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Abraham Maslow

>ABRAHAMMASLOW

>Biography

>AbrahamHaroldMaslowwasbornApril 1, 1908 inBrooklyn, New York. Hewas thefirst ofsevenchildrenborn to hisparents, whothemselveswereuneducatedJewishimmigrantsfrom Russia.Hisparents,hopingfor the bestfortheirchildren in the new world,pushedhimhardforacademic success.Notsurprisingly,hebecameverylonelyas aboy, andfound hisrefuge inbooks.

>Tosatisfy hisparents,hefirststudiedlawat the CityCollege of New York (>CCNY).Afterthreesemesters,hetransferred toCornell, andthenback toCCNY. HemarriedBerthaGoodman, hisfirstcousin,against hisparentswishes.Abe andBerthawent on tohave twodaughters.

He andBerthamoved to Wisconsinso thathecouldattend the University of Wisconsin.Here,hebecameinterested inpsychology, and hisschoolworkbegan toimprovedramatically. HespenttimethereworkingwithHarryHarlow, whoisfamousfor hisexperimentswith babyrhesusmonkeys andattachmentbehavior.

Hereceived his BA in 1930, hisMA in 1931, and his PhD in 1934, all inpsychology, allfrom the University of Wisconsin. Ayearaftergraduation,hereturned to New York toworkwith E. L.Thorndikeat Columbia,whereMaslowbecameinterested in research onhumansexuality.

HebeganteachingfulltimeatBrooklynCollege.Duringthisperiod of his life,hecameintocontactwith themany Europeanintellectuals thatwereimmigrating to the US, andBrooklyn inparticular,at thattime -peoplelikeAdler,Fromm,Horney,aswellasseveralGestalt andFreudianpsychologists.

>Maslowservedas thechair of thepsychologydepartmentatBrandeisfrom 1951 to 1969.WhiletherehemetKurtGoldstein, whohadoriginated theidea ofself-actualization in hisfamousbook, TheOrganism (1934).Itwasalsohere thathebegan hiscrusadefor ahumanisticpsychology -somethingultimatelymuchmoreimportant tohimthan hisowntheorizing.

Hespend hisfinalyears insemi-retirement in California,until, onJune 8 1970,hedied of aheartattackafteryears ofill health.

>Theory

>One of themanyinterestingthingsMaslownoticedwhileheworkedwithmonkeysearly in hiscareer,was thatsomeneedstakeprecedenceoverothers.Forexample,ifyouarehungry andthirsty,youwilltend totry totakecare of thethirstfirst.After all,youcandowithout foodforweeks,butyoucanonlydowithoutwaterfor acouple ofdays!Thirstis a >strongerneedthanhunger.Likewise,ifyouareveryverythirsty,butsomeonehasput achoke hold onyou andyoucantbreath,whichismoreimportant? Theneed tobreathe, ofcourse.On theotherhand,sexislesspowerfulthanany ofthese.Letsface it,youwontdieifyoudontget it!

>Maslowtookthisidea andcreated hisnowfamoushierarchy ofneeds.Beyond thedetails ofair,water, food, andsex,helaid outfivebroaderlayers: thephysiologicalneeds, theneedsforsafety andsecurity, theneedsfor love andbelonging, theneedsforesteem, and theneed toactualize theself, in thatorder.

1. Thephysiologicalneeds.Theseinclude theneedswehaveforoxygen,water,protein,salt,sugar,calcium, andotherminerals andvitamins.Theyalsoinclude theneed tomaintain a pHbalance (>gettingtooacidic orbasewillkillyou) andtemperature (98.6 ornear to it).Also,theres theneeds tobeactive, torest, tosleep, togetrid ofwastes (CO2,sweat,urine, andfeces), toavoidpain, and tohavesex.Quite acollection!

>Maslowbelieved, and researchsupportshim, thattheseare infactindividualneeds, and that alack of,say,vitamin ,willlead to averyspecifichungerforthingswhichhave in thepastprovided thatvitamin -e.g.orangejuice. Iguess thecravings thatsomepregnantwomenhave, and theway inwhichbabieseat themostfoultasting baby food,support theideaanecdotally.

2. Thesafety andsecurityneeds.When thephysiologicalneedsarelargely takencare of,this secondlayer ofneedscomesintoplay. Youwillbecomeincreasinglyinterested infindingsafecircumstances,stability,protection. Youmightdevelop aneedforstructure,fororder,somelimits.

