In the late 1960s, the prominent psychologist Abraham Maslow argued that music-making was an inherently bodily activity, which like sex, could induce what Maslow called “peak experiences”—moments of mystical transcendence and personal insight. Amass enough such peak experiences, Maslow suggested, and one could achieve “self-actualization”—the full realization of one's potential as a human being. This article argues that though many musicians would heed Maslow's words, few embodied Maslow's program more than composer John Coolidge Adams did in the late 1970s. The article shows how Maslowian ideas shaped some of Adams's formative musical experiences in the San Francisco Bay Area. The article further demonstrates how these same concepts inspired the development of Adams's idiosyncratic postminimalist idiom, with particular attention to Adams's 1978 string septet Shaker Loops. By considering the influence of Adams's countercultural milieu, the article reveals strains of primitivism, eroticism, and exoticism in Adams's work more closely associated with Adams's minimalist predecessors. It also presents an alternative view of postmodernism in music, arguing that for Adams, at least, to make music “after” modernism was to make music a medium of self-actualization.