06
Jun
13

Meta-needs and species being

Interested in ideas that all this ‘magic’ is not supernatural but is about an enhanced relationship with what is ‘natural’ to human beings. This from Nevill Drury, Exploring the Labyrinth: Makng a Sense of the New Spirituality (New York: Continuum, 1999):

‘Maslow acknowledged… that when the basic needs were met in a human being, newer and ‘higher’ needs would then emerge. Individuals whose basic needs were met would in all likelihood develop what Maslow called ‘meta-needs’ or needs related to one’s sense of being… For Maslow, these higher, more aesthetic needs – encompassing such issues as the quest for truth, beauty, intuition, and transcendence -were as important to the human organism as the more tangible physiological considerations associated with physical survival…

“Not only is man part of Nature, and it part of him, but also he must be at least minimally isomorphic with Nature in order to be viable in it. It has evolved him. His communion with what transcends him therefore need not be defined as non-natural or supernatural. It may be seen as a ‘biological’ experience” (Maslow, Toward a Psychology of Being)

..the ‘highest’ experience ever described, the joyful fusion with the ultimate that we can conceive, can be seen simultaneously as the deepest experience of our ultimate personal animality and specieshood, as the acceptance of our profound biological nature as isomorphic with Nature in general’

Not a big fan of Jung, but Drury notes that in his conception of mythical archetypes there is also an understanding of them as a symbolic expressipn of ‘the constantly repeated experiences of humanity’, such as seeing the sun ‘One of the commonest and at the same time most impressive experiences is the apparent movement of the sun every day’ (Jung, Two Essays in Ana;ytical Psychology)

As Drury summarises, ‘the arcehtype may take the form of an anthropomorphic rendition of a force in Nature. Its potency derives from the fact that the observation of the Sun’s movement constitutes one of the universal, fundamental experiences of existence, and is something which humans cannot change, a power beyond our manipulation. The Sun becomes an object of veneration, and mystically one of a number of archetypes with which to identiy in religious or ritual acts of transcendence’

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