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"The dream is the small hidden door in the deepest and most intimate sanctum of the soul,
which opens into that primeval cosmic night that was soul
long before there was a conscious ego
and will be soul far beyond what a conscious ego could ever reach."
Carl Jung

 Self Actualisation
Though coined by another psychologist, Kurt Goldstein, it was Maslow who made the term 'self-actualized' well-known. It described the seemingly rare individuals who had achieved 'full humanness' - a blend of psychological health and devotion to their work that made them highly effective. If there were a lot more such people, he reasoned, our world would be transformed. Instead of putting all our energies into dreaming up faster and better things, we should be trying to create societies which produced more self-actualized people.

Before Maslow, psychology was divided into two camps: the 'scientific' behaviorists and positivists, who felt no idea in psychology was valid unless proven; and the Freudian psychoanalysts. Maslow originated a 'third force', humanistic psychology, which refused to see human beings as machines operating 'in response to environment', or as the pawn of subconscious forces.

Human beings became people again, creative, free-willed and wanting to fulfill their potential. In addition, Maslow's studies of 'peak experiences', those transcendent moments in which everything makes sense and we sense a unity in ourselves and with the world.

The self-actualizer

Maslow's study of self-actualizing people began with his admiration for his teachers, anthropologist Ruth Benedict and psychologist Max Wertheimer. Though not perfect, they struck him as fully evolved in every aspect, and he recalls his excitement that it was possible to generalize about such people.

What marked out these individuals from the rest? Firstly, a devotion to something greater than themselves: a vocation.

They devote their lives to what he called 'being' values, such as truth, beauty, goodness, simplicity. Yet these 'B-Values' are not simply nice attributes that the self-actualizer wishes for - they are needs that must be fulfilled. "In certain definable and empirical ways," Maslow observed, "it is necessary for man to live in beauty rather than ugliness, as it is necessary for him to have food for his aching belly or rest for his weary body".

We all know we must eat, drink and sleep, but Maslow argued that once these basic needs were met, we developed 'metaneeds' regarding the higher B values which also had to be fulfilled. This was his famous 'hierarchy of needs', which began with oxygen and water and finished with the need for spiritual and psychological fulfillment.

Nearly all psychological problems, he believed, stemmed from 'sicknesses of the soul' which involved lack of meaning or anxiety in these needs not being met. Most people cannot articulate that they even have these needs, yet their pursuit was vital to being fully human.


Achieving full humanness 

To make it a less esoteric concept, Maslow was keen to show what self-actualization meant on a daily basis, from moment to moment. For him it was not a case of 'one great moment' like a religious experience. Rather, it involved:


Experiencing with full absorption.

Engagement with something that makes us forget our defenses and poses and shyness.

We regain "the guilelessness of childhood" in these moments.

Awareness of life as a series of choices; one way advances us towards personal growth, the other involves a regression.

Being aware that you have a self and listening to its voice, rather than the voice of a parent or society.

Deciding to be honest, and as a result taking responsibility for what you think and feel.

The willingness to say, "No, I don't like such and such", even if it makes you unpopular.

Willingness to work and apply yourself in order make the most of your abilities. In whatever field you are in, to be among the best.

Real desire to uncover your psychological defenses and give them up.

Being willing to see other people in their best light, "under the aspect of eternity".


Separateness and Awareness
Our perspective is that there are solid and separate things each with an independent existence. We experience ourselves as existing as an independent and completely separate being.
Whilst this is true in terms of how we interact with each other and true in how we each take in energy separately as food and process it separately within our bodies - we are not ultimately separate at all.
Consider a flower. Now, flowers do not exist floating in nothingness. They exist only where there is soil of a certain type, where there is water in a certain amount, and with sunlight of a certain duration and intensity.
These things all go with each other. They are a system, a unified field, what you could call a flower/soil/water/sun, an organism/environment. But notice that we could also add a bee to our system, since bees do not exist where there are no flowers, and flowers do not exist where there are no bees. They are really one thing, and they cannot exist in isolation.
And we could keep adding things, until we had added everything.We could also add that the field and the sky are really part of the same system, and the sky and outer space are connected and part of the same system, and so on and so on. Any division you make, any distinction you make, is arbitrary.
That isn`t to say to make divisions and distinctions is not necessary and useful. Apart from anything else we need to do that to have a system of communication between us. But what is important is that we are aware that whenever we talk about anything we are talking about only a part of the complete picture. Just like if we talk about a bee, it is useful to be able to do so, but in so doing we cut out a mass of the detail concerning a greater and broader reality.
Each individual cell in your body can go around saying it`s independant from every other cell --- it takes in food, it converts it and nourishes itself and reproduces. Sound familiar?

We all face a time in our journey when we realise we are stuck. Some compensate, others deny, some BREAK FREE! 

