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Steve Morabito
04-28-2006, 07:46 AM
Enlightenment and Self-Actualization... What is the relation between these concepts? What are the differences, similarities between these. Would a person require one to attain the other? I understand enlightenment to be related to eastern philosophy, whereas, self-actualization is the highest level of Human development as explained in the work of psychologist A. Maslow (see Maslow's Hierarchy of Human Needs). According to Maslow, in order to attain self-actualization, one must have already fulfilled certain other needs in one's life, eg,: basic survival needs, security/safety needs, social acceptance, and self esteem. It would appear that there are no such 'requirements' for enlightenment... or are there?
Thanks,
Steve

SeiserL
04-28-2006, 08:46 AM
IMHO, "self"-actualization is as you said a heirachy of "self" needs. Enlightenment is a letting go of "self".

Esaemann
04-28-2006, 09:02 AM
Amen, Lynn.

If self-esteem is part of self-actualization (just going by post), I want no part of it. Sounds too new age to me.

Although I'm certainly not as knowledgeable as some in this, I've never heard self-esteem mentioned in Tai Chi or my readings on Taoism ... which I believe have a relation to "Enlightenment".

Nick Pagnucco
04-28-2006, 10:11 AM
It would appear that there are no such 'requirements' for enlightenment... or are there?

I am sure there are social & psychological requirements for enlightenment. However, as I know little about... well, anything, I'm not going to try and say what they are ;)

As far as the requirements being a hierchy, I'm hesitant to agree with that. IIRC, modern psychology doesn't completely accept Maslow's Hierarchy any more, but I could be wrong (I'm not a psychologist).

From what I've read from aikido, I suspect the form would be much more of a spiral; a relatively short list of elements which aikido grinds down, refines, and purifies as a form of shugyo. And then it just starts over again, and what you thought you had 'fixed' is shown to still be greatly flawed.

Lord knows thats how aikido is. I remember two years ago I thought I had good balance. Now I know better. And I'm sure that several years after I think I've corrected how I use my balance, I realize I actually haven't, and find new things to work on. "Mastering" aikido technique & enlightnment are processes, not states.

Steve Morabito
04-28-2006, 11:26 AM
I suspect the form would be much more of a spiral...
Now that is very interesting. The Maslow Hierarchy is based on a triangle. hmmmmm...a spiral...that gets me thinking....
Steve

Kevin Leavitt
04-28-2006, 11:46 AM
Lynn,

Do you think you must ascend through Maslov Hierarchy (self actualization) in order to achieve enlightment. It got me to thinking. Can one be born enlightened, or can one become enlightened without actively seeking it or realizing it?

Thanks!

SeiserL
04-28-2006, 01:03 PM
Do you think you must ascend through Maslov Hierarchy (self actualization) in order to achieve enlightenment. It got me to thinking. Can one be born enlightened, or can one become enlightened without actively seeking it or realizing it?
IMHO, I don't know about "must" but I would imagine that having taken care of lower levels of development would make the higher ones more accessible. its hard to think too much about enlightenment if you are only trying to survive.

If you accept Bodhisattva, then you could be enlightened in a former life and choose to come back to help, therefore, I guess you would be born enlightened.

If "you" become enlightened and "you"know about it and "you" realize it, then there is a "you" and "you" probably aren't enlightened.

The paradox is "you" must seek it, but it will never come until "you" stop seeking.

Does this help muddy your waters any?

cck
04-28-2006, 01:08 PM
Not knowing much about Maslow, when you're a kid, aren't you at the top of the needs pyramid? I am the mother of a soon-to-be 4-year old who does not seem to be afraid; obviously, her basic needs are attended to without knowing things could be any different; she is loved, again without knowing things could be any different. So, born on top, descending with knowledge and experience - and then working your way back up? Again and again? Or is there a "shortcut"?
The realization of one's enlightenment - is that an oxymoron? If you think "Hey, I was just enlightened!", were you really?
ETA: I see Lynn just answered that one.

