Before we had the knowledge we have today, people believed in the inherent wickedness of human nature and the need to keep it in check. We know now that human nature is neither ‘good’ nor ‘bad’. The biological purpose of human nature is to maintain life, not destroy it. The real issue is how the process of upbringing and education results in the formation of a person’s character which can be described in terms of ‘good’ if it wants to maintain life and ‘bad’ if it wants to destroy it.
A Biosocial Perspective of the Nature of the Human Personality or 'Human Nature'
"The future happiness of humankind depends on the universal understanding of human nature in terms of human needs for complete human development." (Abraham Maslow)
The human species is a social species, the human organism is a social organism, the human brain is a social brain and human nature is a social or moral nature. The social nature or 'humanness' of human nature can be defined in terms of the integrated functioning of human aspirations, impulses, feelings, emotions, thoughts, volitions, reasoning capacities, beliefs and so on in conjunction with intrinsic motives for behaviour, the human 'instincts', 'drives' or 'desires' which be called 'needs' because psychopathology results if they are not fulfilled. Normal psychological growth and development involves interaction with optimal environmental conditions. If conditions are not conducive to proper growth then the result is abnormal and does not define human nature.
Unity of personality or 'personality integration' results from the organism’s intrinsic striving for steady-state equilibrium which is required for global perception, complete cognition and accurate evaluation necessary for effective social adaptability and self-preservation. Since it interacts with the forces of a changing social environment human nature can be considered as a multidimensional open natural system which can be understood from the perspective of the 'systems approach' or 'systems thinking' of systems theory, a characteristic of the science of wholeness or 'holistic science'. A system acquires qualitatively new irreducible properties ('emergent properties') which emerge as a result of the interconnectedness between the various parts of the whole system. The characteristic emergent property which defines human nature is development of the intrinsic potential for consciousness of moral or 'spiritual' values... moral consciousness or 'conscience'. Rational humanistic conscience is the source of moral intelligence, 'creative intelligence' or 'social intelligence' which allows for socialisation, communication and cooperation required for the continued survival of the human species.
"Creativeness, spontaneity, self-hood, authenticity, caring for others, being able to love, yearning for truth, are embryonic potentialities belonging to man's species-membership as much as his arms and legs and brain and eyes. This is not a contradiction to the data already amassed which show clearly that living in a family and in a culture are absolutely necessary to actualize what already exists in the embryo. The culture is sun, food and water. The child is the seed." (Maslow Toward a Psychology of Being)
The aim of human life is the unfolding of human powers according to the laws of development of the human personality or 'human nature'. A scientific study of the nature of human nature involves a holistic view of the human organism as a social organism with a social nature... a 'psycho-socio-biological' study of human development within a multi-dimensional framework. The human organism is a genetic, physiological, psychological and spiritual being in a given semantic, familial, social, political, cultural and historical context and human nature is a function of complete human development... development of the 'mature mind'. (The 'immature mind' is the product of arrested development and does not represent the true nature of human nature). Maturity of the human mind is characterised by a philosophical sense of the whole or 'holistic perception' which depends on fulfillment of psychological motives for behaviour or 'human needs'.. both the basic needs for security and self-esteem or 'ego needs' and the so-callled 'higher' psychological needs for moral or 'spiritual' growth and awareness of those values which insure social cooperation required for human survival... the human 'social values'... 'moral values', 'spiritual values' or 'metavalues'. Needs for spiritual growth are spiritual needs or 'metaneeds'. Metaneeds are biologically based organismic values (operative values) which function in growth motivation as intrinsic motivation or 'metamotivation'. Metamotivation is functional in the instinctive human striving for development of human potential and unity of personality... 'personality integration'... 'optimal mental health'... 'wellness'... 'maturity'... 'normalisation'... 'individuation'.... 'self-realisation' ... 'self-actualisation'. The essence of human nature, at its profoundest level, hidden deep in the subconscious under layers of illusion and false beliefs resulting from programming of social conditioning, is the dimension which transcends the personality, the ego-self or 'ego'. This transpersonal dimension is the moral or 'spiritual' or 'divine' essence of human nature. The experience of the divine transpersonal dimension of human nature... of human divinity... is known as 'Buddha', 'Brahma','Tao' or 'God'. Self-transcendence and the transpersonal level of consciousness or 'God-consciousness' is biologically functional in its preservation of the interconnectedness of human individuals in human societies. The deepest human motivating force is the intrinsic drive to return to or re-connect with the divine aspect of human nature... to integrate the ego self with the 'Buddha-Self' or 'God-Self'. Religion is deeply rooted in human nature and the word 'religion' from Latin 'religare' (re-ligare) means 'to re-connect'.
"If religions begins with civilization then its roots must lie deep in human nature." (Dr. Maria Montessori)
"At the 'higher' levels of consciousness, the individual lives by values which preserve the interconnectedness of human beings: justice, truth, beauty, freedom, generosity, love etc." (Roger Walsh and Frances Vaughan. Beyond Ego: Transpersonal Dimensions in Psychology)
moral development or 'spiritual emergence' as construction of rational conscience... organismic valuing process...
Western culture is based on the assumption that human nature is not to be trusted In the history of Western culture human nature has been regarded in terms of the 'base instincts' of its supposedly 'animal nature'. People have been taught to distrust their human nature and cultural institutions have been set up for the express purpose of controlling, inhibiting, suppressing and repressing human instinctive behaviour. The mistrust of human nature and lack of respect for human needs results in the perception of social issues in terms of the dichotomous nature of human nature... social problems cannot be resolved on this basis.
"There has been a special tendency in Western culture, historically determined, to assure that (the) instinctoid needs of the human being, his so-called 'animal nature', are base and evil. As a consequence, many cultural institutions are set up for the express purpose of controlling, inhibiting, suppressing and repressing this original nature of man." (Maslow Psychology of Being. p.164)
. "Traditionally, throughout the history of philosophy, theology, psychology, natural desires have been considered annoying and even threatening... Theologians, political philosophers and economic theorists have conceived of various strategies to remove, deny or avoid people's 'unwanted' desires and needs. People's happiness has been considered in terms of improving their conditions with a view to eliminating their needs." (Maslow Toward a Psychology of Being p. 28)
The American Constitution of traditional American culture is based on the dichotomous perception of human nature as a function of the antagonism between its innate good and 'evil' nature... leading to the belief in the mutual exclusiveness of the interests of the individual and the society and also to the notion that the primary function of civilisation is to control the free expression of human nature.
American behavioral psychology... 'behaviourism' with its extreme view of the human being as a 'response machine' s has not been interested in a definition of human nature
The attempt to construct a 'model of ethics' or 'external system of values or ethics' is the 'problem of ethics' a philosophical issue which is based on the assumption that human nature is bad, corrupt or evil. This notion is a result of the ego-centered mental process which distorts and dichotomizes reality to produce concepts of good/ bad, virtue/evil etc. The distortion in perception results from the perception problem of thwarted psychological development... neurotic development or 'neurosis'... of immaturity.
"Making choices and decisions according to his own organismic valuing process, the individual lives by values which facilitate his own survival, adaptation, self-enhancement and the enhancement of the human race. Like other species of the animal kingdom, Homo Sapiens, the social human animal, naturally behaves in accordance with an organismic valuing process which enables him to adapt to his changing social environment .... With the recognition of the potential universality of the organismic valuing process of the human being, the perplexing issues of 'values' and ethics could be resolved." (Carl Rogers)
The perplexing issues of 'values' and ethics could be resolved with recognition of the potential universality of morality... based on understanding of organismic valuing process of the human organism with its instinctive primary values.. intrinsic value system... which manifests with development of conscience... personal development and fulfillment of intrinsic needs which include basic psychological needs for self-esteem and social growth needs or 'metaneeds' for spiritual growth. The 'problem of ethics' as the 'science of ethics' would refer to the study of the development of the intrinsic organismic valuing system... moral consciousness or 'conscience'.
"The insight of moral universality - 'man is a creature of moral law'. Mature men can live together in peace and justice because they naturally do what is right and necessary for communal living. The picture of Moses descending from Mt. Sinai bearing the tablets of the law is a symbol of the revelation to man of his own uniquely human nature. Because in the days of Moses men were still mostly immature, morality was first expressed as commands: Thou shalt not. The voice of Moses was the voice of moral reason itself. To lie, steal, covet, commit adultery, dishonor the older members of the group, worship idols, if practised widely and with impunity, would make impossible the sort of social structure within which. men could live with confidence. In his moral reason, the mature person would naturally refuse to do these things. (Overstreet, H.A. The Mature Mind)
The basis for a scientific value system is the understanding of and respect for the individual's instinctive primary values or needs including basic psychological needs for security and self-esteem and so-called 'higher' psychological needs for moral or 'spiritual 'growth.
The philosophical question 'what is human nature'? ... was considered as 'how construct a theoretical model of human nature?' What used to be called 'natural philosophy' was the study of the nature of man or 'human nature' as a philosophy. Like many philosophical questions the question itself is invalid and remains unanswered until it is rephrased in such a way that the answer is simple and can be discovered easily. Knowledge progresses when it is based on clarity in the formulation of questions. Clarification of a difficult problem is an important step forward because it avoids a lot of fruitless and endless debate... it clears the air for fruitful discussion and resolution of the real problem. The new philosophy of human nature is based on a of the human species as a social species which has evolved through a process of natural selection. The new question asks 'What is human nature in terms of the biological principles of evolution and natural selection?' or 'What is human nature in terms of the evolution of the human species as a social species?' or 'What is human nature from the perspective of evolutionary biology?'
"The old philosophical question "what is the nature of man?" cannot be answered unless man's conscious mind is expanded to its full capacity. Then the answer can be found scientifically." (Abraham Maslow Toward a Psychology of Being p.128)
"In some respects, the most audacious of all the great insights that have come into the world was the apparently absurd conviction of Jesus of Nazareth that men must love one another. Insight of Christ for universal love as universal brotherhood: 'A new commandment I give unto you that ye love one another. Love your enemies, do good to them that hate you.' This was the most profound insight into human nature - man's social nature: a commandment for 'universal love'." (Overstreet, H.A. The Mature Mind p.95)
"An individual's search for identity is essentally a search for his own intrinsic value system, his own authentic nature, his humanness, the human core which he shares with other members of the human species." (Maslow Toward a Psychology of Being 177)
Science of human nature... There is a fundamental paradigm-shift in our scientific understanding of the human psyche or 'human nature'. In the new paradigm of the science of connectedness, oneness or 'wholeness'... 'holistic science'... the human psyche interacts with the environment and can therefore be considered as a natural open system. Understanding of the workings of an open system is possible with the systems approach of systems theory. The aim is to create a framework or 'structure' to explain the properties of the system. In the same way that the interconnectedness of the parts of the water molecule gives rise to its property of liquidity, an 'emergent property' of the system as a whole, so the interconnectedness of various facets of the the human psyche results in the emergence of new properties which are characteristic of the system as a whole. One such property is awareness or 'consciousness'... specifically moral consciousness or 'conscience' (the human 'spirit') which results from the process of complete moral development or 'spiritual emergence'. Depending on the conditions in the social environment, the extent of moral development can vary. The degree to which the individual psyche can progress determines level of consciousness which they reach and that in turn determines the type of motivation which drives their thought and behaviour patterns. The primordial human motivation is self-interest which arises from the instinct of self-preservation. In the presence of suitable environmental conditions for growth, motivation is by growth needs or 'metaneeds'. Normal growth occurs as a result of growth motivation or 'metamotivation' and moral development is completed. The result is a philosophical sense of the whole or 'holistic perception' of rational conscience. In the absence of suitable environmental growth conditions, motivation is by ego-needs for security and self-esteem or so-called 'deficiency needs'. Abnormal growth occurs as a resullt of 'deficiency motivation' and moral development is not completed but continues as 'neurotic development' or 'neurosis'. Developmental arrest at the ego-level results in lack of holistic perception and incomplete cognition resulting from ego-centered mental process of egoic perception which dichtomises and distorts reality... 'perception problem'... and irrational conscience which does not define human nature.
