Year of Transcendence into Well Being
The Big Problems are:
- To make the good person, the “responsible for himself and his own evolution” person;
- To make the good society – one species, one world.
-Abraham Maslow, 1969
Abraham Maslow and the Hierarchy of Needs
You may remember Abraham Maslow, who in the in the late 1960’s developed a hierarchical theory of human needs. Maslow was a humanistic psychologist, later a transpersonal psychologist, who believed that people are not controlled by mechanical forces alone. He focused on human potential, believing that humans strive to reach the highest levels of their capabilities. As a humanistic psychologist, Maslow is most recognized for his pyramid of needs. He investigated what motivates people. At the basic level, humans are motivated by Biological and Physiological Needs – the need for oxygen, food, water- basic survival. Once these needs have been satisfied, the next motivation comes from Security and Safety Needs – the need for shelter, clothing, a consistent daily life style. Next are Social Needs – the need for love, affection and belonging. Ego and Self Esteem Needs follow – the need for respect from others, to feel satisfied, self confident and valuable. The top of Maslow’s original pyramid was Self-Actualization and Fulfillment Needs – the need for work or vocation, the need to be involved in some cause beyond themselves.
Prior to his death in 1970, Maslow was working on a final “need”, that of Self-transcendence. In studying self-actualized people, he found a unique group that had gone beyond the others in their development. This group was characterized by higher spiritual values and behaviors. In addition, this group reported more moments of “peak experiences” happening in their daily lives. Peak experiences have certain basic characteristics that include: a giving up of the past and future; an innocence of perceiving and behaving, a connection to the Real Self through the loss of ego and self-forgetfulness; strength and courage; acceptance and a positive attitude, spontaneity and expressiveness; integration of B-values; and trust.
Only by going beyond one’s self, can one discover the ultimate Self that is Source.
Maslow went on to list the behaviors he discovered that lead toward peak experiences and a spiritual way of Being in the world.
Behaviors leading towards self-transcendence include:
- Experiencing fully, vividly, selflessly with full concentration and total absorption.
- Making growth-choices instead of fear choices.
- Understanding that there is a self to be actualized and listening to the impulse voices within to let the self emerge.
- When in doubt, being honest.
- Choosing wisely by listening to own self at each moment in life.
- Using one’s intelligence – working to do well the thing one wants to do.
- Inviting peak experiences to occur in one’s life.
- Opening oneself up to oneself and making oneself “sacred under the aspect of eternity”.
Maslow concluded that there are 14 ultimate values – Being Values – that enable the problems of the individual and the world to be resolved. These values include: Truth (honesty); Goodness (benevolence); Beauty (rightness); Wholeness (interconnectedness); Aliveness (spontaneity); Uniqueness (individuality); Perfection (nothing lacking); Completion (fulfillment); Justice (fairness); Simplicity (essentiality); Richness (nothing is unimportant); Effortlessness (ease and lack of strain); Playfulness (humor and fun); and Self-sufficiency (not needing anything other than itself in order to be itself).
Being Values are the characteristics of being fully human, the preferences of full human people, the characteristics of selfhood or identity in peak experiences. They are characteristic of ideal art, ideal children, ideal theories, ideal science and knowledge. They are the far goals of all psychotherapies, the far goals of all education, the far goals of religions. They are the characteristics of the ideally good environment and of the ideally good society.
Imagine a world of self-transcendent beings. Imagine every store you shop at, every company representative you deal with, every person in every car on every highway, and every family member demonstrating the Being Values. Hard to picture? That’s OK. Because we will all be there one day. It is a basic need of every individual. And every person works in his or her own way to try and fulfill that need. That’s why we are here on the earth plane. That is what our Souls are guiding us towards. So begin the journey within yourself. Feel the Flow, practice daily, and watch miracles unfold in your life.
excerpt from Energy SourceBook, The Fundamentals of Personal Energy, by Dr. Jill Henry, Llewellyn 2014
May You Be Well, May You be Happy!