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Revisiting Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

I think it’s time to revisit Maslow’s hierarchy of needs (right click on the picture and select open in new tab).

Maslow's Hierarchy of NeedsThe renowned psychology professor, Abraham H. Maslow (1908-1970),  posited the following hierarchy of needs in which he argued that the lower levels needed to be fulfilled before one was able to climb the next level in the hierarchy (although he was dumbfounded when he found people of the sixth level who had not self-actualized or not yet self-actualized within his definition). The sixth level of his hierarchy is either largely rejected by his fellow psychologists or was excluded from education due, I suppose, to the rarity of people who attain it and the difficulty of science to confirm it. So here are the six levels of human needs according to Maslow:

  1. The first level, at the bottom of the pyramid, consists of our short-term basic needs, also known as physiological needs: food, water, warmth, sex.
  2. The second level consists of longer-term safety needs: security, order, stability.
  3. The third level represents the social need for affiliation, also known as “love and belonging”. We want to be accepted by others around us. We want to have stable relationships.
  4. The fourth level represents the need for esteem. Within our social groups we want to be recognized and admired as individuals who accomplish things. We want prestige and power.
  5. Almost at the top of the pyramid, self-actualization is the desire to experience ever deeper fulfilment by realising (actualising) more and more of our human potential.
  6. At the very top of the pyramid is the desire for self-transcendence — to experience, unite with and serve that which is beyond the individual self: the unity of all being.

Now I would like to to make it clear that self-transcendence is the phase in which consciousness is further developed. In other words, it is the level in which experiential objective consciousness takes place. Before delving further I would like to make it clear that Self-Actualization doesn’t refer to worldly success, in my opinion, but it refers to the consistent attitude of striving for one’s best effort in one’s doing down to the most trivial and humble things.

Maslow posited that the lower levels within the hierarchy need to be fulfilled before one is able to climb the upper levels.

It has, however, come to my knowledge (or rather in my personal observation) that the levels in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs are not mutually exclusive.

Meaning one may be living in a mixture of a variety of levels all at once. Second, the lower levels or the sub-levels may not necessarily need to be fulfilled in order for one to climb the hierarchy. That in essence the levels that one is living or operating on are decided by one’s CHOICE and choice alone. While most of my readers might disagree, thinking that circumstances play a big role, but external circumstances play only a secondary role to one’s FREE WILL (choice).

This has an important ramification for us all. That no one and nothing could take away our birthright mandate to develop our being. And the development of one’s being doesn’t depend on anyone’s approval, or popularity, or judgment. And that nothing material is needed for one’s development of being which may suggest that the idea that matter being the substance of the universe is false indeed. After all, space-time ceases to exist in experiential objective consciousness. The boundaries of individuality too become blurred in experiential objective consciousness. That is to say space, time and individuality are transcended in experiential objective consciousness. Thus, it can be said that matter is most probably not the primary substance of the universe since matter owes its existence to time and space. That space and time as well as individuality may exist by virtue of the constructs of the subjective minds hence them ceasing to exist in experiential objective consciousness. In other words, time and space as well as individuality are the illusions of subjective minds. And since consciousness is greater than (transcends) space and time as well as individuality, the fabric of whole universe (seen and unseen, known and unknown) may hinge on…consciousness itself (non-subjective consciousness that is, or merely the objective field of consciousness or the essence of consciousness that’s still and unchanged). Or to give room to doubts to say that consciousness is more substance in the universe than all matter. In summation, amassment of  material possessions is not at all a prerequisite to reach one’s highest possible level of development which self-transcendence is because consciousness is possibly the primary substance of the universe, not matter.

While self-actualization may refer to the striving for one’s best effort (at least for the narrower or lower definition), self-transcendence refers to the conscious evolution of consciousness (which means by virtue of choice) or the state in which experiential objective consciousness takes place, perhaps in a sustained manner.

Now Maslow’s sixth level has been largely hidden from mainstream public knowledge (not dissimilar to some of Jung’s work) because the idea would open people’s eyes to the true nature of all living beings, seen and unseen, which is UNITY. Now this is nothing short of a revolution in thinking and morality as well as spiritual understanding. Science hasn’t been able to give us a satisfying explanation of self-transcendence, until relatively recently with developments in the field of quantum physics. This might add to the reluctance of the scientific community to accept Maslow’s sixth level.

Before I end this post I would like to say to you all that, GOD is fair indeed and what HE gives is nothing short of extraordinary which no other people or things could ever give or even hope to match. GOD is fair in a sense that HE(just using a male personal pronoun for readability) doesn’t allow dogmatic teachings to affect anyone’s development of being. Self-transcendence is NON-RELIGIOUS yet SPIRITUAL in nature. And God doesn’t allow anyone to be able to hinder anyone else’s development of being without the consent of the person in concern himself/herself. This makes it as such that the highest attainment of life is OPEN for ALL, FREE OF CHARGE and FREE OF PREREQUISITES other than that of ONE’S OWN FREE CHOICE.

So I suggest everyone to start to … CHOOSE and not let anyone else to choose your decision for you. Richness is not about how many things one has or how much money one possesses or how important one may become in society because that’s vanity and it’s vain because your being is not your ego (so stop pretending you’re your ego).  Being rich is about how less one genuinely feels to need. And life is about developing one’s consciousness and thus one’s being. God has set out his laws beautifully so that those and only those who correctly choose, not out of wickedness or wit or intelligence but out of genuine and correct moral beliefs and spiritual thirsts are able to understand the nature of all living beings and thus one’s existence.

[I know perhaps a lot of you couldn’t understand what I mean by choosing but refer to my previous posts on Objective Consciousness and you may understand better]

Sources:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abraham_Maslow

http://personalityspirituality.net/articles/the-hierarchy-of-human-needs-maslows-model-of-motivation/

More information

http://www.rare-leadership.org/Maslow_on_transpersonal_psychology.html

http://www.integratedsociopsychology.net/self-transcendence.html