Human nature in the context of human evolution and the instinct for self-preservation The human species 'homo sapiens sapiens sapiens the thinking hominid is a social and exploratory species which depends for survival on its capacity to make meaning of experience or 'learn'. As a biological species, the human species has a genetic make-up which determines the instinctive drives for adaptation for self-preservation of the individual and the species. The mechanism of natural selection of favorable mutations constitutes the driving force of the evolutionary process and the 'evolution of human nature'. The human aspects of human nature developed because they were of survival value... they were selected for and passed on to the following generation. The human species evolved chiefly by improving its equipment for living... Self-preservation of the organism and survival of the human species depends on three types of equipment.through which the organism reacts to the external world... practical, neurological and moral or 'spiritual'. Practical equipment includes the applied science of tools required for adaptation to the physical environemt and anatomical equipment to fabricate the tools... hands with prehensile fingers, eyes with stereoscopic vision and the senses. Neurological equipment to invent the tools and to learn how to use them includes physiological processes of brain functioning and psychological equipment for motivation to work or 'intrinsic motivation' which is the specialized function of the 'prefrontal lobes'. The human species as a social species depends for adaptation and survival on spiritual equipment for accurate perception of the social reality includes spiritual insight or 'intuition' which is derived from consciousness of the human moral or 'spiritual' values... moral consciousness or 'conscience' as the Conscience functions as the natural guide for living... the 'source' of guiding values... social values.... moral or 'spiritual' values or ‘metavalues’ of love, justice, truth, beauty and so on. which allow for communication based on interconnectedness... coherence... social cooperation... required for work, for defense... Consciousness of metavalues results from fulfillment of human motivations for growth i.e. the higher psychological needs... the social needs... the spiritual needs for love, truth, justice etc... the ‘metaneeds’.
Human nature can be defined in terms of the mind which has fully developed its human powers, its potential humanity, its natural free morality of mature and rational conscience.
Maslow concludes from his scientific study of human nature: "Our deepest needs are not in themselves dangerous, evil or bad... . Consequently we can reject the almost universal mistake that the interests of the individual and of the society are of necessity mutually exclusive and antagonistic, or that civilization is primarily a mechanism for controlling and policing human instinctoid impulses. All of these age-old axioms are swept away by the new possibility of defining the main function of a healthy culture as the fostering of universal self-actualization." (Towards a Psychology of Being 159)
intrinsic valuing mechanism required for preservation of personality integration while adapting to the social environment and even adjusting it to its own needs... Adjustment to the environment... adaptability... depends on the ability to control and evaluate perceptions and to extract information which is necessary for survival. The degree of development of conscience determines extent of accuracy with which the organism evaluates its social environment. Incomplete human development leads to innaccuracy of perception. Complete development leads to accuracy of perception.... complete cognition of holistic perception. Depending on the accuracy of its evaluation it responds with creative and adaptive behaviour or destructive and nonadaptive behaviour.
Human adaptability depends on complete development as a function of the integrated functioning of the human brain as a social brain specialised for understanding the significance of experience i.e. 'experiential learning' or 'natural learning'. Natural learning is active learning of creative intelligence and results in the process of meaningful knowing or 'knowledge' as 'real knowledge' or 'truth'. Natural learning is a truth finding process which involves spiritual insight or 'intuition' and engages the individual as an integrated whole. Natural learning is based on motivation by human motives for learning or 'human needs'. Human needs include the basic psychological needs for security and self-esteem ('ego needs') and the so-called 'higher' needs for psychological growth beyond the self-centered or 'ego' level of consciousness... the level of 'self-transcendence'. These are the growth needs, moral needs for love, beauty, truth, justice etc... the spiritual needs or 'metaneeds'. Motivation by the metaneeds... 'metamotivation'... engages growth through learning and development of human potential for 'self-actualisation' which depends on the provision of conditions for self-empowerment or 'freedom' as 'freedom of thought' or 'inner freedom'... freedom for growth through learning, freedom from fear and conflict, freedom from dogma, freedom for personal development, freedom for living with intrinsic guidance from universal human values i.e. 'spiritual freedom' or 'moral freedom'. Moral freedom is 'true freedom' or 'responsible freedom'... freedom to develop one's potential through creativity and productiveness... freedom to engage the psychological value of 'work’. Work behaviour is the medium for oneness with the environment... represents one's connection with the reality of life.
"Our species... has succeeded in surviving and multiplying chiefly by improving his equipment for living, as I have explained at length in Man Makes Himself. As with other animals, it is chiefly through his equipment that man acts on and reacts to the external world, draws sustenance therefrom and escapes its perils - in technical language adapts himself to his environment or even adjusts his environment to his needs. Man's equipment, however, differs significantly from that of other animals. These carry their whole equipment about with them as parts of their bodies... the tortoise even caries his house on his back. Man has very little equipment of this sort and has discarded some that he started with during prehistoric times. It is replaced by tools, extracorporeal organs that he makes, uses and discards at will; clothing to keep warm, houses to provide shelter... . As with other animals, there is a physiological basis to man's equipment... hands and brains... sense organs... peculiarly complicated nervous system and an exceptionally big and complicated brain..... an animals's hereditary equipment is adapted to performing a limited number of operations in a particular environment. Man's extracorporeal equipment can be adjusted to almost infinite number of operations in almost any environment... man has to learn not only to use but also to make his tools... any tool is an embodiment of 'science'.... A tool is a social product and man is a social animal. Because it has much to learn, a human infant is peculiarly delicate and helpless, and its helplessness lasts longer than with the young of other animals. The physical counterpart of learning is the storing of impressions and the building up of connections between the various nerve-centers in the brain. Meanwhile the brain must keep on growing.if the species is to survive, at least one social group must keep together for several years until the infants are reared. In our species, the natural family of parents and children is a more stable and durable association than among species whose young mature faster... Animal education can all be done by example; For human infants who have so much to learn the imitative method would be fatally slow. In human societies instruction is by precept as well as by example. Human societies have gradually devised tools for communication between their members. In so doing they have brought forth a new sort of equipment which can conveniently be labelled 'spiritual'." (Gordon Childe, Archeology and History What Happened in History, Harmondsforth, Middlesex, England: Penguin Books, 1942. p. 7-10)
"Human evolution is rooted in man's adaptability and in certain indestructible qualities of his nature which compel him never to cease his search for conditions better adjusted to his intrinsic needs" (Fromm. Man For Himself, 23)
"The emergence of man can be defined as occurring at the point in the process of evolution where instinctive adaptation has reached its minimum. But he emerges with new qualities which differentiate him from the animal: his awareness of himself as a separate entity, his ability to remember the past, to visualize the future, and to denote objects and acts by symbols; his reason to conceive and understand the world; and his imagination through which he reaches far beyond the range of his senses. Man is the most helpless of all animals, but this very biological weakness is the basis for his strength, the prime cause for the development of his specifically human qualities." (Fromm Man For Himself 39)
Human development is a function of learning or education'. "Learning is a feature of human development" (Maria Montessori)
Human nature in terms of human development... Human nature can be defined in terms of moral development or development of moral consciousness or'conscience' as equipment for living. The human organism is a social organism with a social brain and a social nature. As a social organism the human individual is instinctively motivated to relate to others - to 'socialise' and to 'assimilate' - in order to acquire the things which it needs for work and for defence. Motivations for behaviours of socialisation and assimilation lie in emotional forces at the unconscious level of the psyche... Intrinsic motives for learning... intrinsic motivation... is a function of personality development... development of moral consciousness or 'conscience' required for effective adaptation to ever-changing social conditions.Development of conscience involves age-related cognitive levels , the 'sociocognitive stages' .
Rational conscience is the product of a gradual and fluid transformation process of moral development or 'spiritual growth' or 'spiritual emergence'... Development depends on conditions of freedom in education... spiritual or moral freedom i.e. 'inner freedom'. Inner freedom of developed conscience or 'soul' (morality) is the basis for creative adaptation to changing social conditions i.e. 'adaptability'. Human adaptability depends on the realisation of moral values or 'human values'. Human values are social values rooted in the instinct of self-preservation and social cooperation required for human adaptability and survival. .. i.e. 'human needs'. Human needs are 'value choices' or 'operative values' which function in the unfolding of human powers and human potential for 'wholeness' or 'health' i.e. 'well-being' or 'wellness'. They include both the so-called 'lower psychological needs' or 'ego-needs' and the 'higher psychological needs' or growth needs i.e. spiritual needs or 'metaneeds' Metaneeds are biologically based organismic values 'spiritual values' or 'metavalues'. In the presence of suitable conditions for growth normal motivation by growth needs is growth motivation or 'metamotivation'. Metamotivation is functional in the instinctive organismic striving for unity of personality... integrated personality... personality integration or 'wholeness', 'maturity', 'normalisation' i.e. 'mature growth', 'self-realisation' or 'self-actualisation'.
Self-actualisation depends on education for the person as a whole... freedom in education... which fosters human development in all its aspects... fosters complete development of human potential... physical, psychological, intellectual, emotional, spiritual i.e. integral education or 'holistic education'. Holistic education is based on the scientific as holistic psycho-socio-biological study of the human organism as a social being within the multi-dimensional framework of a given political, cultural, familial, historical, social and semantic environment. Social conditioning in the absence of holistic education can lead to blockage of spiritual growth. In a morally deficient social environment the sensitive individual might be subjected to uncontrolled spiritual emergence or 'spiritual emergency' (so-called 'schizophrenia'.)
"Humanistic conscience is based on the
knowledge of man's nature. The great tradition of humanistic ethical thought is
based on a wholistic perspective of man in his 'physico-spiritual totality'. It
is based on the belief that man's aim is to be himself, and that the condition
for attaining this goal is that man be for himself. It is based on the premise
that one has to know the nature of man in order to formulate valid ethical
codes. Based on the validity of man's autonomy, valid ethical norms are formed
by man's reason."
(Erich Fromm Man For Himself )
Human survival depends on thinking or 'cognition'... intellectual and moral reasoning or 'morality'.
See Waddington's essay "The Ethical Animal" for an analysis of the transitionfrom biological to biosocial evolution.
