Global-Self Actualization and Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs
The mission of America was clearly stated in the first lines of the Declaration of Independence, which read, We, the People of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do.
The mission of America hasn’t been accomplished yet. It is time now we do so. We have the technological knowledge and the resources to build ecological cities in which each individual has the ability to discover and activate their true creative selves for the common good. By creating ecological cities or arcologies, we can establish justice, which is the key to achieving liberty and domestic tranquility.
Without a massive redevelopment program that evolves our concept of the city, we cannot establish justice and insure domestic tranquility. The pattern of development that has ruined the American landscape with urban sprawl and industrial pollution was a European form of land development. The American Revolution was not able to solve the social ills of European cities, based on class divisions. European classism simply reproduced itself in America. Adopting a European model, an American architecture designed to insure domestic tranquility was never built, the utopian American dream unfulfilled.
At this point in America’s history, our common defense no longer stops at our national borders; it comprises the entire Earth. We are plagued with tons of nuclear waste that we don’t know how to handle. Clearly, to follow the ideals of the Declaration of Independence, we must stop the production of nuclear waste by ending the development of nuclear power and nuclear weapons. To provide for our common defense is to protect and clean up the global ecology. To promote the general welfare can only mean to give up our nuclear arms race and join with the human race to build the first arcologies on Earth and in Outer Space.
For America to complete her sacred destiny of being “a new order of the ages,” and to find a solution to the age-old war in the Middle East, and class warfare at home, we need to understand the wisdom of the all-knowing eye hovering over the unfinished pyramid on the dollar bill. At this critical point in the evolution of humanity, the purpose of money is to pool our resources together so that can finish building the dollar pyramid. Such a constructive wisdom will create a new frequency that is aligned with the evolutionary powers of cosmic consciousness, the key to our long-term planetary survival.
To explain this concept of America ‘s spiritual destiny more fully and the reason why our founding fathers put an Egyptian pyramid on the dollar bill, I have superimposed Maslow’s hierarchy of needs onto the dollar pyramid. The hierarchy of needs reveals that in order for us to build a true democracy, everyone’s basic human needs must be met.
However, in the USA , there are millions of homeless people, millions of people without healthcare and access to education, millions who don’t have high-speed Internet access required for 21 st Century communication, or reliable, pollution-free transportation. The goal of democracy–to achieve equal rights for all–has never been accomplished, as the gap between the haves and have-nots widens, and America sinks deeper into the tyranny of a global corporate plutocracy (government by CEOs).
Maslow’s social theory is that happy people are the ones who have worked their way up the pyramid to reach self-actualization. To fulfill the higher needs requires that the lower needs of the pyramid are fulfilled. In order words, if you are hungry and you have no shelter, you cannot think about higher realms of self-actualization.
Maslow discovered that only two percent of the human population ever reaches higher levels of self-actualization. Those who have reached such levels are ones whose creative work and ingenuity has led them to avenues of economic security (for some, even vast wealth) and public recognition. Perhaps we can think of them as those who make up the global celebrity culture–not only in popular culture, but in intellectual, scientific, and spiritual cultural circles as well. These are voices of social influence, political power, and social esteem. Most importantly, these are the people who receive media attention not only in the mainstream media, but in the alternative media as well.
Being in the class of culture-makers, this two percent’s self-actualization leads them to higher levels on the pyramid of needs: that of transcendence in reaching for causes greater than the self. Many star celebrities such as Leonardo DiCaprio are using their celebrity to promote solutions to global problems. His recent film, The 11th Hour, is about the global environmental crisis. But how do we evolve so that everyone can become active in the joy and empowerment of working to solve our global crisis? How do we create a culture where everyone has equal access to the means of empowerment? I believe we can find a hint to the answer by looking into a more esoteric meaning for the pyramid being on the American dollar.
The pyramid is a monumental work of archetypal sacred architecture. The pyramid on the dollar is unfinished, or perhaps levitated. Some people have interpreted the capstone with the eye in the center hovering over the pyramid to mean that America is unfinished. In America, there is now enough potential wealth to build a prototype pyramid arcology (envisioned by Buckminster Fuller), a new global accounting system, and a world energy grid energized by the sun (see Wasserman’s Solartopia). We need to be the leader in redirecting the world’s wealth into providing for the global commonwealth.
The era of the mansion and the private yacht is over! We have to think in terms of rehousing everyone in ecological city designs. Democracy is not about the private accumulation of wealth; it is about the wise use of the collective wealth for the common good. Ultimately, democracy is about global-self actualization. America ‘s cosmic mission is to design a global order that allows each individual the means to self-actualize for the global commons. This is what is meant on the Latin banner underneath the pyramid dollar, “the new order of the ages.”
The way to build a pyramid arcology is by following the motto on the dollar: E pluribus unum, which means “out of many, one.” One is the superorganism of Gaia, the planetary cell, our common life support system. To understand the one, we need a common dream that allows everyone on the planet to self-actualize. This means that we must create cities explicitly based on the human rights of self-actualization. Not only do we need to meet basic biological needs, but we all also need knowledge and beauty, as well as to be able to communicate ideas via communication technologies.
People who are presently on top of the money pyramid, in order to self-actualize and live a guilt-free green lifestyle, are generally neglecting the two highest needs: transcendence and global-self actualization. The best way to connect with the spirit of transcendence and work for the good of all humanity is to build a new type of city designed so that everyone has their basic human needs met, as well as the higher needs. Our present capitalist cities are not designed to meet the needs of anyone; thus, we live in a world where so very few are self-fulfilled. For America to fulfill its destiny as the “the new order of the ages” means to build a structure that is founded on universal sustainable architecture.
Our grand intention is to create a massive peak experience, what I call a massgasm. On the road to universal self-actualization, we become a collective movement towards world peace and global justice.
Adapted Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs
- Biological and Physiological Needs —air, food, drink, shelter, warmth, sex, sleep, etc. (rights to a healthy ecology, rights to housing)
- Safety Needs –protection from natural elements, social disorder, insecurity, resource depletion, social instability, etc. (rights to global security, nuclear disarmament, a stable global climate, a fair global social order, universal health care)
- Love and Belongingness Needs –work group, family, affection, relationship, etc. (rights of free association, rights to choose personal sexual orientation, rights of marriage)
- Esteem Needs/Achievement Needs– mastery, independence, status, prestige, managerial responsibility, etc. (rights to chosen work, rights to supported creativity, rights to public exposure)
- Cognitive and Beauty Needs —participation in and appreciation of art and knowledge (rights to education, rights to communication technologies, rights to enjoy and participate in art, music, dance, theater, etc.)
- Self-Actualization Needs –realizing personal potential, self-fulfillment, seeking personal growth and peak experiences (rights to know and be thyself)
- Transcendence Needs —connection with Gaia (Goddess of the Earth) to help others to achieve self-actualization
- Global-Self Actualization —awaking to the global brain, whole-systems design, collective consciousness, achieving a resource-based, human rights global economy, building a network of arcologies, worship and reverence for life on Earth, building a Type 1 (see Micho Kaku’s outline) civilization, Gaia Religion (right to dissent, right to shift the paradigm)
There is a wonderful meditation involving the dollar pyramid created by Corinne McLaughlin at Center for Creative Leadership.2007