Self-Actualization is a term used to describe the realization of one’s talents, potentialities, and expression across one’s lifetime. It’s considered to be an innate drive, present within all human beings. The pinnacle of psychological development, and more naturally occurs once other basic and social human needs have been met. It was brought about by Abraham Maslow in 1943 after studying self-actualized people across history including Viktor Frankl, Gandhi, Eleanor Roosevelt, Aldous Huxley, & more. These are people that created a high level of social contribution & impact.
What’s interesting is that Abraham Maslow doesn’t talk about the soul or the heart. He was a psychologist, and these things weren’t fully scientifically understood at the time. He was however one of the first people in the field of psychology to focus on what was right within the individual, as opposed to what was wrong, which is what most of psychology focuses on fixing.
Maslow believed that about 1% of the population truly ‘self-actualized’, and that these people both lived at a higher level of awareness, and saw reality more accurately than the rest of the population. They’re problem focused, resistant to enculturation, and have a deep sense of kinship with the whole of humanity. They have moments of self-transcendence, a peak experience where they feel connected to everything, awe and wonder, both powerful and helpless, and a sense of limitless horizons as they open up to the vision.
Whether or not this 1% is true, as life on Earth evolves, I believe the percentage will increase, or already has.
“Musicians must make music, artists must paint, poets must write if they are to be ultimately at peace with themselves. What human beings can be, they must be. They must be true to their own Nature. This need we may call self-actualization…It refers to man’s desire for self-fulfillment, namely to the tendency for him to become actually what he is potentially.” ~ Abraham Maslow
It’s understood that Abraham Maslow borrowed a lot of understanding for his hierarchy of needs from the Blackfoot Nation in Siksika where he spent six weeks in 1938. What’s interesting is the differences between how Maslow filtered his own findings vs. how the Blackfoot nation saw it. It’s the difference between the individual vs. the community view.
One of the first things he noticed was that social dominance was minimal in the first nation’s community, as opposed to the general united states population. Instead there were high levels of cooperation, restorative justice, and life satisfaction. He estimated that 80-90% of the tribe had a high quality of self-esteem, something that he only found 5-10% in his own population.
In the Blackfoot community, social status was awarded during ‘Giveaway’ ceremonies, where those who had amassed the most possessions told stories of how they had acquired them before they gave them away to the most in need. This created true security and prestige within the tribe.
Within these communities, we arrive self-actualized, and are treated as such. Children are seen as inherently wise and granted the same respects as someone with a college degree, and expected to live up to that. In western culture, it’s in some regards the other way around, and you have to earn it. This trusting of people from the start involves giving them the space to express who they are, as opposed to making them the best they can be. They hold the belief that we are inherently sacred, and it is drawn out of us.
They believe that the purpose of self-actualization, is community actualization. Which is for the community to be, all that it can be. Where each member of the community actualizes their purpose, and have all their needs met.
They think in circles, not triangles.
The soul, the higher self seeks to be expressed in the world. I believe everyone has the ability to self-actualize and express their purpose, though some may not have as much of a desire. And as life on our planet evolves, and as our systems allow for more time and space for self-exploration and development – that self-actualization will become more natural.
Potential is our Nature.
The more people who decide to fully chart their own path, in service to the greater collective, the more we’ll see abundance on the Earth plane.