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InvisibleIcelander
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Self actualization
    #4446360 - 07/24/05 11:48 AM (11 years, 4 months ago)

I pulled this from the Pub, as I thought it was worth discussion here.

Here is a definition of self-actualization (proposed by Dr. Maslow)


Quote:
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Self-actualization

The last level is a bit different. Maslow has used a variety of terms to refer to this level: He has called it growth motivation (in contrast to deficit motivation), being needs (or B-needs, in contrast to D-needs), and self-actualization.

These are needs that do not involve balance or homeostasis. Once engaged, they continue to be felt. In fact, they are likely to become stronger as we ?feed? them! They involve the continuous desire to fulfill potentials, to ?be all that you can be.? They are a matter of becoming the most complete, the fullest, ?you? -- hence the term, self-actualization.

Now, in keeping with his theory up to this point, if you want to be truly self-actualizing, you need to have your lower needs taken care of, at least to a considerable extent. This makes sense: If you are hungry, you are scrambling to get food; If you are unsafe, you have to be continuously on guard; If you are isolated and unloved, you have to satisfy that need; If you have a low sense of self-esteem, you have to be defensive or compensate. When lower needs are unmet, you can?t fully devote yourself to fulfilling your potentials.

It isn?t surprising, then, the world being as difficult as it is, that only a small percentage of the world?s population is truly, predominantly, self-actualizing. Maslow at one point suggested only about two percent!

The question becomes, of course, what exactly does Maslow mean by self-actualization. To answer that, we need to look at the kind of people he called self-actualizers. Fortunately, he did this for us, using a qualitative method called biographical analysis.

He began by picking out a group of people, some historical figures, some people he knew, whom he felt clearly met the standard of self-actualization. Included in this august group were Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson, Albert Einstein, Eleanor Roosevelt, Jane Adams, William James, Albert Schweitzer, Benedict Spinoza, and Alduous Huxley, plus 12 unnamed people who were alive at the time Maslow did his research. He then looked at their biographies, writings, the acts and words of those he knew personally, and so on. From these sources, he developed a list of qualities that seemed characteristic of these people, as opposed to the great mass of us.

These people were reality-centered, which means they could differentiate what is fake and dishonest from what is real and genuine. They were problem-centered, meaning they treated life?s difficulties as problems demanding solutions, not as personal troubles to be railed at or surrendered to. And they had a different perception of means and ends. They felt that the ends don?t necessarily justify the means, that the means could be ends themselves, and that the means -- the journey -- was often more important than the ends.

The self-actualizers also had a different way of relating to others. First, they enjoyed solitude, and were comfortable being alone. And they enjoyed deeper personal relations with a few close friends and family members, rather than more shallow relationships with many people.

They enjoyed autonomy, a relative independence from physical and social needs. And they resisted enculturation, that is, they were not susceptible to social pressure to be "well adjusted" or to "fit in" -- they were, in fact, nonconformists in the best sense.

They had an unhostile sense of humor -- preferring to joke at their own expense, or at the human condition, and never directing their humor at others. They had a quality he called acceptance of self and others, by which he meant that these people would be more likely to take you as you are than try to change you into what they thought you should be. This same acceptance applied to their attitudes towards themselves: If some quality of theirs wasn?t harmful, they let it be, even enjoying it as a personal quirk. On the other hand, they were often strongly motivated to change negative qualities in themselves that could be changed. Along with this comes spontaneity and simplicity: They preferred being themselves rather than being pretentious or artificial. In fact, for all their nonconformity, he found that they tended to be conventional on the surface, just where less self-actualizing nonconformists tend to be the most dramatic.

Further, they had a sense of humility and respect towards others -- something Maslow also called democratic values -- meaning that they were open to ethnic and individual variety, even treasuring it. They had a quality Maslow called human kinship or Gemeinschaftsgef?hl -- social interest, compassion, humanity. And this was accompanied by a strong ethics, which was spiritual but seldom conventionally religious in nature.

