Seven Essential Needs

From The SpiritWiki

The Seven Essential Needs are the seven needs the physical body and mind (i.e. Physical Unit) is required to meet in order to grow, develop, and finally achieve and maintain strong Connection.[1] [2]

Seven Essential Needs

Syncretic Terms

Seven Essential Needs > Cognitive Interests

Related LP Terms

Seven Essential Needs > Active Need Fulfillment, Deficit Mode, Essential Needs, Health, Hierarchy of Basic Needs, Hierarchy of Cognitive Needs, Human Development, Needs, Physical Unit, Seven Toxic Needs

Non-LP Related Terms

Seven Essential Needs > Attachments, Basic Needs, Dependent Need Fulfillment, Destruction of Attachments, Disconnection, Ego Modes, Realistic Empowerment, Toxic Socialization


Video Discussion

Notes

Swami Vivekananda speaks of the critical importance of meeting people's needs. Though he did not use that name, intimations of a hierarchy of needs was first proposed by Swami Vivekananda in "The Secret Work" in his book Karma Yoga. [3]

Essential needs are equivalent to "basic needs" in that they represent "an energizing state that, if satisfied, conduces toward health and well-being but, if not satisfied, contributes to pathology and ill-being." [4]

The Seven Essential Needs are broken down into to general categories, basic needs and spiritual/higher/advanced needs.

The Seven Essential Needs are:

The Basic Needs

Basic needs are met, obviously, by providing the necessary environmental conditions, nutrients, and "nutriments," [5] like autonomy, competence, and relatedness. Environments which provide for these create conditions conducive to the satisfaction of basic needs while environments that lack these, or that undermine there provision, create environments hostile to basic needs satisfaction. Environments here include those at the familial, social, community, national, and international level. Factors in the environment that impact would include quality of relationships, social organization (whether it is hierarchical or egalitarian, supportive or coercive), norms and values, economic practices, and so on.

Physiological Needs

We all have needs for food, water, air, clothing, exercise, sleep, freedom from pain. [6]

Emotional Needs

We all have needs for unconditional support, acceptance, and inclusion. We all need to feel we are wanted and connected to something. We all need to feel that we belong.

These needs are met by parents, number one, by teachers and peer groups, number two.

When unmet, the need for love, positive regard, and attention can become desperation. Individuals with unmet emotional needs can "go through life craving and seeking satisfaction" of these needs."[7] This craving, which is often completely unconscious, can be exploited by disreputable or mentally ill actors. See for example Layton who cites Jim Jones attention and manipulative praise as psychological reasons for her toxic attachment to the Jonestown cult. [8]

Cognitive Needs

We all have powerful needs to know and understand the world. We all have a need to experience truth and to be in touch with reality. We all have a biological drive to know and understand the world.[9] [10]

This truth is self-evident and expressed at a very early age. “Mommy, why is the sky blue?” “Daddy, why are you angry all the time?”

Psychological Needs

Esteem power needs would be related to Habermas's "emancipatory interests." "At a more abstract level, the emancipatory interest involves liberating men from historically contingent constraints through a process of 'self reflection'." [11]

[12] -- Psychological needs include the need for autonomy, the need to feel efficacious, competent, and powerful,[13] to have high self-esteem, to successfully manifest and create the world we want. Psychological research has long demonstrated the importance to psychological health of feelings of efficacy and competence.[14][15][16][17] More recently, these needs are discussed under the rubric of self-determination theory.[18]

Ryan and Deci note that “The Fullest representations of humanity show people to be curious, vital, and self-motivated. At their best, they are agentic and inspired, striving to learn; extend themselves; master new skills; and apply their talents responsibly. That most people show considerable effort, agency, and commitment in their lives appears, in fact, to be more normative than exceptional, suggesting some very positive and persistent features of human nature.”[19] In other words, left to their own devices, people are naturally motivated to develop skills and mastery, to strive for autonomy and competence. This drive is part of an individual’s “inherent growth tendencies and innate psychological needs.” “Satisfaction of these needs has been linked to well-being,[20] competence, vitality,[21] and enhanced creativity. We all need to feel good about ourselves, to feel powerful and efficacious, to have high self esteem, to "have faith in ourselves,"[22] to successfully manifest or will/Intent in creation, to create the world we want. Or, as Ryan and Deci point out, we need to feel competent and autonomous,[23] with autonomy being defined as "self-regulation and integration in acting"[24] We all have a need to express[25] and unfold. Aristotle, Carl Rogers, and others capture these needs with the concept Eudaimonia which is the expression of human excellence and virtue (read Alignment),the doing of what is worth doing.[26]

Environmental Needs

We all have a need for a safe, secure, nurturing, and aesthetically pleasing environments.

Safe home, safe spaces, secure finances, consistency, and stability. Safety includes the absence of assault of any kind, including physical assault (e.g., spanking), emotional assault, and psychological assault. Stability includes the emotional consistency of stable parental relationships. Financial stability includes resources sufficient to remove the anxieties and uncertainties of survival. The negative consequence of a failure to provide safe environments is long-term disability.

