His Holiness the Dali Lama and His Instructions for Life

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Brothers and Sisters,

Todays post is a love letter or a love list from His Holiness, its purpose for me is to direct me towards further self -actualization and living a more honest, loving life of integrity. All of the Dali Lamas words bring wondrous opportunities , I seem to personally find myself realizing numbers 14 and 19 with a greater frequency and more intense focus . Hmmm?
In a society such as ours this becomes a life long process and one that requires great discipline. It is however the course that human kind is finally awakening to and one that will eventually embrace all of us on the Earth. Along with it I have included Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs for those brothers and sisters who wish to dig deeper in the dirt.

Peace Blessings and Love

Citizen Soul Power

Dali Lama and his Instructions for Life


1. Take into account that great love and great achievements involve great risk.
2. When you lose, don’t lose the lesson.
3. Follow the three R’s:

Respect for self
Respect for others and
Responsibility for all your actions.

4. Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck.
5. Learn the rules so you know how to break them properly.
6. Don’t let a little dispute injure a great friendship.
7. When you realize you’ve made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it.
8. Spend some time alone every day.
9. Open your arms to change, but don’t let go of your values.
10. Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.
11. Live a good, honorable life. Then when you get older and think back, you’ll be able to enjoy it a second time.
12. A loving atmosphere in your home is the foundation for your life.
13. In disagreements with loved ones deal only with the current situation. Don’t bring up the past.
14. Share your knowledge. It’s a way to achieve immortality.
15. Be gentle with the earth.
16. Once a year, go someplace you’ve never been before.
17. Remember that the best relationship is one in which your love for each other exceeds your need for each other.
18. Judge your success by what you had to give up in order to get it.
19. Approach love and cooking with reckless abandon.

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs is a theory in psychology that Abraham Maslow proposed in his 1945 paper A Theory of Human Motivation, which he subsequently extended to include his observations of humans’ innate curiosity.

Maslow studied exemplary people such as Albert Einstein, Jane Addams, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Frederick Douglass rather than mentally ill or neurotic people, writing that “the study of crippled, stunted, immature, and unhealthy specimens can yield only a cripple psychology and a cripple philosophy.”[1] Maslow also studied the healthiest one percent of the college student population.

While Maslow’s theory was regarded as an improvement over previous theories of personality and motivation, it had its detractors. For example, in their extensive review of research that is dependent on Maslow’s theory, Wahba and Bridwell (1976) found little evidence for the ranking of needs that Maslow described, or even for the existence of a definite hierarchy at all. Chilean economist and philosopher Manfred Max Neef has also argued that fundamental human needs are non-hierarchical, and are ontologically universal and invariant in nature – part of the condition of being human; poverty, he argues, is the result of any one of these needs being frustrated, denied or unfulfilled.

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[edit] Representations

 

This diagram shows Maslow's hierarchy of needs, represented as a pyramid with the more primitive needs at the bottom.

 

This diagram shows Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, represented as a pyramid with the more primitive needs at the bottom.

Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is often depicted as a pyramid consisting of five levels: the four lower levels are grouped together as deficiency needs associated with physiological needs, while the top level is termed growth needs associated with psychological needs. Deficiency needs must be met first. Once these are met, seeking to satisfy growth needs drives personal growth. The higher needs in this hierarchy only come into focus when the lower needs in the pyramid are satisfied. Once an individual has moved upwards to the next level, needs in the lower level will no longer be prioritized. However, if a lower set of needs is no longer being met, the individual will temporarily re-prioritize those needs by focusing attention on the unfulfilled needs. The individual never regresses from one level to a lower one, however. An example of this fact may be a businessman at the esteem level who is diagnosed with cancer. He will spend a great deal of time concentrating on his health (Physiological needs) but would still value his work performance (esteem needs) and is likely to return to work during periods of remission.

[edit] Deficiency needs

The first four layers of the pyramid are what Maslow called “deficiency needs” or “D-needs”: the individual does not feel anything if they are met, but feels anxious if they are not met. The deficiency needs are:

[edit] Physiological needs

The physiological needs of the organism (those enabling homeostasis) take first precedence. These consist mainly of:

  • Eating
  • Drinking
  • Sleeping
  • Shelter
  • Sex
  • Warmth

If some needs are not fulfilled, a human’s physiological needs take the highest priority. Physiological needs can control thoughts and behaviours, and can cause people to feel sickness, pain, and discomfort.

