Acceptance of self, others, and nature is one of Maslow’s self-actualizing characteristics.
Can self- and other-actualization lead to Eupsychia (the psychologically healthy socioculture)?
The above characteristic might be a good place to start! Just try accepting nature, too…
It would be ideal if acceptance of each of self, others, and nature reinforce one another 🙂
One of Maslow’s characteristics of self-actualizers is the continued freshness of appreciation.
How does this lead one to Eupsychia–Maslow’s idea of the psychologically healthy culture/society?
The more we appreciate life, the more we may start to notice the ways it nourishes our soul!
The maximally healthy collective consists of spirited individuals taking great care of their souls…
In an interview featured on the HowlerPod podcast, Red Rising trilogy author Pierce Brown noted main character Darrow’s trait of not caring about what other characters think.
By the end of the trilogy (and still after fourth installment Iron Gold), it is undeniable that Darrow has earned almost unanimous respect of the universe’s various inhabitants. For the pioneering theorist of self-actualization Abraham H. Maslow, esteem follows from love as a universal human need.
If Darrow has achieved love by the end of the trilogy and respect after Iron Gold, has his character in fifth Red Rising novel Dark Age moved on to fulfilling his self-actualization needs (which come immediately after esteem in Maslow’s hierarchy)?
Whether Darrow is in the process of self-actualizing by Dark Age or not would require analysis of his actions and comparison with the traits of self-actualizing figures. Some of the latter’s traits include having a non-hostile, philosophical sense of humor as well as superior perceptions of reality.
Probably the easiest self-actualizing trait to relate Darrow with is autonomy. In his efforts to preserve “the Rising” of his “Red” social class (primarily made up of miners), Darrow has come to develop a highly independent conscience. He has become the kind of hero who sees what must be done for the cause he and his team have fought for over more than a decade–even when certain members of said team might not understand themselves.
It doesn’t matter for the Rising if a few of its proponents have strayed from the core of its project, which is to break the chains of slaves everywhere. Darrow is the heart of the revolution, and to keep its flame lit, it may be that he must self-actualize in certain ways.
Scott Pilgrim fights Gideon for love (Ramona Flowers), then for self-respect.
How does he reach the next level on Maslow’s pyramid and attain self-actualization?
After conquering Gideon, Scott must fight Nega Scott. This is the battle to confront and overcome his shadow.
Ultimately, Scott is successful in befriending his dark self. Having done so, he achieves Jungian individuation, integrating the two sides of his being.
Able to move forward with the woman of his dreams, Scott becomes a self-actualized pilgrim!
What do these two phenomena have in common?
Both inspire people to become their best selves!
Self-actualizing people resist enculturation and are independent of their environments.
Taking Maslow’s theory further requires acknowledging the inherent limits of independence. Generally, we are born dependent on caretakers. As we grow older, we become more dependent on society for things like money (to fulfill children’s security needs), respect, and prestige. This comes with independence from our caretakers but dependence on a broader network.
Perhaps curiously, love is prior to self-esteem in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. This suggests that while our need for love is more fundamental, it is also less fulfilling than the need or want for self-esteem.
Love is the bedrock of interdependence. Interdependence follows from independence–independence stems from dependence. Dependence is the root of our needs!
Being independent of the environment does involve transcending it. However–once we have done so–how do we treat the environment? Do we honor it as the substrate for all animals’, including our, existence? Or do we soil the soil we arose from?
The interdependent person accepts their place in our broader ecology. He and she trade strength with the environment equitably.
Self-actualizing collectives form from such individuals. Only these collectives can save Earth…so that they themselves can become worthy of salvation.