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Hilding Lindquist

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I am an existentialist, Part III
by Hilding Lindquist   
Not "rated" by the Author.
Last edited: Tuesday, September 27, 2005
Posted: Tuesday, September 27, 2005

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I am an existentialist, Part III

[M]y take on existentialism is that it does not deny the hierarchy of needs but that it understands, as Maslow did, that our resolution of these needs impacts and is impacted upon by our potential for self-actualization. -from "I am an existentialist, continued"


The choices I make in fulfilling my needs impact my potential for self-actualization. If I take things for myself without sharing, if I treat others as objects for my gratification, if I fail to engage with others as in:

I would add that I believe in nuturing the other person by sharing ... and particularly in sharing the creative experience, the uniquely human experience of applying our imagination to "What might be" and selecting from the infinite range of options, "What ought to be," and then making it, "What is." -from "Am I Christian Existentialist?"

If I do these things, then—I believe—I internalize barriers to my own self-actualization. For example, selfishness is an obstacle to the potential found in the principle of love.

What is love, in human terms?

I believe it is best defined by the concept of wanting what is best for the person who is loved.

This raises the issue of "What is best for another person?"

I believe what is best for the other person, is for her/him to fulfill the potential of her/his existence ... which in turn can only be achieved by the individual engaging in the process of self-actualization which for me is the uniquely human experience of applying our imagination to "What might be" and selecting from the infinite range of options, "What ought to be," and then making it, "What is."

Creating the community where this process thrives for all its members interactively, is what is best for humanity.

It should be understood, that with Maslow’s hierarchy of needs as a conceptual structure, I am declaring that the hierarchy of needs from physiological to safety to love/belonging to esteem leading to actualization have to be met. The struggle is to do this without blocking the individual’s potential for self-actualization.

Finally, choosing (selecting) “What ought to be” is meaningless if I do not also act to try to make it “What is”. Here we have the admonition of James in the New Testament of the Christian Bible, “Faith without works is dead.”

For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also. -James 2:26

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