Maybe Self-actualisation Is Life's Highest Purpose

In his book, "The road less traveled", M Scott Peck celebrates self-actualisation as life's highest purpose.  He says that "the unexamined life is not worth living". 

He also considers that if you don't believe in God then you don't stand a chance of feeling OK.  I think it is very hard to feel OK if you don't believe in God.  BUT that doesn't prove God's existance - it only suggests that our brains have evolved to run easier whilst believing in a higher power.

CrystalCat CrystalCat
41-45, F
11 Responses Dec 20, 2006

oh sry i forgot to blab some more, but ive been, for the past few years, questioning human purpose, and my purpose... and i completely agree when u say self accualisation is lifes highest purpose. cuz wat ive been pondering on and coming to the conclusion of is... we dont have any other purpose but creating our own purpose and b self fulfilled.

on a simple note from this simple person: some ppl examine their life others r drones.... the truth is, thee person who should not even be worth living is the person who is not happy.

Balanced Awareness -- YEP. Lets have a round for balanced awareness. No substitute for it. Crucial to humor, love, open-mindedness, health, wisdom & well-being for all. <br />
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(it feels strange to be conversing on crystalcat's storyboard when crystalcat is nowhere in sight--or maybe crystalcat is on a nearby branch, just watching with an occasional flick of the tail...)

So glad to have been of service, lol ;)

Call it youth or naivety, but I was very happy when I was a teen, already quite firm and steady in my stance against arguments for god's existence. The world is not a pretty place, and as I traveled, I came to know more of the world's troubles and dark corners. I don't believe belief in higher power is necessary for happiness, but will agree to an extent with Mr. Peck about self-actualization being a high purpose in life. I don't think it's the end-all-be-all purpose, as we are social creatures who require some avenues of agreement to continue existing, and while that's possible with self-actualization being the highest goal, groups would be much smaller and as a whole we would be worse-off. That's not to say self-actualized people are completely alienated from society, but it strikes me that they would have very few confidants/real friends at that level of self-attuned-awareness. I we were all like that, life might be a much lonelier experience than we would prefer. I prefer a balance of awareness.<br />
P.S. Thanks Dee for the indirect lead, saw your comment.

That's too funny.. tag, you're it!! LOL

ohmygosh, DEE--you are quick! I was sending you a link to this and a thank-U note for leading me inadvertently here--when I discover you were already one step ahead of me!! What fun...!!

Direct experience... yeah! Without direct experience, what does it all mean (all that intellect), anyways?? We have to put a fr<x>ame around what we ingest, intellectually speaking, have to have a point of reference. Otherwise words and information are nearly meaningless to us. Real learning cannot take place without a personal point of reference. I'm zeroing right in on that one point, I know.. I see this as all part of our life's journey.. one of our major purposes is to grow.. grow as individuals, learn from our experiences, achieve a higher consciousness, shift our perspectives.. without personal growth, which must be achieved from within, what would we be left with in life?<br />
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(Just some of my scattered thoughts... :)

I realize that time has elapsed since this post got started. But finding this way-station (in the land of E.P.) feels like finding a home away from home for me. So, I'm gonna jump in even tho I'm a bit late for the party! My sense is that both perspectives are right-on but from different angles of perception. <br />
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1. The unexamined life is not worth living<br />
2. I think therefore I am UNHAPPY<br />
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It depends on whether one is conducting *inquiry* from the realm of conditioned mind OR from the realm of Beingness itself. Instead of reinventing the wheel, by saying how I percieve the difference between these two doors of perception, I'll suggest a great link that elucidates the heart of this stuggle quite well: <br />
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(excerpt from a piece of writing entitled: AUTHENTIC INQUIRY)<br />
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“…In the beginning, to deeply inquire about anything, you have to care about it. You have to care enough to allow it to get inside that shell. What do you really care about? What pulls you into here and now, this minute? What is the most important thing to you? For real inquiry, it is important to be asking about something you sincerely care about. The question needs to be personal, not about a spiritual teaching or something that's outside of your experience. It needs to be something that's coming from the inside.<br />
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When you care, you care from the inside. Many people impose ideas from the outside upon themselves, but this isn't inquiry. When you really care, you enter a love affair with what you care about. Sometimes it draws you into bliss, sometimes into confusion. You don't know what to do. You don't know where you are going. You feel a bit out of control. You're letting this caring get under your skin. To find out that you care like this is the most important thing; otherwise you can spend your whole life caring about what someone else says you should care about.<br />
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When you find that kind of caring, inquiry has some power behind it. You also find your own inner integrity. You find something inside that's stable. There's a place inside you that is willing to be a little crazy--crazy enough to take inquiry seriously and hold nothing sacred. Holding nothing sacred means that nothing is assumed to be true and all of your assumptions are fair game. The more spiritual they are, the more they are fair game. Ultimately it is your most sacred and unquestioned assumptions about yourself, others, and life that are most important to question.<br />
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Many people find their spirituality taking them outward. They think they are going inward because they have heard the spiritual teaching, "Inquire and look within." Meanwhile, they are out in the stars somewhere looking for someone else's experience, looking for the right experience, or looking for the experience they believe they are supposed to have. This is spirituality going entirely in the wrong direction. Inquiry is a means of taking you back to yourself, back to your experience.”

The unexamined life is not worth living:<br />
It may seem harsh, but I think it is true- for me at least. If I decided to stop examining my life and just forget everything that I am struggling for, wouldn't that make me about as good as a zombie? Or a mindless drone? It is definitely torturous to examine the self and try to find a better way of doing things, but I will gladly choose this struggle over the nothingness of pasting a smile on my face and living like an automaton. <br />
Sorry, I didn't mean that to sound harsh, but I guess I feel pretty strongly about this stuff. Glad there is a place to talk about it. <br />

To say that the unexamined life is not worth living seems a bit harsh! I would suggest to the author that some of the most happy and well adjusted people are those who do not spend their time examining their lives, but have an intuitive harmony with their existence. :D This would not me, alas. However, one might borrow from Descartes to say 'I think, therefore I am... unhappy" :P And personally, I think that there are a larger number of people who would be *more* "ok" if they didn't believe in god, given the monumental worry given to god's will, god's purpose, god's nature, etc, etc...