September 6, 2006

Human “needs”

Filed under: musings — bardicknowledge @ 10:26 pm

Okay, if you go ahead and read my post on religion and the comments you will see that I stated that humans created God out of a need. In the comments, Jetfx posted a link to Maslows hierarchy of needs. Go read the article first about the hierarchy of needs. I will make more sense this way.

Anyways, I agree with Maslow that these are human needs in fact, but whether it could be said that they can be used  as stepping stones is another thing. I think they are more like different area’s of the human mind, but coming to terms with the four first levels in any given order will amount though in step up to the fifth level, self-actualization.

Another thing I would like to say about this hierarchy is that despite having, lets say love, intimacy etc, they are unable to move forward (to the real goal, insight, self-actualization) because of the other person impact upon them, or their unwillingness to push on and remain on an equal plain of emotional and mental maturity. So in the case, the person have everything the would need to reach the fifth level, but their counter part is weighing them down because of blind love, which is the case of many relationships. To be able to step outside a relationship and view things from a point of view that allows them to really see the others limits is often times too difficult.

Also, status is another  step that many many reach but are over powered by their need to flaunt their status that they don’t appear to have moved on to that fifth step for if they had really had taken the step to self-actualization, they would realize that this flaunting was wasn’t truly aiding their respect in the eyes of others, just their self -esteem. This also can tie into love/relationships for one wants to appear to have a larger status than they would. This would result in them attempting to inflate their esteem, which often leads to more flaunting or, depending on the personality, abuse others to boost their image (which someone, usually of low intelligence, would likely do). Now people of higher intelligences would likely batter you with their intelligence, which in some ways is a form of abuse but  not often as perceived so since no physical harm is done.

Now, I’m not saying that you can’t have all the traits of the actualization without reaching and passing the other four steps. Many people will have most of the traits from the actualization stage even if they haven’t reached it. An example would be a working moral system. Many people have fine morals, but haven’t touched all the stones yet.

Something I would like to be considered as a part of the fifth step is the ability to accept responsibility for past actions.  Not just not care about them, or shrug them off, but to review, understand, accept and learn from them. There are too many people out there today that would just be more than happy as to leave the past as the past and forget before re-examining and learning.

Another ability I would like to see considered would be the realization of the fact that comes before determines what comes after.  This is pretty similar to the first thing I would like to be considered but this stage implies that you have learned from your experiences.

Now before you try to discredit my points, I make all these on personal observations and to the best of my understanding. If you would like to debate with me, feel more than welcome, but please explain where you are coming from.



  1. I’ve been studying developmental models for some time, especially in the context of Ken Wilber’s Integral framework. As I’ve understood the studies, the heirarchy (better described as a holarchy as each new stage of development transcends and includes the former) is well demonstrated through inquiry.
    In my experience through my own development and what I have observed in others, the unfolding is rather rigid in individuals. I was concerned primarily with one of the need stages in the order Maslow presented as I developed and most people I know have been as well.
    If we look at the unfolding in cultures, it’s even more stark, as cultures simply don’t get to an esteem focus if they haven’t taken care of physiological, safety and belonging needs. And finding a street gang (lets be generous and say it is concerned with safety and belonging)concerned with actualization is nearly an impossibility.
    Maslow’s approach was rather limited in its scope, of course. I find some later models to be far more comprehensive and excitingly descriptive of human development.

    Comment by Apollo — September 13, 2006 @ 5:50 am

  2. First I would like to thank you for posting. It really means a lot to have someone comment on my views. Again thank you.

    Now, second, is that I would like to counter with, I didn’t develop in the same way as the hierarchy describes. As I discussed with a friend shortly after this post, my main qualm is with the love/esteem levels. I believe they should share a level. I myself developed a sense of esteem and status before I developed any other form of love than that for ones family.

    This is a total different form of love that one experiences from that of loving another as a mate. So, I never truly experienced love until after I found self worth, and developed a status among my peers.

    Comment by bardicknowledge — September 13, 2006 @ 2:07 pm

  3. […] So, we have our burden of responsibility for man and our own responsibility for every action. To relate this to my last post Human “Needs”, an existentialist is a person who has reached the the fifth level of Maslows hierarchy of needs, since to be an existentialist, one but have an internal set morals that allows them to accept, take responsibly and understand each action they have made in life. […]

    Pingback by The weight of man on our shoulders. « Paper Kingdoms — September 13, 2006 @ 3:12 pm

  4. Did you not develop love for your family before esteem, though? I’m not sure that Maslow intended love to be interpreted as romantic love here.

    Comment by Apollo — September 15, 2006 @ 1:50 am

  5. Well the way I see it is that it mentions romantic and sexual love in the description of that level, and since you *usually* don’t experience that with kin, I am leaning towards that he meant both forms.

    Since love for kin and love for another are totally different, I believe you need to know both forms before being able to say that you have truly loved. Now that other could be God even. Though you won’t have a sexual relationship with your God, it is still loving another, often time leaning close to romantic love.

    Comment by bardicknowledge — September 15, 2006 @ 8:04 am

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