Maslow & self-transcendance

For the longest time since internet became really very much a thing towards the end of the 2000s; there were memes coming up about the additional layers within Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. So before food, shelter and health stuff, comes wifi and below that, battery power. Yes that seemed like the experience of a typical millennial.

Today, I’m musing about what is on top and it is typically labelled ‘self-actualisation’ but as Matt Davis would cover in this article, Maslow himself discovered a different pinnacle that we are all yearning towards. To some extent, this concept of self-transcendance is a bit complex and there’s a lot of spiritual considerations but I think the better description is what was first described by Victor Frankl and recorded in the APA Dictionary of Psychology:

The state in which an individual is able to look beyond himself or herself and adopt a larger perspective that includes concern for others. Some psychologists maintain that self-transcendence is a central feature of the healthy individual, promoting personal growth and development.

So basically the idea of promoting and looking to serve the needs of others rather than just oneself. To expand ones’ circle of care and concern beyond just oneself. I find it remarkable as a Christian, that at the end of the day, our deepest, greatest need extends in a large part for much more than ourselves.