Is Self Actualization Equal to Nirvana?

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Is Self Actualization Equal to Nirvana?
Rohani, Other, Malaysia

Sometimes ago I attended a talk on Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs and the speaker stressed that the level of self-actualization equates to to 'nirvana' in Buddhist teaching - and thus very few people will reach this level. Can you elaborate on this?

Is Self Actualization equal to Nirvana?
Akila B, Coach, India
Nirvana as a concept has more depths to it and this is an oversimplified correlation. But you can take it this way...
A person who strives for nirvana as a goal - and I'm talking of an aspirant, not even someone who has achieved nirvana - has come past the stages in his life when material things or even abstract things such as fame or recognition cease to be a motivating factor for him. He is in search of something more meaningful, something that appeals to his "soul" - by which I mean, what is innermost to him, the core of him in terms of values that he cherishes (I do not mean a "spirit").
That is the stage of self-actualization, when your needs are not external or dependent on the external world anymore, but more attuned to meaning in your life.
All of us look for meaning, but most of us are willing to take the rewards of the other 4 levels as sops. The person in self-actualization mode will not settle for anything less than what brings out the best of his innermost self.

Also Called 'awareness'
viswesvaran, Manager, India
@Akila B: What I understood from various 'schools of thought" is:
1. Self is a mirror where you get reflected
2. Reflection happens in the form of thought that visualizes your good and bad deeds
3. Be an observer of these and find out the subtle nature of mind
4. By just asking the simple question "Who am I ?" go to the root
5. Become the observer.
6. Will be able to realize that awareness exists in three states:
7. Sleep, dream and wake.
8. Be patient to know that one that exists always exists that is the awareness during these three states
9. You are the witness to all these states become the one
10. People who call themselves "self - realized' just removed the wrong note that they are but perishable body and mind.

Self-actualization = nirvana
Shubhra Gabel, Manager, India
Nirvana = self-actualization for someone who has defined self-actualization for himself / herself as Nirvana:
- For a painter self-actualization = unleashing creativity through painting.
- For a musician self-actualization = unleashing creativity through composing music, etc.
Self-actualization is a relative term, depending on the person's type of need of self-actualization.
In general there are only few persons who are self-actualized on this planet of ours, even if self-actualization was not defined as being equal to nirvana.
The vast majority struggles for very basic needs.


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