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Old 04-28-2006, 06:46 AM   #1
Steve Morabito
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Enlightenment and Self-Actualization

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
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Old 04-28-2006, 07:46 AM   #2
SeiserL
 
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Re: Enlightenment and Self-Actualization

IMHO, "self"-actualization is as you said a heirachy of "self" needs. Enlightenment is a letting go of "self".

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
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Old 04-28-2006, 08:02 AM   #3
Esaemann
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Re: Enlightenment and Self-Actualization

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".
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Old 04-28-2006, 09:11 AM   #4
Nick Pagnucco
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Re: Enlightenment and Self-Actualization

Quote:
Steve Morabito wrote:
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.
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Old 04-28-2006, 10:26 AM   #5
Steve Morabito
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Re: Enlightenment and Self-Actualization

Quote:
Nicholas Pagnucco wrote:
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
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Old 04-28-2006, 10:46 AM   #6
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: Enlightenment and Self-Actualization

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!
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Old 04-28-2006, 12:03 PM   #7
SeiserL
 
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Re: Enlightenment and Self-Actualization

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote:
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?

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
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Old 04-28-2006, 12:08 PM   #8
cck
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Re: Enlightenment and Self-Actualization

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.
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Old 04-28-2006, 03:01 PM   #9
Mark Uttech
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Re: Enlightenment and Self-Actualization

O Sensei has been quoted as saying that "Aikido was an easy way of getting enlightened." Of course, you have to practice...
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Old 04-28-2006, 03:52 PM   #10
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Re: Enlightenment and Self-Actualization

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
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Old 04-29-2006, 09:01 AM   #11
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Re: Enlightenment and Self-Actualization

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote:
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.

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
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Old 04-30-2006, 06:56 AM   #12
Bowjamer
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Re: Enlightenment and Self-Actualization

you can get enlightened by tossing a yoyo too, mumbo jumbo
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Old 04-30-2006, 08:18 PM   #13
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Re: Enlightenment and Self-Actualization

Quote:
Lynn Seiser wrote:
Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote:
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
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Old 04-30-2006, 08:57 PM   #14
Lucy Smith
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Re: Enlightenment and Self-Actualization

What does IMHO mean???
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Old 04-30-2006, 09:04 PM   #15
SeiserL
 
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Re: Enlightenment and Self-Actualization

Quote:
Lucy Smith wrote:
What does IMHO mean???
In My Humble Opinion

Lynn Seiser PhD
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We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
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Old 04-30-2006, 09:07 PM   #16
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: Enlightenment and Self-Actualization

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?
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Old 05-01-2006, 03:52 AM   #17
Pauliina Lievonen
 
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Re: Enlightenment and Self-Actualization

I like to use IMNSHO, if that's really what I mean.

kvaak
Pauliina
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Old 05-01-2006, 04:11 PM   #18
Mark Freeman
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Re: Enlightenment and Self-Actualization

Quote:
Steve Morabito wrote:
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

Success is having what you want. Happiness is wanting what you have.
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Old 05-01-2006, 05:03 PM   #19
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Re: Enlightenment and Self-Actualization

Quote:
Mark Freeman wrote:
IMNSHUAUEO for the abbreviationists amongst you.
Abbreviationists?!?!?!?! --

HERETICS!!!

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

Fanatically yours,
Erick Mead
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Old 05-01-2006, 05:14 PM   #20
Mark Freeman
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Re: Enlightenment and Self-Actualization

Here Erick Reasons Every Thing Is Common Sense HERETICS?

bring more oil and more wood

R
M

Success is having what you want. Happiness is wanting what you have.
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Old 05-02-2006, 05:56 AM   #21
Steve Morabito
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Re: Enlightenment and Self-Actualization

Quote:
Mark Freeman wrote:
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
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Old 05-02-2006, 10:27 AM   #22
Mark Freeman
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Re: Enlightenment and Self-Actualization

Quote:
Steve Morabito wrote:
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.....

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

Success is having what you want. Happiness is wanting what you have.
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Old 05-04-2006, 07:22 AM   #23
Mark Uttech
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Re: Enlightenment and Self-Actualization

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.
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Old 05-06-2006, 04:43 AM   #24
dps
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Re: Enlightenment and Self-Actualization

Quote:
Mark Freeman wrote:
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.
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Old 05-06-2006, 05:03 AM   #25
dps
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Re: Enlightenment and Self-Actualization

http://philosophy.eserver.org/kant/w...ightenment.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/...nment/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.
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