>Lookingat itnegatively,youbecomeconcerned,notwithneedslikehunger andthirst,butwithyourfears andanxieties.In theordinary Americanadult,thisset ofneedsmanifestthemselves in theform ofoururges tohave ahome in asafeneighborhood, alittlejobsecurity and anestegg, agoodretirementplan and abit ofinsurance, andso on.

3. The love andbelongingneeds.Whenphysiologicalneeds andsafetyneedsare,by andlarge, takencare of, athirdlayerstarts toshow up. Youbegin tofeel theneedforfriends, asweetheart,children,affectionaterelationships ingeneral,even asense of community.Lookedatnegatively,youbecomeincreasingsusceptible toloneliness andsocialanxieties.

>Inourday-to-day life,weexhibittheseneeds inourdesires tomarry,have a family,be apart of a community, amember of achurch, abrother in thefraternity, apart of agang or abowlingclub.Itisalso apart ofwhatwe lookfor in acareer.

4. Theesteemneeds. Next,webegin to lookfor alittleself-esteem. >Maslownoted twoversions ofesteemneeds, alowerone and ahigherone. Theloweroneis theneedfor therespect ofothers, theneedfor status,fame,glory,recognition,attention,reputation,appreciation,dignity,evendominance. Thehigherforminvolves theneedforself-respect,includingsuchfeelingsasconfidence,competence,achievement,mastery,independence, andfreedom.Note thatthisis the >higherformbecause,unlike therespect ofothers,onceyouhaveself-respect,its alotharder tolose!

Thenegativeversion oftheseneedsislowself-esteem andinferioritycomplexes.Maslowfelt thatAdlerwasreallyontosomethingwhenheproposed thatthesewereat theroots ofmany,ifnotmost, ofourpsychologicalproblems.Inmoderncountries,most ofushavewhatweneed inregard toourphysiological andsafetyneeds.We,moreoftenthannot,havequite abit of love andbelonging,too.Its alittlerespect thatoftenseemssoveryhard toget!

>All of theprecedingfourlevelshecallsdeficitneeds, orD-needs.Ifyoudonthaveenough ofsomething -i.e.youhave adeficit -youfeel theneed.Butifyouget allyouneed,youfeelnothingat all!Inotherwords,theycease tobemotivating.As theold bluessonggoes, >youdontmissyourwatertillyourwellrunsdry!

Healsotalksabouttheselevels interms ofhomeostasis.Homeostasisis theprinciplebywhichyourfurnacethermostatoperates:When itgetstoocold, itswitches theheat on;When itgetstoohot, itswitches theheat off.In thesameway,yourbody,when itlacks acertainsubstance,develops ahungerfor it;When itgetsenough of it,then thehungerstops.Maslowsimplyextends thehomeostaticprinciple toneeds,suchassafety,belonging, andesteem, thatwedontordinarilythink of intheseterms.

>Maslowsees alltheseneedsasessentiallysurvivalneeds.Even love andesteemareneededfor themaintenance of health. Hesayswe allhavetheseneedsbuilt in tousgenetically,likeinstincts.Infact,hecallstheminstinctual -instinct-like -needs.

>Interms ofoveralldevelopment,wemovethroughtheselevels abitlikestages.Asnewborns,ourfocus (>ifnotourentireset ofneeds)is on thephysiological.Soon,webegin torecognize thatweneed tobesafe.Soonafter that,wecraveattention andaffection. Abitlater,we lookforself-esteem.Mindyou,thisis in thefirstcouple ofyears!

>Understressfulconditions, orwhensurvivalisthreatened,wecan >regress to alowerneedlevel.Whenyougreatcareerfallsflat,youmightseek out alittleattention.Whenyour familyups andleavesyou, itseems that loveisagain allyoueverwanted.Whenyoufacechapterelevenafter along and happy life,yousuddenlycantthink ofanythingexcept money.

>Thesethingscanoccur on asociety-widebasisaswell:Whensocietysuddenlyflounders,peoplestartclamoringfor astrongleader totakeover andmakethingsright.When thebombsstartfalling,they lookforsafety.When the foodstopscominginto thestores,theirneedsbecomeevenmorebasic.

>Maslowsuggested thatwecanaskpeoplefortheir >philosophy of thefuture -whatwouldtheirideal life or worldbelike - andgetsignificant informationas towhatneedstheydo ordonothavecovered.

>Ifyouhavesignificantproblemsalongyourdevelopment - aperiod ofextremeinsecurity orhungeras achild, or theloss of a familymemberthroughdeath ordivorce, orsignificantneglect orabuse -youmay >fixate on thatset ofneedsfor therest ofyour life.

