Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is a theory by Abraham Maslow , which categorizes human needs into five basic levels (from the bottom up):
- Survival: basic physiological needs
- Safety: shelter and environment
- Community: love and belonging,
- Self-esteem: feeling valued
- Self-actualization: living our highest purpose
Needs lower down in the hierarchy are survival needs and must be satisfied before higher levels can be achieved.
The highest level of the pyramid are what Maslow termed "growth needs". These needs don't stem from a lack of something, but rather from a desire to grow as a person.
Level 1: Survival
At the most foundational level, your brain’s most fundamental task is to set up a system which enables the organism (you) to survive: eat food, drink water etc.
Higher levels like seeing love and self esteem are irrelevant if you're on the brink of death.
In the modern world, basic survival needs are met by attaining a consistent form of income - this enables us to buy food and water,
Level 2: Safety
Once basic survival needs are met, we look to establish a safe environment. In developed countries this can mean buying a home or renting an apartment and in developing parts of the world, or war-torn places this can mean finding a safe place to escape danger.
In any case, at this stage the organism is trying to find a stable foundation to survive and thrive from.
Level 3: Community
Numerous studies have shown that the healthiest, happiest people tend to be more involved in their communities; to truly thrive in this life and reach higher levels in the pyramid we need to feel accepted by others and be part of a community.
After we've established our basic survival needs (consistent income and reliable environment) the organism begins to place greater value on community: friendship, intimate relationships, love and belonging.
Level 4: Self-Esteem/actualization
With its basic needs being met, and the support of a community, the organism will seek “esteem needs” which according to Maslow include two components: feeling good about oneself and feeling valued by others.
Level 5: Self-Actualization
Essentially, self-actualization means feeling that we are doing what we believe we are meant to do; living our highest purpose. This level can only be accessed once the previous 4 have been addressed.
"It may be loosely described as the full use and exploitation of talents, capabilities, potentialities, etc. Such people seem to be fulfilling themselves and to be doing the best that they are capable of doing... They are people who have developed or are developing to the full stature of which they capable."
You can’t skip levels
While the theory is generally portrayed as a fairly rigid hierarchy, Maslow noted that the order in which these needs are fulfilled does not always follow this standard progression.
For example, he noted that for some individuals, the need for self-esteem is more important than the need for love. For others, the need for creative fulfillment may supersede even the most basic needs.
That being said, if we move too quickly from one level to the next, we may be missing some key elements of our building blocks and building higher levels on a less-than-stable foundation.
Thinking about Maslow's Pyramid in 5D:
Let's get 5D for a minute
In his original writing: Maslow pointed out that one behavior might meet two or more needs. For example, sharing a meal with someone meets the basic need for food, but it might also meet the need for community and socializing.
From a 5D perspective I’m wondering how we can create a situation which enables us to achieve all 5 levels simultaneously.
By developing a primary form of income (level 1) around doing something that makes us feel valuable (level 4), enables us to work in a safe environment like our home (level 2), collaborate with people we love (level 3), and is fulfilling our highest purpose (level 5) we can achieve all 5 levels at once...