05 December 2006

Maslow on the Tree of Life

the goal
of the Tree of Life

is to discover
by arduous bumbling
new geometric metaphors
for literary/psychological nuances

and this one's a beaut

like any list of motives
is necessarily both
and incomplete

so it's a useful exercise
to ask, for each proposed motive
on the Tree of Life
which branches
at which moments
are dominated by that motive

and explore coloring schemes
to capture this

(right this moment
what motives
color those immediately around you?)

eg hunger
universally dominates cyclically
with famine at one
frequency extreme
and an IV drip
at the other

or comfort
making continual small demands

or sex
usually triggered by proximity
of an interfertile couple

or safety
never recapturing the primal womb
but well-cushioned by wealth

or esteem
vaguely discontent
with anonymous alienation

or stimulation
antsy from too much regularity

and when the patterns of dominance
for each of these
and 100 more
have been visualised and compared

(eg how are
conflicting motives

a truly universal model
of motivation
becomes more plausible