>ThisisMaslowsunderstanding ofneurosis.Perhapsyouwentthrough awaras akid.Nowyouhaveeverythingyourheartneeds -yetyoustillfindyourselfobsessingoverhavingenough money andkeeping thepantrywell-stocked.Orperhapsyourparentsdivorcedwhenyouwereyoung.Nowyouhave awonderfulspouse -yetyougetinsanelyjealous orworryconstantly thattheyaregoing toleaveyoubecauseyouarenot >goodenoughforthem. Youget thepicture.

>Self-actualization

The lastlevelis abitdifferent.Maslowhasused avariety ofterms torefer tothislevel: Hehascalled itgrowthmotivation (incontrast todeficitmotivation),beingneeds (orB-needs, incontrast toD-needs), andself-actualization.

>Theseareneeds thatdonotinvolvebalance orhomeostasis.Onceengaged,theycontinue tobefelt.Infact,theyarelikely tobecomestrongeraswe >feedthem!Theyinvolve thecontinuousdesire tofulfillpotentials, to >be all thatyoucanbe.Theyare amatter ofbecoming themostcomplete, thefullest, >you -hence theterm,self-actualization.

>Now, inkeepingwith histheory up tothispoint,ifyouwant tobetrulyself-actualizing,youneed tohaveyourlowerneeds takencare of,atleast to aconsiderableextent.Thismakessense:Ifyouarehungry,youarescrambling toget food;Ifyouareunsafe,youhave tobecontinuously onguard;Ifyouareisolated andunloved,youhave tosatisfy thatneed;Ifyouhave alowsense ofself-esteem,youhave tobedefensive orcompensate.Whenlowerneedsareunmet,youcantfullydevoteyourself tofulfillingyourpotentials.

>Itisntsurprising,then, the worldbeingasdifficultas itis, thatonly asmallpercentage of theworldspopulationistruly,predominantly,self-actualizing.Maslowatonepointsuggestedonlyabout twopercent!

Thequestionbecomes, ofcourse,whatexactlydoesMaslowmeanbyself-actualization.Toanswer that,weneed to lookat thekind ofpeoplehecalledself-actualizers.Fortunately,hedidthisforus,using aqualitativemethodcalledbiographicalanalysis.

Hebeganbypicking out a group ofpeople,somehistoricalfigures,somepeopleheknew,whomhefeltclearlymet thestandard ofself-actualization.Included inthisaugust groupwereAbraham Lincoln, ThomasJefferson,AlbertEinstein,EleanorRoosevelt,JaneAdams,WilliamJames,AlbertSchweitzer,BenedictSpinoza, andAlduousHuxley,plus 12unnamedpeople whowerealiveat thetimeMaslowdid his research. Hethenlookedattheirbiographies,writings, theacts andwords ofthoseheknewpersonally, andso on.Fromthesesources,hedeveloped a list ofqualities thatseemedcharacteristic ofthesepeople,asopposed to thegreat mass ofus.

>Thesepeoplewerereality-centered,whichmeanstheycoulddifferentiatewhatisfake anddishonestfromwhatis real andgenuine.Theywereproblem-centered,meaningtheytreatedlifesdifficultiesasproblemsdemandingsolutions,notaspersonaltroubles toberailedat orsurrendered to.Andtheyhad adifferentperception ofmeans andends.Theyfelt that theendsdontnecessarilyjustify themeans, that themeanscouldbeendsthemselves, and that themeans - thejourney -wasoftenmoreimportantthan theends.

Theself-actualizersalsohad adifferentway ofrelating toothers. First,theyenjoyedsolitude, andwerecomfortablebeingalone.Andtheyenjoyeddeeperpersonal relationswith afewclosefriends and familymembers,ratherthanmoreshallowrelationshipswithmanypeople.

>Theyenjoyedautonomy, arelativeindependencefromphysical andsocialneeds.Andtheyresistedenculturation, thatis,theywerenotsusceptible tosocialpressure tobe ">welladjusted" or to "fit in" -theywere, infact,nonconformists in the bestsense.

