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Maslow toward a psych of being essay

This new science, variously known as Humanistic Psychology, Growth or Self-Actualizing Psychology, is, Maslow claims, a part of an intellectual revolution of the Copernican sort, implying as it does a new view of man and his potentialities iii. The new concept is not a static one, but views man as both Being and Becoming, both actuality and potentiality. Maslow emphasizes Being in order to get away from both the means-orientation of the mentality of "preparing to live" rather than living 44and the Deficiency-psychologies that emphasize sickness and pathology rather than health and positive growth.

In this book, Maslow makes use of empirical evidence provided by the altered states of consciousness that he calls "peak-experiences" and states of Being-cognition in composing his new maslow toward a psych of being essay of man and of mental health. The basic assumption which Maslow makes is that man is not totally self-defining or essentially free, but has a nature that is in part given and is thus to be uncovered and a actualized. This nature, furthermore, is not intrinsically evil, but either "neutral" or positively good 3.

Part of this nature is what Maslow terms a "will to health" which urges one to grow, to develop one's potential, to actualize one's unique inner nature and thus to realize one's identity If one represses this urge or denies growth, one will experience an "intrinsic guilt" that is a natural feeling of self-betrayal and distinct from the guilt of a Freudian conscience However, there is also an opposing urge, which is the basic physical need for safety and security operating on a psychological level as a fear of growth and a defensive regression to the safety of the familiar past.

This fear of going forward into new situations prevents growth Maslow's rather Greek definition of man is as a being whose nature it is to realize, to live according to, its own nature. But to move toward ever-higher self-actualization first requires fulfillment of basic needs and thus transcending one's environment. The basic needs are: These lower needs must be satisfied from interaction with the environment and with others, Maslow claims, and as long as they are deficient one is dependent on the environment and others and thus incapable of higher actualization The basic needs are related to each other hierarchically, so that the fulfillment of one leads to and allows work toward fulfillment of the next-higher one Once fulfilled in these needs, the individual can turn to higher realization in a state of independence from the environment — realization that involves self-direction The satisfaction of the higher need self-actualization is not just another level, but the purpose of one's whole life Therefore, it is important to be oriented to the present, and no only toward the future, since growth is not goal-oriented maslow toward a psych of being essay the goal of full realization cannot be achieved but is an intrinsic value and end in itself.

Until one has satisfied the basic needs, one's outer- and other-dependence can potentially become an anxious dependence ultimately producing hostility Other effects of need-deficits include limited awareness and perception, and in general the frustration of all higher needs than the ones that have been fulfilled.

If one needs love, for example, one will relate to others as potential "need-gratifiers" to be used, and so one does not appreciate the uniqueness of the other or perceive and relate to the other as a person An achievement of self-actualizing persons is the ability to more fully experience reality as it is in itself, not just as a reflection of one's unfulfilled wishes But this "choiceless awareness" or "disinterested perception," which is growth-motivated and not deficiency-motivated, is not achieved through effort, but comes as a natural aesthetic sensitivity Such awareness is part of what Maslow generally calls Being-cognition.

Being-cognition is a higher need, a need to know both oneself and the world. But restraining such knowledge is the fear to know, a restraint that prevents us from seeing unpleasant truths about ourselves that would endanger our necessary self-esteem Growth, including increased knowledge, must therefore advance carefully, balancing the fear to know with the need to know, the urge for higher growth through new experience with the anxiety of leaving too suddenly the safety of the familiar.

  1. Toward a psychology of being 3rd ed. The Journal of Social Psychology, 11, 313-24.
  2. Being-cognition, in the peak-experience and in the daily lives of the progressively self-actualizing, involves a dialectic awareness that sees both concretely and abstractly at the same time, and which is able to see beyond normal polarities and contradictions 89, 91. Editor's Introduction to Papers 1 and 2 p.
  3. Chapter 13 of Maslow b. Dawnpoint, 1, 1 37.

Thus a certain amount of "regression" or stasis "coasting" is advisable. With the satisfaction of the need for love, a new kind of Being-love is possible through which enhanced cognition takes place — Being-cognition Sometimes a special state of higher consciousness is possible, or happens, which is called a "peak-experience.

  1. Original work published Maslow, A.
  2. Preface to the second edition.
  3. Journal of Humanistic Psychology, 2, Key to Effective Management Based upon.
  4. Toward a Positive Psychology new. On Eupsychian Management Based upon.

For example, the experience which is basically he same as the mystical experience and also shares certain qualities with aesthetic experience is self-validating through its intrinsic; is always good and never evil or fearful; involves a distortion or cessation of the sense of space and time; sometimes involves an experience of the world as a unity and as a living entity, etc.

Being-cognition, in the peak-experience and in the daily lives of the progressively self-actualizing, involves a dialectic awareness that sees both concretely and abstractly at the same time, and which is able to see beyond normal polarities and contradictions 89, Further, the barrier between the inner and outer breaks down, and, in a peak-experience, there is sometimes an egolessness in which one is totally aware without being self-aware 95, One of the more positive results of such experiences is a greater intrapsychic integration in the direction of an acceptance of those aspects of one's inner nature that had previously been repressed — specifically, there is a union of the ego, id, super-ego and ego-ideal, of conscious and unconscious, of the primary and secondary process Peak-experiences are, then, "acute identity-experiences" Chapter 7 in which one has insight into one's own nature and, isomorphically, into the nature of existence.

Maslow gives special attention to another aspect of the self-actualizing person: This creativity is not a conscious development but is a natural and spontaneous overflow.

As such, he calls it primary process creativity, or Dionysian creativity, to distinguish it form secondary process creativity of the Apollonian, consciously created type The creativity of artists is an "integrative" creativity that is a dialectic of the Apollonian and Dionysian But these terms apply to the psyche more generally than just to the creative aspects; or, rather, creativity is a more far-reaching quality than one of just artistic activity.

For in one's psychic development one is usually split into cognitive Apollonian and conative Dionysian halves of the personality. This split is caused and widened in the child by any double-bind situation in which he is forced to choose between the fulfillment of his own wishes and the obedience of the wishes or demands of others on whom he is dependent The result of this split is the repression of the conative or impulsive, which naturally leads to anxiety or frustration.

The goal of psychoanalysis is to heal this split through insight, and so therapy is integrative The healing f the internal spit is isomorphically the integration of the person with the perceived world, resulting in greater health, wholeness, and well-being.

A. H. Maslow Bibliography.

The self-acceptance that this involves, greater wholeness and integration within, will naturally lead to increased creativity and spontaneity Creativity, as "a special kind of perceptiveness"is, in general, an aesthetic sense of what is right or appropriate in terms of action in accordance with the external situation and internal impulse This sense of the aesthetic or artistic in life is very close to that of Aristotle.

In Greek, art means "to fit. I have no real criticism of Maslow. His optimism, of course, is refreshing after the bleak morbidity in which Ernest Becker was trapped in The Denial of Death and the tedious anality of Norman Brown's sublime edifice in Life Against Death.

A. H. Maslow Bibliography.

My only misgiving about Maslow is with his scientific orientation and his insistence that such characteristics of health as "democratic character structure" and "ability to love" are "objectively describable and measurable" This I question, although I grant that ordinary deficient or non-being cognition is sometimes necessary though best guided by the intuitive insights of Being-cognition.

Krishnamurti and other mystics would deny having a system of values or beliefs, much less a religion-surrogate. But this is a minor point in Maslow's psychology.