top of page

Ultra Being as a concept is simply discovering one's sense of the present moment which enables one to be fully engaged with life.

In a whole-brained regard Ultra-Being posits engaging in any activity full heartedly.  Likewise in positive psychology, a flow state, also known colloquially as being in the zone, is the mental state in which a person performing some activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and enjoyment in the process of the activity. In essence, flow is characterized by the complete absorption in what one does, and a resulting transformation in one's sense of time. [Ellis, Gary D.; Voelkl, Judith E.; Morris, Catherine (September 1994). "Measurement and Analysis Issues with Explanation of Variance in Daily Experience Using the Flow Model". Journal of Leisure Research. 26 (4): 337–356]

 

Similarly the state of "Ultra-Being" generates or exists within experiencing flow which is the melting together of action and beingness

aware in consciousness; the state of finding a balance between a skill and how challenging that task is.  It requires a high level of concentration; however, it should be effortless. Flow is used as a coping skill for stress and anxiety when productively pursuing a form of leisure that matches one's skill set. [Mirvis, Philip H. (July 1991). "Flow: The Psychology of Optimal ExperienceFlow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience, by Csikszentmihalyi Michael. New York: Harper & Row, 1990, 303 pp]

 

Named by the psychologist Mihály Csíkszentmihályi in 1970, the concept of flow has been widely referred to across a variety of fields (and is particularly well recognized in occupational therapy), though the concept has been claimed to have existed for thousands of years under other names.

In another sense, UltraBeing can also be compared to ideals such as self-actualization, in Maslow's hierarchy of needs, as the highest level of psychological development, where personal potential is fully realized after basic bodily and ego needs have been fulfilled.

Self-actualization as a word was actually first coined by the organismic theorist Kurt Goldstein for the motive to realize one's full potential: "the tendency to actualize itself as fully as possible is the basic drive ... the drive of self-actualization."[Goldstein, quoted in Arnold H. Modell, The Private Self (Harvard 1993) p. 44] 

 

Carl Rogers similarly wrote of "the curative force in psychotherapy – man's tendency to actualize himself, to become his potentialities ... to express and activate all the capacities of the organism." [Carl Rogers, On Becoming a Person (1961) p. 350-1]

 

In philosophy and psychology, self-fulfillment is the realizing of one's deepest desires and capacities. The history of this concept can be traced to Ancient Greek philosophers and it still remains a notable concept in modern philosophy.

 

Philosopher Alan Gewirth in his book Self-Fulfillment defined self-fulfillment as "carrying to fruition one's deepest desires or one's worthiest capacities."[Alan Gewirth (2 November 2009). Self-Fulfillment. Princeton University Press. pp. 3–5] Another definition states that self-fulfillment is "the attainment of a satisfying and worthwhile life well lived."[Barbara Kerr (15 June 2009). Encyclopedia of Giftedness, Creativity, and Talent. SAGE. pp. 63–65] It is an ideal that can be traced to Ancient Greek philosophers, and one that has been common and popular in both Western and non-Western cultures. Self-fulfillment is often seen as superior to other values and goals.

 

Gewirth notes that "to seek for a good human life is to seek for self-fulfillment". [Alan Gewirth (2 November 2009). Self-Fulfillment. Princeton University Press. pp. 3–5]  However, in modern philosophy, the ideal of self-fulfillment has become less popular, criticized by thinkers such as Hobbes and Freud, who feel there are conceptual and moral problems associated with it. It has been called an egoistic concept, impossible to achieve, with some suggesting that it is an obsolete concept that should be abandoned. Moral philosophers focus less on obtaining a good life, and more on interpersonal relations and duties owed to others. Similarly, whereas Plato and Aristotle saw the goal of the polis in providing a means of self-fulfillment to citizens, modern governments have given up on that, focusing rather on maintaining civic order. Despite the criticism, the concept of self-fulfillment still persists in modern philosophy, its usefulness defended by thinkers such as Gewirth himself. [Alan Gewirth (2 November 2009). Self-Fulfillment. Princeton University Press. pp. 3–5] 

