Self-actualization for Maslow consisted of 12-13 characteristics. These were:
- Superior perception of reality
- Increased acceptance of self, of others and of nature
- Increased spontaneity
- Increase in problem-centering
- Increased detachment and desire for privacy
- Increased autonomy, and resistance to enculturation
- Greater freshness of appreciation, and richness of emotional reaction
- Higher frequency of peak experiences
- Increased identification with the human species
- Changed (improved) interpersonal relations
- More democratic character structure
- Greatly increased creativeness
- Certain changes in the value system
PERMA well-being defined by Martin Seligman, Ph.D. consists of positive emotion, engagement, relationships, meaning, and achievement.
When we put the above two models together, we can learn to be well as we actualize. In an individualistic democracy, we can live spontaneously, taking solace in our independence and objectivity. We can focus on building meaningful and intimate relations with others (item #10) whom we accept as we do ourselves. We can achieve superior understandings of reality and solve important problems. We can reach the highest levels of rich, positive emotion (appreciation being one such state of being) through the elusive and mystical peak experience. We can engage in our own evolution as our values–and hence, our characters–change. And we can find meaning in creative endeavors that set our spirits free, igniting our souls with passion that leads us to our ultimate purpose.
Much of Alfred Adler’s writings focus on the human’s inferiority complex.
Maslow’s analogous concept was deficiency needs (“D-needs”).
How akin is Adler’s concept of striving for superiority to Maslow’s self-actualization?
Carl Jung is represented as having believed that we should render the unconscious conscious. This should be done to free ourselves of the former’s power in defining our beliefs and habits.
One of Abraham Maslow’s 13 self-actualizing characteristics is the superior perception of reality. Do we not achieve the latter by learning about and knowing the contents of our unconscious?
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.
What do these two phenomena have in common?
Both inspire people to become their best selves!
Maslow defined Eupsychia as both a psychologically healthy culture and society.
Would a world of self-actualizers be like this utopia?
In Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment, main character Raskolnikov dreams of a hyper-individualistic culture. In this socioculture (or “culturiety”), each figure pursues their own morality. The dream ends with the collapse of society: it can’t be that everyone is their own ubermensch!
However, Eupsychia would presumably be more collaborative than Raskolnikov’s nightmare. People forge social contracts, defining a common ethics (law) based on intersubjective morality.
Perhaps Eupsychia consists in a kind of self-and-other-actualization. Self-actualization consists in becoming part of something greater than oneself, so perhaps it is sufficient. Still–in considering Nietzsche’s ubermensch who has overcome herd morality, along with Raskolnikov’s transgression–we must be mindful that the self actualizes for another.