Issue No. 2
On Maturity and Self-Actualization
Table of Contents
- Why Important
- How is Maturity Measured?
- Qualities of Self-Actualized People
I. Why Important
A mature person is one who not only can face the problems and challenges of
life competently, but one who is able to develop his or her own potentials
to a higher degree than the average person. It results in fulfillment in
II. How is Maturity Measured?
There is no standard way of measuring maturity, but there are approaches
towards a better understanding of what a mature person is. In general we
can speak of a mature person as:
One of the most significant attempts to identify qualities of a mature person
was made by the psychologist Abraham Maslow, who developed the concept of
Self-Actualization. He speaks of four stages of human growth identified in
terms of the needs: Basic body needs, safety needs, belonging, esteem, and
the highest being meta-needs or Self-actualization needs. Self-actualization
is roughly defined as "full use of talents, capacities, potentialities of an
individual." Self-actualized people are the psychologically healthy people of
the world. It will therefore be of use for us to study the qualities of such
- Capable of meeting life's challenges effectively
- They tend to live a happier and more meaningful life, and
- They are able to develop their potentials much more fully than others.
III. Qualities of Self-Actualized People
All rights reserved. Copyright (1995) by the Peace Center, Theosophical
Society in the Philippines, 1 Iba Street, Quezon City, Philippines. This
outline may be reproduced provided this notice appears.
- They see reality more correctly. They have a minimum of biases
and attitudes that tend to distort their perception of things and
Example: The chairman of a meeting felt insulted that one of the
persons attending was sleeping during the meeting. The chairman felt
that the person was not interested or did not feel the meeting
important enough. In reality, the person was in the hospital the
whole evening and had no sleep at all.
The opposite of this quality is neurosis, which tends to distort
perception of reality. Mature persons tend to be able to accept
reality better than immature people. Immature people tend to
rationalize, defend or justify himself or situations.
- Mature people are able to accept themselves, others and nature,
better than the average. In addition to seeing things more
objectively, mature people can accept what they see. They tend to
complain less about things than the average. They can accept and
face their own defects and shortcomings. Because they can accept
themselves and others, they tend not to be artificial in their
- Mature people are focused on problems outside themselves, rather
than focus on themselves. They are not ego-centered. They are
mission-oriented. Usually, these tasks are non-personal or unselfish
work for the benefit of others.
- They are detached and value privacy or solitude. They tend to
be undisturbed by things that normally bother other people. They are
calm and serene.
- They are autonomous, self-reliant, and not dependent on culture or
environments. They have transcended many of the common needs of
other people such as material needs, social approval, safety, etc.
Their satisfaction comes from the growth process itself. They maintain
serenity and happiness in the midst of conditions that can drive others
- They are compassionate and sensitive to their fellowmen, a sense of
universal brotherhood. From this arises the genuine desire to help
the human race.
- They have mystical experiences, or the oceanic feeling.
It is intense experience accompanied by a loss of sense of self,
sometimes called "peak experiences."
- They have spontaneity and freshness of appreciation. Simplicity
of nature. Spontaneous appreciation based on very simple values.
- Deep and profound interpersonal relationships. Relationships
are not shallow. More capable of genuine love.
- They are democratic in attitude and do not discriminate according
to race, sex or religion.
- They have a very clear sense of right and wrong. Not according
to some cultural conventions, but to an innate perception of what is
ethical or unethical.
- They are creative and have wholesome sense of humor.
Philosophical and non-hostile sense of humor
Theosophical Society in the Philippines, 1 Iba St., Quezon City, Philippines
"If five percent of the people work for peace, there will be peace."