"The unique human quality which has brought about the biological ascendancy of our species is the ability to think in terms of symbols and abstractions. This ability has permitted the development of the peculiarly human mode of communication, by means of symbolic languages." (Dobjansky T. Human Nature as a Product of Evolution. Ed. Abraham Maslow. New knowledge in Human Values. New York: Harper Brothers 1959. 78)
In any discussion of the origins of human nature, it is necessary to bear in mind two general characteristics of the evolutionary process. First, the process of evolution can be described as ‘utilitarian’ since the main directing force of evolutionary change is natural selection. It is the most useful which is selected for. Second, the process of evolution can be described as ‘opportunistic’ because it does not involve any sense of prescience (pre-knowledge) of the future. "Two general characteristics of the evolutionary process must be kept in mind in any discussion of the origins of human nature. First, evolution is utilitarian - because the main directing force of evolutionary change is natural selection. Secondly, it is opportunistic - because it lacks a prescience of the future." (Dobjansky T. Human Nature as a Product of Evolution in Abraham Maslow (ed) New Knowledge in Human Values. . New York: Harper Brothers 1959. p.78)
"As a biological species, the human species is endowed with a genetic make-up which ensures instinctive drives to adaptation for survival of the individual and continuation of the survival of the species.... The 'naked ape' is essentially an exploratory species." (Desmond Morris The Naked Ape)
Evolution of human nature is holistic.. Evolution is the drive to 'holism'... ever higher unities... . Everywhere we look in nature, we see nothing but wholes. .. holistic evolution of nature - applies also to the individual's growth and development. Personal psychological growth involves "unfolding of ever-higher-order unities and integrations".. of survival value...
The common sense basis for the evolution of all biological species is the instinct for survival of the organism i.e. 'self-preservation' therefore fundamental to the evolution of the human species and its 'human nature'. As a biological organism the human organism instinctively makes choices and decisions according to its own organismic valuing process living by values ... 'operative values'... which facilitate its own survival, adaptation, self-enhancement and the enhancement of its species.
human nature as a function of human values... human values as operative values.. Like other species of the animal kingdom, Homo Sapiens, the social human animal, naturally behaves in accordance with an organismic valuing process which enables him to adapt to his changing social environment. Human values are biologically rooted within the consciousness of the human organism. Biological basis of spiritual life is survival oriented
The biological principles of morality and ethics are based on inborn biological necessity and basic human needs....'instinctoid' in nature'... guiding values - the built-in or 'intrinsic'values... both good and necessary for the organism are found, uncovered or recovered in the course of self-discovery ...children's spiritual growth. ... individual reacts as a whole, as an organism, developing altered orientations and behaviours in response environmental input....'noetic' or holistic approach to the behavior of the organism as a whole.. human aspects of human nature ar selected for in evolution of human organism.
An individual's value system is the product of the totality of the individual's thought processes within the context of experiences in a changing social environment.
"A full definition of human nature must include intrinsic values as part of human nature. These intrinsic values are 'instinctoid' in nature i.e. they are needed a) to avoid illness and b) to achieve fullest humanness or growth. The illness resulting from deprivation of intrinsic values - the 'metaneeds' - we may call 'metapathologies'. The highest values, the spiritual life and the highest aspirations of mankind are therefore proper subjects for scientific study and research. They are in the world of nature" (Abraham Maslow)
Human values are human instincts which evolved as a result of their survival value to the human organism as a social organism. For this reason inquiry into the nature of human nature becomes an inquiry into the biological basis of human values... the science of value or 'moral science'. Moral science involves the study of the intrinsic and instinctive valuing process as a part of normal personality development which incorporates the development of the human conscience as the source of values and the spiritual or 'divine' aspect of the human personality i.e. 'human nature'.
Human values are fundamental for creative intelligence i.e. 'social intelligence'.
Knowledge as awareness or consciousnees... of human values - 'self-knowledge' -.. depends on the long period of normal psychological development in infancy and childhood i.e. 'spiritual growth'. Spritual growth depends on the provision of growth promoting environmental conditions i.e. 'education'. The root of the word 'education' is derived from the Latin 'e-ducare' literally meaning 'to lead forth' in the sense of bringing out from within something which is potentially present. Education is cultivation of the human potential for understanding of reason and wisdom of compassion i.e. 'creative intelligence' of 'compassionate genius' or 'social intelligence'. Education for social intelligence is based on the understanding of human needs as operative values.
Survival of the human species depends on intelligent moral social behaviour i.e. 'social intelligence'. Social intelligence is a function of the development of 'moral consciousness' or 'conscience'. Conscience is an 'emergent property' of the human 'brain' - a social brain specialised for the intelligence of cooperative behaviour which is conducive to communal living. Living based on the interconnectedness of individuals... required for work and defense... depends on developed conscience or 'intuition'. Intuition is the ability to make correct evaluations of the environment without consciously knowing all the facts. Decision-making on the basis of intuition is 'intuitive cognition'. Intuition leads to behaviour which is creative and adaptive - 'socially intelligent'. or destructive and non-adaptive -'socially unintelligent' - depending on the extent of development of conscience. Decision-making can be destructive and non-adaptive -'socially unintelligent' - when it is based on the lack of intuition which results from incompletely developed conscience.
"We are men in the true sense only in so far as we are free. Knowledge of oneself - self-knowledge - overcomes the division between the subjective self and the objective world. During normal growth and development - with self-knowledge- the individual brings the concept of himself to expression in his outer existence." (Steiner, R. Philosophy of Freedom.)
"The free man acts morally because he has a moral idea; he does not act in order that morality may come into being. Human individuals, with the moral ideas belonging to their nature, are the prerequisites of a moral world order. The human individual is the source of all morality. State and society exist only because they have arisen as a necessary consequence of the life of the individuals. ...the social order arises so that it in turn may react favorably upon the individual." (Steiner, R. Philosophy of Freedom.)
" We have had most beautiful proof of an instinctive love of knowledge in the child..." (Montessori 485)
Human nature is a product of human evolution: evolution of the brain as a social brain: The human brain is a social brain specialised for those traits which allow for cooperation and communal living i.e. intelligent social behaviour or ‘social intelligence’.
functions of the brain developed because they were of survival value to the human as a social organism.
Human adaptability depends on the ability to evaluate perceptions and to extract information which is necessary for adaptive behaviour. Accuracy of evaluation depends on objective perception of the whole i.e. 'holistic perception' . Holistic perception of complete cognition is a natural function of the brain. The brain's potential for holistic perception depends on education for personal development... education for 'human potential'... the potential of the individual as a whole i.e. 'holistic education'. Holistic education is compatible with development of the human values which define human nature. Understanding of human nature leads to an understanding of the conditions which foster complete development of the human potential - the aim of holistic education. Holistic education is based on the notion that perception of 'reality' is a function of consciousness... that moral consciousness of developed conscience is the intuition of creative intelligence and the spiritual guide for human adaptability. Development of conscience depends on complete development of the free or 'enlightened' mind i.e. 'inner freedom'. Education for freedom is based on respect for the brain's natural rules for learning i.e. 'brain-based learning'.
The unique feature which differentiates the brain of humans from other primates is its capacity for concentrated attention for a long period of time i.e. 'motivation' … function of the ‘prefrontal lobes’.
Julian Huxley... human values originate in the genetic makeup of the human species. Parental love is ingrained in the mammalian genetic make-up of man. Parental care of progeny is a characteristic of all mammals. As a social animal, man benefits more from amicable disposition than pugnacious disposition and behavior.
The true nature of Human nature defined by love of moral consciousness or 'morality'. Morality as Freedom: human nature is defined by love of moral reason of moral consciousness or 'conscience'... 'moral knowledge' or 'morality' as moral freedom of 'social intelligence'... as a function of free thought or 'freedom' ('creative intelligence')... required for adaptation to changing social conditions... social responsibility of civilised society...mature socialization... 'social conscience'.
freedom of conscience or 'moral freedom'... 'free morality' of developed rational conscience.... Development of conscience depends on complete psychological growth which is a function of moral or 'spiritual' development.
The moral being or 'free spirit' is the purest expression of human nature. Human nature is a moral nature... compassionate and altruistic... Compassion and concern for others are aspects of human 'happiness'.
Survival of the human species, a social species, depends on intelligent moral behaviour or ''social intelligence'.. of moral consciousness or 'morality' of rational (mature ) conscience source of guiding values... 'moral knowledge'... required for adaptation to changing social conditions... social adaptatation...
'adaptability'... moral values are rooted in biologically based human instincts for self-preservation expressed as 'intrinsic motives for human behaviour'or 'human needs'... organismic values of intrinsic or organismic valuing process are 'operative values'
The evolution of human nature is a function of the natural selection of characteristics which are of survival value to the organism as a social organism which depends on social cooperation for survival. Like any other biological organism, the human organism instinctively makes choices and decisions according to its own organismic valuing process. In its efforts to adapt to changing social conditions it lives by values which facilitate its own survival, adaptation, self-enhancement and the enhancement of the species i.e. organismic or 'operative values'. Human operative values are the 'social values' of morality' - the 'moral values' or 'spiritual values' which are prescribed by the various religions...'universal love'.. As natural operative values spiritual values are instinctive and therefore biologically based. They enhance the capacity to make meaning of experience or 'learn'.
Human needs include the needs for social cooperation... biologically based 'social values' or 'human values'. As well as the physiological needs, human needs include 'basic psychological needs' for self-esteem - the 'ego needs' - and the 'higher psychological needs' for spiritual growth - the 'spiritual needs' or 'metaneeds'. The metaneeds are the needs for human solidarity, universal brotherhood as manifestations of human interconnectedness required for social cooperation upon which human survival depends i.e. 'spiritual love' or 'agape'. Metaneeds are the instinctive human yearnings for love as 'charity', goodness, truth, perfection, justice, beauty, simplicity, lawfulness, dichotomy transcendence etc.- the 'metavalues' which constitute the spiritual equipment of the nature of the human personality or 'humannature'. Metaneeds are functional in motivation for natural growth and development of the total personality i.e. 'personal development'. Motivation by metaneeds is 'metamotivation'. Metamotivation for personal development is fundamental to the individual's capacity for creative adaptation or 'adaptability'. Human adaptability is a function of the natural selection of moral instincts which are of survival value to the organism as a social organism values for virtuous living or 'virtues'. Virtues are functional in the protection of personality integration (personal integrity) in the process of adaptation to changing environmental conditions. They are the source of happiness and wellbeing i.e. 'sound psychological health' or 'wellness'.
yearnings,talents, capacities, preferences...
Denial or frustration of human needs leads to psychopathology which can manifest as 'evil.' "If life's tendency to grow, to be lived, is thwarted, the energy thus blocked undergoes a process of change and is transformed into life-destructive energy. Destructiveness is the outcome of unlived life. Those individual and social conditions which make for the blocking of life-furtheriing energy produce destructiveness which in turn is the source from which the various manifestations of evil spring." (Fromm Man For Himself) .
Meaningful learning' is intrinsically motivated by human needs... learning is experiential learning..
