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    Default Humanistic Psychology

    Just had to share this. Finding this sort of stuff on the internet pisses me off because I've spent most of my life basically reconstructing what can be learned in an entry level Psych coarse. Until now 'self-actualization' had lots of Oprah overtones to me. This lady lays everything out very informatively.

    The whole channel is very informative and level headed, which is surprising because the branding and titling screams New Age.

    [YOUTUBE="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rkJtrGPtP30"]Human Needs, Peak Experience, Self Actualization, Psychology, Mind Control[/YOUTUBE]

    Anybody else find use in Maslow's theories?

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    Yeah, I felt the same when I found Maslow. But the good thing about going through the ideas yourself is that you have understood it way more deeply than by just having the knowledge of it. Of course, the knowledge would get you faster to the point of understanding. That is, if you had had any motivation to follow the logic of the knowledge.

    I think the problem is really about the name "self-actualization", and the focus on "reaching the full potential". Personally I like the term "healthy personality" a lot better because it doesn't sound so utilitarian. Obviously, when you read Maslow, you will see that he doesn't mean the full potential as an utilitarian would think of it, but still, naming it the way he does creates confusion and will probably keep some people away from the theory.

    If you want to study the subject, I would recommend Erich Fromm, Alan Watts, Kazimierz Dabrowski, Victor Frankl, and well, obviously some of the eastern classics, like Tao Te Ching, I Ching, Art of War. Also, Carl Rogers seems to be talking about the same stuff, but I find him really boring compared to Fromm and Maslow, who both are very inspirational. Dabrowski will have a slightly different view because he sees psychological trauma as something essential, while Maslow really doesn't comment too much about that. I think that Dabrowski's theory is true in some cases, and if you compare it to zen buddhism, you'll see that the job of the guru is to get the student to question everything. I think this comes pretty close to what Dabrowski is getting at. The thing is that if you go through an experience that he is talking about, there is no one to guide you, so it is quite possible that you actually go insane, while in the zen approach the guru is there to safely break your illusion and then show by his own example that it is ok to not have any concept of the reality. Frankl is an interesting read too, but I think that he really misses the point by saying that a man must have a meaning. I think his booklet can be interpreted differently, so that it isn't really meaning they have, but a thorough trust in the basic goodness of humanity that cannot be destroyed even in the concentration camp.

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    I'd be wary if anyone tries to get you interested in Osho or the Human Potential Movement though. Cults and a cult leader who used Maslow and others as a spring board.

    To be honest go and read Eric Fromm's Religion and Psychoanalysis, go from there, I wished I had, I read every book by the man before I read it last week and I feel I sort of put the Donkey before the cart. I've got a couple of Maslows books but some of them are obscenely priced.

    There's also Alexander Lowen, although his book Fear of Life is perhaps the only one which is worth it, I read it after reading his book on Narcissism, which was probably one of the best on that single topic, but even reading those where triggered by reading something earlier by Fromm.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    I'd be wary if anyone tries to get you interested in Osho or the Human Potential Movement though. Cults
    and a cult leader who used Maslow and others as a spring board.
    I actually have some huge book of Osho's but it is insanely repeative, so I never got past the first chapters...

    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    To be honest go and read Eric Fromm's Religion and Psychoanalysis
    I just got that one from the library. Going to start today..

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    Quote Originally Posted by nolla View Post
    Yeah, I felt the same when I found Maslow. But the good thing about going through the ideas yourself is that you have understood it way more deeply than by just having the knowledge of it. Of course, the knowledge would get you faster to the point of understanding. That is, if you had had any motivation to follow the logic of the knowledge.

    I think the problem is really about the name "self-actualization", and the focus on "reaching the full potential". Personally I like the term "healthy personality" a lot better because it doesn't sound so utilitarian. Obviously, when you read Maslow, you will see that he doesn't mean the full potential as an utilitarian would think of it, but still, naming it the way he does creates confusion and will probably keep some people away from the theory.

    If you want to study the subject, I would recommend Erich Fromm, Alan Watts, Kazimierz Dabrowski, Victor Frankl, and well, obviously some of the eastern classics, like Tao Te Ching, I Ching, Art of War. Also, Carl Rogers seems to be talking about the same stuff, but I find him really boring compared to Fromm and Maslow, who both are very inspirational. Dabrowski will have a slightly different view because he sees psychological trauma as something essential, while Maslow really doesn't comment too much about that. I think that Dabrowski's theory is true in some cases, and if you compare it to zen buddhism, you'll see that the job of the guru is to get the student to question everything. I think this comes pretty close to what Dabrowski is getting at. The thing is that if you go through an experience that he is talking about, there is no one to guide you, so it is quite possible that you actually go insane, while in the zen approach the guru is there to safely break your illusion and then show by his own example that it is ok to not have any concept of the reality. Frankl is an interesting read too, but I think that he really misses the point by saying that a man must have a meaning. I think his booklet can be interpreted differently, so that it isn't really meaning they have, but a thorough trust in the basic goodness of humanity that cannot be destroyed even in the concentration camp.
    Thanks for the recommendations. I think I'll hit the library after I finish the book I'm on.

