REVISING MASLOW’S HIERARCHY – STAGES OF EMOTIONAL DEVELOPMENT PART 1

The Mazlow Revised Hierarchy

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs provides a framework for understanding human needs. While it is extraordinarily useful, it has come under much criticism. For example, some have suggested that there is a lack of hierarchical structure to human needs.

In this blog and the next, we will discuss a spiritual revision to Maslow’s Hierarchy. Our Hierarchy – called the Mazlow Revised Hierarchy of Needs – looks at human needs from the perspective of consciousness. We suggest that there are stages of emotional development, culminating in an ultimate state of being – oneness. In this first installment, we examine the lower four planes of our revised hierarchy.

THE SEPARATION STAGE

The stage of separation – in this state, one is unaware of the needs of others

At the bottom of our revised hierarchy is the separation stage. This is actually a state of complete unconsciousness, with the ability to begin the process of self-actualizing.  In this state, one is unaware of the existence and needs of others. It is the darkest state, but fortunately, there is always the possibility of moving forward (one is never truly lost).

Although most people are rarely ever completely in this stage, we all to some extent reside in it. As humans, we have evolved to be self-interested – it was necessary for survival in our evolutionary past. Taken to an extreme, we may think that we are the only ones who matter.

When we recognize that our needs, while important, are not the only ones, we may begin to move out of this stage. The next state in our hierarchy is the survival stage, which we will discuss next. 

THE SURVIVAL STAGE

In survival consciousness, conflict is the norm

The next rung in the hierarchy is the survival stage. In this state, one is aware of others, but views them as threats.  Resources are seen to be scarce, and life is a battle to ensure one’s survival. There is a constant fight for access to land, water, food, etc.

Much of humanity is still in this state. Life for many of us can be quite brutal. Covid-19 has exacerbated economic inequality. According to this article, the pandemic drove an additional 97 million people into extreme poverty in 2020. Understandably, lacking resources can place a huge amount of stress on people in need, which in turn can result in worldwide chaos.

While it is not easy to pinpoint any one particular solution to the problem of limited resources, higher consciousness offers a unique perspective. When we see each other as ourselves – the essence of oneness – we begin to realize that we no longer need to fight with one another for scarce resources. Instead, we can cooperate more fully so that all life on this planet can thrive.

THE NEGATIVE EMOTIONAL STAGE

Some identify strongly with their negative emotions, making spiritual progress difficult

The next level is the negative emotional stage. In this stage, one’s actions are driven by the negative emotions one feels, ranging from fear to guilt. Many humans are still stuck in this stage of development, believing that the negative emotions they experience are who they really are, and that these emotions are the Truth. 

While there is much to feel upset and angry about, remaining stuck in this negative emotional stage can prevent one from seeing the bright side to life. A person mired in negative emotions may have a hard time working towards goals, becoming distracted by their negative thoughts and feelings.

Fortunately, it is possible to begin to work on moving out of this state. As always, awareness provides the key to addressing this issue. By recognizing our negative thoughts and feelings, we can understand them. We may then work out a plan of action to address them and create the kind of life that we dream of.

THE IDENTITY STAGE

The dark side of building an identity out of one’s race

The next stage is the identity stage. Instead of identifying with one’s negative emotions, in this stage, a person builds an identity out of some characteristic or mission.  For example, a person may build an identity out of his or her race, or association with a particular movement. 

Although this is a very common stage of consciousness, to cling too much to a constructed identity is a barrier to oneness, since reaching oneness requires seeing that we are really spiritual beings having a human experience, so human identity, while valuable, is not our true nature. 

This is not to say that a person should not cling to any kind of identity. As with all stages in our hierarchy, a constructed identity is very much part of the human condition. It may not be possible or advisable to completely eliminate any kind of human attachment. Instead, it is wise to recognize it, realizing that there is far more to one’s being than the narrow roles we construct for ourselves.

CONCLUSION

We propose a spiritual hierarchy as a complement to Maslow’s original Hierarchy

We have discussed the bottom four levels of our revision to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. In the next installment, we will conclude by looking at the top four levels.

HOW YOU CAN SUPPORT US

We are the first business using the idea of higher consciousness and oneness to address human needs. We are building a oneness economy and conducting basic needs operations in the Kibera slum in Nairobi, Kenya. You can support our mission of spreading the positive impact of oneness through the purchase of our products below.