• Ralph A. Smith Univerity of Illinois


In The Farther Reaches of Human Nature the late Abraham Maslow provided a detailed acount of creativeness during its primary, or inspirational, moments. During such moments there is a strong tendency to become intensely involved with their intrinsic relationships of the matter-at-hand, one effect of which is the giving up of both the past and the future. Further, while attention is riveted to the phenomena vividly present to consciousness, there occurs a diminution of fear, a lessening of inhibitions, and a loss of ego. There is also manifested a trusting attitude that is notable for its qualities of strength, courage, acceptance, and Taoistic receptivity. Maslow further held that perception during creative experience is not primarily abstract, that is, in the service of building theoretical understanding. Rather perception is aesthetic and serves the propensity to cherish or savor the particularities of things. Such happenings during creative experience, Maslow held, tend to result in the psychological integration of the person, a beneficent spontaneity, and a strong fusion of the person with his world. In the course of his investigations, Maslow further concluded that the conditions and traits of creativeness are also those of the self-actualizing person and of "peak experiences" generally, such that it might be said Maslow took the general goal of education to be the teaching of the creative attitude (or its conditions), the taking up of which provides persons with occasions for peak experiences, which in turn help to produce self-actualizing persons. The need for healthy, self-actualizing persons stemmed from what has now become a commonplace: accelerated social change has generated the obligation to educate a new type of person.

Author Biography

Ralph A. Smith, Univerity of Illinois

Ralph A. Smith, Professor of Aesthetic Education at the University of Illinois, is founder and present editor of The Journal of Aesthetic Education




How to Cite

Smith, R. A. (1973). CREATIVE AND AESTHETIC EXPERIENCE. McGill Journal of Education / Revue Des Sciences De l’éducation De McGill, 8(001). Retrieved from