Maslow is stereotypically associated with a kind of fluffy ‘love yourself’ psychology although the man himself was quite a skeptic of the mumbo jumbo that got associated with his work.
The association is not so much because of Maslow’s focus on self-actualization, a goal where we use our psychological potential to its fullest, but because of his association with the ‘human potential movement’ and the Esalen Institute.
Esalen had some quite laudable goals but ended up being a hot tub of flaky hippy therapies. If you want an idea of what we’re talking about, you perhaps won’t be surprised to learn that nude psychotherapy movement that we covered previously on Mind Hacks originated from the same place.
Maslow quickly got pissed off with half-baked people that he attracted and but sadly the stereotype stuck.
The man himself was far more complex, however, as was his remarkably profound work, and The New Atlantis article does a great job of bringing out the depth of his life and ideas. Recommended.
Link to article ‘Abraham Maslow and the All-American Self’.