Monday, October 3, 2011

Abraham Maslow Revisited

The other day I stumbled across the famous Maslowian triangle illustrating his hierarchy of the five level of needs to be successively met in order that a person can move up the scale, finally reaching the commendable state of self-actualizing and enjoying peak experiences.

Indirectly more than directly his humanistic psychology has profoundly influenced my own intellectual development. His theory of self-realization has totally intruded upon my worldview, permeating deep and wide. Indeed, I am convinced that this is the duty that God summons us to practice.

I am no Maslowian scholar but here are a few reflections about his work that have come to mind. First, his school of psychology seems to be how the world works, and presents people with a chance to lead a most fruitful life.

Second, he is incorrect in proposing that to self-actualize is an innate drive shaping people's life ambitions. Oh that innate drive is there, but it is a weak, subordinate drive beaten down by groupist living with its concomitant emphasis on selflessness, laziness, same-thinking, deadly conservatism, low-self esteem (It takes a strong ego to believe that one is worthy of fulfilling one's potential and be recognized and rewarded by the self, others and God for so performing.)

Third, as we learn how to live and so that we can raise generation after generation of self-actualizers, then instilling self-love, a strong sense of ego, the drive and original thinking of an artist, rational interests ambition and work ethic, then each child so raided will individuate successfully.

Finally, where the culture rears youths to so live and experience, the four lower levels of being satisfied are less important, for if one or more is missing, the supportive milieu can launch the child right to the fifth level and they can fill in the missing levels as they can in future years.