San Francisco – California




Text and Photography By Alan Briskin

Lake Zurich



On Power And Self-Actualization

… Continued From Previous Page




What if we have this all backward?  What if we have distorted the true meaning of power in such a way that it has limited our ability for personal growth as well as social change?  What if power is not something we have but a quality of being-ness that has us?  What if we go to the very root of being human and find power waiting there for us, asking “what will you do with me?”  And the answer from the wisest among us, from Socrates to Buddha, from Thoreau to Gandhi, from Martin Luther King to Mandela is this:  Power is the instinct for dynamic self-affirmation.  Power is an elemental force which, when joined with love and justice, creates a constellation of spiritual energy; an energy which neither demeans a person nor oppresses another group.


Power as an archetypal force obligates us to fulfill our destiny as a species that knows it knows – to realize our highest potential for self-realization and self-actualization. Power is the drive to affirm life and oppose the psychological and social forces that condemn us to be less than we are.  So seek power, but do so in a way that honors the depth of our humanity – to affirm life and oppose oppression wherever we find it.


Further reading –

Love, Power and Justiceby Paul Tillich

Power and Love: A Theory and Practice of Social Changeby Adam Kahane

The Power of Collective Wisdom by Alan Briskin, Sheryl Erickson, John Ott, Tom Callanan





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