Maslow defined self-actualization to be "self-fulfillment, namely the tendency for him [the individual] to become actualized in what he is potentially. This tendency might be phrased as the desire to become more and more what one is, to become everything that one is capable of becoming."[Maslow (1943) Psychological Review 50, pp. 370-396.A Theory of Human Motivation]  He used the term to describe a desire, not a driving force, that could lead to realizing one's capabilities. He did not feel that self-actualization determined one's life; rather, he felt that it gave the individual a desire, or motivation to achieve budding ambitions. Maslow's idea of self-actualization has been commonly interpreted as "the full realization of one's potential" and of one's "true self." [Gleitman, Henry; Fridlund, Alan J. and Reisberg Daniel. Psychology. 6th ed. New York: Norton & Company, 2004]

A more explicit definition of self-actualization according to Maslow is "intrinsic growth of what is already in the organism, or more accurately of what is the organism itself ... self-actualization is growth-motivated rather than deficiency-motivated."[5]: 66  This explanation emphasizes the fact that self-actualization cannot normally be reached until other lower order necessities of Maslow's hierarchy of needs are satisfied. While Goldstein defined self-actualization as a driving force, Maslow uses the term to describe personal growth that takes place once lower order needs have essentially been met, one corollary being that, in his opinion, "self-actualization ... rarely happens ... certainly in less than 1% of the adult population." [Abraham Maslow, Towards a Psychology of Being (New York 1968) p. 204]The fact that "most of us function most of the time on a level lower than that of self-actualization" he called the psychopathology of normality. [Jane Loevinger, Ego Development (California 1976) p. 140] 

 

Maslow's usage of the term is now popular in modern psychology when discussing personality from the humanistic approach.

Maslow's work is considered to be part of humanistic psychology, which is one of several frameworks used in psychology for studying, understanding, and evaluating personality. The humanistic approach was developed because other approaches, such as the psychodynamic approach made famous by Sigmund Freud, focused on unhealthy individuals that exhibited disturbed behavior; whereas the humanistic approach focuses on healthy, motivated people and tries to determine how they define the self while maximizing their potential. [Gleitman, Henry; Fridlund, Alan J. and Reisberg Daniel. Psychology. 6th ed. New York: Norton & Company, 2004] 

 

Humanistic psychology in general and self-actualization in particular helped change our view of human nature from a negative point of view – man is a conditioned or tension reducing organism – to a more positive view in which man is motivated to realize his full potential. This is reflected in Maslow's hierarchy of needs and in his theory of self-actualization.

Instead of focusing on what goes wrong with people, Maslow wanted to focus on human potential, and how we fulfill that potential. Maslow (1943, 1954) stated that human motivation is based on people seeking fulfillment and change through personal growth.

 

Ultra-Beingness in my theory, reflects or emanates the qualities of self-actualized people who are those living fulfilled lives and doing all they are capable of.  Ultra-Being is "being all that one can become".  It refers to the person's desire for self-fulfillment, namely to the tendency for him/her to "be" or to become actualized in what is potentially available for the them to realize. "The specific form that these needs will take will of course vary greatly from person to person. In one individual it may take the form of the desire to be an ideal mother, in another it may be expressed athletically, and in still another it may be expressed in painting pictures or in inventions."[Maslow, 1943, pp. 382–383]

One of Abraham Maslow's earliest discussions of self-actualization was in his 1943 article "A Theory of Human Motivation" in Psychological Review 50, pp. 370–396.

Discussion

Maslow's writings are used as inspirational resources. The key to Maslow's writings is understanding that there are no quick routes to self-actualization: rather it is predicated on the individual having their lower deficiency needs met. Once a person has moved through feeling and believing that they are deficient, they naturally seek to grow into who they are, i.e. self-actualization. Elsewhere, however, Maslow (2011) and Carl Rogers (1980) both suggested necessary attitudes and/or attributes that need to be inside an individual as a pre-requisite for self-actualization. Among these are a real wish to be themselves, to be fully human, to fulfill themselves, and to be completely alive, as well as a willingness to risk being vulnerable and to uncover more "painful" aspects in order to learn about/grow through and integrate these parts of themselves (this has parallels with Jung's slightly similar concept of individuation).

 

Although their studies were initially biologically centered (or focused around the more ordinary, psychological self-nature), there have been many similarities and cross-references between various spiritual schools or groups (particularly Eastern spiritual ways) in the past 40 years. [Koltko-Rivera, Mark. E. Rediscovering the Later Version of Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs: Self-Transcendence and Opportunities for Theory, Research, and Unification, in: Review of General Psychology, 2006, Vol. 10, No. 4, 302–317]

Kurt Goldstein's concept

The term "self-actualization" was first used by the German psychiatrist Kurt Goldstein. Maslow attributed the term "self-actualization" to Goldstein in his original 1943 paper.