Human Experience ... Human Choices

As human beings we undergo moral, cognitive, ego, interpersonal, emotional and spiritual changes and dilemmas constantly. Sometimes they build up in us gradually - sometimes with a jolt.. Not only that but they are all inter-related and the issues and feelings surrounding them can be really tough to get to grips with.
And that`s not all. We all have varying degrees of self awareness, and even within each individual , you know for yourself, that the level of self awareness, the clarity you have, changes from day to day depending on what is demanding your attention at any one time.
How much more in healthy and balanced control of our lives we feel when we are coming from a resourceful and centered state of being. We recognise when we are - and the decisions and actions we take at such times are always far more fruitful ... and well just feel right.

 The Cause of a Personal Tipping Point

Many people I've spoken to who have made one or more drastic, beneficial lifestyle changes found the motivation to do so because of an emotionally-charged moment that endured in their minds for years to follow.

I call this powerful moment a moment of clarity. It is during this brief moment that the entire implications of your habits - long term, short term, emotional, physical, and mental implications - suddenly become crystal clear. Imagine you've been walking around with horrible eye-sight for years and then a doctor finally puts on your first pair of glasses.

You can finally see the world around you with infinitely better clarity. When you experience this effect through a moment of clarity, it is the emotional impact of this clarity, and the lasting impact that it leaves on you, that pushes you past your tipping point. In his classic book "Psycho-Cybernetics", Dr. Maxwell Maltz tells a similar story of a lifelong smoker who finally made the decision to quit.

He did so because of a powerful moment of clarity that permanently changed his perspective. Living in a rural area, most errands were done on foot. A particular errand he needed to do was 5 miles away. After having walked 3 out of the 5 miles, he realized he left his cigarettes at home, so without thinking, he immediately spun around and began walking back to go get them.

At that instant, he had his moment of clarity. He finally saw, plainly and clearly, that tobacco had such a strong grip on his thoughts and behavior that he was instantly willing to go 6 miles out of his way (3 miles home and 3 miles back to where he was standing) just to be able to have them close by. He felt a mixture of anger and frustration for letting something have such control over him.

From then on, he never lost the drive to quit smoking. Constructing your own moment of clarity is incredibly difficult. In fact, the reason a moment of clarity is so powerful, is because it hits your emotions very hard. As the saying goes: "People may not remember exactly what you did, or what you said, but they will always remember how you made them feel."

A powerful emotional experience can endure for years, which can be channeled for positive use in the case of a moment of clarity. However, it's incredibly difficult to plan out something to appeal to your emotions so powerfully.

When you see a commercial of a happy family sitting around the table, advertisers are trying to bring a warm, happy feeling to you. An advertiser will then tie that in to whatever product they are selling, such as a tomato sauce that the whole family enjoys. The key to a highly effective advertisement is the use of an image or scene that creates a strong enough emotional response to convince you to buy the product or service. Note: Appealing to logic has also been shown to work, but emotional appeals have a more lasting impact. Edit Text

From the point of view of personal motivation many of us are trapped by the emotion of fear ... fear of the unknown, fear of stepping outside of our `comfort zone` fear of breaking away from what feels like deeply held believes about who we are and what we are capable of. A distortion of the fear response has a stultefying effect on our thinking: it is as if our mind becomes our own worse enemy and immediately upon us deciding there is something different we want to do it speeds off at the speed of light, so fast we don`t notice, and throws back at us all sorts of reasons why we shouldn`t.

Clarity and awareness of how this process unconsciously controls us - despite not working in our best interests, indeed holding us back from really living to the full - it ends up wearing us down. BUT, when we get to understand how and why that kicks in we get to reclaim our personal core power.


Why Meditate

Meditation is designed to still the mind. The mind gets in the way and obscures your true nature from you. The mind is a great servant but a lousy master. Most people operate in life as if they are their mind.

More conscious people have an awareness that the mind gives only a very limited perspective on things. It`s a great tool for logic and reason but it aught not to be in control of the input it takes notice of when making evaluations and judgments. That`s where Meditation comes in.Using Meditation to Free Yourself

We develop beliefs about who we are and what our relationship is to the rest of the world based on early life interactions and experiences. Naturally these experiences come mainly from our parents.

We start out with a blank sheet of information about the world, and so what we experience initially forms a very strong foundation. So strong is this foundation that we believe it to be the core of us and not just a set of experiences.

Not only do we have a blank sheet of paper, but we are also completely dependant on others for our very survival: mentally, emotionally and physically. So even if we feel something is wrong as a child, in order to survive, it is in our best interests to adapt to the situation. Unless we consciously review all this in our adult life we remain unconsciously steered by this initial foundation.

This means that, even when we know we sometimes operate from a dysfunctional place, it is so hard to change it`s hold on us.

We don't consciously choose these beliefs. We soak them up from our life experiences when we're too small to have an effective way to evaluate them. These beliefs become core components of how we see other people, the world, and ourselves. How we evaluate our place in the world.

Also the slower the brain wave the more we can access our underlying thought processes and change what is dysfunctional. This is another outcome of meditation. We get to understand the initial foundation and so can review it.





 You must be the change you wish to see in the world
Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948)