How The Chakras Relate To Maslow’s Hierarchy Of Needs…

How The Chakras Relate To Maslow’s Hierarchy Of Needs

There seems to be parallelisms between chakras and Maslow’s Hierarcy of Needs. The latter is a theory in psychology proposed by Abraham Maslow in his 1943 paper, “A Theory of Human Motivation,” which details the following as the basic human needs: physiological, safety, social belonging, esteem and finally, self-actualization.

Even the colors in his five-tier chart are similar to the chakra colors albeit missing two. But at the top of his chart in the color of blue, lies self-actualization which in comparison to chakras would include the throat chakra, the third eye and the crown chakra, as these are all areas of self-actualization. The lower colors red, orange, yellow and green are comparable as well.

It seems that no matter how you look at it, from a spiritual perspective, a scientific perspective of understanding the energy of the body and the cosmos or from a psychological perspective such as Maslow’s, the chakras offer a map of sorts to help us maneuver through, and to further achieve, each level in life and spiritual unity.

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Understanding needs and the chakras

From the root chakra to the crown chakra, we are shown the levels of importance in all that is physical, emotional and spiritual for our overall well-being and success in life and in the spirit. The root chakra shows us that we must first provide for our physical needs if we are to exist in the physical world.

The second, sacral chakra, includes our ability to reproduce, without which we cannot continue on, It also includes our relationships and emotional state and values. Thirdly, as we move up the chakra chord, we come to the solar plexus where we find the all-important will, our very seat of power. This is the spark of energy that drives our desires, fuels our dreams and provides the eternal will on which we so strongly rely to achieve any and all ideas that man can conceive.

After satisfying the root and sacral chakras of primary need, we move into creating, inspiration and invention.

As we move to the fourth heart chakra, we are now in-between the lower needs of the physical and the higher needs of the spirit. The heart is the connector showing us that we must connect with all things and beings on all levels. We feel the love of the spirit through this heart-connection and it is here that we find our way to the higher aspirations and realizations of both man and God. In Maslow’s hierarchy, the fourth and green color represents esteem and this makes sense in comparison to the fourth heart chakra because this is our feel-good place. The heart is where we feel good.

It can also be a place of pain and therefore, like achieving the green tier in Maslow’s hierarchy, we must achieve the feel-good of the heart chakra to continue on up the chakra ladder to self-actualization (to borrow Maslow’s term), which brings us to Maslow’s final tier of self-actualization in comparison to the fifth, sixth and seventh chakras. During the process of self-actualization, our ability to communicate and share our voice is evident and this is represented by the throat chakra. When we have developed the feel-good self-esteem in the heart chakra, we are then able to move forward with confidence in expressing our ideas, emotions, feelings, and creativity.

After we have completed these chakras and tiers to self-actualization, we come to the freedom to begin to search spiritually and we reach the door of the sixth chakra, the third-eye and pineal gland, or the gateway to the inner spiritual realm. Comfortable in our selves and our life situation, we travel inward through the third eye to begin our search for, and connection to, the spirit.

Once we have traveled into and beyond this gateway, we reach the crowning peak of the seventh or crown chakra, the ultimate achievement in self-actualization, complete spiritual unity with the source, with All that Is. In comparison, it is easy to see how Maslow’s theory of self-actualization is very similar to the chakras. Regardless of belief systems, we are able to follow these charted courses from our primal survival to full spiritual unity.


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Cheryl Bruedigam


Cheryl Bruedigam majored in English and journalism with over a decade devoted to women’s studies. She has been a spiritual…

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