 

'Kurt Goldstein first introduced the concept of the organism as a whole,' which is built on the assumption that "every individual, every plant, every animal has only one inborn goal – to actualize itself as it is." [Frederick S. Perls, Gestalt Therapy Verbatim (Bantam 1974) p. 6 and p. 33]

Kurt Goldstein's book, The Organism: A Holistic Approach to Biology Derived from Pathological Data in Man (1939), presented self-actualization as "the tendency to actualize, as much as possible, [the organism's] individual capacities" in the world.

The tendency toward self-actualization is "the only drive by which the life of an organism is determined." [Goldstein, Kurt. The Organism: A Holistic Approach to Biology Derived from Pathological Data in Man. 1934. New York: Zone Books, 1995]  However, for Goldstein self-actualization cannot be understood as a kind of goal to be reached sometime in the future. At any moment, the organism has the fundamental tendency to actualize all its capacities and its whole potential, as it is present in that exact moment, under the given circumstances. [Goldstein, M.: (1971): Selected Papers/Ausgewählte Schriften, The Hague (Nijhoff), p. 471]

Discussion

Goldstein's work was in the context of Classical Adlerian psychotherapy, which also promotes this level of psychological development by utilizing the foundation of a 12-stage therapeutic model to realistically satisfy the basic needs. This then leads to an advanced stage of "meta-therapy", creative living, and self/other/task-actualization.[STAGES OF CLASSICAL ADLERIAN PSYCHOTHERAPY -Alfred Adler Institute of Northwestern Washington". www.adlerian.us. Retrieved 2019-04-30] Goldstein's work is also seen in the context of Gestalt therapy

The German term used by Goldstein, translated as "self-actualization", is "Selbstverwirklichung." "Self-realization" may be a more adequate translation than the "self-actualization" used in the translation of "The Organism".

Goldstein sets this notion of self-actualization in contrast to "self-preservation" (Selbsterhaltung). "Self-actualization" for Goldstein means something that comes close to realization of one's "essence", one's identity, one's felt sense of oneself; which may in consequence mean that a person is willing to risk his or her life in order to maintain "self-actualization" (Selbsverwirklichung), the realization of his or her "essence" of the person he or she feels that she/he IS.  [citation needed]

Carl Rogers' concept

See Wiki article: Actualizing tendency

Carl Rogers used the term "self-actualization" to describe something distinct from the concept developed by Maslow: the actualization of the individual's sense of 'self.'[Rogers, C. R. (1951/2015) Client-centered therapy. London: Robinson. p. 489] In Rogers' theory of person-centered therapy, self-actualization is the ongoing process of maintaining and enhancing the individual's self-concept through reflection, reinterpretation of experience, allowing the individual to recover, develop, change, and grow.

 

Self-actualization is a subset of the overall organismic actualizing tendency, and begins with the infant learning to differentiate what is "self" and what is "other" within its "total perceptual field," as their full self-awareness gradually crystallizes.[2] Interactions with significant others are key to the process of self-actualization:

As a result of interaction with the environment, and particularly as a result of evaluational interaction with others, the structure of the self is formed – an organized, fluid but consistent conceptual pattern of perceptions of characteristics and relationships of the 'I' or the 'me', together with the values attached to these concepts. [Rogers, C. R. (1951/2015) Client-centered therapy. London: Robinson. p. 489]

 

The process of self-actualization is continuous as the individual matures into a socially competent, interdependent autonomy, and is ongoing throughout the life-cycle. When there is sufficient tension between the individual's sense of self and their experience, a psychopathological state of incongruence can arise, according to Rogers, "individuals are culturally conditioned, rewarded, reinforced, for behaviors which are in fact perversions of the natural directions of the unitary actualizing tendency."[Rogers, C. R. (1963) The actualizing tendency in relation to 'motive' and to consciousness. In M. Jones (ed.) Nebraska Symposium on Motivation 1963. Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press. pp.1-24] In Rogers' theory self-actualization is not the end-point; it is the process that can, in conducive circumstances (in particular the presence of positive self-regard and the empathic understanding of others), lead to the individual becoming more "fully-functioning".

bottom of page