Maslow's Hierarchy and the Nature of God
Abraham Harold Maslow was an American psychologist who was best known for creating Maslow's hierarchy of needs, a theory of psychological health predicated on fulfilling innate human needs in priority, culminating in self-actualization.
Maslow's Nature of God
Abraham Maslow was a psychologist who was extensively interested in human behavior and motivation. As a result, he created his "Hierarchy of Needs" as a theory to explain how humans progress in their personal growth.
On the same token, the nature of god is similar in thought as Maslow's Needs as we see our beliefs explain how we are to grow spiritually in god.
What is god? It is a mystery, but like the Hierarchy of Needs, we can understand the motivation and foundation of the nature of god in order to explain the progress of spiritual growth.
This article will try and chunk Maslow's hierarchy with more emphasis on the nature of god rather than the individual steps in their own detailed descriptions.
As to not confuse readers, the word "god" will describe Life Itself: How we live, our interactions, how we relate to others, and our self-interpretations of life, outside, and inner wisdom we use to apply to our everyday lives.
Physiological and Safety Needs
“When we are talking about god, we are talking in translation. All experiences, words, and all else will not be able to describe the nature of all reality.” Aaron White
The purpose of Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs describes human motivational behavior from its most basic level such as food and shelter to more abstract such as belonging and relationships to self-actualization.
Physiology and safety
Maslow says that our first and most basic primal instinct of human motivation is our physiological needs and safety.
The nature of god, as described above, is the foundation, spark, and essence of reality. It is embedded in us and we cannot separate ourselves from this foundation. It is our essencial need as human beings to live as part of god.
We cannot live apart from life itself. We are a part of life. We are life itself; aka, we are god.
In Maslow's hierarchy, the foundation of our lives is food, shelter, and water. Without these things we cannot survive. It is the basic foundation of all humans and animals.
So is god.
God is the earth and all spirits and everything. He is the controlling force of differing colors within our hearts. God is mysterious and powerful. He keeps the spark in everything and everyone. ~UU Children's definitions of god.
Belonging and Esteem
Maslow mentions we need belonging and esteem. As humans, we have the natural instinct to know unconsciously that we want to be taken care of. We are social animals; and, like babies and their mothers, we tend to gravitate to find our "parents".
Now, as adults, we slowly break connection with our biological parents. Our instinct without a connection, family, spouse, environment, etc we die. Consequently, we try and find our self by meditation and mystic experience. Whether we attribute this source from outside or inside these experiences differ by each person. However, the nature of god is that of belonging and esteem.
The force, spirit, essence, mystery, in other words Life Itself is the sense of belonging and love. It hiddens our self-esteem in self growth.
"At once other (and “higher”) needs emerge and these, rather than physiological hungers, dominate the organism. And when these in turn are satisfied, again new (and still “higher”) needs emerge and so on. This is what we mean by saying that the basic human needs are organized into a hierarchy of relative prepotency" (Maslow, 1943, p. 375).
The idea of transcendence is to separate body/ego and spirit/identity in god-centered religions. The idea is that we go beyond what will die to experience the essence or core of Life Itself.
We cannot have self-actualization unless our physiological needs met. A lot of us believe that the body is a shell and we, our identities, are spirit. As a result, we need a "parent" to take care of our shell until we depart from it and transcend in spirit.
In other words, to live a wholesome and purposeful life, we need to shed ego from sense of self. We reflect and smile when we grow an interconnection with life, others, and environment.
When we go above or within, we live a full life that we had from our childhood when concepts of god were fresh in our minds. Our concepts have migrated and matured from needing a biological parent to a spiritual one.
The relationship between god and self strengthens us in wisdom when we understand god theory as well as in spirit. As we take care of our bodies, we also take care of our minds and spirit.
This is Maslow's point when he studied human behavior and motivation.
How do we fulfill our natural needs to transcend the spirit towards self actualization?