"The living human being has, at the outset, a clear approach to values. He prefers some things and experiences and rejects others. We can infer from studying his behaviour that he prefers those experiences which maintain, enhance, or actualize his organism, and rejects those which do not serve this end. Watch him for a bit... The infant's 'values' are clearly obvious to anyone observing his behaviour and his reactions. Hunger is negatively valued and food is positively valued. But when the hunger is satisfied then food is negatively valued. Security is positively valued. Affection is positively valued because it communicates security. New experience is valued. Pleasure is gained from the satisfaction of curiosity. Pain, bitter tastes and sudden loud sounds are negatively valued. The infant reacts overtly and gives expression to his likes and dislikes. He naturally likes what is good for him dislikes what is bad for him. The approach to 'values' which is demonstrated by the infant is a flexible, changing, valuing process, not a fixed system... Unlike many of us, he knows what he likes and dislikes, and the origin of these value choices lies strictly within himself. He is the center of the valuing process, the evidence for his choices being spplied by his own senses... He likes a food and then dislikes the same food. He values security and then rejects it in favor of new experience. He is not influenced by anyone but is reacting as a biological organism operating within an environment in which it must satisfy its ultimate need for self-actualization. The 'values' expressed by the infant are 'operative' values".(Rogers 242-243)
This inner core of human nature includes the basic pysiological and psychological needs, the inborn capacities and talents, and the biologically based values inherent in the intrinsic yearnings and preferences. provides valid data to support the theory of the biological basis for the guiding principles of morality and ethics. Data from psychoanalysis indicate that human values are biologically rooted within the consciousness of the human organism. Psychoanalytic therapies help the individual uncover the biologically based intrinsic values with which he naturally identifies. They help the individual in the 'search for identity'. The search for one's identity is essentally restoring contact with oneself, with one's experiencing, gaining self-confidence with growth, living in harmony with oneself ...a search for one's own intrinsic value system, one's own authentic nature, one's humanness, the human core which one shares with other members of the human species. The psychoanalytic therapies help to expose the roots of biologically based intrinsic values. ... characteristics of human nature are discovered in psychotherapy. techniques of therapy and self-discovery can be regarded as cognitive tools (in the sense that they are the best ...science in the broadest sense can and does discover what human values are, what the human organism needs in order to live a good and happy life, what it needs in order to avoid illness, what is good for it and what is bad for it ...What the healthy human organism chooses, prefers, and values out of its own deepest inner nature, is also most often good for it. The data from the accumulated experiences of dynamic psychotherapy have to do with discovering the one's self- identity ... the 'real self'. As therapies which purport to uncover rather than to construct the deepest self which has been covered over by misconceptions and neuroticizing the psychotherapies can be considered as 'uncovering therapies'. They all agree in finding that the most real self consists in a large part of the instinctive human needs. They are needs because they must be fulfilled in order to prevent the occurrence psychopathology or neurosis which is really like a deficiency disease. ...biological basis of morality and ethics... biology of ethics These instinctive needs can also be thought of as built-in values. The built in values are needs in the sense that they are necessary for adaptive living. These needs - the built in values - are uncovered and discovered or rather recovered during the course of self-discovery or 'self-knowledge'. Consequently the techniques of therapy can be considered as cognitive tools or scientific tools for the discovery of human values. In this way science in the broadest sense can discover thqt values are, ...what the healthy human being chooses, prefers, and values out of own deepest inner nature, is also most often good for him.
The denial or frustration of any of these needs, capacities or yearnings leads to psychopathology which can be manifested as 'evil.'
Rogers observes a number of value directions which appear to be common to all human beings, regardless of cultural influences. They all have in common the tendency "to favor the development of the individual himself, of others in the community and to contribute to the survival and evolution of his species." (252)
He speculates that with complete freedom to choose his own value directions, the mature human being would tend to live by a valuing process with the following characteristic tendencies: Negatively valued are pretense, defensiveness, imperative behaviour ("I ought"), and concern with expectations of others. Positively valued are an individual's authenticity, self-direction in decision making, sense of worthiness of himself and his feelings, excitement in the process of growth and of potentialites in the process of unfolding, openness to his own feelings, sensitivity to and acceptance of others, deep relationships, openness to all his inner and outer experience and to the realities of the objective world. These and others constitute an underlying thread of commonality observed in human beings who grow to maturity within an environment of respect for their inner freedom and prizing of their individuality. Those objects and experiences which contribute to the individual's own growth and development, and the growth and development of others are naturally valued. In a growth promoting climate, regardless of culture, the human organism seems to prefer goals which contribute to his own self-actualization and socialization. Given the opportunity to grow to maturity in a climate of freedom and respect, the individual would be devoid of conceived values. Making choices and decisions according to his own organismic valuing process, the individual lives by values which facilitate his own survival, adaptation, self-enhancement and the enhancement of the human race. Like other species of the animal kingdom, Homo Sapiens, the social human animal, naturally behaves in accordance with an organismic valuing process which enables him to adapt to his changing social environment -the nature of man. With the recognition of the potential universality of the organismic valuing process of the human being, the perplexing issues of 'values' and ethics could be resolved... connection between the 'science of man' and the 'science of ethics'. An inquiry into the 'science of man' becomes simultaneously an inquiry into the 'science of ethics' and vice versa. ...'values' in the sense that they are both good and necessary for the organism. It is these values which are found, uncovered - recovered, perhaps we should say, in the course of psychotherapy or 'self-discovery'. self-discovery - psychoanalysis and psychotherapy. The inner biological core of human nature is revealed and exposed by psychoanalysis, ...psychoanalysis can be described as an 'uncovering ' therapy, revealing or exposing the inner biological ('instinctoid)' core of human nature. This inner core of human nature includes the basic physiological and psychological needs, the inborn capacities and talents, and the biologically based values inherent in the intrinsic yearnings and preferences. The denial or frustration of any of these needs, capacities or yearnings leads to psychopathology which can be manifested as 'evil.'
'Education' is futile if it involves the learning of material which has no personal meaning. Learning which does not involve the learner's feelings has no relevance for the whole person and is insignificant. Significant learning involves thought and feelings. Left to his own devices a child learns rapidly and effectively he learns from experience. Learning with a quality of personal involvement - This is called 'experiential learning'.
Carl Rogers proposes two hypotheses which could be tested with the methods of science. First, "there is an organismic base for an organized valuing process within the human individual." In accordance with the biological need for self-preservation and adaptation, the human organism has the natural capacity to adjust its behaviour and reactions to a continuously changing environment. Second, "the valuing process in the human being is effective in achieving self-enhancement to the degree that the individual is open to the experiencing which is going on within himself." The infant and the psychologically mature person are examples of individuals whose valuing process is in harmony with their own experiencing. A child's proper inner development depends on proper relationships with adults. He must be prized as a separate person with the freedom to experience his own feelings and those of others without feeling threatened. The adults should be able to understand with empathy the child's need for freedom of self-expression.
Human nature in cultural context: Modification of organismic valuing process by way of the 'introjective instinct'... Compared to other biological species, the young of human beings "have few and very indefinite instincts. To survive, the human young must acquire large amounts of information from older members of the species, and an instinct to do this is one that humans do have... the 'introjective instinct.' We are born with 'authority-bearing structures' in our mind - psychological structures specifically receptive to instruction from individuals standing in certain relations to us... The child introjects - makes a part of himself "what appear to him as the wishes, demands, hates, scorns, and standards of his psychological parents. Even if they are weak and infantile themselves, their weakness is introjected as if it were strength. The internalized images have a malignant effect on the child's character and personality development." (Donald Barr. Who Pushed Humpty Dumpty?: Dilemmas in American Education. Atheneum, New York, l97l)
Survival of the human species depends on the long period of normal psychological development in infancy and childhood i.e. 'spiritual growth' and knowledge of human values or 'self-knowledge'. Spritual growth depends on the provision of growth promoting environmental conditions i.e. 'education'. The root of the word 'education' is derived from the Latin 'e-ducare' literally meaning 'to lead forth' in the sense of bringing out from within something which is potentially present. Education is cultivation of the human potential for understanding of reason and wisdom of compassion i.e. 'creative intelligence' of 'compassionate genius' or 'social intelligence'.
In order to survive the young of the human species must acquire large amounts of information from older members of the of the group... The young of the human species depends on a particularly human instinct, The instinct for acquiring externally imposed values and information... the 'introjective instinct'. The young of the human species makes a part of his character the standards of the parents and significant adults in his social environment. 'authority-bearing structures' ... psychological structures specifically receptive to instruction from significant individuals in the group. The child introjects - makes a part of himself ... incorporates into his own natural valuing process what appear to him... his perception... of the 'values' ... are perceived as values ... the wishes, demands, hates, scorns, and standards of his psychological parents... significant adults. Even if the parents y are weak and infantile themselves, their weakness is introjected as strength. The internalized images have a malignant effect on the child's character and personality development. During development, the child instinctively modifies his own fluid and changing valuing process (operative values) by incorporating externally imposed concepts (conceived values). In this way, the natural valuing process is gradually modified by the introjection of parental values and cultural values - the externally imposed conceived values. The modified valuing process tends to be fixed and rigid. Conceived values are value choices made on the basis of symbolized concepts which are learned ie 'conceived values'. Conceived value choices are made in anticipation of the outcome of a chosen behavior. As an example, a human being can choose one of two possible paths of action on the basis of the concept which he has been told to value such as 'honesty is the best policy'. Conceived value choices are introjected. Their incorporation and internalization result in the modified organismic valuing process. Introjection of conceived values explains some of the causes of the formation of character - character orientation. Explains the correlation between character orientation and social structure. Point up the powerful emotional forces which are instrumental in molding the social character and explains the functioning of the society. The personality of the average individual is determined by the socioeconomic and political sructure of the society in which he lives.
The change in the valuing process depends on extent to which the child is 'loved' (unconditional love as opposed to 'possessive love'). The growing child needs love.
Throughout his development, he learns that not all behaviour in his own self-interest is accepted within the context of the culture in which he grows up. In his efforts to retain the love and affection which he needs, he gradually relinquishes the operative values which are beneficial to his own development. He accepts instead the culturally conceived values of others. He learns to distrust his own experiencing as a guide for his behaviour. And he learns to distrust his own valuing process in evaluating his own behaviour. His own self-evaluation is gradually replaced by the evaluation of others, his parents and other adults in the society. Trying to behave in accordance with the values imposed on him, he introjects the values of the others as his own value system. He modifies his own fluid and changing valuing process by incorporating externally imposed concepts. The modified valuing process tends to be fixed and rigid. In this way, the natural valuing process, as exemplified by the infant's behaviour, is gradually modified by the introjection of cultural values. In their efforts to retain the love and acceptance of others in the society, individuals in the American culture subscribe to value patterns which include the following introjections of conceived values: the positively valued introjections of obedience, making money, accumulation of factual knowledge, clever cheating, love of neighbour, and the negatively valued introjections of leisure activity, individual and emotional self-expression.
