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.