Joy IV

Maslow Predicted The Shift

Owen K Waters

Abraham Maslow (1908-70) was a psychologist who became well known for his hierarchy of human needs.  When he developed his theory in the 1950s, he predicted the transformation of humanity into a realm of spiritual transcendence, but he had no idea just how soon this would develop into a major movement.

Maslow’s hierarchy of human needs shows that basic human needs have to be fulfilled before people can attend to higher needs and values.

 First, the basic physiological needs of food and shelter must be catered for in order to ensure survival.

Second, once food and shelter are obtained, safety and security must be achieved.
Third, acceptance by others is sought, in both the societal and personal senses.  To fulfill this “belonging” need, people become part of a group, a tribe, an extended family or a community.

When these deficiency, or outer-directed, needs are satisfied, then the individual works to acquire self-respect.  Recognition by others produces self-esteem.

Once the outer needs are fulfilled, the inner-directed need for self-actualization comes into play.  To self-actualize means to become the best you personally can be.  Self-actualized people include those who have achieved material abundance, and also those who, as a decision of personal power, have chosen simplicity over the pursuit of further abundance.  At some point, when a person says “That’s enough” to the endless pursuit of additional financial security, then they become free to accomplish anything that inspires their inner joy the most.

Self-actualization is achieved after the individual ceases to have deference to hierarchical authority, and instead matures into the ability to make their own rules of personal responsibility.  Personal responsibility is always more powerful and effective than any system of imposed rules.  For example, you can threaten to punish someone if they steal and hope that the threat works.  But, a self-responsible person simply wouldn’t steal because they would feel empathy for the loss that a would-be victim would feel.  They simply wouldn’t have the heart to do such a thing to another person.

It’s a matter of increased maturity.  When a person abandons the impositions of external authority and becomes their own, self-directed authority, then they become far more functional in the world.  This is, in fact, a higher state of consciousness, one which provides a higher vista of awareness.  From this expanded vista, they see clearly how they as an individual can best serve humanity.

In this state of awareness, the person acquires the ability to think and analyze situations independently.  As a result, new and creative solutions spring to mind.  They have enough self-esteem to be able to clearly see their own needs, skills, strengths and weaknesses, and from that they see where they can best be of service to humanity.

Once basic needs are fulfilled, the next values to require attention relate to being.  The first of these being-values is self-actualization, which is the instinctual need of a human to make the most of their unique abilities.

Above that, Maslow placed transcendence, which he considered a spiritual value.  Traditional universities typically presume that spiritual matters are beyond the understanding of their students, so they present the Maslow hierarchy of human needs differently.  They present it with self-actualization as the ultimate human aim, and omit the transcendence stage beyond that. (1)


Maslow (3)
(ST = Self-Transcendence)

The being-values of self-actualization and transcendence are the higher, more beautiful aspects of human consciousness.  They include unconditional love, altruism, inner joy, a love of nature, the development of intuition (in males as well as females), idealism, and a sense of wisdom which springs from within.  These skills develop the right-brain functions of creativity and intuition.

In the 1950s, Maslow believed that only 2% of the population had achieved self-actualization.  The mid-1960s changed all that when masses of people began the search for the higher values, such as unconditional love and spiritual wisdom.  Today, that core group of progressive people has blossomed from 2% to over 20%, and is climbing every year.

The Shift is not a temporary by-product of the baby boom generation, or any other generation of modern culture.  It is not a passing fad.  It is not going away.  It is a cosmic pressure that is unfolding and relentlessly increasing the frequency of all consciousness upon the planet.

It is a part of the plan of Infinite Being that we progress to the next stage of conscious human achievement.  The Shift is, to put it simply, the most wonderful transformation in recorded history.  This is where humanity gets to build, literally, Heaven on Earth.

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(1)   Toward the end of his life, Maslow came to view self-actualization and self-transcendence as separate needs.  For the story of this evolution, see:  Rediscovering the Later Version of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs: Self-Transcendence and Opportunities for Theory, Research, and Unification by Mark E. Koltko-Rivera.


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