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The Farther Reaches of Human Nature (Esalen Book)

4.16  ·  Rating details ·  825 ratings  ·  46 reviews
Abraham H. Maslow was one of the foremost spokespersons of humanistic psychology. In The Farthest Reaches of Human Nature, an extension of his classic Toward a Psychology of Being, Maslow explores the complexities of human nature by using both the empirical methods of science and the aesthetics of philosophical inquiry. With essays on biology, synergy, creativity, cognitio ...more
Paperback, 432 pages
Published October 1st 1993 by Penguin (first published 1971)
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In this book, the three chapters that spoke to me the most are: Neurosis as a failure of personal growth, emotional blocks to creativity, and a holistic approach to creativity.

I shall try here to enumerate how they apply to me.

Personally, I feel the most restless, fastidious, and anxious when I feel I’ve hit a wall in my personal or professional life. I agree with Maslow how, at the initial stages, I used to ignore the inner signals, and run away with what we call ‘fate’. All this changed, howe
Teri Temme
Jul 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Favorite quote from this book: Notes on Innocent Cognition: "You can't "undo" knowledge, you can't really become innocent again; once you have seen something, you can't undo the seeing. Knowledge is irreversible, perceiving is irreversible, knowing is irreversible; in this sense you can't go home again. You can't really regress, not even by giving up your sanity or strength altogether."

Thought provoking and mind expanding, this text is wonderful.
Sep 07, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Maslow's works are classicism in thought and substance..because neither can be defined when speaking of is mutable...and connected in every scientifically developed theory in the area of psychology..when followers of the hard sciences -observe human behavior cross culturally
the realization that culture impacts on the development of thought which therefore skews any statistical hard evidence of why people behave they way they do.. read this book many times.. it is my reference point
Henric Svenningsson
Dec 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
A great book about the definition of humanity and the importance of seeing the world from the eyes of the human being. Maslow´s theory about humans basically born as good and moral really appeals to the you and the aim in life to be "fully human" is a positive and stimulating alternative to other psychological theories negative or neutral perspective on the human being. Maslow presents his theories and explain them in a logical and convincing way and you´ll find yourself reading the chapters ove ...more
Jul 13, 2012 is currently reading it
One of my top ten read. Therefore, it has a special spot to remain when not being read, and is re-read for pleasure every few years. Truly, one of the books all people of the literate world should have read this by twenty or fifteen, but we do not. I love this (and all of Maslow's work), because he had the courage to put what some think into an amazing classic of knowledge about our inner-self. Plus he has constructing the ideal person, and the feasibility of people being amazing. Great read.... ...more
May 05, 2018 marked it as to-read
The human pyramid of needs was fine. But this next article is subversive, somehow.
Erik Graff
Apr 08, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: psychology
I was first exposed to Abraham Maslow's psychology in college. Being unwilling as a vegetarian to participate in the dread "rat lab", Grinnell's sympathetic psychology department allowed me to do the introductory course as a guided reading project with Professor Morse. Although I avoided laboratory work, I was probably forced to read a lot more than the average beginning student and, given possible prejudices on the part of the professor, I probably was directed more towards traditional depth ps ...more
Jun 19, 2018 rated it liked it
I have learned a great deal about Maslow's hierarchy of human needs. But this was my first time reading him directly. There were some brilliant insights in this book. But altogether, I found it to lack parsimony. A longwinded, though in depth, look at the humanistic psychology that Maslow championed, this book just wasn't what I was hoping for. Perhaps this is because it isn't so much a book as a series of writings compiled into what felt like a disjointed read. Perhaps I just was not the right ...more
Apr 06, 2020 rated it liked it
Dense and academic but filled with gems of wisdom—if you can find them.

"Being independent of other people’s evil or ignorance or stupidity or immaturity even when this is directed toward oneself is possible, though very difficult. And yet one can, in such a situation, gaze upon the whole situation—including oneself in the midst of the situation—as if one were looking upon it objectively, detachedly from a great and impersonal or suprapersonal height." Pg. 262
Ric Underhile
Sep 09, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: citizenship
A book I review and reflect on over and over. Timeless and profound, it is a guide to personal and professional enlightenment.
Mar 13, 2011 rated it really liked it
Thought provoking and educational.
Dan  Ray
Feb 09, 2022 rated it really liked it
This was an admittedly dated compilation of Maslow’s musings and essays, mostly centred around the idea of the fully self-actualized human.
Maslow is most well known for his hierarchy of human needs, and in these pages he expands the list to concentrate on the meta-needs of the peak, since modern humanity in the developed world has largely handled the base of the pyramid.
A very interesting read, full of points that resonated with me as a reader. There were many that missed the mark, psychology
Lynne Fisher
Nov 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
An intriguing read by an intriguing man, and a nice surprise in that the style of writing was reasonably accessible for a lay reader outside the academic field of psychology, with some quirkily human expressions and clarfications which provided some unexpected humour - something I haven't come across before in other psychology or humanist philosophy works.