"By taking over the conceptions of others as our own, we lose contact with the potential wisdom of our own functioning and lose confidence in ourselves. Since these value constructs are often sharply at variance with what is going on in our own experiencing, we have in a very basic way divorced ourselves from ourselves, and this accounts for much strain and insecurity. This fundamental discrepancy between the individual's concepts and what he is actually experiencing, between the intellectual structure of his values and the valuing process going on unrecognized within him - this is a part of the fundamental estrangement of modern man from himself." (Rogers 247)
Humans make sense of the information exchanges on the basis of the conceptual images and schemata they acquire from their culture. Human thinking is 'metaphorical'. The root 'metaphors' of a culture influence the process of 'analogic' thinking (which is always involved in understanding new situations) provide a schema that may prevent certain forms of informatioin from being recognized or properly understood. (Bowers C.A., Implications of the Ecological Crisis for the reform of teacher education in Miller et al. The Renewal of Meaning in Education: Responses to the Cultural and Ecological Crisis of our Times 45)
It is the theories of capitalism and consumerism with their emphasis on 'products' which ultimately contributes to declining academic standards on all levels of the educational system. In the capitalistic culture, there is an arbitrary and conventional concept of what underlies appearance or 'reality'. Reality according to the cultural point of view is specifically equated with the way in which the world is perceived in waking state awareness i.e. 'state-specific'. This state specific reality, established as a cultural norm ('normative reality') is a pathological view which denies access or credibility to reality as perceived in other states of consciousness. The normative reality ignores the individual's instinctive striving for self-realization and prevents the natural development of moral responsibility. It mistrusts the individual's inner freedom. This leads to misinterpretation of the life of contemplation and meditation. It devalues natural human needs and metaneeds and discourages the individual's self-expression. This leads to the denigration of the intuitive and emotional aspects of intellectual development and creative intelligence.
Reality is a product of psychology... a function of the individual's mode of thinking ('stream of thought') their awareness of their own identity i.e. their state of 'consciousness' Consciousness (or 'intelligent mind') is an intensely active mental process which is continually engaged in interpreting the raw data of immediately felt experience. Consciousness is life itself. The intelligent mind is always the seat of simultaneous possibilities and the individual is constantly choosing which of several possible selves to become from how he perceives experience. In the process of adapting to the environment, the mind is influenced by it and reacts to it in an actively creative way. The intelligent mind is not only a mirror which reflects the world and adapts passively but engages actively in a process of transforming the world. Human affairs are based on voluntarism, not determinism... the functional view of psychology. The key concept of functional psychology is consciousness. perception of 'reality' is a function of consciousness...
Self-actualisation .. intrinsic motivation for learning which depends on fulfillment of human needs in the context of freedom...as responsible freedom or 'inner freedom'. Inner freedom is a function of spiritual gowth and 'self-transcendence' which allows for spiritual awareness... spiritual insight or 'intuition' required for intelligent decision making and effective adaptability.
"At the 'higher' levels of consciousness, the individual lives by values which preserve the interconnectedness of human beings: justice, truth, beauty, freedom, generosity, love etc." The dichotomy 'selfishness vs. unselfishness' disappears. (from Walsh Beyond Ego...)
Transpersonal model of human nature... theoretical model based on the transpersonal dimensions of the multidimensional human personality... Transpersonal dimension of human nature... spiritual level of consciousness life... level of 'self-transcendence'... is biologically functional in its preservation of the interconnectedness of human individuals.
The understanding of the divine nature of human nature provides the natural basis for reverence for life, cooperation and synergy, concerns for humanity and the planet as a whole, and deep ecological awareness.
All minds are united as parts of one universal mind or 'collective unconscious'. People appear to be separate beings... but separation is an illusion. On the level of conventional reality ... consensus reality... it makes sense for people to treat each other as separate beings. But they are interconnnected on the fundamental level of ultimate reality.
"Traditionally, psychologists and philosophers have tended to avoid defining the highest good for humanity, resorting to negative terms in defining health as the absence of disease, and good as the absence of evil. Health by such a definition is only 'not sick.' Such a definition involves a number of assumptions and limitations. For example it ignores the possibility that the healthy may display ways of being, modes and depths of experiencing, interests, and motives that do not show up at all in pathology. Similarly, the very healthy might not do some things that are so widespread in the remainder of the population that they have been accepted as universal and intrinsic to human nature. This raises the interesting question of whether the extremely psychologically healthy might not at times appear mysterious or bizarre to the rest of us. In other words we must be wary of assuming that they will fit our cultural stereotypes of health or that we will easily and automatically recognize them for what they are... How then are we to determine the characteristics of psychological well-being? Several approaches are possible. One way is to examine the major dimensions of transpersonal models of human nature and describe the positive ends of these dimensions. Another involves reviewing the suggestions and anecdotal descriptions available in the literature, and a third approach is experimental, researching those people thought to be most healthy. Research data on the transpersonal dimensions of health is very limited, so we are left for the time being with the theoretical and anecdotal approaches. In the absence of empirical support, the following descriptions must be considered as preliminary hypotheses for future thinking and research rather than as established principles.... The most frequently mentioned dimension in transpersonal models of human nature is consciousness. Probably we would expect healthier individuals to have greater access to a wider range of states, especially those possessing greater numbers and degrees of state-specific capacities, i.e. higher states. The most advanced individuals might be expected to have greater degrees of voluntary control and even to be able to enter a wide number of states at will." (Ed. Roger Walsh and Frances Vaughan Beyond Ego: Transpersonal Dimensions in Psychology)
The higher self is the source of personal power
The human personality or ‘human nature’ context for crisis of personal transformation or ‘spiritual emergency'... The combination of Western scientific research with Eastern psychologies such as Buddhism has resulted in new concepts which shed light on the nature of the human personality or 'psyche' i.e.‘human nature’. Human nature is a social nature and the human orgaanism is a social organism which can be characterised in terms of the biological needs for growth.. Human growth is a function of socialisation and therefore a function of the development of moral consciousness or 'conscience'. Complete development of human conscience depends on fulfillment of motives for natural human behaviour i.e. 'human needs'. As well as the obvious physiological needs, human needs include so-called 'lower' psychological needs for self-esteem - the 'ego needs' - and the so-called 'higher' psychological needs for development of the transpersonal or ‘spiritual’’ dimension of the human psyche i.e. the spiritual needs or 'metaneeds'. The metaneeds are the subconscious needs for awareness of human values for living i.e. 'social values' or 'human values'. Human values are the moral values or universal spiritual values required for survival of the species as a social species… moral justice, compassionate wisdom, universal love, knowledge as understanding, social responsibility or ‘peace’. Awareness of human values results in heightened intuition and increased awareness of social intelligence which is necessary for creative adaptation to changing social conditions i.e. 'adaptability'. Human adaptability depends on evolution from athe egocentric perspective to the transpersonal perspective of emotional maturity. Spiritual growth is usually gradual and fluid and results in 'spiritual awakening' or 'spiritual emergence'. If spiritual growth is blocked for any reason, the individual as a social organism is warned that their growth is in grave danger and that adjustments need to be made which are essential for adaptation and self-preservation. Consequently the transformation process becomes so rapid and dramatic that it is uncontrollable and reaches a point of crisis. The sensory experiences become so intense, chaotic and overwhelming that it is too distressing for the person to bear and they experience psychic overload. In this way spiritual emergence becomes a ‘spiritual crisis', transformation crisis or 'spiritual emergency' - also known as transpersonal experience, psycho-spiritual transformation, transpersonal crisis, psycho-spiritual crisis, the spiritual journey, hero's journey, dark night of the soul, spiritual opening, psychic opening, psychic awakening, spiritual awakening, enlightenment, kundalini awakening, shamanic crisis, mysticism, gnosis, the psychotic-visionary episode, dark night of the soul, ego death, the alchemical process, positive disintegration, post traumatic stress disorder with psychotic features and so on. The person learns to grow beyond fear based ego-consciousness and the expectations of others implied in cultural conditioning. The person evolves to a new level of awareness or 'higher consciousness state' of spiritual renewal and emotional liberation allowing the discovery of ideas and behaviours in the affirmation of life of total well-being or 'high level wellness'. Spiritual emergency is a process of healing which is characterised by spontaneous alternative consciousness states or ‘realities' and involves the positive transformation of the self. As a sign of health spiritual emergency is a part of the human condition and a concern of so-called 'depth psychology' or 'transpersonal psychology'.
A study of human nature in terms of human growth and development provides the rational basis for the formulation of a natural 'science of man', 'science of ethics' and 'science of education'.
'HUMAN NATURE' AS NATURE OF THE 'MATURE MIND' A study of human nature is based on a study of the mind which has developed its human powers... its potential humanity i.e. the psychologically developed or 'mature' mind. (The immature mind is the product of thwarted human development.)
"At the 'higher' levels of consciousness, the individual lives by values which preserve the interconnectedness of human beings: justice, truth, beauty, freedom, generosity, love etc." The dichotomy 'selfishness / unselfishness' disappears.
... values are rooted in the very conditions of human existence; hence our knowledge of these conditions, that is, of the 'human situation', leads us to estabishing values which have objective validity; this validity exists only with regard to the existence of man; outside of him there are no values." (Fromm)
"A mature person is a 'maturing person' - one whose linkages with life are constantly becoming stronger and richer because his attitudes are such as to encourage their growth rather than their stoppage." (Overstreet The Mature Mind p. 43)
"As the essential Being of the world is perceived by the person, so also does he concurrently come closer to his own Being, to his own perfection, of being more perfectly himself." (Abraham Maslow Toward a Psychology of Being 95)
"Throughout human history, great insights are degraded by minds too immature to understand them and put them into practice. One obvious example is the universal degradation of the idea of One God as the source of truth rather than a multiplicity of gods leading to confusion. The concept of God degenerated into a mystery beyond man's comprehension. Even worse 'God' was made into a national possession and rallying point for nations in their wars with other nations. A second example: The Decalogue - Ten Commandments - was a statement of the one moral law for all human beings as opposed to the several 'codes' of laws which applied to separate groups and cultures... How have immature minds degraded the Decalogue? They have turned universal principles into a series of taboos which conceal the original subtle meanings of the commandments. 'Thou shalt not steal' is applied to simple stealing of another person's possessions. Other acts of stealing are justified with different words such as 'imperialism''marketing' etc). (Overstreet, H.A. The Mature Mind)
Any 'science' is a 'science' because it brings to our awareness an aspect of nature which exists already but the existence of which we were unaware before the 'science' discovered it and made us aware of it. In the 'science of 'physics' Newton made us aware of the force of gravity Freud's scientific discoveries made us aware of the unconscious level of the human 'mind..
"Like other sciences, the 'science' of creative intelligence (science of human nature) makes us aware of an aspect of nature which already exists." (Jack Forem "Transcendental Meditation" Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and the Science of Creative Intelligence. New York: E.P. Dutton & Co., Inc. l974)
Human nature as function of complete development as striving toward unity of personality... 'personality integration'... maturity of self-actualisation... ..
"...man's tendency to actualize himself, to become his potentialities, (to manifest) the directional trend which is evident in all organic and human life - the urge to expand, extend, develop, mature - the tendency to express and activate all the capacities of the organism."(Carl Rogers, Toward a Theory of Creativity, in Creativity and its Cultivation, New York: Harper, l959) p.72
Self-actualisation... depends on education which fosters development of human potential... 'optimal mental health' or 'wellness' of complete personality integration. Education for wholeness is 'holistic education'.
The aim of human development is the individual's realisation of his productive character i.e.'self -actualisation'. The self-actualised individual experiences the world both intellectually and emotionally... intellectually through multidimensional understanding i.e. rationality or 'reason' and emotionally through respect, knowledge, care and responsibilty i.e. compassion or 'love'. Love and reason are foundational to spiritual development... spiriual growth required for human solidarity. The need for human solidarity... for peace and community... is instinctive and necessary for survival of the human species... depends on universal education for the development of human potential ...education for the 'self-actualization' of humanity as a whole... education based on the recognition and respect of necessary conditions derived from the biological instinct for self-preservation required for normal human growth and development i.e. 'human needs'.