And these people had a certain freshness of appreciation, an ability to see things, even ordinary things, with wonder. Along with this comes their ability to be creative, inventive, and original. And, finally, these people tended to have more peak experiences than the average person. A peak experience is one that takes you out of yourself, that makes you feel very tiny, or very large, to some extent one with life or nature or God. It gives you a feeling of being a part of the infinite and the eternal. These experiences tend to leave their mark on a person, change them for the better, and many people actively seek them out. They are also called mystical experiences, and are an important part of many religious and philosophical traditions.

Maslow doesn?t think that self-actualizers are perfect, of course. There were several flaws or imperfections he discovered along the way as well: First, they often suffered considerable anxiety and guilt -- but realistic anxiety and guilt, rather than misplaced or neurotic versions. Some of them were absentminded and overly kind. And finally, some of them had unexpected moments of ruthlessness, surgical coldness, and loss of humor.

Two other points he makes about these self-actualizers: Their values were "natural" and seemed to flow effortlessly from their personalities. And they appeared to transcend many of the dichotomies others accept as being undeniable, such as the differences between the spiritual and the physical, the selfish and the unselfish, and the masculine and the feminine.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------



What do you think?  :mushroom2:

--------------------


--------------------
"Don't believe everything you think". -Anom.

" All that lives was born to die"-Anom.

With much wisdom comes much sorrow,
The more knowledge, the more grief.
Ecclesiastes circa 350 BC


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OfflineMarkostheGnostic
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Re: Self actualization [Re: Icelander]
    #4446425 - 07/24/05 12:26 PM (11 years, 4 months ago)

I love Abraham Maslow for his contribution to the beginning of Transpersonal Psychology. His works figured prominently in my doctoral dissertation, in the chapter on the Head Center (according to Buddhist Yoga chakra theory and 'motivation' associated with it). I have long identified with being a "B-Cognizer," although I have some deficits in the level of 'Belongingness' on the hierarchy.


--------------------
γνῶθι σαὐτόν - Gnothi Seauton - Know Thyself


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InvisibleLunarEclipse
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Re: Self actualization [Re: Icelander]
    #4446507 - 07/24/05 01:07 PM (11 years, 4 months ago)

What do you think?

I think most but not all of my needs are being met. I skipped one and put one or two on hold while amassing my mass. Was I right to do that?

I don't agree that one has to have ALL lower needs perfectly met to be able to reach at least some aspects of self actualization.

Most of us are like swiss cheese in the needs meeting department. Somehow, the wholey thing works.

I like Maslow's description of what it means to be self actualized in terms of being able to enjoy solitude and not bending to social pressures.


--------------------
Anxiety is what you make it.


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InvisibleHuehuecoyotl
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Re: Self actualization [Re: Icelander]
    #4446602 - 07/24/05 01:40 PM (11 years, 4 months ago)

Self actualisation is very similar to the Buddhist concept of realization. During the three years I studied psych (as a major) in college, Maslow's theories were the only one's I identified with.


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"A warrior is a hunter. He calculates everything. That's control. Once his calculations are over, he acts. He lets go. That's abandon. A warrior is not a leaf at the mercy of the wind. No one can push him; no one can make him do things against himself or against his better judgment. A warrior is tuned to survive, and he survives in the best of all possible fashions." ― Carlos Castaneda


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Offlinecrunchytoast
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Re: Self actualization [Re: LunarEclipse]
    #4446634 - 07/24/05 01:48 PM (11 years, 4 months ago)

i enjoy the letting others be as they are part
accepting people who follow a different path from oneself, supporting them as they follow that path

i wonder about low self-esteem, loneliness, etc. i think there's a place for these feelings. i mean, if i were never lonely, i think that would be as much of a problem as if i were lonely all the time.

from the description, a self-actualized person seems to display some kind of lightness or flow, whereas personally, i rarely feel like i'm in flow. that's the biggest reason i wouldn't characterize myself as self-actualized.