As an artist and writer, I especially liked his chapters on creativity, values, and transcendence, but much there was much food for thought ov
Feb 01, 2021 rated it liked it
This is a very dense read - sometimes I had to question whether Maslow had reached a new level of consciousness (haha) or whether it was words for the sake of words, concepts just because. Initially I let Maslow humour me but after a while I had to put him away and seek solace in Skinner. I really appreciate the gist of Maslow's hierarchy of needs (in fact I have used it as a foundation in some of debates) but I cannot accept all of it. And I had more questions than insight (some of them answere ...more
Adam Bartley
Dec 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
Maslow is an absolute legend. I will be honest though, this should not have been my first Maslow book. It is very detailed, in terms of the terminology he used in regards to his concepts of Humanistic Psychology. However, it provoked a ton of interest in me, to study deeper into Peak Experiences, Self-Actualization as well as B-Values or B-Cognition.

Are there any present day researchers following up on the work Maslow did in the Humanistic Psychology space now? Or is this now up to us?
Mar 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
I thought it would be just another book on societal developments, but it was so much more - in fact it helped me find myself the need to cherish my own creativity. It reflected inside a person, to reflect on the society!
Jul 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is one I read over and over again. It’s used like a instruction manual otherwise.
Adam James
Aug 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely brilliant.
Nov 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I read this book in graduate school and loved it!!!
Toby Newton
Oct 17, 2021 rated it really liked it
Occasionally in need of a little more editing than it received, but this remains an important book despite its bagginess. I'd prefer Maslow a little woolly, than many writers at their 'peak'. ...more
Nicolas Rodriguez Stockar
Excellent book. Maslow is an excellent psychologist and theorist.
Teo 2050


Maslow AH (1971) (14:00) Farther Reaches of Human Nature, The

Preface, by Bertha G. Maslow, 1971

Introduction: A. H. Maslow, by Henry Geiger

Part I: Health and Pathology

01. Toward a Humanistic Biology
• The Good Specimen and "Growing-Tip Statistics"
• Humanistic Biology and the Good Society
• The Good Specimen as the Chooser for the Whole Species
• The Mind-Body Correlation
• Taoist Objectivity and Classical Objectivity
• The Problem of Big Problems
• Predicting the Future

James Henderson
Jan 30, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: psychology
I was impressed with this book by Abraham Maslow as he looked at human potential in many aspects of modern culture from business to science to family to education and more. He applies his hierachy of needs to these different aspects of society and gives examples, from the basics of survival in these areas up the pyramid to the self-actualization or transcendence beyond these social institutions. The book covers area of human thought and action including creativity, health, values, education, bei ...more
May 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
I was able to relate to a lot of it. His articles were a good introduction to bringing human values into the domain of science. He included many testable hypotheses for example. I found many parts relatable and seemingly true [hindsight bias?], though many parts were boring. Particularly I like the articles where he went to a rehab community, and his chapter on good vs bad societies. Maybe it is the U/Distopian in me
Sybe Starkenburg
Aug 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I have chooses self-actualisation as one of the main corner stones of my book. I am of the opinion that the self actualised person is the fulfilled person; both rationally and spiritually. No other author has been more clear in his research than Maslow. Maslow wrote about a possible 'tick list' for traits that make us human. For my book I have taken his first steps an compiled a more complete list. ...more
May 10, 2010 added it
How could young people not be disappointed and disillusioned? What else could be the result of getting all the material and animal gratifications and then not being happy, as they were led to expect, not only by the theorists, but also by the conventional wisdom of parents and teachers, and the insistent gray lies of the advertisers?
May 15, 2016 rated it liked it
Interesting book on Maslow's theories about reaching peak experiences, self actualization and other related themes. It's a collection of Maslow's articles and reads like he's writing for other psychologists, as opposed to anyone, so pretty dense but cool at times to get a deeper look at some of these theories we've all heard about. ...more
Meg Espozi
Jan 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is one of THE BEST books I have ever laid eyes on. It was so good, that it took me 8 years to finish.

I'd read a passage and meditate on it, and picked the book back up when mentally capable to get mind fucked again.

I've never experienced anything like it. I hope to some day reread it.
Mar 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I am not a big re-reader but read this one several times. I think the last 1/4 of the book fell apart so I am not one to rave about the last few chapters.

There are several chapters on creativity and knowing that are absolutely stellar and a bible of my belief in psychology. My copy of my book is underlined, highlighted and so beat up- but I would never part with it.
Todd B Stevens
May 11, 2009 rated it really liked it
Maslow is one of the few psychologists after Freud, who is Freud, that makes any sense at all. His idea is a humanistic psychology, based on a hierarchy of needs. We all feel, eventually Maslow's hierarchy.

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In 1908, Abraham H. Maslow was born, the first of seven children, to immigrant Russian Jewish parents, in New York City. He received his BA in 1930, his MA in 1931 and his Ph.D in 1934, all in psychology, from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Maslow taught full time at Brooklyn College, then at Brandeis, where he was named Chair of Psychology in 1951. Maslow, a humanist-based psychologist, is ...more

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“If you deliberately plan to be less than you are capable of being, then I warn you that you’ll be deeply unhappy for the rest of your life. You will be evading your own capacities, your own possibilities.” 19 likes
“You must want to be first-class …meaning the best, the very best you are capable of becoming. If you deliberately plan to be less than you are capable of being, then I warn you that you’ll be deeply unhappy for the rest of your life. You will be evading your own capacities, your own possibilities.” 3 likes
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