Humans are very different, in contrast to other living beings in the world in many ways. Except for humans, survival and procreation seem to be the paramount goal of all other living entities. Being a biological entity, humans too have a very strong urge to survive and fulfill the basic needs of food, clothing, shelter.
As a consequence of the robust survival instinct, we, as a species, are guilty of the extinction of many life forms from the Earth. But surprisingly, even when the basic survival needs are addressed, we continue our efforts, rather vehemently, to get more of what it already has. But the excess of food, clothes, or cars and jewelry is unable to make us happier or content. Au Contraire human greed and anxiety increases exponentially. Happiness, peace and joy remain a distant dream despite all materialistic achievements.
This anomaly intrigued the Russian born Jewish psychologist Abraham Maslow. He pondered over the meaning of life. And ultimately his intense research and analyses led to the development of what came to be known as the “Maslow’s Pyramid of Needs” (1). His revelation was avant-garde, offering novel insights into the psychology of human needs.
According to Maslow’s theory, human needs can be categorised into basic material needs and a higher psychological need. The material needs comprising the physiological needs (food, clothing, rest) and safety needs (security and protection) form the two bottom rungs of the pyramid, respectively. The top three rungs of the pyramid in that order are the need for love, need for esteem and the apex being self-actualisation. The trio constitutes the psychological needs, which are absent in other life forms. The ultimate bliss, compassion, and joy can be experienced when one transcends beyond the physiological realm and ascends the psychological apex.
Abraham Maslow did not intend to belittle the importance of physiological needs. He stressed that any higher access in the pyramid is possible only on the satisfaction of the lower two rungs. The material and the psychological needs complement each other and cannot exist individually. Self-actualised individuals lose their ego and identity to become a part of everything in the universe (the flora, fauna, rivers, forest, mountains.)
Today still, millions are not in a position to satisfy the needs of the bottom of this pyramid. Greed and short-sightedness in managing corporations contribute to inequalities throughout the world and the further plundering of our planet.
As observed by Spalding, once at the apex of the pyramid, a man realizes, his true ‘being’ replete with unbounded possibilities, powers and expanse (2). That is the purpose of human life, to identify with the universal consciousness and endeavour for the well-being and uplifting of every living being.
Every leader and government head are called to take action to initiate a shift towards a long time perspective, to ponder their decisions and to wisely evaluate the impact of their actions for the current and next generations. A new generation of leaders is needed. Leaders leading with Wisdom, Clarity and Knowledge.
Athena Wisdom Institute AG, with due reverence to the self-actualized stage, and based on Ancient wisdom of universal consciousness, has initiated development programs for a sustainable shift in the economy and society, aimed at the well-being of all, including our planet. We invite business and social leaders to join in this initiative and lead the world from ‘Struggle’ to ‘Blissful Living’.