Sunday, August 14, 2011

WHAT DOES A WHOLE HUMAN BEING LOOK LIKE?

AND HOW TO BECOME ONE! ---- I wandered away for a few days to Santa Fe for a movie "fix": (Cowboys and Aliens--2 and a half stars---Rise of the Planet of the Apes---4 stars---Captain America --2 stars) --Began reflecting on the above questions----decided to pursue the answers by returning to Tierra Amarilla, NM to chat again with Paul Namkung---A living example. The landscape enroute is a joy to pass through--will show more of it later. It is Georgia Okeefe (famous artist) country--where she lived and worked. That's Ghost Ranch ahead on the right.

Down there is the little village I'm header for.

It made National news once as the focus of land grant fights---google Reies Lopez Tijerina for the full story. (still alive--and returned recently for a visit)

It's Saturday and again musicians work their magic.

Afterwards, some impromptu fun ---Lovely lady does the hoop--with amazing skill.


Then a second lady joins in with new tricks.

I gave it a shot----aaahhh wellll!


But here's what I came for----Paul sits down for another session---what I want to know is more about his "personality path"----what choices or experiences help nudge a person up the scale of being. About one person in a hundred becomes SELF ACTUALIZED---exhibits the quality of creative aliveness. (Want to know more?----scroll down---I have condensed Maslow's study of "whole" people---see how you stack up against the best that humanity has to offer---you may be higher than you think. I will also point to some role models. )

Paul is a delight to chat with---tells great stories----He is the eldest child---was a lifelong maverick, lover of music, fun and creative challenges. His interest were so broad that he neglected for a long time settling down to a career. Eventually became a social worker, couselor, program initiator. Along the way he built a house in the forest, raised pigs, chickens and rabbits, invented, manufactured, sold his drums and then settled here and started this coffeehouse. Says he's learned to enjoy the processes of life rather than end products.
RANDY PHILOSOPHIZES: As open and responsive as he was, I still come away not understanding why some people climb high on the ladder of being and most don't. I don't want to believe that it's genes but maybe it is. I speculate that a long series of tiny choices---small moments of curiosity/ creativity /courage build on each other---opening door after door of new experience / insight----making subsequent moments of them easier and more fun----activating a feedback loop--a self-enhancing spiral--- upwards---like evolution-- that may last a lifetime and giving to the world a polished, exciting, contributing personality. But I'm guessing! Perhaps my readers have a theory that explains advanced personalities.

Here are a few personalities, fictional and real that I think illustrate self actualization:

Zorba the Greek (movie)
Gus McCrae--(movie--Lonesome Dove)
Benjamin Franklin
Voltaire
Warren Buffet (see what he said today in the NY Times)

Below, I have summarized Abraham Maslow's study of "whole" people.

CHARACTERISTICS OF SELF-ACTUALIZED PEOPLE

1. HAVE MORE EFFICIENT PERCEPTION
Unusual ability to detect the spurious, the fake, dishonesty in personality
In general, to judge people correctly and efficiently.
They can see reality more clearly.
2. ARE NOT FRIGHTENED BY THE UNKNOWN
Tolerate, even enjoy ambiguity

3. ACCEPT THEMSELVES AND OTHERS
Self - A relative lack of overriding guilt, crippling shame and severe anxiety
They accept their own human nature in stoic style, their shortcomings and discrepancies.
Others - They also accept others with their shortcomings and discrepancies.

4. ENJOY THEMSELVES WITHOUT SHAME

5. LACK DEFENSIVENESS AND POSE
Distaste for guile, hypocrisy, front, face

6. EXPRESS SPONTANEITY - SIMPLICITY - NATURALNESS

7. ARE MOTIVATED BY AN URGE TO GROW (Versus deficiency motivation)
Living vs. preparing to live
They don’t strive, they develop
They attempt to grow to perfection - to develop more and more fully their own style.

8. FOCUS ON PROBLEMS OUTSIDE THEMSELVES
They are problem-centered rather than ego-centered.
They usually have some mission in life.

9. HAVE THE QUALITY OF DETACHMENT
They remain unruffled, undisturbed by that which produces turmoil in others.
They find it easy to be aloof, reserved, calm, serene.
They take personal misfortune without reacting violently.
They are more objective and therefore can concentrate better.
They don’t need others in the ordinary sense.
They are self-governing, self-disciplined.
They are the deciding agent rather than a pawn.
They have more free will.

10. HAVE A GREATER NEED FOR PRIVACY

11. ARE MORE INDEPENDENT OF CULTURE AND ENVIRONMENT

12. HAVE A CONTINUED FRESHNESS OF APPRECIATION
They count their blessings.

13. HAVE HAD A MYSTIC EXPERIENCE (a peak experience)
These are experiences, usually brief, of limitless horizons opening up to the vision.
The feeling of being simultaneously more powerful and more helpless than ever.
The feeling of great ecstasy, wonder, awe.
The loss of placing in time and space.
The conviction that something extremely important and valuable has happened so that
One is to some extent transformed and strengthened.

14. HAVE DEEPER FEELINGS OF IDENTIFICATION, SYMPATHY AND AFFECTION.
Despite occasional anger, impatience, disgust.

15. DESIRE TO HELP THE HUMAN RACE.

16. HAVE DEEPER, MORE PROFOUND INTERPERSONAL RELATIONS.
Capable of more fusion, greater love, more perfect identification.
Especially deep ties with fewer people
Circle of friends rather small

17. ARE DEMOCRATIC
Are friendly with anyone with suitable character, regardless of class, education, or race

18. CAN DISCRIMINATE BETWEEN MEANS AND ENDS, GOOD AND EVIL
They are clear in themselves though often their notions of right and wrong are not the
conventional ones.

19. ARE PHILOSOPHICAL

20. HAVE A NON-HOSTILE SENSE OF HUMOR

21. ARE CREATIVE

22. ARE RESISTANT TO ENCULTURATION
They transcend any particular culture.

9 comments:

Wayne (Wirs) said...

Randy, you said, "I still come away not understanding why some people climb high on the ladder of being and most don't."

But I think you already have the answer. Again from your post, "Says he's learned to enjoy the processes of life rather than end products."

Since he enjoys the processes, he's not trying to win, and more importantly, he's not afraid to lose or fail. It's the process, not the results.

It's the living of life that makes life worth living.

John X said...

Randy, thanks for these two posts about Paul.

I've linked to your posts from my blog.

Anonymous said...

Religious indoctrination not only instills fear, uncertainty, and doubt, but creates a life that is only temporary where we wait for the ultimate reward.

Religion creates no motivation to better yourself in the short time we have, as there is perpetual and infinite perfection only a short lifetime away.

Michael said...

Daniel Goleman wrote Emotional Intelligence and Social Intelligence. There may be a huge correlation with the points in the books and what's going on in your interviewees head.

Spokes... said...

"Most men, even in this comparatively free country, through mere ignorance and mistake, are so occupied with the factitious cares and superfluously coarse labors of life that its finer fruits cannot be plucked by them"

Thoreau

Desert Diva said...

"I lurk - therefore I am." As much as I hate to admit it, I'm liking your posts of late Randy! ;-)

Susan said...

HI,

I found your blog via the Cheap RV Living site. What a life you are living. I hope to be on the road in a couple of years, seeing this beautiful country, meeting people like Paul, meeting fellow vandwellers and philosopy minded folk. Just wanted to say "thanks" for sharing your story.

Susan

Susan said...

P.S. I love your profile description "ABOUT ME". It resonates. It does help to share our "adventures", you never know who will be encouraged. Someone like me, for instance. Happy Travels!
Susan

Anonymous said...

Great post, Randy. Is it wrong of me to compare myself to this list and try to internally justify how I am self-actualized? Ha. It shows I'm not there yet.

Keep up the great posts.

Jason