"When Keats... was transformed from a young lad without a vocation to a young lad who knew that his destiny lay in poetry, he did not think he had changed himself but had been changed, born from above by a vision of a world of beauty he had never sensed before. So all profound transformations of character are associated with the experience, not of lifting oneself, but of being lifted, not of changing oneself but of being changed." HARRY EMERSON FOSDICK Riverside Sermons
My premise challenges the conventional view that Self-Actualizers are super-people who live on sustained peak levels of productivity and consciousness that are unattainable for most people. This is not to claim that we can lift ourselves into new levels of consciousness, but rather that we can be lifted. Virtually any individual can access the inexhaustible power of what Abraham Maslow termed Being values. Knowing how to do this, aspiring actualizers no longer need be helpless victims of the volatile ebb and flow of ordinary motivation. Our difficulties lie in that we know better, but refuse to yield and allow ourselves to be lifted. Yield to what? To what we intuitively know to be True, Beautiful, and Good; to act out our lives with nonnegotiable Integrity, Excellence, and Caring. The purpose of this article is to tell my story of how I personally came to believe this as a self-evident truth.
Many years ago, I got on the wrong bus. I thought it would carry me on a journey to independent wealth and happiness. Instead, I ended up in a place of tragedy and despair. There seemed no way out. Then, after many years in a painful wilderness, a simple change of mind allowed me to be lifted out of my situation and be gently placed on the path of a wonderfully new way of life. But, I am getting ahead of my story.
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