RSS Feed

The Missing Apex of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

Posted on

Maslow’s hierarchy of human needs, published in 1943  is a motivational theory in psychology comprising a five tier model of human needs, often depicted as hierarchical levels within a pyramid. I’ve encountered it in my work with numerous health and social care charities in the UK.

maslow-pyramid

Abraham Maslow stated that people are motivated to achieve certain needs and that some needs take precedence over others. Our most basic need is for physical survival, and this will be the first thing that motivates our behaviour. Once that level is fulfilled the next level up is what motivates us, and so on.(1)

However, I recently found out from this Big Think article something which I think is highly significant. Maslow later modified the hierarchy and added 3 more tiers with self-transcendence added at the top.

 

8-tier

 

“Transcendence refers to the very highest and most inclusive or holistic levels of human consciousness, behaving and relating, as ends rather than means, to oneself, to significant others, to human beings in general, to other species, to nature, and to the cosmos” (Farther Reaches of Human Nature, New York 1971, p. 269)

I’m not surprised that the modified version does not get referred but I am disappointed and frustrated that it isn’t because it makes perfect sense to me.

From the Big Think article:

This is what the final stage of Maslow’s pyramid is about: Having met our basic needs at the bottom of the pyramid, having worked on our emotional needs in its middle and worked at achieving our potential, Maslow felt we needed to transcend thoughts of ourselves as islands. We had to see ourselves as part of the broader universe to develop the common priorities that can allow humankind to survive as a species.

Maslow saw techniques many of us are familiar with today — mindfulness, flow — as the means by which individuals can achieve the broader perspective that comes with self-transcendence. Given the importance of coming together as a global community, his work suggests that these methods and others like them aren’t just tweaks available for optimizing our minds, but vitally important tools if we hope to continue as a living species.

 

Read | ‘Hope is an embrace of the unknown’

Posted on

 

small red leave nestled on a bigger leaf

It is important to say what hope is not: it is not the belief that everything was, is or will be fine. The evidence is all around us of tremendous suffering and destruction. The hope I am interested in is about broad perspectives with specific possibilities, ones that invite or demand that we act. It is also not a sunny everything-is-getting-better narrative, though it may be a counter to the everything-is-getting-worse one. You could call it an account of complexities and uncertainties, with openings. “Critical thinking without hope is cynicism, but hope without critical thinking is naivety,” the Bulgarian writer Maria Popova recently remarked. And Patrisse Cullors, one of the founders of Black Lives Matter, early on described the movement’s mission as to “Provide hope and inspiration for collective action to build collective power to achieve collective transformation, rooted in grief and rage but pointed towards vision and dreams”. It is a statement that acknowledges that grief and hope can coexist.

I’ve only just realised that the essay ‘Hope is an embrace of the unknown’: Rebecca Solnit on living in dark times was published in the Guardian newspaper on my birthday this year. What a wonderful birthday present it was and it’s a very timely read.

I know of Rebecca Solnit’s work through Brainpickings which discusses her book Hope in the Dark, and through the wonderful podcasts by On Being. In her own words she says:

I want better metaphors. I want better stories. I want more openness. I want better questions. All these things feel like they give us tools that are a little more commensurate with the amazing possibilities and the terrible realities that we face.

The essay is about hope as different from optimism, the importance of collective memory, embracing complexity and collective action. It’s an enriching read and a great reminder at the moment. Read Rebecca Solnit’s essay ‘Hope is an embrace of the unknown’

Hope locates itself in the premises that we don’t know what will happen and that in the spaciousness of uncertainty is room to act. When you recognise uncertainty, you recognise that you may be able to influence the outcomes – you alone or you in concert with a few dozen or several million others. Hope is an embrace of the unknown and the unknowable, an alternative to the certainty of both optimists and pessimists. Optimists think it will all be fine without our involvement; pessimists adopt the opposite position; both excuse themselves from acting. It is the belief that what we do matters even though how and when it may matter, who and what it may impact, are not things we can know beforehand. We may not, in fact, know them afterwards either, but they matter all the same, and history is full of people whose influence was most powerful after they were gone.

