Abraham Maslow (1908–1970) was a prominent American psychologist whose name is famous today for one of his legacy work: the hierarchy of needs.
This tool is relatively simple and illustrates the idea that there is a hierarchy of needs in human life and that, somehow, we can only truly attend to each level once we have mastered the levels below.
Although this is a tool introduced in the domain of psychology, it translates very well if we put a spiritual lens on.
In this pyramidal model, the idea is that man progresses throughout his life from the lower levels to the highest. It starts at the level of bodily survival and culminates at the level of self-actualisation. That final stage can be loosely likened to spiritual enlightenment in the sense that is is the moment when one has truly reached its full potential.
Here are more details about each layer (from bottom to top):
A parallel can also be made with the chronological stages of life:
Maslow’s pyramid is not a perfect model, but it touches on some universal truth that we can all feel: we need to sort out some fundamental aspects of our life before we even get the possibility to become aware that there is more to life. Each of the 5 stages in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs has its own lessons that must be mastered before progressing further ahead.
So take a moment to reflect upon this: where do you think you are, at this moment in your life, on your way up the pyramid?
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