Human needs function in the growth and development of the human organism as a social organism. Human needs include the basic psychological needs and the so-called 'higher' growth needs of creation and production for spiritual independence. Basic psychological needs include the need for freedom from anxiety and fear, that is the need for 'security', the need for self-respect, self-esteem and belongingness, the need to admire an ideal and to strive for perfection, the need for faith in oneself as the basis for faith in others,the need for approval of one's own identity and one's own expectations i.e. known as security needs he 'ego needs'. Without faith in the persistence of the self, the sense of identity is threatened and the individual becomes dependent on others for approval. Faith in oneself and in one's human nature is the basis for faith in the potentialities of others. The growth needs include the need for solitude which is necessary to understand the communications of the conscience, the need for serenity or 'happiness' derived from creativity and productiveness... the 'spiritual needs' or 'metaneeds'.
The concept of potentiality has no meaning except in connection with the specific conditions required for growth. The human organism has innate potentialities for growth to self-actualization and creative or adaptive behaviour. But the inherent potentialities are like seeds which grow and manifest themselves only with provision of the right conditions for development. The human potentiality for creativity and production or 'goodness' is realized with the recognition and respect for human nature and human needs.
Human needs vary with respect to their urgency or 'prepotency'. The more urgent or prepotent needs are the basic psychological needs. al.need for freedom from fear and anxiety or 'security'. Security is communicated through loving care... is prerequisite to curiosity, exploration and growth through learning. Security needs of are prepotent to the so-called growth needs or 'growth motivations' for creation and production ... the spiritual needs of being... the being needs or 'metaneeds' . With an instinctive responsibility to the security needs, the individual is persistent in its efforts to retain the approval of significant adults even if it means repression of the growth needs for creation and production. In the growth process, if the basic psychological needs are gratified the individual becomes independent of others for the gratification of the growth needs for creation and production.
Relying on the inner resources of a developed conscience, the individual becomes autonomous and is motivated by the growth needs of 'being'. The growth motivated individual experiences 'true' freedom and enjoys the pleasure of insight, creativity and productivity... makes personal decisions and choices in the transpersonal dimension of spiritual independence and the 'being-values'. With characteristic capacities of wholistic perception of the social reality... a non-judgmental and non-interfering attitude towards others, perceiving them in terms of their own intrinsic qualities. Their comprehensive understanding of others allows for meaningful interpersonal relations and a capacity for making decisions which are socially adaptive.
A lack of a comprehensive understanding of others is socially inadaptive because it prevents the formation of meaningful interpersonal relations. Socially inadaptive behaviour results from the lack of normal conditions for growth. When the conditions for growth are abnormal and pathogenic, then the inherent human potentialities fail to develop. When the growth needs are inhibited the result is neurotic development or 'neurosis'. The result of neurotic development is non-adaptive behaviour manifest as human wickedness or 'evil'. The individual's motivation and behaviour depends on the stage of growth which has been reached and is dominated by those human needs which have not been met.
The lack of faith in human needs and human potential is the basis for irresponsible education which is education for manipulation and control.
The paradigm of traditional education is based on the assumption that human needs are dangerous and bad or 'evil' and therefore human nature is not to be trusted. The basic mistrust in human nature leads to the dichotomous belief that the interests of the individual and of the society are mutually exclusive and antagonistic. Furhermore this dichotomous perception of the social reality leads to the notion of civilization as a means for controlling and policing human needs and impulses. In a cultural environment in which the individual is controlled by external forces, and which focuses on the control of human needs, motivation by the growth needs or 'metamotivation' is inhibited. Deprivation of the means for gratification of the instinctive spiritual needs or 'metaneeds' results in ambivalent feelings towards them. They are perceived as both appealing and frightening. Motivation by the growth needs is inhibited by psychological reaction responses of repression and self-denial. Trust in human needs and human nature is denied awareness and the notion of mistrust for human nature is a fallacious one.
The needs of the individual and of the society are not mutually exclusive and antagonistic. On the contrary, they are mutually dependent and interrelated. A society which is based on the recognition and respect for human nature and human needs is a civilized society. And the function of civilized society is to foster human growth and self-actualization. Education for self-actualization and the development of human potentialities is responsible education... education which is responsible provides the right conditions for human growth i.e. recognition and respect for the human needs - basic psychological needs (also called 'deficiency needs') and the less urgent spiritual needs or 'metaneeds' - the growth needs of creation and production. The biologically based instinctive metaneeds are required for growth and development of conscience.
Motivation by the metaneeds of the value-life is 'metamotivation' which is intrinsic to human nature. Gratification of the metaneeds is necessary for a person to become fully 'human' and self-actualizing' individuals - with a sense of purpose and worthiness i.e. with self-respect, self-discipline, self-directedness. Self-actualization is necessary for the avoidance of for the prevention of the diminution of humanness or 'dehumanization' which is the 'metapathology' resulting from neurotic development and undeveloped conscience. The metaneeds are the needs for ego- or self-transcendance for happiness as serentiy and freedom from fear. The equally potent 'metaneeds' or 'Being needs' or 'B-needs' of 'Being-perception' - the perception of a social reality characterized by the 'fused unity' of the polar extremes of dichotomies... 'growth needs' function in proper growth and personality development and in the construction of the human conscience or 'spirit'... source of human values... and guardian of human integrity. The intrinsic aim of normal human psychological development is the proper development of the human conscience... the guide to integrity requisite to the fulfillment of human potential. Growth depends on acting according to the dictates of one's conscience ... growth is normal if the conscience is developed and rational ...growth is abnormal or 'neurotic' if the conscience is undeveloped and irrational.The construction of an irrational authoritarian conscience occurs when the image of perfection is projected onto an external authority and internalized.
The self-actualized personality experiences true pleasure which is serenity of mind and absence of fear ...is able to reject immediate gratification for the sake of permanent and tranquil satisfaction... parallel between the biological function of pleasure and the social evolution of the human organism ... the remoulding of human nature into fitness for the requirements of social life must eventualy make all needful activities pleasurable, while it makes displeasurable activities at variance with these requirements. Pain correlates with actions and activities which are injurious to the organism. Pleasure correlates with actions and activities which are conducive to the organism's welfare. Organisms of all species are kept alive from one day to the next by the avoidance of disagreeable activities which are detrimental to their welfare and by the pursuit of agreaeble activities which are beneficial to their welfare. Furthermore, the pleasure which attends the means to achieve an end very often becomes an end in iteslf. There is a close connection between human needs and human motivation. The promotion of metamotivaton by the metaneeds or growth needs is the basis for education for human potential and freedom. Education for intellectual and moral development i.e. 'responsible education' is characterized by faith in human potential.
Education for human potential and freedom is education based on the recognition and respect for human needs. As responible education based on biological and psychological needs of the human organism... holistic education is responsible education. The ideal society fosters the fullest development of human potential...of the fullest degree of humanness. Responsible education teaches for human growth based on human needs or values and teaches for development of conscience and human nature... teaches for natural learning involving both cognitive and affective aspects of brain functioning.
The inhibition of growth leads to neurotic development or 'neurosis'.
Human motivation and behaviour is dominated by different human needs depending on the stage of growth which the individual has reached. Decline in motivation is due to lack of recognition of needs for growth.
The lack of faith in human needs and human potential results in irresponsible education for manipulation and control. Education for the development of human potentialities is responsible education. Education for human potential and freedom is education based on the recognition and respect for human needs. Failure in growth results in non-adaptive behaviour which is manifest as human wickedness or 'evil'
"This inner core of human nature includes the basic physiological and psychological needs, the inborn capacities and talents, and the biologically based values inherent in the intrinsic yearnings and preferences. The denial or frustration of any of these needs, capacities or yearnings leads to psychopathology which can be manifested as 'evil.'" (Walsh Beyond Ego l77)
"In accordance with biological theory and the evolutionary process, self-actualization increases the person's autonomy and independence of the environment, defining full individuality and 'true' freedom" (Allport Becoming Yale Univ Press 1955)
Human development is a function of learning or 'education'.
Self-actualisation is a function of development of human potential through creativity and productiveness or 'work'. The psychological value of work lies in its function as the medium for construction of conscience or 'moral development'. Moral development the individual morality. The degree of moral development determines the extent of effectiveness of adaptation. Adaptation is most effective when it is based on complete moral development and accurate evaluation which leads to adaptive behaviour. Inaccurate evaluation leads to behaviour which is destructive and nonadaptive i.e. human wickedness or 'evil'. Problem of evil as incomplete human development:
"We must also face squarely the problem of what stands in the way of growth - evasion fixation, regression, defensiveness - the attractiveness of psychopathology i.e. the so-called problem of 'evil'". (Fromm)
"Life has an inherent tendency to grow, to expand, to express potentialities." (Erich "Escape from Freedom" New York: Rinehart, l94l) p.269
"It looks as though there were a single ultimate value for mankind, a far goal toward which all men strive. This is called variously, self-actualization, self-realization, integration, psychological health...but they all agree that this amounts to realizing the potentialities of the person, that is to say, becoming fully human, everything that the person can become" (Abraham Maslow Toward a Psychology of Being 2nd. ed., New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold Co., l968, p. 153)
"The result of the spontaneous process of self-realization is the 'productive' character orientation as a mode of relatedness to the world. The 'productive' individual recognizes his powers, identifies with them and puts them to productive use. Every human being is born with the biologically innate potential of a productive character. With intense interest in reality, the individual is affected emotionally and stimulated intellectually. The aim of human development is the individual's self-realization of his productive character, experiencing the world both mentally through reason and emotionally through love. 'Love' implies respect, knowledge, care and responsibilty.'Reason' implies an understanding of all dimensions. Knowledge of the productive character orientation is simultaneously knowledge of human nature". (Fromm Man For Himself) .
"We can certainly now assert that at least a reasonable, theoretical and empirical case has been made for the presence within the human being of a tendency toward, or need for growing in a direction that can be summarized in general as self-actualization, or psychological health, i.e. he has within him a pressure toward unity of personality, toward spontaneous expressiveness, toward full individuality and identity, toward seeing the truth rather than being blind, toward being creative, toward being good and a lot else. That is the human being is so constructed that he presses toward fuller and fuller being and this means pressing toward what most people would call good values, toward serenity, kindness, courage, honesty, love..." (Abraham Maslow Toward a Psychology of Being )
Man has within him "a pressure ...toward unity of personality, toward spontaneous expressiveness, toward full individuality and identity, toward seeing the truth rather than being blind, toward being creative, toward being good, and a lot else... Man demonstrates this "pressure toward fuller and fuller Being, more and more perfect actualization of his humanness in exactly the same naturalistic, scientific sense that an acorn may be said to be 'pressing toward' being an oak tree, or that a tiger can be observed to 'push toward' being tigerish."
"Life has an inherent tendency to grow, to expand, to express potentialities." (Erich "Escape from Freedom" New York: Rinehart, l94l) p.269
Maharishi Mahesh Yogi (initiated the science of creative intelligence) graduated from Allahabad University as a physics major. The Science of Being and Art of Living he defines human nature.
