Abraham Maslow Capsules
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Apart from being known for splendid contributions in his own right, Abraham Maslow is one of the inspirations behind the recent psychology approach that is called Positive psychology. Carl Rogers, Erich Fromm, and many other notable humanists serve as back-ups of it too. Positive psychology deals with strengths and virtues that enable individuals and communities to thrive. Positive psychologists seek "to find and nurture genius and talent", and "to make normal life more fulfilling".
Below you get abstracts, extracts and quotations of things Maslow writes in one of his best books, Toward a Psychology of Being. Some ideas may function well if lived out well. But take care in so doing, because the society at large is not so well aligned to all the potentially beneficial things. Page numbers of the quotations are given too. Book data is at the bottom of the page.
Your inner nature is healthy and fruitful, but if much denied or suppressed you get sick.
Fulfill your highest potentialities instead of amassing psychosomatic symptoms of various kinds.
Maslow's stance is that each person's inner nature is in part unique to himself, in part species-wide. The inner nature is weak and delicate and subtle and easily overcome by habit, cultural pressure, and wrong attitudes.
Personality problems may sometimes be loud protests against the crushing of one's psychological bones, of one's true inner nature.
It seems sick not to protest while crime is being committed.
Tend your inner capacities so as to be a good human being; not thwarted.
[1-8; Maslow x 115; 117; 30-31.]
❖ It is great to protest against crimes before they get habitual or crush the inner nature of people involved.
In a sick culture, to be friendly and mature suggests not being very well adjusted.
Oceanic experiences can change people, like Aurobindo. Also, peak-experiences may have therapeutic effects.
The one who gets them may turn compassionate and perhaps amused too. "This dynamic can sometimes be seen, unhappily, even in the classroom."
[113; 118; 101; 96; 92; 63.]
❖ To be likabe, well adjusted and compassionate may be unwelcome in a totalitarian regime. So the goal of life is not to get adjusted. Instead question: However, adjusted to what? Such questioning can lead a person into trouble in totalitarian surroundings, such as sects.
Anything that disturbs self-actualization and its outlets may be turned into something psychopathological. Hence, our understanding of what is a good environment has to change. -
[Maslow; 115; 33; 26-27; 121.]
❖ A good environment is lax enough to allow you to think your own thoughts without fear of reprisals.
Adhere to the delight of mastery, and tend your deepest capacity in order to manipulate the world as you prefer.
Opinions tend to rise to dominate play. -
[Maslow 115; 45-46; 33-34; 56.]
❖ Opinions are not always soundly based, or fit, and may be too hard to go against too. So take care if you want to develop your finest potentials.
Self-actualization bring with it a surprising amount of detachment and efficiency – that comes by degrees too.
There is a great need for an alternatively built network of positive intercorrelation. -
[Maslow 35; 222; 181; 50; 98; 159; 45; 122-23.]
❖ Human networks are due to human needs, at bottom.
You can resolve some needs by gratifying them.
Let Inner Reality manage where you are.
The nature of Reality is fit for scientific investigations.
He or she of true freedom can hopefully afford to be bold.
Being spontaneous is costly.
[Maslow 131; 128; 122; 118; 173; 100; 171; 62; 141; 34; 57-58.]
❖ Be allied to scientific investigations that appear to be costly and high-ranking, if you are up to it and its consequences. A vicious cult may seek to conformise members against findings the cult bigwigs do not see any profit in for themselves, such as the evolutionary history of mankind.
Adhere as much as can be to the real world and continue to let it reinforce you through what you know and implement stagewise and otherwise.
The elements of courage or daring may be used to improve general regulations around.
[Maslow 130; 129.]
❖ General regulations are largely needed. Some are good, some are bad, and some come in between good and bad somewhere. The regulations that go against health and better knowing, are to be discarded by those who dare and can take the heat.
Certain characteristics of the fully evolved human being and of the well-growing human being stand out. These hallmarks are in themselves subjectively rewarding, pleasurable and reinforcing and objectively describable and measurable.
❖ Some interpersonal relations help fit people to grow and develop individual takes fairly well.
Elements of Maslow's second list
❖ Autonomy is to be favoured in the schools and universities too, for there is a rampant lack of it, and not only in countries with totalitarian regimes.
Dynamics of B-Love
B-love [Being-love] is love for the essence of another person, and quite unselfish love. It pertains to mature individuals, and Maslow contrasts it with selfish, more immature love.
B-love is enjoyed, does not need to make troubles and is very pleasure-giving and rewarding this. It may be enjoyed without limits. It can have about the same effects as the aesthetic experience or the mystic experience. The deep effects of experiencing such love are valuable, a richer, "higher," more valuable subjective experience. B-love can be enjoyed at the same time as selfish love – they are complementary and not exclusive towards one another. There is very little or no anxiety-hostility in higher love. It can lead to improvements of various sorts.
❖ Higher love has its characteristics, and they are complementary to being on a higher and more intimate level.
Let what becomes structured give pleasures fit for sane developments.
Describing character structures often limits free developments.
[Maslow 190 FF; 184; 185; 139-140; 175; 42-43.]
❖ Let what is called free development and convenient structures for it go hand in hand. It is not always easy, but may be done anyhow. A sound and democratic enough learning environment is for that.
Loss of humanness – including a feeling of responsibility and one's ego-strength - is dangerous.
One should foster and strengthen a child's creative abilities a long time, a long way, so as to sustain healthy self-affirmations.
The source of humor, art, and much else is deep in the inner self.
By some measure of self-actualizing, many dichotomies become resolved, and many dichotomous ways of thinking are understood as immature.
For self-actualizing people, there is a strong tendency for selfishness and unselfishness to fuse into a higher, superordinate unity.
[Maslow 169; 190-214.]
❖ Primitive selfishness may be sublimated into higher selfishness, which may be indiscernible from unselfish giving and giving others. It should be given the fit direction for sound development. If your sense of "I" evolves fitly, you are going along fairly well, and may eventually experience that it is from the Self, is a good yoga teaching. Ramana Maharsi teaches it, and Vivekananda too, to name a few of the most famous yogis of recent times.
Maslow, Abraham. Toward a Psychology of Being. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1968.
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