A Quote by Ken Wilber on direct experience, peak experience, and plateau experience

Direct experience decisively answers the nagging questions inherent in faith. There are usually two phases of direct experience; peak experiences and plateau experiences.

Peak experiences are relatively brief, usually intense, often unbidden, and frequently life-changing. They are actually "peak experiences" into the transpersonal, supramental levels of one's own higher potentials. Psychic peak experiences are a glimpse into nature mysticism (gross-level oneness); subtle peak experiences are a glimpse into deity mysticism (subtle-level oneness); casual peak experiences are a glimpse into emptiness (casual-level oneness); and nondual peak experiences are a glimpse into One Taste. As Roger Walsh has pointed out, the higher the level of the peak experience, the rarer it is. . . .

Whereas peak experiences are usually of brief duration—a few minutes to a few hours—plateau experiences are more constant and enduring, verging on becoming a permanent adaptation. Whereas peak experiences can, and usually do, come spontaneously, in order to sustain them and turn them from a peak into a plateau—from a brief altered state into a more enduring trait—prolonged practice is required. Whereas almost anybody, at any time, at any age, can have a brief peak experience, I know of few bona fide cases of plateau experiences that did not involve years of sustained spiritual practice.

Ken Wilber

Source: The Essential Ken Wilber: An Introductory Reader., Pages: 179,,180

Contributed by: J.K.