Zen Happiness

Zen Happiness – I linked before to this page by Francis Heylighen at VUB, and noticed it referred to his 1992 paper on Maslow. As you know I’ve been observing parallels between Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and motivations, and Pirsig’s Metaphysics of Quality (MoQ), and Heylighen’s evolutionary cybernetic philosophy seems to account for both.

Apart from this effective re-statement of my own thesis [Quote] The general problem is that if holism as a reaction to reductionism is understood in a too simple-minded way, then any type of scientific analysis, of precise, formal modelling becomes meaningless. [Unquote] He also says …

Quality [Quote] The state of ultimate well-being as conceived by Japanese Zen Buddhism, “satori”, seems quite similar to “self-actualization”, especially in its emphasis on the openness to experience, the not deficiency-motivated behavior and the transcendence of dualities, and this reinforces my tendency to believe in Maslow’s statement about the culture independence of self-actualizing behavior. [Unquote]

Dynamic Quality [Quote] Self-actualization, on the other hand, may be called a growth need, in the sense that deviations from the previously reached equilibrium state are not reduced, but enhanced, made to grow, in a deviation-amplifying positive feedback loop…. The “goal” of an autonomous system is not a fixed equilibrium, but a dynamic process which continuously reconstructs the system’s identity…. Self-actualization is reached when all needs are fulfilled, in particular the highest need. Because of the positive feedback, self-actualization is not a fixed state, but a process of development which does not end. [Unquote]

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