I just watch what happens. This is a good feeling. It is a very beautiful feeling; it is not that I feel I don't have control. But it goes by itself—in reality I do not have to initiate anything at all. Extremely here and now—nothing else matters. And it is unbelievably good."
Dr. Harung says that performers have these experiences because they are naturally available to everyone, and that the value of the Transcendental Meditation technique is that it allows anyone to systematically cultivate these experiences.
Maharishi University of Management has an Institute for Research on Higher States of Consciousness whose mission is to provide an interdisciplinary and intercultural forum for researchers and scholars to share knowledge, and collaborate in research and application of higher states of consciousness.
Copyright 2012 Maharishi University of Management