>Theyhadanunchastelysense ofhumor -preferring tojokeattheirownexpense, orat thehumancondition, andneverdirectingtheirhumoratothers.Theyhad aqualityhecalledacceptance ofself andothers,bywhichhemeant thatthesepeoplewouldbemorelikely totakeyouasyouarethantry to changeyouintowhattheythoughtyoushouldbe.Thissameacceptanceapplied totheirattitudestowardsthemselves:Ifsomequality oftheirswasntharmful,theylet itbe,evenenjoying itas apersonalquirk.On theotherhand,theywereoftenstronglymotivated to changenegativequalities inthemselves thatcouldbechanged.Alongwiththiscomesspontaneity andsimplicity:Theypreferredbeingthemselvesratherthanbeingpretentious orartificial.Infact,for alltheirnonconformity,hefound thattheytended tobeconventional on thesurface,justwherelessself-actualizingnonconformiststend tobe themostdramatic.

>Further,theyhad asense ofhumility andrespecttowardsothers -somethingMaslowalsocalleddemocraticvalues -meaning thattheywere open toethnic andindividualvariety,eventreasuring it.Theyhad aqualityMaslowcalledhumankinship orGemeinschaftsgefhl -socialinterest,compassion,humanity.Andthiswasaccompaniedby astrongethics,whichwasspiritualbutseldomconventionallyreligious innature.

>Andthesepeoplehad acertainfreshness ofappreciation,anability toseethings,evenordinarythings,withwonder.Alongwiththiscomestheirability tobecreative,inventive, andoriginal.And,finally,thesepeopletended tohavemorepeakexperiencesthan theaverageperson. Apeakexperienceisone thattakesyou out ofyourself, thatmakesyoufeelverytiny, orverylarge, tosomeextentonewith life ornature orGod.Itgivesyou afeeling ofbeing apart of theinfinite and theeternal.Theseexperiencestend toleavetheirmark on aperson, changethemfor thebetter, andmanypeopleactivelyseekthem out.Theyarealsocalledmysticalexperiences, andareanimportantpart ofmanyreligious andphilosophicaltraditions.

>Maslowdoesntthink thatself-actualizersareperfect, ofcourse.Therewereseveralflaws orimperfectionshediscoveredalong thewayaswell: First,theyoftensufferedconsiderableanxiety andguilt -butrealisticanxiety andguilt,ratherthanmisplaced orneuroticversions.Some ofthemwereabsentminded andoverlykind.Andfinally,some ofthemhadunexpectedmoments ofruthlessness,surgicalcoldness, andloss ofhumor.

>Twootherpointshemakesabouttheseself-actualizers:Theirvalueswere ">natural" andseemed tofloweffortlesslyfromtheirpersonalities.Andtheyappeared totranscendmany of thedichotomiesothersacceptasbeingundeniable,suchas thedifferencesbetween thespiritual and thephysical, theselfish and theunselfish, and themasculine and thefeminine.

>Metaneeds andmetapathologies

>Anotherway inwhichMaslowapproach the problem ofwhatisself-actualizationis totalkabout thespecial,drivingneeds (>B-needs, ofcourse) of theself-actualizers.Theyneed thefollowing intheirlives inorder tobe happy:

>Truth,ratherthandishonesty.

>Goodness,ratherthanevil.

>Beauty,notugliness orvulgarity.

>Unity,wholeness, andtranscendence ofopposites,notarbitrariness orforcedchoices.

>Aliveness,notdeadness or themechanization of life.

>Uniqueness,notblanduniformity.

>Perfection andnecessity,notsloppiness,inconsistency, oraccident.

>Completion,ratherthanincompleteness.

>Justice andorder,notinjustice andlawlessness.

>Simplicity,notunnecessarycomplexity.

>Richness,notenvironmentalimpoverishment.

>Effortlessness,notstrain.

>Playfulness,notgrim,humorless,drudgery.

>Self-sufficiency,notdependency.

>Meaningfulness,ratherthansenselessness.

>Atfirstglance,youmightthink thateveryoneobviouslyneedsthese.Butthink:Ifyouarelivingthroughaneconomicdepression or awar, orareliving in aghetto or inruralpoverty,doyouworryabouttheseissues, ordoyouworryaboutgettingenough toeat and aroofoveryourhead?Infact,Maslowbelieves thatmuch of thewhatiswrongwith the worldcomesdown to thefact thatveryfewpeoplereallyareinterested inthesevalues -notbecausetheyarebadpeople,butbecausetheyhaventevenhadtheirbasicneeds takencare of!

>When aself-actualizerdoesntgettheseneedsfulfilled,theyrespondwithmetapathologies - a list ofproblemsaslongas the list ofmetaneeds!Letmesummarize itbysaying that,whenforced tolivewithoutthesevalues, theself-actualizerdevelopsdepression,despair,disgust,alienation, and adegree ofcynicism.

