The Creative Spirit Of The Self-Actualizer

This quote from Abraham Maslow describes the creative spirit of the self-actualizer. As I see it, anyone one who is doing something they love, or even something the don’t, but who does it in present time is a creative person and in those moments, he or she is self-actualized.

For example, when you “wash the dishes to wash the dishes,” as Sunryu Suzuki Roshi says, you are being self-actualized in that moment.

Abraham Maslow“I had unconsciously confined creativeness to certain conventional areas only of human endeavor, unconsciously assuming that any painter, any poet, any composer was leading a creative life. Theorists, artists, scientists, inventors, writers could be creative. Nobody else could be. Unconsciously I had assumed that creativeness was the prerogative solely of certain professionals.

But these expectations were broken up by various of my subjects. For instance, one woman, uneducated, poor, a full-time housewife and mother, did none of these conventionally creative things and yet was a marvelous cook, mother, wife and homemaker. With little money, her home was somehow always beautiful. She was a perfect hostess. Her meals were banquets. Her taste in linens, silver, glass, crockery and furniture was impeccable. She was in all these areas original, novel, ingenious, unexpected, inventive. I just had to call her creative. I learned from her and others like her that a first-rate soup is more creative than a second-rate painting, and that, generally, cooking or parenthood or making a home could be creative while poetry need not be; it could be uncreative….

From another man I learned that constructing a business organization could be a creative activity. From a young athlete, I learned that a perfect tackle could be as esthetic a product as a sonnet and could be approached with the same creative spirit.”
~ Abraham Maslow from Toward a Psychology of Being

Maybe Maslow’s ideas of self-actualization, which is the cornerstone of his writings and teachings, actually apply to people who practice mindfulness meditation. Does mindfulness meditation promote or cultivate self-actualization? How so? If not, why not? What is the relationship between a self-actualized person and an experienced meditator?

Books by Abraham Maslow

Toward a Psychology of Being

Abraham H. Maslow

This book is a continuation of my Motivation and Personality, published in 1954. It was constructed in about the same way, that is, by doing one piece at a time of the larger theoretical structure. It is a predecessor to work yet to be done toward the construction of a comprehensive, systematic and … [Read More…]

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