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The Farther Reaches of Human Nature

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Message Blair Gelbond

Abraham Maslow, Lecture 3: The Jonah Complex A third lecture on Abraham Maslow's The Farther Reaches of Human Nature.
(Image by YouTube, Channel: Eric Dodson Lectures)
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"I have recently found it more and more useful to differentiate between two kinds (or better, degrees) of self-actualizing people, those who were clearly healthy, but with little or no experiences of transcendence, and those in whom transcendent experiencing was important and even central."

Abe Maslow

Introduction

Abraham Maslow was a professor of psychology at Brandeis University, a social scientist, one of the foremost spokesmen of the humanistic psychologies, and author of many books and articles, including: Toward a Psychology of Being, and Religions, Values, and Peak-Experiences. He is considered a pioneer, and in a "Review of General Psychology" survey, published in 2002, he was ranked as the tenth most cited psychologist of the 20th century.

Maslow's research concluded that psychology had been selling human nature short by focusing too much on pathology, while ignoring our positive potential. He realized that what we generally call "normal" is in reality a stunted and limited condition compared to what is possible for us. He sought to elucidate what the most highly developed human beings revealed.

I do not claim to fully embody these qualities; far from it, although I continue to work toward their realization. In fact, it is precisely the follies, missteps and disasters in my own life that have led me to seek an understanding of the "farther reaches" of what is possible.

Despite the temptation - rather than thinking of the following qualities using the metaphor of ascension - one may be better served by seeing the evolution of consciousness as a process of deepening or becoming more "soulful."

Maslow's Pyramid

This article is titled after a collection of his essays, which can be thought of as the summation of his life's work. Maslow is primarily known for his model of a "hierarchy of human needs," conceptualized as a pyramid beginning with the most basic needs at the bottom and moving up toward more complex needs.

These sources of motivation include:

Physiological needs such as food, water, warmth, rest.

Safety needs - a sense of security.

Belonging and love needs, such as friendships and intimacy.

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I work as a psychotherapist with an emphasis on transformational learning - a blend of psychoanalytic and transpersonal approaches, and am the author of Self Actualization and Unselfish Love and co-author of Families Helping Families: Living with (more...)
 

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