Mark Uttech
04-28-2006, 04:01 PM
O Sensei has been quoted as saying that "Aikido was an easy way of getting enlightened." Of course, you have to practice...

Kevin Leavitt
04-28-2006, 04:52 PM
thanks Lynn. I wanted to see if I am thinking along the same lines...I am. I will have to ponder the Boddhisattva issue some more. I always thought of it as being re-born with a greater access, or greater potential, but that you pretty much started out at the same place again. I should be studying my Dharma more than hanging out here...but oh well...there is always the next life :)

SeiserL
04-29-2006, 10:01 AM
I always thought of it as being re-born with a greater access, or greater potential, but that you pretty much started out at the same place again. I should be studying my Dharma more than hanging out here...but oh well...there is always the next life :)
IMHO, I think the most important things is that we are all personally responsible and accountable for our own learning and evolution in a direct cause and effect relationship. No one can train for us.

I don't worry about gaining enlightenment or self-actualization, I am just trying to be a better human being. When I've enjoyed the journey and knew it was the right thing to do for mutual benefit and a higher good, it always seems to work out.

Bowjamer
04-30-2006, 07:56 AM
you can get enlightened by tossing a yoyo too, mumbo jumbo

Erick Mead
04-30-2006, 09:18 PM
I always thought of it as being re-born with a greater access, or greater potential, but that you pretty much started out at the same place again. I should be studying my Dharma more than hanging out here...but oh well...there is always the next life

I don't worry about gaining enlightenment or self-actualization, I am just trying to be a better human being. When I've enjoyed the journey and knew it was the right thing to do for mutual benefit and a higher good, it always seems to work out. I'm pretty sure I am a rotten human being. Usually, I act that way. Sometimes, I just forget and do something for somebody else without any ulterior motive. I can't "try" to act that way, or my motive is insincere; at least true selfishness is still honest.

Saints and bodhisattvas just forget themselves all the time, that's all.

Cordially
Erick Mead

Lucy Smith
04-30-2006, 09:57 PM
What does IMHO mean???

SeiserL
04-30-2006, 10:04 PM
What does IMHO mean???
In My Humble Opinion

Kevin Leavitt
04-30-2006, 10:07 PM
but usually when you say it, what you really mean is In my NOT so Humble opinion...it is just a polite way of softing your opinion? :)

Pauliina Lievonen
05-01-2006, 04:52 AM
I like to use IMNSHO, if that's really what I mean. :)

kvaak
Pauliina

Mark Freeman
05-01-2006, 05:11 PM
Enlightenment and Self-Actualization... What is the relation between these concepts? What are the differences, similarities between these. Would a person require one to attain the other? I understand enlightenment to be related to eastern philosophy, whereas, self-actualization is the highest level of Human development as explained in the work of psychologist A. Maslow (see Maslow's Hierarchy of Human Needs). According to Maslow, in order to attain self-actualization, one must have already fulfilled certain other needs in one's life, eg,: basic survival needs, security/safety needs, social acceptance, and self esteem. It would appear that there are no such 'requirements' for enlightenment... or are there?
Thanks,
Steve

Steve,
I'm curious to know what level Maslow's hierarchy of need you are after fullfilling by wanting the answer to the questions you pose ;)
When I first learnt about Maslow's model. I thought about the Indian Sadhu's(sp?) holy men who give up 'everything' in their quest for enlightenment. Their actions just don't fit into Maslow's model, do they?

Are they questions that can only be answered by self actualized or enlightened beings?

I can't claim to be either, so am unable to offer to much more than un actualized un enlightened opinon or IMNSHUAUEO for the abbreviationists amongst you.

We all have daily opportunities to bring 'light' into the world, it's up to each one of us to try not to miss too many of those opportunities.

regards,

Mark

Erick Mead
05-01-2006, 06:03 PM
IMNSHUAUEO for the abbreviationists amongst you. Abbreviationists?!?!?!?! -- evileyes

HERETICS!!!

