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Book Review - "Take It From The Top: What To Do With a Peak Experience" by Edward M. O'Keefe, Ph.D

Updated on August 27, 2021

A Book Worth Living

Imagine, for a minute, you are searching intensely for pure exhilaration. You somehow feel the emotions of momentary euphoria. You also sense this instant is inexpressibly meaningful and potentially life-changing, and almost unspeakably you know you are one with everything around you. Consider that this indescribable moment can come at any time, from any angle and you know beyond a shadow of a doubt that though you have felt pieces of this occurrence at one time or another before, you have never felt the ecstasy that pushed you over the edge of understanding. Astoundingly, you know you have encountered that distinctive collection of moments that lead to life enhancement and then to…transformation. You know you have experienced something significant, even profound, but you cannot define its meaning or relevance.

In “Take It From the Top: What To Do With a Peak Experience” by Edward M. O’keefe Ph.D., now you can know!

Dr. O’Keefe’s lifelong work culminates in a book for everyone who is remotely interested in the topic of Peak or Mountain Top Experiences. Whether you’ve had one of these experiences and want to know what’s next, or if you would like to discover how you might put yourself in a position to manifest one, or a whole series of peak experiences, (PE’s as Dr. O’keefe calls them) there is now a formula…a path, a method, not to mention apparently a community of “peakers” who can help us come face to face with understanding these exciting and fulfilling materialization's.

Dr. O’keefe’s “Take It From The Top” masterfully describes the work and impact of psychologist Abraham Maslow, who coined the peak experience phraseology along with the idea it emanates from and leads us back to the “farther reaches of human nature.” I found the motivation of this book, a dedication to the memory of one of the author’s teachers, Dr. Thomas Berry, to be a remarkable and inspirational commentary on both men - teacher and student. Though “Take It From the Top” is brilliantly researched (a trip through the bibliography and its noteworthy list of highly acclaimed authors is testimony to that) it also contains documentation from the lives of real people, some famous, many just like you and me, and their contributions to this book and its meaning and purpose are intelligent, sensitive and oh, so valuable.

Without religiosity, Dr. O’keefe, also an ordained minister, is able to deliver definition to a still relatively little understood spiritual event, as well as examples from a host of people who have commented on their own peak experiences. The book’s a must read just for the examples themselves. If that isn’t enough, it leads the reader to other critically important works further explaining, again without religious overtones, the very important role peak experiences, meditation and other like knowledge/spiritual practices play in understanding and developing these life changing and often ineffable moments.

My Recommendation

It would be all too effortless to continue describing this easy to read yet incredibly profound work, but the best recommendation I can make is to obtain the book and get started…now! I am deeply indebted to the author for his devotion to this book and I congratulate him on successfully transcending the obstacles that could certainly have prevented its completion.

If you’re interested in knowing yourself better, in knowing how to implement practices that help in the fulfillment of a happy, healthy, abundant living - this book is for you . In the eleven chapters and their summaries, “Take It From the Top: What To Do With a Peak Experience” Dr. O’keefe succinctly explains what these experiences are, where they can come from and what to do to discover and proliferate them. He also examines and explains why one would want to repeat them.

In the afterword there is evidence of the reason why Dr. O’keefe encourages the practices that lead to the joy of living. Poetically, the author suggests that life, like peak experiences, can be changed by tiny shifts in consciousness. I tried it! It works! In a spirit of gratitude I have thoroughly enjoyed reading this book (twice, so far) and give it my highest recommendation!

What's on Your Bookshelf


My Personal Rating

5 stars for Take It From The Top - What To Do With a Peak Experience

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