 

Read | The loss of Fabric

Posted on

logo

When places like Fabric disappear – places that allow particular subcultures to flourish and alternative forms of politics to be forged – the damage is even more telling as they destroy the very possibility of subcultures forming in the first place. Hence, the richness and diversity of London’s cultural capital suffers.

A piece by Oli Mould, lecturer in Human Geography at Royal Holloway University.

Read | Stop Saying ‘I Feel Like’

Posted on

Stop Saying ‘I feel Like’ from the New York Times

This is what is most disturbing about “I feel like”: The phrase cripples our range of expression and flattens the complex role that emotions do play in our reasoning. It turns emotion into a cudgel that smashes the distinction — and even in our relativistic age, there remains a distinction — between evidence out in the world and internal sentiments known only to each of us.

“This is speculative, but ‘I feel like’ fits with this general relativism run rampant,” Sally McConnell-Ginet, a linguist at Cornell, suggested. “There are different perspectives, but that doesn’t mean there are not some facts on the ground and things anchoring us.”

A good piece from the New York Times on the confusion of emotion with facts and how ‘I feel like’ closes down argument and conversation. It links to something I’ve blogged about before about opinions.

Listen | DāM-FunK – A Prince Mix

Posted on

Issue_50-Prince

To commemorate Wax Poetics’ 10 year anniversary and the magazines 50th edition, the magazine got funkateer DāM-FunK to put together a mix of his Prince favourites and obscurities. It’s no longer available on Soundcloud but I downloaded it when it was first available so its only right that I share it now.

Download it here

1. Prince & the Revolution – 17 Days (original version)
2. DāM-FunK – 17 Days (D-F Re-Freak)
3. Prince – Irresistible Bitch (Props Re-Edit)
4. Prince (featuring Andre Cymone & Pepe Willie) – One Man Jam
5. Prince – Wet Dream Cousin
6. Prince – Dirty Mind (1981 Live Version)
7. Prince – Soft & Wet (original version)
8. Prince – Ballad Of Dorothy Parker (D-F Extended Re-Edit)
9. Prince – Sticky Like Glue (Props Re-Edit)
10. Prince & the Revolution – All My Dreams

 

 

Read & Listen | Feel Free by Nick Laird

Posted on

I recommend you listen to Rowan Ricardo Phillips wonderful reading of Nick Laird’s poem Feel Free from the New Yorker poetry podcast at the link:

https://soundcloud.com/newyorker/rowan-ricardo-philips-reads-feel-free-by-nick-laird#t=4:41

Feel Free by Nick Laird

To deal with all the sensational loss I like to interface
with Earth. I like to do this in a number of ways.
I like to feel the work I am exerting being changed,

the weight of my person refigured, and I like to hang
above the ground, thus; hammocks, snorkeling, alcohol.
I also like the mind to feel a kind of neutral buoyancy

and to that end I set aside a day a week, Shabbat,
to not act. Having ceded independence to the sunset
I will not be shaving, illuminating rooms, or raising

the temperature of food. If occasionally I like to feel
the leavening of being near a much larger unnatural
tension, I walk off a Sunday through the high fields

of blanket bog, saxifrage, a few thin Belted Galloways,
rounding Lough Mallon to stand by the form of beauty
upheld in a scrubby acre at Creggandevsky, where I do

duck and enter under a capstone mapped by rival empires
of yellow feather-moss and powdery white lichen. I like
then to stop, crouched, and press my back on a housing

of actual rock, coldness which lives for a while on the skin.
And I like when I give you the nightfeed, Harvey, how you’re
really concentrating on it: fists clenched, eyes shut, like this is bliss.