[edit] Safety needs

When physiological needs are met, the need for safety will emerge. When one stage is fulfilled, a person naturally moves to the next. These include:

  • Personal security from crime.
  • Security as against company lay-offs
  • Health and well-being
  • Safety net against accidents/illness and the adverse impacts

[edit] Love/Belonging/Social needs

After physiological and safety needs are fulfilled, the third layer of human needs is social. This psychological aspect of Maslow’s hierarchy involves emotionally-based relationships in general, such as:

Humans need to feel a sense of belonging and acceptance, whether it comes from a large social group (such as clubs, office culture, religious groups, professional organizations, sports teams, gangs) or small social connections (family members, intimate partners, mentors, close colleagues, confidants). They need to love and be loved (sexually and non-sexually) by others. In the absence of these elements, many people become susceptible to loneliness, social anxiety, and depression. This need for belonging can often overcome the physiological and security needs, depending on the strength of the peer pressure. e.g. an anorexic ignores the need to eat and the security of health for a feeling of belonging.

[edit] Esteem needs

All humans have a need to be respected, to have self-esteem, self-respect, and to respect others. People need to engage themselves to gain recognition and have an activity or activities that give the person a sense of contribution, to feel accepted and self-valued, be it in a profession or hobby. Imbalances at this level can result in low self-esteem,inferiority complexes. People with low esteem need respect from others. They may seek fame or glory, which again are dependent on others. However confidence, competence and achievement only need one person and everyone else is inconsequential to one’s own success. It may be noted, however, that many people with low self-esteem will not be able to improve their view of themselves simply by receiving fame, respect, and glory externally, but must first accept themselves internally. Psychological imbalances such as depression can also prevent one from obtaining self-esteem on both levels.

[edit] Cognitive needs

Maslow believed that humans have the need to increase their intelligence and thereby chase knowledge. Cognitive needs is the expression of the natural human need to learn, explore, discover and create to get a better understanding of the world around them.

[edit] Aesthetic needs

Based on Maslow’s beliefs, it is stated in the hierarchy that humans need beautiful imagery or something new and aesthetically pleasing to continue up towards Self-Actualization. Humans need to refresh themselves in the presence and beauty of nature while carefully absorbing and observing their surroundings to extract the beauty that the world has to offer.

[edit] Growth needs

Though the deficiency needs may be seen as “basic”, and can be met and neutralized (i.e. they stop being motivators in one’s life), self-actualization and transcendence are “being” or “growth needs” (also termed “B-needs”), i.e. they are enduring motivations or drivers of behavior.

[edit] Self-actualization

Self-actualization–a concept Maslow attributed to Kurt Goldstein, a mentor to Maslow–is the instinctual need of humans to make the most of their abilities and to strive to be the best they can.

Maslow writes the following of self-actualizing people:

  • They embrace the facts and realities of the world (including themselves) rather than denying or avoiding them.
  • They are spontaneous in their ideas and actions.
  • They are creative.
  • They are interested in solving problems; this often includes the problems of others. Solving these problems is often a key focus in their lives.
  • They feel a closeness to other people, and generally appreciate life.
  • They have a system of morality that is fully internalized and independent of external authority.
  • They have discernment and are able to view all things in an objective manner.

In short, self-actualization is reaching one’s fullest potential.

According to Maslow, the tendencies of self-actualizing people are as follows:

1. Awareness

  • efficient perception of reality
  • freshness of appreciation
  • peak experiences
  • ethical awareness

2. Honesty

  • philosophical sense of humour
  • social interest
  • deep interpersonal relationships
  • democratic character structure

3. Freedom

  • need for solitude
  • autonomous, independent
  • creativity, originality
  • spontaneous

4. Trust

  • problem centered
  • acceptance of self, others, nature
  • resistance to enculturation – identity with humanity

[edit] Self-transcendence

Maslow later divided the top of the triangle to add self-transcendence which is also sometimes referred to as spiritual needs. Spiritual Needs are a little different from other needs, accessible from many levels. [2]

Maslow believes that we should study and cultivate peak experiences as a way of providing a route to achieve personal growth, integration, and fulfillment. Peak experiences are unifying, and ego-transcending, bringing a sense of purpose to the individual and a sense of integration. Individuals most likely to have peak experiences are self-actualizing, mature, healthy, and self-fulfilled. All individuals are capable of peak experiences. Those who do not have them somehow suppress or deny them.

Maslow originally found the occurrence of peak experiences in individuals who were self-actualizing, but later found that peak experiences happened to non-actualizers as well but not as often:

I have recently found it more and more useful to differentiate between two kinds of self-actualizing people, those who were clearly healthy, but with little or no experiences of transcendence, and those in whom transcendent experiencing was important and even central… It is unfortunate that I can no longer be theoretically neat at this level. I find not only self-actualizing persons who transcend, but also non-healthy people, non-self-actualizers who have important transcendent experiences. It seems to me that I have found some degree of transcendence in many people other than self-actualizing ones as I have defined this term…[3]

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