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Maslow and Scott Pilgrim

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!

Scott Pilgrim and Kumar

What do these characters and their stories–Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World and Harold & Kumar–have in common?

Scott Pilgrim fights for love and self-respect (and, ultimately–arguably…self-actualization!). Kumar, played by Kal Penn, fights for love, too. But what about self-respect?

Kumar doesn’t take himself or mundane aspects of his life that seriously. He’s a romantic genius who prefers a magical, spontaneous sort of life rather than one more ordinary or structured (best friend Harold is more of this flavor).

Scott and Kumar would both do anything for their respective, romantic loves. Scott gets caught up in what everyone around him wants until he happens upon Ramona Flowers at a party. Once he and she meet, he gives his life to them.

Kumar does the same once his love interest Vanessa proclaims her pregnancy (in the less-watched, but nonetheless fun and enjoyable A Very Harold and Kumar 3D Christmas).

Ultimately, Scott and Kumar are both open enough to what life brings that they each meet the love of their lives. Through their adventures, the two realize that self-respect follows from love; and at least for Abraham Maslow, self-actualization would need to follow soon thereafter.

Harry Potter’s hero’s journey

Harry died for the greater good. When he realized that part of Voldemort existed within him, he had to risk his own life to eradicate it.

The hero must vanquish evil his own evil before conquering capital-E Evil! He must come to understand that the worst virus of all lives within himself.

Once the hero sacrifices his life for all others–Others–he will return willingly (if not, at first, reluctantly) . He returns to save the world and defeat the enemy of the world~

Leap of risk

What is the relation between risk and meaning?

Faith and meaning are perhaps more obviously related. Look no further than to religion to see the interplay between these: the faithful life is inherently meaningful.

Leaps of faith involve risk. In life, we are not always 100% certain. These situations especially call for faith–“going for it”, even though we might fail.

Operating under uncertainty is what risk is all about!