--------------------
"consensus on the nature of equilibrium is usually established by periodic conflict." -henry kissinger


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OfflineTheCheat
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Re: Self actualization [Re: crunchytoast]
    #4446851 - 07/24/05 03:20 PM (11 years, 4 months ago)

good read. :thumbup:

It's good to know that I have quite a few similar personalities and/or behavior to the self-actualized few.
but yeah, even though I try to change this, the need to "fit in" has always been around :thumbdown:, and I love all kind of jokes. except blasphemous ones. Racist jokes are my specialties  :grin:


--------------------
?Religion is science, politics is Hollywood, and 50 cent is more influential than Dali Lama; welcome to the future?
-Fontaine

"Blessed are the peacemakers." Matthew 5:9


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InvisibleIcelander
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Re: Self actualization [Re: crunchytoast]
    #4447380 - 07/24/05 06:16 PM (11 years, 4 months ago)

Honest accessment of the self.  :thumbup: I also rarely feel in the flow. But I do more often and in better spirits often. So I'm headed in the right direction. How about you? :heart: :mushroom2:


--------------------
"Don't believe everything you think". -Anom.

" All that lives was born to die"-Anom.

With much wisdom comes much sorrow,
The more knowledge, the more grief.
Ecclesiastes circa 350 BC


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InvisibleIcelander
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Re: Self actualization [Re: Huehuecoyotl]
    #4448159 - 07/24/05 09:43 PM (11 years, 4 months ago)

Quote:

Huehuecoyotl said:
Self actualisation is very similar to the Buddhist concept of realization. During the three years I studied psych (as a major) in college, Maslow's theories were the only one's I identified with.




Veritas turned me on to Maslow. She is a psyc major and very much into him. I like his ideas very much. :thumbup:


--------------------
"Don't believe everything you think". -Anom.

" All that lives was born to die"-Anom.

With much wisdom comes much sorrow,
The more knowledge, the more grief.
Ecclesiastes circa 350 BC


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Offlinefalcon
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Re: Self actualization [Re: Icelander]
    #4448245 - 07/24/05 10:08 PM (11 years, 4 months ago)

Maslow seems to me to paint with broad strokes on a small canvas.
He seems to me a pompous fool.
God bless him. And god bless us all. :wink:


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InvisibleIcelander
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Re: Self actualization [Re: falcon]
    #4448442 - 07/24/05 10:53 PM (11 years, 4 months ago)

Please explain? I haven't a clue as to what you are saying.


--------------------
"Don't believe everything you think". -Anom.

" All that lives was born to die"-Anom.

With much wisdom comes much sorrow,
The more knowledge, the more grief.
Ecclesiastes circa 350 BC


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Offlinefalcon
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Re: Self actualization [Re: Icelander]
    #4448489 - 07/24/05 11:09 PM (11 years, 4 months ago)

Imagine a person that is self actualized, by Maslows definition,
making a definition
of the self actualized person. I do not think that they could limit the
group to 2 percent.

Therefore Maslow is not self actualized, in my estimation.
He could still, not being self actualized, make a good model
for a self actualized person. 

Hey enough of circular arguments.


I was just translating a phrase from French to English with babelfish.
Then I translated the resulting phrase from English to French.
That is sort of where my head was at when I read the post.

I think slow and type slower, sorry for the wait. :grin: :blush:


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InvisibleIcelander
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Re: Self actualization [Re: falcon]
    #4448615 - 07/24/05 11:35 PM (11 years, 4 months ago)

No problem! :grin: :heart:


--------------------
"Don't believe everything you think". -Anom.

" All that lives was born to die"-Anom.

With much wisdom comes much sorrow,
The more knowledge, the more grief.
Ecclesiastes circa 350 BC


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OfflineMarkostheGnostic
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Re: Self actualization [Re: falcon]
    #4448669 - 07/24/05 11:51 PM (11 years, 4 months ago)

What do you mean???????????????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


http://www.ship.edu/~cgboeree/maslow.html


--------------------
γνῶθι σαὐτόν - Gnothi Seauton - Know Thyself


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Offlinecrunchytoast
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Re: Self actualization [Re: Icelander]
    #4449401 - 07/25/05 03:38 AM (11 years, 4 months ago)

hey, good for you icelander! honestly you seem like a pretty cool dude from what i see on this website- you're chilled out, honest, smart, openminded and passionate. i admire you, man.

yeah, i definately feel like i'm loosening up, like i'm pointed in the right direction. (maybe everyone's pointed in the right direction and would be doing a lot better if it weren't for fear. i know i've got lots of it.)

feelings is my newest kick to be honest, i guess that's how i'm approaching it
once i can spare the cash i might get some therapy for therapy's sake

lately i've been trying to step in the flow more, and it's like, new things keep happening. like, i try new ways of interacting with people, being more honest for example, or just trusting my feeling, trusting other person's feeling, and new surprising things keep happening. and come to think of it that's pretty darn cool.

i'm sure as hell not there, but what the hell do i know about "there"?