Don't just stand there! Fetch oil for the wood ... :hypno:

Fanatically yours,
Erick Mead

Mark Freeman
05-01-2006, 06:14 PM
Here Erick Reasons Every Thing Is Common Sense HERETICS? ;)

bring more oil and more wood :D

R
M

Steve Morabito
05-02-2006, 06:56 AM
Steve,
I'm curious to know what level Maslow's hierarchy of need you are after fullfilling by wanting the answer to the questions you pose ;)
When I first learnt about Maslow's model. I thought about the Indian Sadhu's(sp?) holy men who give up 'everything' in their quest for enlightenment. Their actions just don't fit into Maslow's model, do they?
Are they questions that can only be answered by self actualized or enlightened beings?
Mark,
Personally, I am not actively seeking enlightenment, although I would like to experience that. I have had some very enlightening moments, once camping in the mountains, and once in a dream. I try to become a better person outwardly toward others, and inwardly within myself...to try to be empty and lose my 'ego', if you will. For me, these attempts at self improvement are geared toward becoming self-actualized, which, I do actively seek. Now, I see what you're saying about people that give up everything, (deprivation?) to become enlightened. However, I think the way each individual develops is different. So for me, I'm thinking that I need to work to become self-actualized, and set the stage for enlightenment to simply happen. So, I'm thinking that for my own development, enlightenment might be an additional layer on top of the pyramid of Maslow's Hierarchy. I think if you asked me the same question next week, or next year, I might have a different answer. ;)
To address your other question about whether these are questions that can only be answered by self actualized or enlightened beings; I'd say we all have our own perspectives and they are valuable regardless of where we are in our own personal development.
Thanks,
Steve

Mark Freeman
05-02-2006, 11:27 AM
So, I'm thinking that for my own development, enlightenment might be an additional layer on top of the pyramid of Maslow's Hierarchy. I think if you asked me the same question next week, or next year, I might have a different answer. ;)


I think you are right about another layer being needed on top of the pyramid. Self actualisation is still on the level of identity "I" am a self actualised being. The level above or 'beyond' this is the "?" realm , the place where connectedness / oneness takes place, beyond the intellect and beyond identity. I believe there are many paths to this state that enlightenment can/might/does take place in.
Aikido is one path, and one that for me is as all encomassing as any others that I see out there.
From a global point of view, the more people that we can help out of the 'survival' level towards the levels that allow thinking beyond immediate needs, the better ( bomb them with food and clean water?? ) it will be for all of us.

My last question was a little 'tongue in cheek'. These questions can only be answered by ourselves for ourselves, although there are many out there willing to sell you the answer if only you follow them..... :crazy:

It seems to me that the jouney of self improvement for want of a better term is a life long one but one worth the effort.

from one flawed human to another,

regards
Mark

Mark Uttech
05-04-2006, 08:22 AM
people think that 'enlightenment' is some extraordinary thing. When someone (your mom, your dad) close to you dies. There is a sort of enlightenment about death. It can't be practiced; it is lived.

dps
05-06-2006, 05:43 AM
Steve,

When I first learnt about Maslow's model. I thought about the Indian Sadhu's(sp?) holy men who give up 'everything' in their quest for enlightenment. Their actions just don't fit into Maslow's model, do they?


Mark
They still need the basic needs as described by Maslow. The first level is physical needs like food and water which are instinctual and necessary for life. The higher level needs that are not needed to sustain like can be " given up" once they are able to acquire them.

dps
05-06-2006, 06:03 AM
http://philosophy.eserver.org/kant/what-is-enlightenment.txt
IMMANUEL KANT

An Answer to the Question: "What is Enlightenment?"

Konigsberg in Prussia, 30th September, 1784.