>Maslowhoped that hiseffortsatdescribing theself-actualizingpersonwouldeventuallylead to a >periodictable of thekinds ofqualities,problems,pathologies, andevensolutionscharacteristic ofhigherlevels ofhumanpotential.Overtime,hedevotedincreasingattention,not to hisowntheory,but tohumanisticpsychology and thehumanpotentialsmovement.

>Toward the end of his life,heinauguratedwhathecalled thefourthforce inpsychology:Freudian andother >depthpsychologiesconstituted thefirstforce;Behaviorismwas the secondforce;Hisownhumanism,including the Europeanexistentialists,were thethirdforce. Thefourthforcewas thetranspersonalpsychologieswhich,takingtheircuefromEasternphilosophies,investigatedsuchthingsasmeditation,higherlevels ofconsciousness, andevenparapsychologicalphenomena.Perhaps the bestknowntranspersonalist todayisKenWilber,author ofsuchbooksas TheAtman Project and TheHistory ofEverything.

>Discussion

>Maslowhasbeen averyinspirationalfigure inpersonalitytheories.In the1960s inparticular,peopleweretired of thereductionistic,mechanisticmessages of thebehaviorists andphysiologicalpsychologists.Theywerelookingformeaning andpurpose intheirlives,even ahigher,moremysticalmeaning.Maslowwasone of thepioneers in thatmovement tobring thehumanbeingbackintopsychology, and thepersonbackintopersonality!

>Atapproximately thesametime,anothermovementwasgettingunderway,oneinspiredbysome of theverythings thatturnedMaslow off:computers and informationprocessing,aswellasveryrationalistictheoriessuchasPiagetscognitivedevelopmenttheory andNoamChomskyslinguistics.This, ofcourse,became thecognitivemovement inpsychology.As theheyday ofhumanismappeared tolead tolittlemorethandrugabuse,astrology, andselfindulgence,cognitivismprovided thescientificgroundstudents ofpsychologywereyearningfor.

>But the messageshouldnotbelost: Psychologyis,first andforemost,aboutpeople, realpeople in reallives, andnotaboutcomputermodels,statisticalanalyses,ratbehavior,testscores, andlaboratories.

>Somecriticism

The >bigpictureaside,thereare afewcriticismswemightdirectatMaslowstheoryitself. Themost commoncriticismconcerns hismethodology:Picking asmallnumber ofpeople thathehimselfdeclaredself-actualizing,thenreadingaboutthem ortalkingwiththem, andcoming toconclusionsaboutwhatself-actualizationis in thefirstplacedoesnot soundlikegood science tomanypeople.

>In hisdefense, Ishouldpoint out thatheunderstoodthis, andthought of hisworkassimplypointing theway. Hehoped thatotherswouldtake up thecause andcompletewhathehadbegun in amorerigorous fashion.Itis acuriosity thatMaslow, the >father of Americanhumanism,began hiscareeras abehavioristwith astrongphysiologicalbent. Hedidindeedbelieve in science, andoftengrounded hisideas inbiology. Heonlymeant tobroadenpsychology toinclude the best inus,aswellas thepathological!

>Anothercriticism, alittleharder torespond to,is thatMaslowplacedsuchconstraints onself-actualization. First,KurtGoldstein andCarlRogersused thephrase torefer towhateverylivingcreaturedoes:Totry togrow, tobecomemore, tofulfillitsbiologicaldestiny.Maslowlimits it tosomethingonly twopercent of thehumanspeciesachieves.AndwhileRogersfelt thatbabieswere the bestexamples ofhumanself-actualization,Maslowsaw itassomethingachievedonlyrarelyby theyoung.

>Anotherpointis thatheasks thatweprettymuchtakecare ofourlowerneedsbeforeself-actualizationcomes to theforefront.Andyetwecanfindmanyexamples ofpeople whoexhibitedatveryleastaspects ofself-actualization whowerefarfromhavingtheirlowerneeds takencare of.Many ofour bestartists andauthors,forexample,sufferedfrompoverty,badupbringing,neuroses, anddepression.Somecouldevenbecalledpsychotic!IfyouthinkaboutGalileo, whoprayedforideas thatwouldsell, orRembrandt, whocouldbarelykeep food on thetable, orToulouseLautrec,whosebodytormentedhim, orvanGogh, who,besidespoor,wasntquiteright in thehead,ifyou knowwhat Imean...Werentthesepeopleengaged insomeform ofself-actualization? Theidea ofartists andpoets andphilosophers (andpsychologists!)beingstrangeisso commonbecause ithassomuchtruth to it!

