Abraham Maslow saw prophet potential in everyone. He believed everyone was capable of having “peak experiences” equivalent to the solitary visions experienced by the mystics and prophets who gave rise to all the religions of the world. Maslow believed religion and societal influences suppressed belief in the prophet within, thus preventing some people from having “peak experiences,” while others were able to experience them.
From the point of view of the peak experiencer, each person has his own private religion. This develops out of his own personal revelations in which are revealed to him his own private myths and symbols, rituals and ceremonies. These may be of the profoundest meaning to him personally and yet completely idiosyncratic, i.e., of no meaning to anyone else.”
The great lesson from the true mystics is that the sacred is in the ordinary, that it is to be found in one’s daily life, in one’s neighbors, friends and family, in one’s own back yard.
Maslow felt that organized religion and the religious elite appropriated the concepts of sacredness and divinity, even the words themselves.
Maslow encouraged people from all walks of life to reclaim concepts such as ‘sacred,’ ‘holy’ and ‘divine’ and make them your own. He believed everyone could have personal epiphanies and a personal religion just as the great prophets did.