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The Farther Reaches of Human Nature (Arkana) [Paperback]

Abraham H. Maslow

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Book Description

31 Mar 1994 Arkana
In "The Farther Reaches of Human Nature", an extension of "Toward a Psychology of Being", Maslow explores the complexities of human nature by using both the empirical methods of science and the aesthetics of philosophical inquiry. With essays on biology, synergy, creativity, cognition, self-actualization, and the hierarchy of needs, this posthumous work is a synthesis of Maslow's ideas.

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About the Author

Abraham H. Maslow taught at Brooklyn College and the Western Behavioral Sciences Institute, and was Chairman of the Department of Psychology at Brandeis University. From 1967 to 1968 he was Preseident of the American Psychological Association. Dr. Maslow was one of the foremost spokesmen of the humanistic, or "Third Force," psychologies, and author of many books and articles, including Toward a Psychology of Being, The Psychology of Science, and Religions, Values, and Peak-Experiences.

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My adventures in psychology have led me in all sorts of directions, some of which have transcended the field of conventional psychology-at least in the sense in which I was trained. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars  14 reviews
96 of 102 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A worthy addition to any psychological library 14 Jan 2004
By Ross James Browne - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Overall this is a very good book, but with some significant flaws. The first 100 pages are unbelievably good; as I began reading this book I really felt like I had hit the jackpot, and I quickly concluded I would attempt to read all of Maslow's works. As I got further into the book I was singing quite a different tune. I believe anyone with any interest in psychology whatsoever should buy this book and read the first 100 pages. This section alone is easily worth the price of the book - don't let me scare you away from exploring the ideas of this great man. However, the dropoff in quality after this first section is rather precipitous, and while pages 100-200 were OK, the final 100 pages are an absolute chore to get through and I had to force myself along to finish the book.
Keep in mind that Abraham Maslow died before he was able to make a final edit of this book, and it shows. The second half of the book is almost a verbatim repetition of the earlier sections, and Maslow tends to harp on the same concepts endlessly. Some of it comes across as a very generic self help book designed to be consumed by the masses. In other sections, he seems to start over right from square one, as if some of the essays were meant to stand alone and were not meant to follow other essays that were extremely similar. I would say nearly half of this book should have been relegated to an expanded appendix - but I guess it would be strange to have a book where full half of it consisted of an appendix. I'm sure that Maslow would have fixed these problems had he lived long enough, but we will just have to accept this book for what it is and try as best we can to extrapolate something useful from it.
To conclude, I must still vehemently stress the importance of at least the first half of this book. If you grow bored with it, just stop reading. The editors of this book obviously elected to take a throw-it-all-against-the-wall-and-see-what-sticks approach, and I suppose there is no harm in that. Just remember that the original author was not around to oversee the final editing, and the result is a large dose of disjecta and detritus towards the end of the book. Nevertheless, do not let this minor disclaimer prevent you from exploring the wonderful ideas of this brilliant man.
53 of 62 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A revelation... 16 May 2001
By "cortomaltese" - Published on Amazon.com
i could not put down this book. the only vague idea i had from Maslow was the classic pyramid of needs, of which i did not think much. I could not have been more wrong! this book lifted the veil from my eyes, i just so thouroughly identify with the author's views. i wish i had read this book 10 years ago. Maslow is so honest, his style so fluid, his statements so powerful. this book is all about what it means to be human, and it gives faith again in human nature, yet we are facing so many hurdles in our world. while reading it on a train journey, i stopped for a second and looked thru the windows of the cabin. there i saw some clouds in the blue sky, and i felt tears coming up to my eyes. I felt like a follower who had just met his prophet...
28 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars filled with authentic good cheer.... 18 May 2000
By Craig Chalquist, PhD, author of TERRAPSYCHOLOGY and DEEP CALIFORNIA - Published on Amazon.com
....about the possibilities of becoming fully human. This was one of the books that inspired me to study psychology. An eminently sane look at the "higher reaches" from the psychologist who dared to wonder why we study sickness but not health.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Human Potential revealed 27 April 2007
By Neal J. Pollock - Published on Amazon.com
This amazing book is a posthumous collection of previously published articles delineating the highest known levels of human development in a descriptive, scientific manner. These include not only his famous Self-Actualization but also transcendent levels within S-A. He describes his methods, distinguishing scientists from technicians, carefully suggests further research; explores both individual & society development/potentials, provides extensive descriptions of Being-Values demonstrated by highly developed people, associated metamotivation/metaneeds/peak & plateau experiences/ultimate values vs. polarities & pp. 21-5: "Metapathologies...the spiritual or philosophical or existential ailments...deficiency diseases...From the point of view that I have outlined, normalcy would be rather the kind of sickness or crippling or stunting that we share with everybody else & therefore didn't notice." Many of his observations are consistent with Zen, Taoism, & Tibetan Buddhist Dzogchen & Mahamudra--relating ego to Self (p. 159: "In all of these peak experiences it becomes impossible to differentiate between the self & the non-self...self-transcendence, not of self-obliteration," full humanness, leading a heavenly life in the here & now (p. 108: "Being & Becoming are, so to speak, side by side, simultaneously existing, now"), Rigpa/integration (p. 111: "Unitive consciousness...is the ability to simultaneously perceive in the fact--the is--its particularity & its universality; to see it simultaneously as here & now, & yet also as eternal, or rather to be able to see the universal in & through the particular & the eternal in & through the temporal & momentary" vs. dichotomizing, spontaneity & nonmeditation (pp. 126-7: Being can mean...effortless spontaneity...the `end' of developing, growing, & becoming"). While hypothesizing that America is a growing tip or Cosmic experiment, he also notes some current societal problems/roadblocks to S-A: p. 352: "The confounding of sex & dominance in the human being," p. 363: "All human beings, including children, `need a value system'...If there is no adult value system, then a child or adolescent value system will be embraced," & p. 229: "One can judge the level at which people live by the kind of humor that they laugh at." However, he asserts that p. 265: "To be a full member of the human species does not mean repudiating the lower levels; it means rather including them...enjoying the differences" & that p. 334: "The Bodhisattvic path is an integration of self-improvement & social zeal, i.e. the best way to become a better `helper' is to become a better person. But one necessary aspect of becoming a better person is via helping other people. So one must & can do both simultaneously."

