IS SELF-ACTUALIZATION A BASIC NEED?
"There are many questions. The first: IS SELF-ACTUALIZATION A BASIC NEED OF MAN? First,try to understand what is meant by self-actualization. A. H. Maslow has used this term ”selfactualization.”Man is born as potentiality. He is not really actual – just potential. Man is born as a possibility, not as an actuality. He may become something; he may attain actualization of his potentiality or he may not attain. The opportunity may be used or it may not be used. And nature is not forcing you to become actual. You are free. You can choose to become actual; you can choose
not to do anything about it. Man is born as a seed. Thus, no man is born fulfilled – just with the possibility of fulfillment. If that is the case – and that is the case – then self-actualization becomes a basic need. Because unless you are fulfilled, unless you become what you can be or what you are meant to be, unless
your destiny is fulfilled, unless you actually attain, unless your seed becomes a fulfilled tree, you will feel that you are missing something. And everyone is feeling, that he is missing something. That feeling of missing is really because of this, that you are not yet actual.It is not really that you are missing riches or position, prestige or power. Even if you get whatsoever you demand – riches, power, prestige, anything – you will feel this constant sense of something
missing within you, because this something missing is not related with anything outward. It is related with your inner growth. Unless you become fulfilled, unless you come to a realization, a flowering, unless you come to an inner satisfaction in which you feel, ”Now this is what I was meant to be,” this
sense of something missing will be felt. And you cannot destroy this feeling of something missing by anything else.So self-actualization means a person has become what he was to become. He was born as a seedand now he has flowered. He has come to the complete growth, an inner growth, to the inner end.The moment you feel that all your potentialities have become actual, you will feel the peak of life, of
love, of existence itself.Abraham Maslow, who has used this term ”self- ctualization,” has also coined another term: ”peak experience.” When one attains to oneself, he reaches a peak – a peak of bliss. Then there is no hankering after anything. He is totally content with himself. Now nothing is lacking; there is no desire, no demand, no movement. Whatsoever he is, he is totally content with himself. Self-actualization becomes a peak experience, and only a self-actualized person can attain peak experiences. Then whatsoever he touches, whatsoever he is doing or not doing – even just existing – is a peak experience for him; just to be is blissful. Then bliss is not concerned with anything outside, it is just a by-product of the inner growth. A buddha is a self-actualized person. That is why we picture Buddha, Mahavir and others – why we have made sculptures, pictures, depictions of them – sitting on a fully blossomed lotus. That fully blossomed lotus is the peak of flowering inside. Inside they have flowered and have become fully blossomed. That inner flowering gives a radiance, a constant showering of bliss from them.
All those who come even within their shadows, all those who come near them feel a silent milieu around them.
There is an interesting story about Mahavir. It is a myth, but myths are beautiful and they say much which cannot be said otherwise. It is reported that when Mahavir would move, all around him, in an area of about twenty-four miles, all the flowers would bloom. Even if it was not the season for the flowers, they would bloom. This is simply a poetic expression, but even if one was not selfactualized, if one were to come in contact with Mahavir his flowering would become infectious, and one would feel an inner flowering in oneself also. Even if it was not the right season for a person, even if he was not ready, he would reflect, he would feel an echo. If Mahavir was near someone, that person would feel an echo within himself, and he would have a glimpse of what he could be.
Self-actualization is the basic need. And when I say basic, I mean that if all your needs are fulfilled, all except self-realization, self-actualization, you will feel unfulfilled. In fact, if self-actualization happens and nothing else is fulfilled, still you will feel a deep, total fulfillment. That is why Buddha was a beggar, but yet an emperor. Buddha came to Kashi when he became enlightened. The king of Kashi came to see him and he asked, ”I do not see that you have anything, you are just a beggar, yet I feel myself a beggar in comparison to you. You do not have anything, but the way you walk, the way you look, the way you laugh makes it seem as if the whole world is your kingdom. And you have nothing visible – nothing! So where is the secret of your power? You look like an emperor.” Really, no emperor has
ever looked like that – as if the whole world belongs to him. ”You are the king, but where is your power, the source?” So Buddha said, ”It is in me. My power, my source of power, whatsoever you feel around me is really within me. I do not have anything except myself, but it is enough. I am fulfilled; now I do not desire anything. I have become desireless.”Really, a self-actualized person will become desireless. Remember this. Ordinarily we say that if you become desireless, you will know yourself. The contrary is more true: if you know yourself, you will become desireless. And the emphasis of tantra is not on being desireless, but on becomingself-actualized. Then desirelessness follows." OSHO