Originally Posted By: coberst
Can we learn to be critically self-conscious?
What do you think about self-actualization?

The term "self conscious" psychologically implies looking over ones shoulder, fear, paranoia, second guessing ones self and continuously comparing ones self to another, and some standard of behavior set by personal belief in a collective ideal.
"Self" Conscious, in terms of Self Realization, Eastern Theosphy and Psychology, is having the awareness of ones true potential or nature. The Truth if you will, of the underlying nature, or the extent of human being.

The surface appearances of belief and egoic identification is plagued with the shortcomings of "self consciousness," where self esteem is measured by ones constant comparison to a standard, with the need for a support system of recognition and love from the outside. The lack of self esteem or self love leaves a hole which has to be filled by a support system dependent on what others think and feel.

Self Actualization follows "Self" realization, as does a healthy self esteem, love, loss of fear and the ability to master the elements. It is not uncommon to reach a breathless state where the body is perfectly maintained without the need for food and water, where the body is maintained by the absolute potential.

Maslow studied what he termed as the "peak experience", which is similar to Samadhi. A state of mind and experience that is reached in a meditative state, as well as when the mind and body have progressed beyond the limitations of separation from the ability to self actualize, in Self realization. This "Peak Experience" Maslow coined, is similar to what Eastern masters describe as a natural state of mind in the experience of full human consciousness or enlightenment. Jesus spoke of it as the resurrection. It follows the death of the belief in the identity of the flesh, and the corresponding aspects of self consciousness.

The peak experience Mazlow described, is an experience where all thought leaves the mind. The body settles into a deep state of rest and one feels tuned in, to Truth Absolute/God/The All/Universal principle/Potential. There is nothing left to experience but Consciousness as it witnesses itself. This is what underlies all relative thought and self consciousness when the mind turns itself outward in the attention to internal dialogue sparked by fear and the belief in death of the body as the end of life. It is when the mind is fully in the present moment free of any influence of the past and thoughts of the future. Also called the "NOW" and described in scripture as the mind returning to the "innocence" of a child.
I was addicted to the Hokey Pokey, but then I turned myself around!!