    Yeah, I've been spending a lot of my life working towards 'self-actualization' and seeking 'peak experiences'. Most of how I labeled this stuff is a with jumble of mystical loan terminology and personal terminology. It kind of blew me away that there's a branch psychology dedicated to this. I'm very curious to see how psychological trauma fits into all this. As in peak experiences cause trauma, or trauma is necessary before you can achieve self-actualization?

    One of the vids mentioned that in normal psychology peak experiences are labled as abnormal and not really something to seek out, and that they can lead to insanity. I can definitely see this, especially for less resiliant personalities.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    I'd be wary if anyone tries to get you interested in Osho or the Human Potential Movement though. Cults and a cult leader who used Maslow and others as a spring board.

    To be honest go and read Eric Fromm's Religion and Psychoanalysis, go from there, I wished I had, I read every book by the man before I read it last week and I feel I sort of put the Donkey before the cart. I've got a couple of Maslows books but some of them are obscenely priced.

    There's also Alexander Lowen, although his book Fear of Life is perhaps the only one which is worth it, I read it after reading his book on Narcissism, which was probably one of the best on that single topic, but even reading those where triggered by reading something earlier by Fromm.
    Well, Fromm it is then. Thanks for the warning on Osho. I'm not very susceptable to getting taken in by this sort of thing, but I also don't like wasting my time on it either.

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    Well I read about the controversy about Osho online and how he'd divided Indians, in the west he was known as Bagwan and there's stories from the children of couples who where lured into his communes on sale here which are a combination of the sad and funny. I dont think he was particularly villainous but just hijacked a lot of the spiritual, philosophical and psychological impetus, his books pale by comparison with the people he whose ideas he was raiding.

    I'd bought one of his books on freedom before I realised from the writing style what it was all about.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Qlippoth View Post
    I'm very curious to see how psychological trauma fits into all this. As in peak experiences cause trauma, or trauma is necessary before you can achieve self-actualization?
    Well, in short: Average people live a life of the herd. One of them has a crisis and hits the wall with the ideology of the herd. His world-view shatters, and he needs to go through a period of redefining his values. If he gets there, he is a "better" person in a sense because the values are not just copied from the herd but really thought about and internalized.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Positive_disintegration

    EDIT: The only times I've seen anything bad happening due to peak experiences:
    1) People who drug themselves to get there. They are not able to handle it, I guess..
    2) People whose peak experience makes their belief in magical things go off the scale.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nolla View Post
    Well, in short: Average people live a life of the herd. One of them has a crisis and hits the wall with the ideology of the herd. His world-view shatters, and he needs to go through a period of redefining his values. If he gets there, he is a "better" person in a sense because the values are not just copied from the herd but really thought about and internalized.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Positive_disintegration


    EDIT: The only times I've seen anything bad happening due to peak experiences:
    1) People who drug themselves to get there. They are not able to handle it, I guess..
    2) People whose peak experience makes their belief in magical things go off the scale.


    Yeah, all this describes my experiences, except the drug part.

    In the weeks after my first and most powerful experience, I: converted to Christianity, had seemingly precognitive visions and 'magical powers'.

    After everything settled down, I had studied enough Xtian theology to decide it wasn't for me (sorry Lark). Decided my magical powers were indistinguishable from being able to better work with my subconscious. The procog is still interesting but anectodal and pretty useless to me on the practical and philosophical level.

    But even after all this I had known that something had changed in me for the positive.

    Anyway, looking forward to studying this.

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    Watts talks about magical powers and the buddhist attitude. They call them siddhi and say that if you get them, ignore them because they are obstacles to the enlightenment. You get attached to them, and they are still part of your ego.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nolla View Post
    Watts talks about magical powers and the buddhist attitude. They call them siddhi and say that if you get them, ignore them because they are obstacles to the enlightenment. You get attached to them, and they are still part of your ego.
    Yeah, I had read that when I was looking into it later on. Eventually I had looked at 'mystic' philosophies and it was striking how much they resembled each other: Buddhism, Kaballah, Sufism. They all pointed to things, showed you how to get there, but refused to explain them because words were insufficient.

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