Enlightenment is man's emergence from his self-incurred immaturity. Immaturity
is the inability to use one's own understanding without the guidance of another.
This immaturity is self-incurred if its cause is not lack of understanding, but
lack of resolution and courage to use it without the guidance of another. The
motto of enlightenment is therefore: Sapere aude! Have courage to use your own
understanding!
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

http://www.experiencefestival.com/a/Awakening_vs_Enlightenment/id/74536

A metaphor appearing in the sutras is that of a glass of water containing sediments. As long as the glass is undisturbed, the sediments remain at the bottom and the water is clear. However, as soon as the glass is shaken, the water becomes turbid. Likewise, when a practitioner experiences a Great Awakening (awakens to the Way), his afflictions (greed, anger and delusion) are temporarily suppressed but not yet eliminated.



To achieve Supreme Enlightenment (i.e., to be rid of all afflictions, to discard all sediments) is the ultimate goal. Only then can he completely trust his mind and actions. Before then, he should adhere to the precepts, keep a close watch on his mind and thoughts, like a cat stalking a mouse, ready to pounce on evil thoughts as soon as they arise.



To do otherwise is to court certain failure, as stories upon stories of errant monks, roshis and gurus demonstrate.

dps
05-06-2006, 06:18 AM
Mark,
So for me, I'm thinking that I need to work to become self-actualized, and set the stage for enlightenment to simply happen. So, I'm thinking that for my own development, enlightenment might be an additional layer on top of the pyramid of Maslow's Hierarchy.
Thanks,
Steve

One of the higher levels on Maslow's triangle is Spiritual Health.
At the following link is a picture of Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs triangle.

http://www.imagineworldhealth.org/behealthy/MentalHealth/maslow.htm

Narda
05-08-2006, 09:39 AM
Before enlightenment is the understanding of Original nature. After enlightenment, awakening to an understanding of Duality.

Self realization is an internal recognition of one's Buddha nature/god self...experiencing 'unity' in a different fashion.

roosvelt
05-12-2006, 09:59 AM
Noble Eightfold Path

1. Samyag-dṛṣṭi Sammā-diṭṭhi Right Understanding / Right View / Right Perspective:

2. Samyak-saṃkalpa Sammā-saṅkappa Right Thought / Right Intention / Right Resolve / Right Aspiration

3. Samyag-vāc Sammā-vācā Right Speech

4. Samyak-karmānta Sammā-kammanta Right Action

5. Samyag-ājīva Sammā-ājīva Right Livelihood

6. Samyag-vyāyāma Sammā-vāyāma Right Effort / Right Endeavour

7. Samyak-smṛti Sammā-sati Right Mindfulness

Just copied from a web site. I'm not enlighted. I don't exactly how it works.




8. Samyak-samādhi Sammā-samādhi Right Concentration

roosvelt
05-12-2006, 10:11 AM
" To achieve Supreme Enlightenment (i.e., to be rid of all afflictions, to discard all sediments) is the ultimate goal. Only then can he completely trust his mind and actions. Before then, he should adhere to the precepts, keep a close watch on his mind and thoughts, like a cat stalking a mouse, ready to pounce on evil thoughts as soon as they arise."

I'm not qualified to comment on delitghtment. But I think the statement is not correct.

"The fifth patriarch of the Buddhist Ch'an school, which later became famous as the Zen school in Japan, had to appoint a successor. Fellow disciples encouraged Shen-hsiu, the foremost among them, to compose a poem and stake his claim.

He pinned the following to a tree: The body is the tree of awakening/The mind is like a clear mirror/Be unceasingly diligent in wiping and polishing it/So that it will be without dust. Shen-hsui used the mirror metaphor to affirm the original purity of the mind. Dust, in the form of klesa, or defilement, distorted the tathata or suchness of the mind. Daily vigilance was thus required to preserve the Buddha-nature.

At the same school was a novice monk named Hui-neng, who used to pound rice. In the middle of the night, he composed a rejoinder and pinned it next to Shen-hsiu's poem. Hui-neng wrote: Awakening entails no tree at all/Nor does the clear mirror entail any material frame/The Buddha-nature is essentially pure/Where could there be any dust?

The fifth Patriarch recognised the genius of the rice-pounder. Hui-neng had negated the assumption of the 'self' in bodhi or awakening. If indeed Buddha-nature is clear and bright, should the person not see through the duality of ignorance and enlightenment, defilement and purity?'

