• god must be atheist
    3.3k
    Religion is for those who, for whatever reason, are not inclined towards self-actualization and religion could be rather superfluous for the self-actualized.praxis

    I first encountered the expression "self-actualization" when learning about Maslow's pyramid of needs. But at that time I thought it was a neologism with no meaning, it's just that Maslow needed to put the dot on the i, and say something that happened when someone got all his needs met. Fueling my suspicion, to my knowledge then (and actually now, too) M never explained in any detail what he meant by self-actualization. So M coined this phrase, I suspected, in order to finish the the thought process like every goal-oriented person does, and he carefully chose an expression that sounds meaningful while completely devoid of the same.

    In the intervening 40 years I focussed every waking moment of my life to find an actual, should I say, actualized meaning to "self-actualization" but so far I failed.
  • praxis
    3.8k


    I suspect the problem is that you’re a visual learner so I’ve taken the liberty to literally draw it out for you. Enjoy...

    ngcb25
  • god must be atheist
    3.3k
    Thanks. It shows who can self-actualize but it does not show or explain what self-actualization means.
  • Tom Storm
    1.6k
    When I see diagrams like this I have to ask: 1) Who determines what one's ideal self is? (I have no substantive sense of my ideal self)) and 2) Who determines what the extent of the overlap might be?

    If self-actualization is a goal - what if your best self is as an efficient serial killer?
  • praxis
    3.8k


    justin-attas-puzzle-piece-plotting-method.jpg

    Okay, let's try a different image. Think of reality as a giant puzzle and you represent one puzzle piece. There is only one place in the puzzle where you fit, despite whatever other people or you yourself think you fit. Self-actualization is fitting the place were you fit yourself. That sounds awkward because you only fit one place regardless of who does the fitting and the fact that you were never out of place. It is all an illusion.

    If self-actualization is a goal - what if your best self is as an efficient serial killer?Tom Storm

    It's not about being the best at anything, it's about well-being.
  • Tom Storm
    1.6k
    t's not about being the best at anything, it's about well-being.praxis

    Isn't this completely lacking specificity? 'Wellbeing' is one of those dreadful marketing words, suitable for bookshop shelving. What constitutes 'wellbeing' and please no Sam Harris... :wink:
  • praxis
    3.8k
    What constitutes 'wellbeing' and please no Sam Harris...Tom Storm

    Sam Harris is a stoic?

    Well-being in the stoic sense is often referred to as eudaemonia.

    JblwxxiT5RhePc6VgYyTp2GyXOOO96pgsatWOvsQuqRMyayM8AWU7iauj27YT1VN1kmCGYE40eLVRUT4frwUXLbI1-7YMxc_7_s0hUA0apCGSR0bxSIlgyisXBeUAf1pGmYZQaPUveL7h4PR_pe6HknOPzpAlffXdvq41_7etDtI7ddLXQ
  • Tom Storm
    1.6k
    No I meant Harris' ongoing discussion about wellbeing as the foundation for morality. He also uses human flourishing.

    Sam Harris is a stoic?praxis
    He's a millionaire celebrity influencer, isn't he?
  • praxis
    3.8k
    No I meant Harris' ongoing discussion about wellbeing as the foundation for morality. He also uses human flourishing.Tom Storm

    I think they call it utilitarianism.
  • god must be atheist
    3.3k
    It is all an illusion.praxis

    You are going form the general and non-specific to be absolutely lost, aimless and incapable.

    Okay, so that's what self-actualization means. Got it. Check.
  • god must be atheist
    3.3k
    If self-actualization is a goal - what if your best self is as an efficient serial killer?Tom Storm

    Then you'd make a great team with those whose self-actualization goals are to be victims of serial murderers.
  • Tom Storm
    1.6k
    :up: Think of it as a happy collaboration.
  • Tom Storm
    1.6k
    I think they call it utilitarianism.praxis

    It resembles utilitarianism but it is not the same. Nuances.
  • baker
    2.1k
    That being the case, communing with nature (or literally whatever) could be seen as communing with God. Doesn’t seems there’s any point to pantheism without experiencing the “sense that one is part of divinity”. I formally submit that the pantheist could become lost in this sensing and unwittingly become quietist.praxis
    Becoming a tree hugger is just at one end of the pantheist spectrum. A fascination with power and being active is on the other end.
  • Valentinus
    1.3k
    So M coined this phrase, I suspected, in order to finish the the thought process like every goal-oriented person does, and he carefully chose an expression that sounds meaningful while completely devoid of the same.god must be atheist

    The way I understand his approach is that we can itemize our limitations but not what being bound by them permits to exist. So the "actualization" regards being able to be an agent more than making whatever that "self" may be come into existence ex nihilo.
  • god must be atheist
    3.3k
    The way I understand his approach is that we can itemize our limitations but not what being bound by them permits to exist. So the "actualization" regards being able to be an agent more than making whatever that "self" may be come into existence ex nihilo.Valentinus

    I admire the way in which you have understanding. What you wrote is completely incomprehensible to me. Interesting though, that this is what you call understanding.

    Call me a bizarre person, but when I understand things, I link knowledge and logic and new knowledge to alter by rectifying, or else to validate my already existing internal conceptual model of the outside world.

