Friday, January 22, 2016

An Old and Incomplete Observation

Three years ago* I wrote this piece on Matthew’s account of the temptation of Jesus:

This morning I came across a note I had attached to Deuteronomy 8:3[1]: “How does that fit with Maslow? Does deprivation followed by satisfaction of a basic need produce a greater appreciation of higher needs?” The reference is to Abraham Maslow, the psychologist who proposed a hierarchy of human needs, ranging from the basic means of survival (water, food, shelter, etc.) to what he called “self-actualization,” the stage of development at which those who have attained it feel themselves to be most fully human. Most interpreters of Maslow make the generalization that higher level needs can only be satisfied, or even perceived as needs on the highest (most abstract) levels, when the most basic needs are met. This would suggest that extreme poverty and hardship do not produce great philosophers or mystics.

* I began this post on 28 April 2014, so it has been five years now. I do not now recall where I was going with this post, so here it is, as it is.
[1]“He (God) humbled you by making you hungry and then feeding you the manna that neither you nor your ancestors had ever experienced, so he could teach you that people don't live on bread alone.” Common English Bible with Apocrypha - ePub Edition. Abingdon Press. Kindle Edition.

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