The inner field of intelligence and creativity ('creative intelligence') can be experienced in transcendental meditation. The natural tendency of the mind is to move... to wander in search of fulfillment or 'happiness'... The mind's attention naturally shifts to the more enjoyable situation (meditative state... 'daydreaming'). The technique of transcendental meditation utilizes this natural tendency of the mind to wander in search of fulfillment... transcendental meditation is entirely natural... based on the very stucture of life... utilizes the natural tendency of the mind to wander..to the more enjoyable situation. in search of fulfillment or 'happiness' a 'natural law'... integration of life's inner and outer phases is an effortless process involving neither concentration nor control... a way of allowing one's authentic nature to express itself thereby releasing oneself from the bondage of tension or 'stress'. Stress is not natural to life and has nothing to do with the reality of human nature. nothing to do with what or 'who' we really are. Stress results from the projection of the mind's attention outward through the senses... turning toward external objects of experience in its search for happiness. Stress thwarts the mind's natural tendency to shift towards the inner realm of 'creative intelligence'... spontaneously and naturally living according to the highest values. Creative intelligence is a function of the integration or the union ('yoga' in Sanscrit) of the never-changing aspect of life ('absolute') and the ever-changing aspect of life ('relative') Stress can be alleviated... removed by deep rest such as that obtained in transcendental meditation. The mind has a habit of searching outside, turning toward external objects of experience in its search for happiness.
Human nature is a function of creative intelligence…. the science of human nature is also known as the 'science of creative intelligence'.... Creative intelligence is the 'spontaneous unfolding of life.' The human being's creative intelligence allows him to live the highest values spontaneoously and naturally. At the 'higher' levels of consciousness, the individual lives by values which preserve the interconnectedness of human beings: justice, truth, beauty, freedom, generosity, love etc.The dichotomies disappear.
Compassion and concern for others is an aspect of human 'happiness'.
Knowledge has subjective and objective aspects. The objective aspect of knowledge is experience. The subjective aspect of knowledge is understanding which comes from meditation and thought in the mind of the fully developed human being. . With both aspects -experience and understanding - knowledge is complete. Experience is incomplete without understanding . True 'knowledge' is based on the union of the 'knower' (subjective knowledge) and the 'known' (objective knowledge). In the process of 'knowing' the 'knower' is connected with the 'known.' Without the 'knowledge' of the 'knower,' the 'knowledge is incomplete. Locating the object of the 'knowing' is much easier than locating the knowledge of the subjective 'knower'. The science of creative intelligence is the study of the location of the subjective 'knower,' the source of the thought process. The extent of awareness of the 'knower,' the state of consciousness, determines the extent of comprehension of the 'known.' "Knowledge is structured in consciousness." In order for the 'known' to be fully comprehended in all its aspects, wholistically, the knower' must be fully developed in his humanness and therefore creatively intelligent when experiencing the objective 'known.' As knowledge of experience, the 'known,' is incomplete without understanding on the part of the fully developed, creatively intelligent 'knower,' (so education is incomplete if it does not foster the full development of the individual, his creative intelligence.) Action based on incomplete knowledge, in the absence of creative intelligence, is non-creative and even destructive. Action based on complete knowledge, in the presence of creative intelligence, is creative and gains fulfillment. Action based on incomplete knowledge, in the absence of creative intelligence, is non-creative and even destructive. Action based on complete knowledge, in the presence of creative intelligence, is creative and gains fulfillment. (See Maharishi Mahesh Yogi The Science of Being and Art of Living. International SRM Publications, l966)
the study of the nature, origin, range, growth, and application of creative intelligence The word science refers to systematic investigation;' creative' refers to an ever present cause of change. Intelligence' is a basic quality of existence exemplified by the purpose and order of change ... creative intelligence: flow of creative and directed energy.
Jack Forem Transcendental Meditation: Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and the Science of Creative Intelligence. New York: E.P. Dutton & Co., Inc. l974
"How is growth accomplished? Through a series of changes. Without change there can be no development. And indeed, the most characteristic quality of life as we know it is change. Life is eternally changing, and the inevitable flow of life from one event or state to another is an eternal truth .
Human nature as
The predicament or dilemma of human nature or 'human condition'... Understanding of human nature leads to understanding of so-called 'dilemmas of the human condition'... philosophical questions are rooted in the need to understand...
Old Testament and human nature: The Christian religions have created the concept of ‘original sin’ and consequently the so-called ‘dilemma’ of the ‘human condition’ as a good/evil nature. How? With their questionable interpretation of the story of Adam and Eve and the serpent, the symbol of wisdom. Adam and Eve were advised to eat of the ‘tree of good and evil’ because conscious beings need understanding of moral knowledge or ‘morality’ in order to live in freedom as ‘inner freedom’. Life in freedom is only possible with sense of responsibility and mature conscience as source or guiding moral values.
Humans are basically good and we must trust the goodness of the human personality or ‘human nature’. If as children they are provided with conditions which enable them to develop their full potential as human beings, they will stay good people. The problem is that human nature is not always completely unfolded if the organic growth process is inhibited and psychological development is arrested at the level of immaturity. It is the immature 'psychotic' state which is the source of human wickedness or 'evil'. The so-called ‘evil side’ of human nature is a result of deprivation of the conditions required for normal human growth… conditions of unconditional love which communicate security and trust. The negative tendencies are usually (if not always) the product of defensive strategies of the mind-made self or ‘ego’, not the authentic self or ‘Self’. ‘Transformation’ from the ego-self to the Self involves completion of the human process of moral or ‘spiritual’ growth and t ransformation of the world is possible with complete psychological development to maturity. The mature person relies on the rational conscience for the guiding values required for a life of responsible freedom.
"One of the most basic problems of theological and philosophical thought: is man basically evil and corrupt, or is he basically good and perfectable?... The Old Testament does not take the position of man's fundamental corruption. Adam and Eve's 'disobedience' to God are not called sin; nowhere is a hint that this disobedience has corrupted man. On the contrary, the disobedience is the condition for man's self-awareness, for his capacity to choose, and thus in the last analysis this first act of disobedience was man's first step toward freedom from authoritarianism. It seems that their disobedience was even within God's plan; for according to prophetic thought, man is able to make his own hiry because he was expelled from paradise. He is able to develop his own human powers and to attain new harmony with man and nature as a fully developed individual instead of the former relationship with God in which he was not an individual. The Messianic concept of the prophets certainly implies that man is not fundamentally corrupt and that he can be saved without any special act of God's grace... the Old Testament view is that man has both capacities - that of good and that of evil - and he must choose between good and evil, blessing and curse, life and death. Even God does not interfere in his choice; he helps by sending messengers - the prophets, to teach the norms which lead to the realization of goodness, to identify evil, and to warn and to protest. But this being done, man is left alone with his two 'strivings' for good and that for evil - and the decision is his alone. The Christian development was different. In the course of the development of the Christian Church, Adam's disobedience was conceived as sinful... in fact a sin so severe, that it corrupted his nature and with it that of all his descendents, and thus man by his own effort could never rid himself of this corruption. Only God's own act of grace, the appearance of Christ, who, died for man, could extinguish man's corruption and offer salvation for those who accepted Christ". (Erich Fromm The Heart of Man pp.19-20) Fromm, Erich. Man for Himself: an Inquiry into the Psychology of Ethics. Holt, Rhinehart and Winston, New York, l947
Two trees in the center of the Garden of Eden... the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil represents dual reality of ego level of consciousness or 'mind' and the Tree of Life which represents the ultimate reality beyond mind, the reality of Oneness, Source or 'Spirit'.
'human condition' as 'the condition of being human'... awareness of existential isolation.. requires guides for living. .. . The natural guide for living is moral consciousness or 'conscience'...
The Buddha defines the 'First Noble Truth of Buddhism' thus: 'all life is imbued with suffering.' Consequently the individual must live in a transpersonal 'level' of consciousness, beyond the ego and existensial 'levels', in order to confront and reconcile life with its apparent inevitabilities of loss and death. The individual must understand the three truths which the Buddha claimed would help to lead the way out of the dilemma: first, 'the cause of all suffering is attachment', second, 'the relief of suffering comes from the cessation of attachment', and third 'the cessation of attachment comes from following the eightfold path, a prescription for ethical living and mental training aimed at attaining full enlightenment'.
Implications for education: The definition of human nature is directly related to the age old question 'what is the aim of education?' ... human adaptability depends on education for personal development... self-actualisation.... social intelligence...
'Meaningful learning' is intrinsically motivated by the human needs as operative values.
"...It is in
fact nothing short of a miracle that the modern methods of instruction have not
yet entirely strangled the holy curiostiy of inquiry; for this delicate little
plant, aside from stimulation, stands mainly in need of freedom;
without this it goes to rack and ruin without fail."
Development of the spiritual dimension of human nature depends on education which engages the person's intrinsic motivation for meaningful work i.e. 'holistic education'.
Human adaptability is the ability to evaluate perceptions accurately and to extract information which is necessary for adaptive behaviour. Accuracy of evaluation depends on objective perception of the whole i.e. 'holistic perception'. Holistic perception of complete cognition is a natural function of the brain. The brain's potential for holistic perception depends on education for personal development as a function of the human potential for moral or 'spiritual' development... or 'holistic education'.
Understanding of human nature leads to an understanding of the conditions which foster complete human development... the aim of holistic education. Holistic education is based on the notion that perception of 'reality' is a function of consciousness... that moral consciousness of developed conscience results in the intuition of creative intelligence required for human adaptability.
Development of conscience depends on complete development of the free or 'enlightened' mind. Education for freedom is based on respect for the brain's natural rules for learning or 'brain-based learning'. The role of the educator (teacher and parent) can be defined as facilitator.
The individual in the modern technological society must be acquainted with an increasing amount of objective knowledge. He must be able to make responsible decisions for himself in order to survive and adapt to the demands of the society. Therefore his need for subjective development must be acknowledged, respected and prioritized in the educational institution which is responsible for his 'education.'
Meaningful learning is experiential learning... 'Education' is futile if it involves the learning of material which has no personal meaning. Learng which does not involve the learner's feelings has no relevance for the whole person and is insignificant. Significant learning involves thought and feelings. Left to his own devices a child learns rapidly and effectively he learns from experience. Learning with a quality of personal involvement - This is called 'experiential learning'. (p.243)References Carl Rogers. Person to Person: The Problem of Being Human Real People Press, Lafayette, California l967
Montessori's Children's House experiments can be considered laboratories of the study of human nature. She made scientific observations of children at work. Their development was shown to derive from natural 'laws' of development
"Learning is a feature of human development" (Maria Montessori
"Obedience is no mechanical thing, but a natural force of social cohesion, intimately related to the will, even its sublimation. Obedience of the right kind is a sublimation of the individual's will, a quality in the human soul without which society could not exist. But an obedience without true self-control, an obedience which is not the consequence of an awakened and exercised will, brings whole nations to disaster." (Maria Montessori To Educate the Human Potential 123)
"The greatness of the human personality begins at the hour of birth.... education must start from birth... 'Education' must be understood as a help to the unfolding of the child's inborn psychic powers. The child's true constructive energy, a dynamic power, has remained unnoticed for thousands of years....From the earliest dawn of man's life on earth, these energies have been repressed and nullified... It is the child himself who presents us with revelations of man's spirit. (Maria Montessori The Absorbent Mind)
Where can relevant education be found? In his book The Science of Being and the Art of Living Maharishi Mahesh Yogi defines the purpose of education.....to unfold the potential of the human being: "The purpose of education is to cultivate the mind of a man so that he can accomplish all his aims in life. Education, to justify itself, should enable a man to use the full potential of his body, mind and spirit. It should also develop in him the ability to make the best use of his personality, surroundings and circumstances so that he may accomplish the maximum in life for himself and for others."