    How would you describe the process that you undergo when you practice "understanding"?
  • Valentinus
    1.3k

    Well, the jibe aside, I meant to say, as you noted, that Maslow did not describe what "self-actualizing" meant as a quality in itself. My comment was only to remark that perhaps he was aware of that shortcoming. It is one way to read him. There are others.
  • Christoffer
    821
    is Stoicism a better guide to living than Christianity and should it replace the latter as a set of values to live by?Ross Campbell

    A better question would be: Do we need faith, gospels, fantasy, belief in God/Gods, prayers, rituals etc. in order to have guidelines to live by? Why is there a need for something that doesn't really relate to guidelines of living?
  • Foghorn
    331
    Christians have hated, killed, and oppressed each other and non-Christians since it was founded, and avarice is more characteristic of Christians than charity.Ciceronianus the White

    Um, sorry, but this is a ridiculously warped, hopelessly simplistic interpretation of Christian culture.

    It would be fair to state that such crimes have existed in Christian culture, and to some degree still do, no complaint there. But then such phenomena exist in every culture. So, Christians are human, no surprise in that. More to the point, hate, murder and oppression are not words which accurately describe Christian culture as a whole.

    The vast scale of Christianity in particular, and religion in general, make it impossible to describe them with simplistic labels such as good or bad, right or wrong, just or evil etc. Any attempt to do so immediately identifies the speaker as an ideologue, not a person of reason. All the major religions are like reality itself, containers for all that is beautiful and ugly about human beings, but mostly the overwhelming mediocrity almost all of us suffer from.

    I would agree that few if any Christians live up to the teachings of Jesus in every regard. Christians are typically entirely willing to agree with this, which is why they are always calling themselves sinners.

    Christianity is probably best considered on a moment to moment basis. There are moments when all of us act in a manner that represents Christian ideals, and moments when we don't. Even Hitler loved his dogs.

    The best Christians are typically invisible, as they are typically too busy serving to have time for giving sermons.
  • Ciceronianus the White
    1.8k


    I wasn't aware Jesus loved dogs, too, thereby making it one of those Christian ideals you reference.

    But certainly, ideals of any kind are ideals. What distinguishes Christianity and Christians, though, I believe, is the extent to which the ideals are promoted and relentlessly expounded as peculiarly
    Christian while they're being ignored so blithely. Self-righteousness, exclusivity and intolerance make hypocrisy particularly notable, and while Christians may be no more prone to sin than others, they enjoy the pretense of sinlessness.
  • Foghorn
    331
    they enjoy the pretense of sinlessness.Ciceronianus the White

    In actual real world fact, it is extremely common for Christians to refer to themselves as sinners.

    I get that some Christians can be pompously sanctimonious, and agree that is annoying. When my wife and I want to mock insult each other we sometimes say "Have a blessed day!" in a sing song voice, while the receiver scowls in defiance, "No I will not!!" :-)

    We're not Christians by the way.
  • Ciceronianus the White
    1.8k
    n actual real world fact, it is extremely common for Christians to refer to themselves as sinners.Foghorn

    Oh yes. Some of them revel in being sinners, in fact, following the example set long ago by Augustine of Hippo. The more they sin, the more remarkable it is that they repent and are forgiven, and the more significant they become according to strange logic of the zealous. "Let he who is without sin....."

    We're not Christians by the way.Foghorn

    I was one, as you might guess. I enjoy reading of the transition from the ancient Greco-Roman pagan world to the Christian West. It's an amazing story, but knowing it and knowing what I learned in life as a Catholic makes it difficult for me to admire Christianity the religion.
  • SophistiCat
    1.7k
    Apropos of the title and nothing else, just read this in an interview with a classics scholar Mary Beard:

    I don’t know if this is novel to you, but in the last few years there has been a real resurgence of popular interest in Stoic philosophy — why’d you just roll your eyes? All to the good when people are interested in the ancient world, but this is one of the more mystifying bits of interest: clichéd self-help from a philosophy that, if you looked at it really hard, was nasty, fatalistic, bordering on fascist.

    But what’s your hunch about why people are being drawn to Stoicism? What comes out in Marcus Aurelius particularly is rather clichéd thoughts: Never take a major decision when your mind is troubled. We can all agree with clichés like that. And they come with the rubber stamp of great antiquity because they were written by an emperor — an emperor who was about as brutal in massacring the enemy as Julius Caesar. But we tend to forget that side of him because he’s a bearded “philosopher.” It’s not very salutary to look at your Amazon ratings, but I always feel terribly pleased — though it doesn’t happen often — when I’m higher up than Marcus Aurelius.
    Ancient Rome Will Never Get Old. Take It From Mary Beard. - NYT

    :snicker:

    (If you want to read the full interview and run into a paywall, open link in a private/incognito window. But this is the only bit that is relevant to Stoicism.)
12Next
bold
italic
underline
strike
code
quote
ulist
image
url
mention
reveal
youtube
tweet
Add a Comment

Welcome to The Philosophy Forum!

Get involved in philosophical discussions about knowledge, truth, language, consciousness, science, politics, religion, logic and mathematics, art, history, and lots more. No ads, no clutter, and very little agreement — just fascinating conversations.