There is a big diffference between "kill evil thought" and "purify your thought such that there is no evil thought".

Narda
05-15-2006, 08:52 AM
It is pretty simple: have faith in the precepts, and practice them. Or, to put it another way, stuck in samsara you can't think your way to perfection...you have to work at it.

George S. Ledyard
05-23-2006, 01:09 PM
Lynn,

Do you think you must ascend through Maslov Hierarchy (self actualization) in order to achieve enlightment. It got me to thinking. Can one be born enlightened, or can one become enlightened without actively seeking it or realizing it?

Thanks!
Hi Kevin,
Traditional Buddhism had a term for people who were spontaneously Enlightened without actually following the path of Buddhism. They were called Pratyeka Buddhas (I can't remeber what the Sanskrit literally meant).

Usually this unusual occurrence would be explained as the result of many past life times of spiritual achievement so that, in a sense one could still say that one did need to go through some sort of gradual process, moving up the hierarchy so to speak, to get to the point at which one was ready to understand.

Later Buddhism, especially Zen, tended to downplay the progression idea and focus on Enlightenment in the immediate. In what became the Rinzai Zen approach, Sudden Enlightenment became one of the core concepts. It focused on the idea that, since we are all Enlightened already and only ignorance of this fact stands between us and this realization it is possible to simply "let go" of our illusions in any instant.

The Soto Zen folks eschewed any emphasis on gradation or hierarchy at all. Once again, since we are all already Enlightened (this is part of pretty much all Mahayana Buddhism) Dogen, the most famous exponent of Soto Zen, emphasized shikan taza or "just sitting". He felt that simply sitting with ones complete attention WAS Enlightenment.

O-Sensei's view on this, to the extent that I understand it would have a little of each. Misogi or purification has a bit of the graded process in it. One gets increasingly purified through practice and thereby becoming increasingly aligned with the Will of the Kami.

But also we have the concept of Katsu Hayabi which is sometimes translated as "instant victory". In the martial, technical sense this means that we have won an encounter at the instant of contact. But in the spiritual sense it seems to be similar to the Rinzai concept of sudden Enlightenment in which you can choose to let go of your "stuff" in this very instant. So the victory would be victory over ones false self.

O-Sensei's view, as near as I can tell, of what Aikido practice should be is that it is similar to how Dogen saw "just sitting". The doing of Aikido technique with full attention would on some level manifest the Divine Principles and put one in accord with the Will of the Kami. If one actually managed to attain a "perfect" technique, I think that would mean that one was by definition Enlightened. Anyway, that's my understanding of the issue.

Erick Mead
05-23-2006, 03:19 PM
O-Sensei's view on this, to the extent that I understand it would have a little of each. Misogi or purification has a bit of the graded process in it. One gets increasingly purified through practice and thereby becoming increasingly aligned with the Will of the Kami.
But also we have the concept of Katsu Hayabi which is sometimes translated as "instant victory". In the martial, technical sense this means that we have won an encounter at the instant of contact. But in the spiritual sense it seems to be similar to the Rinzai concept of sudden Enlightenment in which you can choose to let go of your "stuff" in this very instant. So the victory would be victory over ones false self.
O-Sensei's view, as near as I can tell, of what Aikido practice should be is that it is similar to how Dogen saw "just sitting". The doing of Aikido technique with full attention would on some level manifest the Divine Principles and put one in accord with the Will of the Kami. If one actually managed to attain a "perfect" technique, I think that would mean that one was by definition Enlightened. Anyway, that's my understanding of the issue. On these points, I cannot recommend highly enough David Valadez's re-translation of O-Sensei's "Kannagra no Jutsu" posted in the Columns section this month. If anyone here has not already read it, you should -- several times, at least. I know I have and will continue to do so.

Cordially,
Erick Mead

Kevin Leavitt
05-23-2006, 04:11 PM
Thanks for the reply George! Great info.