The AIM OF EDUCATION is to foster the development of persons who are inwardly free. He observes a number of value directions which appear to be common to all human beings, regardless of cultural influences. They all have in common the tendency "to favor the development of the individual himself, of others in the community and to contribute to the survival and evolution of his species." (Freedom To Learn 252)
"Growth like any ongoing function requires adequate objects in the environment to meet the needs of the growing child...
"Like any other living organism, the human individuum needs favorable conditions for his growth 'from acorn to oak tree'; he needs an atmosphere of warmth to give him both a feeling of inner security and the inner freedom enabling him to have his own feelings and thoughts and to express himself. He needs the good will of others, not only to help him in his many needs but to guide and encourage him to become a mature and fulfilled individual. He also needs healthy friction with the wishes and wills of others. If he can thus grow with others, in love and in friction, he will also grow in accordance with his real self." (Horney, Karen, M.D. Neurosis and Human Growth: The Struggle Toward Self-Realization, 18)
"Planfulness and looking into the future are of the central stuff of healthy human nature." (Allport, G. The Nature of Personality, Addison-Wesley, 1950)
"As the essential Being of the world is perceived by the person, so also does he concurrently come closer to his own Being, to his own perfection, of being more perfectly himself." (Abraham Maslow Toward a Psychology of Being)
data about true human nature - not evil, bad etc. biology of values, conscience etc. Change the premise from 'the instinctoid needs of the human being are evil and bad' to the premise ' the instinctoid needs of the human being are good' then ask the same questions and resolve many problems.
Fromm's thesis: "values are rooted in the very conditions of human existence; hence our knowledge of these conditions, that is, of the 'human situation', leads us to estabishing values which have objective validity; this validity exists only with regard to the existence of man; outside of him there are no values."
Restoring contact with oneself, with one's experiencing, gaining self-confidence with growth, living in harmony with oneself etc.
pain of being human.... people are a product of their negative family scripts which can be changed by learning to communicate with feelings.
fully functioning human being centered in love.... authentic communication is .straight forward and direct. Be congruent... express on the outside what is being felt on the inside... be aware of your feelings and thoughts... body language expresses what you are feeling.... State feelings and stay honest and centered as you deal with conflict. Say what you mean and mean what you say. You are responsible for your thoughts and actions. Be gentle and loving with yourself and others. Love without clutching. Appreciate without judging. Join without invading. Invite without demanding, Leave without feeling guilty. Criticize without blaming. Help without insulting. Ask others for help, The person with high self-esteem feels that they matter, that the world is a better place because they are there. They have faith in their own competence. They make their own decisions and they are their own best resource. They respect their own worth and the worth of others. They radiate trust and hope based on integrity, honesty, responsibility, compassion, love...
Words are coined to make the different aspects of human nature more accessible to scientific study of the analytic kind ...language chops up the flow of existence. The terms themselves - 'science of ethics,' 'science of values,' 'human nature,' 'science of education' etc. - result in the artifical chopping up of the natural flow of human existence. the use of language delimits inherent possiblilities for discovery.
It could be argued that the social sciences and the psychological sciences are basically 'biological' because they deal with the human species, a social animal... a holistic study of human nature, the combined perspectives of biology, sociology and psychology can aspire to the 'permament truths' that are the lodestone of science.
SCIENTIFIC METHOD ACCOUNTS FOR THE VALUE OF ERROR AND THE VALUE OF DOUBT control error... be aware of error and check for error to decrease chances of distortion of reality. Scientific reality is a measure of the awareness of error... show positive interest in errors ... the awareness of error guarantees scientific objectivity. Decisiveness of character results from the ability to recognize error... become aware of error and to correct for error... recognize one's mistakes. Progress comes from freedom to recognize and correct error... Denial of error divides human beings. Admission of errors serves to link human beings in fellowship. In science, errors must remain impersonal and amenable to control - principle of 'control of error'
An individual's search for identity is essentally a search for his own intrinsic value system, his own authentic nature, his humanness, the human core which he shares with other members of the human species.(Maslow Toward a Psychology of Being 177)
The basic right of a human being is the right to be human. An individual's responsibility to himself is to develop his humanness. By developing his own humanness the individual is being responsible to the rest of humanity. ...development of the individual's intrinsic value system. An individual's value system is the product of the totality of the thought processes within the context of experiences in a changing social environment. The values which form the guidelines for living result from the individual's educational experience
CONNECTION BETWEEN THWARTED PSYCHOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENT AND THE PROBLEMS OF ETHICS: PROBLEMS OF VALUES AND "ETHICS" - GOOD/BAD, EVIL/VIRTUE ETC. RESULT FROM EGO CENTERED MENTAL PROCESSES. The distortion in perception results from neurosis - a deficiency disease. irrational fears etc. of immaturity. EGO-CENTERED MENTAL PROCESS DICHOTOMIZES AND DISTORTS REALITY:
The findings of psychiatry and psychoanalysis have shown that sound psychological health is measured by the degree to which people relate to other people. ...psychic health and neurosis linked up with ethics... neurosis represents a moral problem... The failure to achieve maturity and integration of the whole personality is a moral failure
"The looking within for the real self is a kind of 'subjective biology' for it must include an effort to become conscious of one's own constitutional, temperamental, anatomical, physiological and biochemical needs, capacities and reactions i.e. one's biological individuality. It is also the path to experiencing one's specieshood, one's commoness with all other members of the human species. That is, it is a way to experiencing our biological brotherhood with all human beings no matter what their external circumstances." (Maslow)
.value directions which appear to be common to all human beings, regardless of cultural influences. They all have in common the tendency to favor the development of the individual himself, of others in the community and to contribute to the survival and evolution of his species..
he biological principles of morality and ethics are based on inborn biological necessity and basic human needs....'instinctoid' in nature'... guiding values - the built-in or 'intrinsic'values... values which are both good and necessary for the organism are found, uncovered or recovered in the course of self-discovery during psychotherapy... ...children's spiritual growth. ... individual reacts as a whole, as an organism, developing altered orientations and behaviours in response to injury or illness ....noetic or holistic approach to the behavior of the organism as a whole.. 'noetic' (wholistic) human aspects of human nature as selected for in evolution of human organism Biological basis of spiritual life - survival oriented The basic right of a human being is the right to be human. An individual's responsibility to himself is to develop his humanness. By developing his own humanness the individual is being responsible to the rest of humanity. ...development of the individual's intrinsic value system. An individual's value system is the product of the totality of the thought processes within the context of experiences in a changing social environment. The values which form the guidelines for living result from the individual's educational experiences.
CONNECTION BETWEEN THWARTED PSYCHOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENT AND THE PROBLEMS OF ETHICS: PROBLEMS OF VALUES AND "ETHICS" - GOOD/BAD, EVIL/VIRTUE ETC. RESULT FROM EGO CENTERED MENTAL PROCESSES. The distortion in perception results from neurosis - a deficiency disease. irrational fears etc. of immaturity
RESPECT FOR HUMAN NEEDS: THE BASIS FOR DEVELOPMENT OF THE HUMAN CONSCIENCE, BASIS FOR CIVILIZED SOCIETY, AND THE BASIS FOR RESPONSIBLE EDUCATION
The deepest nature of humanity is not bestial, but divine.This understanding of existence provides a natural basis for reverence for life, cooperation and synergy, concerns for humanity and the planet as a whole, and deep ecological awareness. Human nature as a function of the striving toward unity of personality.
Self-actualisation .. intrinsic motivation for learning which depends human needs in the context of freedom...as responsible freedom or 'inner freedom'. Inner freedom is an aspect of 'self-transcendence'...
"As the essential Being of the world is perceived by the person, so also does he concurrently come closer to his own Being, to his own perfection, of being more perfectly himself." (Abraham Maslow Toward a Psychology of Being 95)
The basic right of a human being is the right to be human. An individual's responsibility to himself is to develop his humanness. By developing his own humanness the individual is being responsible to the rest of humanity. ...development of the individual's intrinsic value system. An individual's value system is the product of the totality of the thought processes within the context of experiences in a changing social environment. The values which form the guidelines for living ...
Restoring contact with oneself, with one's experiencing, gaining self-confidence with growth, living in harmony with oneself Gendlin, E.T. Experiencing and the creation of meaning. New York: The Free Press of Glencoe, Division of the Macmillan Co., l962)
"The understanding of nature has as its goal the understanding of human nature, and of the human condition within nature." (Bronowski, J. The Ascent of Man)
"Planfulness and looking into the future are of the central stuff of healthy human nature." (Allport, G. The Nature of Personality, Addison-Wesley, 1950)
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9 Heidelbreder, Edna. The Seven Psychologies, NY 1933
10. Horney, Karen . The Neurotic Peronality of our Time. W.W. Norton & Co. New York, 1947
11. Horney, Karen, M.D. Neurosis and Human Growth: The Struggle Toward Self-Realization, New York: W.W. Norton & Co. Inc. 1956
11. Morton Hunt .. The Universe Within: A New Science Explores the Human Mind. New York: Simon & Schuster.1982
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13. James, William. Talks to Teachers on Psychology and Students on Some of Life's Ideals.
14 Korzybski, A. Science and Sanity
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his inner core of human nature includes the basic physiological and psychological needs, the inborn capacities and talents, and the biologically based values inherent in the intrinsic yearnings and preferences. The denial or frustration of any of these needs, capacities or yearnings leads to psychopathology which can be manifested as 'evil.'
...ychoanalytic thought gives a prominent place to the concept of state-bound test of reality or 'reality-testing'. from the viewpoint of the multiplicity of states of consciousness reality testing does not deal with the concept of 'levels of reality' or 'levels of consciousness'.
Eastern pathology is to see reality as wholly other than that of waking awareness, and so dismisses the physical world as illusory.
The basic right of a human being is the right to be human. An individual's responsibility to himself is to develop his humanness. By developing his own humanness the individual is being responsible to the rest of humanity. ...development of the individual's intrinsic value system. An individual's value system is the product of the totality of the mental thought processes within the context of experiences in a changing social environment. The values which form the guidelines for living ...
Konrad Lorenz (On Aggression), Robert Ardrey (The Social Contract), Desmond Morris (The Naked Ape), Lionel Tiger and Robin Fox (The Imperial Animal) ...man's status as a biological species adapted to particular environments.
The "essence of human nature lies in thought or reason'.(Descartes)
Rousseau...belief in 'noble savagery': "Man is naturally good and only by institutions is he made bad... The natural man is a noble savage, untouched by the evil influences of civilization.
There is abundant evidence from the findings of traditional psyschology that 'evil' human behavior is a result of the frustration of natural human development. 3. data about true human nature - not evil, bad etc. Change the premise from 'the instinctoid needs of the human being are evil and bad' to the premise ' the instinctoid needs of the human being are good' then ask the same questions and resolve many problems.