II

I like a steady disruption. I like it when the solid mantle turns
to shingle and water rushes up it over and over, in love.
My white-noise machine from Argos is set to Crashing Wave

but I’m not averse to the presence of numerous and minute
quanta moving very fast in unison; occasions when a light
wind undulates the ears of wheat, or a hessian sack of pearl-

barley seed is sliced with a pocket knife and pours. I like
the way it sounds pattering on stone. I like how the starlings
over Monti cohere and separate their bodies into one cyclonic
symphony, and I like that the hawk of the mind catches at
their purse, pulse, caul, arc. I like the excitation passing as
a shadow-ripple back and how the bag is snatched, rolls

slack; straight, falciform; mouthing; bulbing; a pumping
heart. I like to interface with millions of colored pixels
depicting attractive people procreating on a screen itself

dependent on rare metals mined by mud-gray children
who trudge up bamboo scaffolding above a grayish-red lake
of belching mud. I like how the furnace burning earth instills

in me reflexive gestures of timidity and self-pity and deference
as I walk along the kinder surfaces, grass, say, or sand,
unable ever to meet with my eyes the gaze of the sun.
III

I can imagine that my first and fifth marriages will be
to the same human, a woman, the first marriage working
well enough that we decide to try again as soon as it’s,

you know, mutually convenient. I can see that. I like the fact
that we’re “supercooled star matter,” even if I can’t envisage you
as anything other than warm and bleating. The thing is

I can be persuaded fairly easily to initiate immune responses
by the fake safety signals of national anthems, cleavage, family
photographs, country lanes, large-eyed mammals, fireworks,

the King James Bible, Nina Simone singing “The Twelfth of Never,”
cave paintings, coffins, dolphins, dolmens. But I like it also
when the fat impasto of the canvas gets slashed by a tourist

with a claw hammer, and a glimpse is caught of what you couldn’t
say. Entanglement I like, spooky action at a distance analogizing
some little thing including this long glance across the escalators

or how you know the song before you switch the station on.
When a photon of light meets a half-silvered mirror and splits
one meets the superposition of two, being twinned: and this repeats.

Tickling your back, Katherine, to get you to sleep, I like to lie here
with my eyes closed and think of my schoolfriends’ houses, before
choosing one to walk through slowly, room by sunlit room.

 

Listen | David Whyte on the conversational nature of reality

Posted on

The Onbeing podcast episode with David Whyte.

David Whyte is a poet and philosopher who believes in the power of a “beautiful question” amidst the drama of work as well as the drama of life — amidst the ways the two overlap, whether we want them to or not.

Including…

The importance of asking beautiful questions

…a beautiful question shapes a beautiful mind. And so the ability to ask beautiful questions, often in very unbeautiful moments, is one of the great disciplines of a human life. And a beautiful question starts to shape your identity as much by asking it as it does by having it answered.

And you don’t have to do anything about it. You just have to keep asking. And before you know it, you will find yourself actually shaping a different life, meeting different people, finding conversations that are leading you in those directions that you wouldn’t even have seen before.

And…

Vulnerability

“Vulnerability is not a weakness, a passing indisposition, or something we can arrange to do without; vulnerability is not a choice, vulnerability is the underlying, ever present, and abiding under-current of our natural state. To run from vulnerability is to run from the essence of our nature; the attempt to be invulnerable is the vain attempt to become something we are not and most especially to close off our understanding of the grief of others. More seriously, in refusing our vulnerability, we refuse the help needed at every turn of our existence and immobilize the essential, tidal and conversational foundations of our identity.

“To have a temporary, isolated sense of power over all events and circumstances is a lovely, illusionary privilege and perhaps the prime and most beautifully constructed conceit of being human and especially of being youthfully human, but it is a privilege that must be surrendered with that same youth, with ill health, with accident, with the loss of loved ones who do not share our untouchable powers, powers eventually and most emphatically given up as we approach our last breath. The only choice we have as we mature is how we inhabit our vulnerability, how we inhabit our vulnerability, how we become larger and more courageous and more compassionate through our intimacy with disappearance. Our choice is to inhabit vulnerability as generous citizens of loss, robustly and fully, or conversely, as misers and complainers, reluctant, and fearful, always at the gates of existence, but never bravely and completely attempting to enter, never wanting to risk ourselves, never walking fully through the door.”

And the importance of darkness…

Sweet Darkness


…The dark will make a home for you tonight.
The night
will give you a horizon
further than you can see.
You must learn one thing. You must learn one thing.
The world was made to be free in.
You must learn one thing.
The world was made to be free in.
Give up all the other worlds
except the one to which you belong.
Sometimes it takes darkness and the sweet
confinement of your aloneness
to learn
anything or anyone
that does not bring you alive
is too small for you.”

%d bloggers like this: