By Alex Vikoulov
"What is necessary to change a person is to change his awareness of himself."
Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs has served as the foundation for understanding human motivation since it was first published in 1943 as part of "A Theory of Human Motivation" in Psychological Review. The hierarchy, presented in pyramid form, is often given as an introduction to human psychology and widely accepted as a representation about what humans need from life, and in what order they need it. However, contrary to popular belief, Maslow's hierarchy is incomplete, asserts a transformative psychologist Nichol Bradford from San Francisco. Later in his life, after the hierarchy had been published, Maslow began work on a final stage of human motivation. Self-actualization was not the pinnacle of individual human achievement, but rather Self-Transcendence. Not an elevation of the self, but a subverting of it.
This gives us the whole new perspective on human psychology itself. Achieving self-actualization means resting comfortably inside the boundaries of human psychology -- accomplishing what is knowable and testable -- while Self-Transcendence means pushing far beyond them, exceeding their totality, overflowing. When you become aware of not only your own potential, but you become aware of the potential of humanity at large, the unity of all things. Once you have a higher purpose in life, you can effortlessly tap into your "flow state," the state of peak experience and joy. Whether through deep meditation, psychedelic depersonalization, altruistic self-denial, or more recently through transformative technologies and technological mediation in general, expanding beyond self-fulfillment could well be the ultimate stage of human evolutionary development.*
*Abridged excerpt from "The Syntellect Hypothesis: Five Paradigms of the Mind's Evolution" by Alex M. Vikoulov
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Our most clearly defined technological path toward Self-Transcendence lies through the Cybernetic Singularity, the merger of humanity and technology which have always been co-evolving partners. Throughout human history, we created tools that increased our individual and collective intelligence and became extensions of our natural selves, our "exoskeleton," the extended phenotype of our species. Integrating hardware and software into the flesh and brains represents an existential opportunity to overcome our physical limitations, to transcend our human biology.
As estimated by surveyed experts in the fields of Artificial Intelligence, Cybernetics and Nanotechnology, by 2030, we might have Cloud-connected hybrid brains, by the end of the 2030s, our thinking may be almost entirely non-biological and able to function much like an external hard drive -- exocortex -- having the ability to backup and retrieve information from the Cloud. With genetic engineering, nanotech and cybernetic advancements, we'll first enhance our biological forms and then eventually phase them out.
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Tags: self-transcendence, transcendence, self-awareness, Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, human psychology, human motivation, transformative technology, self-actualization, psychedelic depersonalization, Abraham Maslow, Nichol Bradford, cybernetic singularity, cybernetics, ai, nanotechnology, genetic engineering, neo-transcendentalism
*Image Credit: Shutterstock, Fotolia
About the Author:
Alex Vikoulov is an evolutionary cyberneticist, digital philosopher, futurist, founder of Ecstadelic Media, painter, essayist, media commentator, author of "The Syntellect Hypothesis: Five Paradigms of the Mind's Evolution," "The Origins of Us: Evolutionary Emergence and The Omega Point Cosmology," "The Physics of Time: D-Theory of Time & Temporal Mechanics," "The Intelligence Supernova: Essays on Cybernetic Transhumanism, The Simulation Singularity & The Syntellect Emergence," "Theology of Digital Physics: Phenomenal Consciousness, The Cosmic Self & The Pantheistic Interpretation of Our Holographic Reality," "NOOGENESIS: Computational Biology." Self-described neo-transcendentalist, cosmist, transhumanist singularitarian. Lives in Burlingame, California (San Francisco Bay Area). More Bio...
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