While not necessarily an easy read (esp. with its long lists of traits), the author provides many approaches to make the incomprehensible understandable. His approach is scientific yet humanistic, demonstratively describing his positive vision. This is not only a classic of psychology but a brilliant, groundbreaking effort.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The true, the beautiful and the good as universe realities 1 Jan 2009
By Larry Mullins - Published on Amazon.com
Published posthumously, this book is critical to understanding Maslow's concept of metaneeds, metavalues and metamotivations. He clearly outlines the need of self-actualizers to devote themselves to a cause greater than self. No surprise here, but in my judgment, what he would describe in "Religions, Values and Peak Experiences" as perhaps his "most important finding" has yet to be fully appreciated and understood. Dr. Maslow professes that the highest values, being values, or metavalues, are not grandiose platitudes but rather inner realities that are not made up but discovered. Moreover, metavalues are active agents that configure and inspire the motivations of self-actualizing personalities. Much as a contemporary fellow genius, Viktor Frankl, would observe, the True, the Beautiful and the Good are universal realities that are potential in all human beings. This finding flies in the face of Freud and Skinner, who insisted that human nature is virtually completely malleable by environment. Once Abraham Maslow's premise regarding values is entertained, the reader will discover the later sections of the book, especially the "Metamotivation" section, of supreme importance. When we understand and embrace Dr. Maslow's insights into supreme values, we will better understand his pronouncement that humankind has been sold short. Also see Malsow's "The Psychology of Science, a Reconnaissance."
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