There was this stack of about 45 neuroscience papers that I was annotating and synthesizing on/off since winter 2017, and I threw them all away. I threw away my old notebooks. I’ve thrown away my clothes, old books, everything.

Today was hard. Not because of the things I’ve thrown away but more so the realizations I’ve acquired.

It’s both liberating and terrifying to finally admit to yourself what it is that you need. I’ve seen every carnation of myself played out somewhere, I’ve heard people say their desires aloud and I saw myself in their eyes.

Maybe I’m overcompensating for my loneliness, by doing this. Maybe I’m making up for lost time. I can’t explain it, and I don’t entirely want to.

I’m scared. I’ll admit. I’m scared because I know this place is not welcoming, and I know that I will work hard to be where I want to be and that scares the shit out of me. Knowing that I will do it alone, and that I will leave this bubble I’ve placed around myself.

I threw away my phone weeks ago. I stopped listening to music. I can never listen to music the same anyway, knowing the internal chaos it produces. The noise.

Every day. All day. I’ve given up everything I thought I wanted. I discarded all things I told myself I was attached to. I’ve rid myself of all of it. The dreams of pursuing other careers, the dreams of being a mother, of marrying and having that family life. I’ve thrown it all away.

So I cried today. And I was anxious and had to go on a walk. Someone will ask me, and continue to ask, “Why did you choose this life?” and I will respond, “I’m determined. Which means I had no choice.”

And this all feels melodramatic, but what it reveals is the solitude and isolation I’m about to embark on, the path I was always afraid to take, so I clung to the wrong people. I feared being alone for so long, and perceieved myself as such for so long… that I let the idea devour me, and I fought hard against it. God knows I fought it. But I’ve truly given up on it, and I’m embracing reality.

This is it for me. My mind is clearing and I’m tracing the trajectory that was cosmically laid in front of me. I’m not happy about it. It’s not about what makes me happy. Happiness isn’t something God has gifted me with. I’ll never be happy, and it’s about damn time I stop pursuing it.

You want to be great? You want immortality? There’s a fucking price.

You plant the flower in dead soil with no sunshine,
drown it in water and blame it for poor blossoming.

You provide it malnourishment,
shield it from light and blame it for mal-flourishing.

You blame the flower but don’t tend the garden.

Then what are you growing?

Flowers are not roots.

My petals on the other hand, are yet.

My medals on the other hand, are yet.

Jordan: the Decomposer

All Jordan enjoyed doing was decomposing things. He liked decomposing modules, spaces and even measures!

I bet Jordan was up to something, and probably was looking for a way to represent a type of decomposition he idealized.

But I’ve seen Jordan decompose in algebra, topology and now real analysis.

Metamotivation is a term coined by Abraham Maslow to describe the motivation of people who are self-actualized and striving beyond the scope of their basic needs to reach their full potential. Maslow suggested that people are initially motivated by a series of basic needs,[1] called the hierarchy of needs. Maslow states, “Self-actualizing people are gratified in all their basic needs (of belongingness, affection, respect, and self-esteem)”.[2] Once a person has successfully navigated the hierarchy of needs thus satisfying all their basic needs, Maslow proposed they then travel “a path called growth motivation”.[3]

Maslow believed that a distinction must be made between the motives of those who operate at or below the level of self-actualization (ones still striving for their basic needs, or ones who have met their basic needs but still live without purpose), and those who are self-actualized who are also with significant purpose, as their motivations differ significantly.[4]Deficiency needs (drives or D-needs) motivate people to satisfy physiological needs such as hunger, sex, love, whereas being needs (B-needs[5]) propel a person beyond self-actualization and drive them to fulfill their inherent ultimate potential.[6]

In Maslow’s view

Maslow had an optimistic and humanistic view of humanity.[7] He regarded people’s innate drive towards self-actualization beneficial to society as a whole.[8] In Maslow’s view, once people’s basic needs were met, they were free to explore their abilities and strive to further develop those innate abilities.[8] Driven by Metamotivation, people are more spontaneous, free to be themselves, and explore their ultimate potential to create a fulfilled life.

Not all people that satisfy their basic needs automatically become driven by B-needs. In his landmark book, Farther Reaches of Human Nature,[9] Maslow stated that people who are self-actualizing and driven by metamotivation “are dedicated people, devoted to some task ‘outside themselves,’ some vocation, or duty, or beloved job”. Maslow goes on to say that such a calling could be construed as a destiny or fate and that such people are particularly talented in their field and could be called naturals.[10]

Metaneeds and metapathology

Metamotivation is what motivates and impels an individual toward self-actualization and excellence.[11] Metamotivation is distinct from motivation operating in the lower level needs, and it emerges after the lower needs are satisfied. These lower motivations, which Maslow calls “deficiency motivations” or D-Motivations, are described as the type of motivation that operates on the lower four levels of his hierarchy of needs. These deficiency motivations are drives that arise when a physiological or psychological deficit is perceived, leading toward actions to alleviate tension and restore equilibrium.

Maslow describes a metaneed as any need for knowledge, beauty, or creativity. Metaneeds are involved in self-actualizationand constitute the highest level of needs, coming into play primarily after the lower level needs have been met.[12] In Maslow’s hierarchy, metaneeds are associated with impulses for self-actualization.[13]

Maslow’s list of Metaneeds:

  1. Wholeness (unity)
  2. Perfection (balance and harmony)
  3. Completion (ending)
  4. Justice (fairness)
  5. Richness (complexity)
  6. Simplicity (essence)
  7. Liveliness (spontaneity)
  8. Beauty (rightness of form)
  9. Goodness (benevolence)
  10. Uniqueness (individuality)
  11. Playfulness (ease)
  12. Truth (reality)
  13. Autonomy (self-sufficiency)
  14. Meaningfulness (values)[14]

Metapathology is the thwarting of self-development related to failure to satisfy the metaneeds. Metapathology prevents self-actualizers from expressing, using and fulfilling their potential.[15] Reasons people may not become self-actualized include: poor childhoods, lower economic conditions, inadequate education, anxieties and fears, and the Jonah Complex.