>Wealsohave theexample of anumber ofpeople whowerecreative insome fashionevenwhile inconcentrationcamps.Trachtenberg,forexample,developed a newway ofdoingarithmetic in acamp.ViktorFrankldeveloped hisapproach totherapywhile in acamp.Therearemanymoreexamples.

>Andthereareexamples ofpeople whowerecreativewhenunknown,becamesuccessfulonly to stopbeingcreative.ErnestHemingway,ifImnotmistaken,isanexample.Perhaps alltheseexamplesareexceptions, and thehierarchy ofneedsstands upwell to thegeneraltrend.But theexceptionscertainlydoputsomedoubtintoourminds.

Iwouldlike tosuggest avariation onMaslow'stheory thatmighthelp.Ifwetake theidea ofactualizationasGoldstein andRogersuse it,i.e.as the "lifeforce" thatdrives allcreatures,wecanalsoacknowledge thattherearevariousthings thatinterferewith thefulleffectiveness of that lifeforce.Ifwearedeprived ofourbasicphysicalneeds,ifwearelivingunderthreateningcircumstances,ifweareisolatedfromothers, orifwehavenoconfidence inourabilities,wemaycontinue tosurvive,but itwillnotbeasfulfilling aliveas itcouldbe.Wewillnotbefullyactualizingourpotentials!Wecouldevenunderstand thattheremightbepeople thatactualizedespitedeprivation!Ifwetake thedeficitneedsassubtractingfromactualization, andifwetalkaboutfullself-actualizationratherthanself-actualizationas aseparatecategory ofneed,Maslow'stheorycomesinto linewithothertheories, and theexceptionalpeople whosucceed in theface ofadversitycanbeseenasheroicratherthanfreakishaberrations.

Ireceived thefollowing e-mailfromGarethCostello ofDublin,Ireland,whichbalancesmysomewhatnegativereview ofMaslow:

>Onemildcriticism Iwouldhaveis ofyourconcludingassessment,whereyouappealfor abroaderview ofself-actualisation thatcouldincludesubjectssuchasvanGogh andotherhard-at-heelintellectual/creativegiants.Thisappears tobebased on aview thatpeoplelikevanGogh, etc.were,byvirtue oftheirenormouscreativity, '>atleastpartly'self-actualised.

IfavourMaslow'smorenarrowdefinition ofself-actualisation andwouldnotagree thatself-actualisationequateswithsupremeself-expression. Isuspect thatself-actualisationis,often, ademotivatingfactorwhereartisticcreativityisconcerned, and thatartistssuchasvanGoghthrived (>artistically,ifnot inotherrespects)specifically in theabsence ofcircumstancesconducive toself-actualisation.Evenfinanciallysuccessfulartists (>e.g.Stravinsky, whowasfamouslygoodatlookingafter hisfinancial affairs,aswellas affairs ofotherkinds)doexhibitsome of thenon-self-actualised '>motivators' thatyoudescribesowell.

>Self-actualisationimpliesanoutwardness andopenness thatcontrastswith theintrospection thatcanbe apre-requisiteforgreatartisticself-expression.Wherescientistscan look outat the worldaroundthem tofindsomething ofprofound oruniversalsignificance,greatartistsusually lookinsidethemselves tofindsomething ofpersonalsignificance - theuniversality oftheirworkisimportantbutsecondary.It'sinteresting thatMaslowseems tohaveconcentrated onpeopleconcernedwith thebig-picturewhendefiningself-actualisation.InEinstein,heselected ascientist whowasstrivingfor atheory of theentirephysicaluniverse. Thephilosophers andpoliticiansheanalysedwereconcernedwithissues ofgreatrelevance tohumanity.

>Thisisnot tobelittle thevalue orimportance of the '>small-picture' -societyneedssplittersaswellaslumpers.Butwhileself-actualisationmaybesynonymouswithpsychologicalbalance and health, itdoesnotnecessarilylead toprofessional orcreativebrilliance in allfields.Insomeinstances, itmayremove thedrivingforce thatleadspeople toexcel - artbeing theclassicexample.So Idon'tagree that thescope ofself-actualisationshouldbeextended toincludepeople whomaywellhavebeenbrilliant,but whowerealsoquitepossiblydamaged,unrounded orunhappyhumanbeings.

>If Ihad theopportunity tochosebetweenbrilliance (>alone) orself-actualisation (>alone)formychildren, Iwouldgofor thelatter!

>Garethmakessomeverygoodpoints!


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