Maslow (1964, 1970) identified 14 B-values, but the exact number is not important because ultimately all become one, or at least all are highly correlated. The values of self-actualizing people include truth, goodness, beauty, wholeness or the transcendence of dichotomies, aliveness or spontaneity, uniqueness, perfection, completion, justice and order, simplicity, richness or totality, effortlessness, playfulness or humor, and self-sufficiency or autonomy (see Figure 10.2).
As we saw earlier, Maslow suggested that self-actualization people can be characterized by 15 different dimensions. From the 1950s through the 1990s, a number of researchers attempted to determine the structure of mental health and well-being. For instance, in the 1950s, Marie Jahoda (1958) was asked by the Joint Commission on Mental Illness and Health to review and summarize the literature on mental health. She concluded that six dimensions most consistently appeared self-acceptance, personal growth, autonomy, environmental mastery, personality integration, and an accurate perception of reality. Many of these were in fact the same or very similar to Maslow's more exhaustive list. In the 1970s, Richard Coan (1977) combined theory and empirical research and argued for five disthict dimensions of mental health efficiency, relatedness, inner harmony, creativity, and self-transcendence. Later, Carolyn Ryff (Ryff & Keyes, 1995) combined Jahoda's theoretical review with research on...
Maslow did not claim that peak experiences occur only among the self-actualized, but he did assert that these experiences are more frequent among such individuals (Daniels, 1982 Maslow, 1968b, 1969) and that they open the door to a transcendence of the ego, which is life-transforming (Frick, 2000). In his later theorizing, Maslow acknowledged that some people have peak experiences in childhood, when they could not yet be self-actualized, and retrospective reports by adults confirm this assertion (E. Hoffman, 1998). Stamatelos (1984) reports that peak experiences can occur even among the developmen-
As Maslow's study of self-actualizers continued, he made the unexpected discovery that many of his people had had experiences that were mystical in nature and that somehow gave them a feeling of transcendence. Originally, he thought that these so-called peak experiences were far more common among self-actualizers than among non-self-actualizers. Later, however, Maslow (1971) stated that most people, or almost all people, have peak experiences, or ecstasies (p. 175). Not all peak experiences are of equal intensity some are only mildly sensed, others moderately felt, and some are quite intensely experienced. In then mild form, these peak experiences probably occur in everyone, although they are seldom noticed. For example, long-distance runners often report a sort of transcendence, a loss of self, or a feeling of being separated from their body. Sometimes, during periods of intense pleasure or satisfaction, people will experience mystical or peak experiences. Viewing a sunset or some...
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