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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, yesterday while I was researching on theories and practices of psychotherapy, I stumbled upon Abraham Maslow.

Maslow is a humanistic psychologist mostly known for developing the 'hierarchy of needs' and popularizing the term 'self-actualization'.
I also like and agree with Maslow a lot, too! I think he's pretty cool! :)

According to Maslow, we operate by the principle of 'homeostasis'.

'Homeostasis' is a principle that suggests that we (ideally) satisfy our needs and wants to allow us to survive and thrive as creatures. For example, it's a fact that we need food for nourishment. If we don't satisfy the need to eat food, we'll starve to death! Therefore, we eat food for our nourishment or else we'll be hungry like the wolf! The hunger will drive us mad and then ultimately kill us! :D

The principle of homeostasis is applied to Maslow's 'hierarchy of needs'. The triangle is broken down into two categories of needs: 'D needs', or deficit needs, and 'B needs', or being needs.

'D needs' are broken down into further subcategories. The subcategories are:
Physiological needs
Safety and security needs
Love and belonging needs
Esteem needs.

And I can guarantee you can figure what entails in each of those subcategories! :)

'B needs' are (arguably) uniquely human. This is where:
1. self-actualization can begin, and
2. homeostasis ends.

For simplicity's sake, I will define self-actualization as simply 'the growth toward one's truest human potential'. Hmm, well, that is not as simple as I thought... :'(

But the self-actualizer has needs that aren't as satisfied as, say, food, water, shelter or companionship. He or she seems to require 'metaneeds':
Truth
Goodness
Beauty
Unity, wholeness, and transcendence of opposites
Aliveness
Uniqueness
Perfection and necessity
Completion
Justice and order
Simplicity
Richness
Effortlessness
Playfulness
Self-sufficiency
Meaningfulness
(Like I said, the self-actualizer can't go to the grocery store and buy himself or herself a box of 'Truth Flakes' or 'Good-tarts'.)

If you notice, 'metaneeds' are seen more concretely at work with our 'D needs'.

But where there are 'metaneeds', there are also 'metapathologies':
Dishonesty
Evil
Ugliness and vulgarity
Arbitariness or forced choices
Deadness or the mechanization of life
Bland uniformity
Sloppiness, inconsistency, or accident
Incompletenessß
Injustice and lawlessness
Unnecessary complexity
Environmental impoverishment
Strain
Grim, humorless, drudgery
Dependency
Senselessness
(Well, self-actualizers can't exactly take a different car or bus route to work each day to avoid the injustice and lawlessness at work around the whole damn world, now can they?)

Again, 'metapathologies' are seen more concretely at work in our 'D needs'.

'Metaneeds' are never satisfied.
Nor are 'metapathologies' ever avoided.
Both exist outside our need for homeostasis.
Both seem to influence the never-ending process of self-actualization.

So, what do YOU feel or think about all this? Comments? Criticism?
 

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But where there are 'metaneeds', there are also 'metapathologies':


Deadness or the mechanization of life

Unnecessary complexity
Environmental impoverishment

Senselessness
Uh-oh. Am not an expert on this topic but after reading the post these metapathologies strike me as descriptive of contemporary societies (well at least in the Balkans). I started noticing these occurrences since I was 15-16. Could be just an intuitive leap on my side, but reading the papers every day and engaging in conversation with young students that's what I notice unfortunately.

Self-actualization is a uniquely human need it seems and Maslow's observation is dead on. Whether it is a product of mere cultural conditioning I don't know. Still fact remains that whoever spends their childhood in a society and not wilderness can not reach a homeostasis by fulfilling sheer animalistic urges. After filing our stomachs and satisfying our sex drives we are left with an intense feeling of nothingness which is more unpleasant than pleasant. Often such intense nihilistic state causes a big shift in worldviews and the way we live our lives.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
...after reading the post these metapathologies strike me as descriptive of contemporary societies (well at least in the Balkans).
It's sort of like that here in the United States in my metropolis. We're overgeneralized our paranoia here. [It] feels as if I'm in some sort of metaphorical jungle.

At first, such 'metapathologies' seemed like the norm to me. I felt this way until nine months ago I traveled to Europe. I found that there were cultures and societies where these 'metapathologies' were scorned. Being that is the case I feel convicted to subtly fight against such 'metapathologies' in my own life once I returned home.

Self-actualization is a uniquely human need it seems and Maslow's observation is dead on. Whether it is a product of mere cultural conditioning I don't know. Still fact remains that whoever spends their childhood in a society and not wilderness can not reach a homeostasis by fulfilling sheer animalistic urges. After filing our stomachs and satisfying our sex drives we are left with an intense feeling of nothingness which is more unpleasant than pleasant. Often such intense nihilistic state causes a big shift in worldviews and the way we live our lives.
Without the constant threats in the wilderness, we are left to (fortunately or unfortunately) begin asking ourselves more 'philosophical' questions. But these questions don't have definite answers. [We can confuse a definite answer with our 'role' and our cultural or societal 'standard' (which includes branches of the 'main' culture and society, of course). But it isn't our answer for ourselves.] Thankfully we have distractions here or there in our lives.
 
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