--------------------
"consensus on the nature of equilibrium is usually established by periodic conflict." -henry kissinger


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InvisibleIcelander
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Re: Self actualization [Re: crunchytoast]
    #4449527 - 07/25/05 04:53 AM (11 years, 4 months ago)

Crunchtoast.  Thanks for the kind words. I was just feeling the same vibes from you lately. I was talking to Veritas about you just yesterday or the day before.  :smile:

In fact this last post of yours sounds just like the process I'm involved in. A little confusion here and there and a willingness to grow into more Love.  The Universe asks just one thing of us. " How much can you take?" If your answer is "bring it on" the Universe will provide you with everything you need to grow. You need do nothing but surrender to what is happening in this moment. That becomes difficult when we think we know better than life what is right and wrong.  So we tend to say to the Universe, No not this!  I want this!  But everything that happens to you comes from the flow of the Universe which is Tao/Chaos. If you can surrender without judgement and surrender to that flow,  I believe,  and from some experience, you will get exactally what you need to grow. Even if at the time it looks like exactally the opposite.

I get excited and joyfull when I read posts like yours brother. Much love to you. :heart: :heart: If you ever need to talk for any reaon, please feel free to PM me. :thumbup: :heart: :mushroom2:


--------------------
"Don't believe everything you think". -Anom.

" All that lives was born to die"-Anom.

With much wisdom comes much sorrow,
The more knowledge, the more grief.
Ecclesiastes circa 350 BC


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Offlinecrunchytoast
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Re: Self actualization [Re: Icelander]
    #4450108 - 07/25/05 12:52 PM (11 years, 4 months ago)

Quote:

If you can surrender without judgement and surrender to that flow, I believe, and from some experience, you will get exactally what you need to grow.




yeah dude exactly; if flow is something like feelings in the moment, it's like connecting with the world on the most basic, primal level.  it's like accessing the animal response almost, but it's the human animal response.  i mean, evolution gave us our emotions to guide us, so they've got to be good for us, right?

it works fine for me as long as i talk about it in the abstract !  :grin:

Quote:

Even if at the time it looks like exactally the opposite



ain't that the truth

Quote:

If you ever need to talk for any reaon, please feel free to PM me.




thanks, i appreciate that, icelander  :heart:

same goes for you man, although you have more experience under your belt and i wonder if at 26 how much help i could be.  i would still do my best.


--------------------
"consensus on the nature of equilibrium is usually established by periodic conflict." -henry kissinger


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InvisibleCowgold
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Re: Self actualization [Re: Icelander]
    #4450114 - 07/25/05 12:53 PM (11 years, 4 months ago)

Great thread... I focus on this sort of thing the most. It's comforting to know and seek.


--------------------
"You might not be aware of this, but there are a lot of dickheads on the Internet." - D. Wong


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OfflineGrav
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Re: Self actualization [Re: Icelander]
    #4450186 - 07/25/05 01:13 PM (11 years, 4 months ago)

what is more important than a good sense of humor? :smile:


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InvisibleIcelander
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Re: Self actualization [Re: Grav]
    #4451132 - 07/25/05 05:16 PM (11 years, 4 months ago)

Not much. :grin: :heart:


--------------------
"Don't believe everything you think". -Anom.

" All that lives was born to die"-Anom.

With much wisdom comes much sorrow,
The more knowledge, the more grief.
Ecclesiastes circa 350 BC


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Offlinefalcon
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Re: Self actualization [Re: MarkostheGnostic]
    #4452446 - 07/25/05 10:24 PM (11 years, 4 months ago)

I did a little more reading, enough to know that short
description and in the first post isn't enough to know much
about the man. The 2 percent thing is what struck me as
wrong. I would put the figure at 25 percent, ya know not
completely self actualized, but working on it.


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