As psychologist Abraham Maslow wrote, “Perhaps human nature has been sold short”
Toward the end of his life, the humanistic psychologist Abraham Maslow was developing new insights into self-actualization – and envisioning an even higher motivation, which he called transcendence. He referred to his theory as “Theory Z”.*
To Maslow, “transcenders” are regularly motivated by values and experiences that go beyond the satisfaction of basic needs and the fulfillment of one’s unique potential. These “metamotivations” include a devotion to a calling outside oneself, a seeking of “peak experiences”, and a commitment to the values of Being, or the “B-values”, including truth, goodness, beauty, justice, meaningfulness, playfulness, aliveness, excellence, simplicity, elegance, and wholeness— as ultimate goals in themselves.
Maslow observed that when he asked transcenders why they do what they do and what makes their life worth living, they often cited those values. There was no further reason why they devoted so much time to their work; the values were not in service of anything else, nor were they instrumental in achieving any other goal. Maslow believed that satisfaction of the “metaneeds” are necessary “to avoid illness and to achieve fullest humanness or growth. . . . They are worth living for and dying for. Contemplating them, or fusing with them gives the greatest joy that a human being is capable of.”
Read More at Scientific American
Read the rest at Scientific American