Friday, August 26, 2016

Microstory 395: Self-actualization

Click here for a list of every step.

No one has come up to me and asked what self-actualization is, but I’m going to tell you anyway. Rather, I’m going to do my best at interpreting this Wikipedia article on the subject I have pulled up here in this other tab. It would seem that self-actualization, which is the highest level of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, is less a goal that it is a state. Self-actualization is the culmination of everything good that makes you who you are. To reach this state, you have to understand what kind of person you are, and how others see you. You have to know what you like, and what you don’t like, and how you should change or adapt. You have to let go of your hangups and biases and presumptions and hatred and pessimism and selfishness and greed and, most importantly, your ego. You have to be comfortable with where you are in life, you have to care for others, you have to be honest and reliable, and you have to always give it your best effort. You have to be clear, accepting, understanding, loving, loyal, brave, and compassionate. You have to be self-reliant but helpful to others, intelligent but respectful, thoughtful but spontaneous, prepared by flexible, confident but interested. You have to have a sense of wonder. You have to be able to accept that not everything is in your control, and that not everything will go according to plan. You have to be good. It’s important to recognize that self-actualization is not an end. When you reach enlightenment, and ascend to a higher plane of existence, that’s your end...that is, assuming your spiritual beliefs do not preclude such a thing. It’s very possible to reach a state of self-actualization, but then drop from it, whether by your own hand, or unavoidable complications. This is, not completely, but mostly, another way of describing life itself, except that it must be morally good. You’re always going to have to work at life, and it will always disappoint you. Some psychologists even say that we reach certain peaks of self-actualization all the time. It’s all just a crazy mix of circumstance (read: luck), effort, attitude, introspection, and critical observation. There’s a difference between being self-actualized, and just operating on the notion that you’re pretty swell. This step is not the last. It’s more of a beginning.

Transhumanism I

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