The consequences of a failure to provide safe environments is cumulative psychological, emotional, physical, and spiritual damage. For example, Swami Vivekananda notes "The older we grow, the longer we are knocked about in the world, the more callous we become."[27]

See the article "Toxic Socialization" [28] which provides a run down of all the consequences that accrue as a consequence of violence, which is something that occurs in evironments that are not safe.

The Spiritual/Higher Needs

Alignment

Alignment needs are your needs to be in alignment/agreement with your own ethics, values, and purpose.  In LP terms, this means being in alignment with your Spiritual Ego.

in Humanistic psychology, self-actualization.[29] Presuming the existence of a “soul,” or a spark of Consciousness that exists independent of the physical body, we need to align our bodily ego, our body’s self or Bodily Ego, with this higher level our Self, our Spiritual Ego.

Connection

Connection needs are your needs to be connected, to your family, to your friends, to your work place, and to your own higher self.

  1. Our biological programmed Need for Connection with family, Spirit, Highest Self, place (land), the ancestors,[30] Pachamama,[31]and God.
    • It is not enough to actualize our highest self, we need to go beyond and actually make a strong connection with this inner Self.
    • This is a common desideratum of human spiritual systems. In Transpersonal Psychology, transcendence; in Christianity, Islamic, salvation; in Buddhism, enlightenment; etc.) In Transpersonal Psychology, this is known as transcendence; in Christianity and Islamic traditions, this is known as salvation, “Entering the Kingdom,” etc. in Buddhism and Easter traditions, enlightenment). In Sociology, this notion is expressed in a Christian form in Troelstech’s conception of mysticism as the “perfection of the spiritual life” and “unity with the divine” (Steeman, 1975). Evelyn Underhill points directly to this need when she says that we have an “innate tendency...towards complete harmony with the transcendental order, whatever the theological formula under which that order is understood” (Underhill, 2002). Jung referred to this as the experience of the numinosum (Jung, 1938, p. 6).

In Vedanta, this is the highest need, the most " outstanding urge in people is the search after the abiding spirit or God. There is an inherent desire in every man to experience the abiding spirit, and until he reaches that goal there is no hope for real peace of mind."[32] Satisfaction of one's essential needs leads to wellbeing, physical, mental, and emotional health, creativity, and Eudaimonia.[33]

Need for Connection with Spiritual Ego

George Simmel speaks of " religiousness as an inner state or need of man..."[34]

Underhill says "Broadly speaking, I understand it to be the expression of the innate tendency of the human spirit towards complete harmony with the transcendental order; whatever be the theological formula under which that order is understood."[35]

Einstein says... "There is a mystical drive in man to learn about his own existence...the dignity of man depends not on his membership in a church, but on his scrutinizing mind, his confidence in his intellect, his figuring things out for himself, and above all his respect for the laws of creation" (Hermanns, 1983: np)

Grof says "spiritual search [i.e., search for connection] appears to be an understandable and legitimate human activity." [36] Further, "The deepest motivating force in the human psyche on all the levels of our development is the craving to return to the experience of our divinity"[37]

The satisfaction of the seventh essential need - connection. "Only the experience of one's divinity in a non-ordinary state of consciousness can ever fulfill our deepest needs"[38]

Grof also notes that "Full satisfaction comes ultimately from the experience of...our own divinity, not the pursuit of material goals of any scope or kind [39].

"It is now becoming increasingly evident that a craving for transcendence and a need for inner development are basic and normal aspects of human nature." (alignment and connection) [40]

Huxley (PP) notes that Totalitarian regimes exploit humanity's need for "unity" (read Connection) by "by means of a philosophy of political monism, according to which the state is God on earth, unification under the heel of the divine state is salvation, and all means to such unification, however intrinsically wicked, are right and may be used without scruple."

St. Teresa of Avila notes speaks of a need for actualization and connection suggesting that is "quenches thirst." "Oh, my Lord, if only one could be plunged so deeply into this living water that one’s life would end! Can that be? Yes: 34 this love and desire for God35 can increase so much that human nature is unable to bear it, and so there have been persons who have died of it."[41]

Sri Swami Sivananda notes that religion (I would say Authentic Religion) a "deep inward craving" (i.e., a need for connection)[42]

Footnotes

  1. Sosteric and Ratkovic. “Seven Essential Needs,” 2018. https://www.academia.edu/38114100/The_Seven_Essential_Needs.
  2. Also see Ratkovic, Gina and Sosteric, MIke. “It Takes a Village: Advancing Attachment Theory and Recovering the Roots of Human Health with the Seven Essential Needs.” Aotearoa New Zealand Social Work, 2022. https://www.academia.edu/61410417
  3. Vivekananda, Swami. "The Secret of Work." Collected Works of Swami Vivekananda. Vol. 5. 9 vols. Advaita Ashrama, 2016. https://www.holybooks.com/wp-content/uploads/SWAMI-VIVEKANANDA-COMPLETE-WORKS-Vol-1.pdf
  4. Ryan, R. M., and E. L. Deci. “Self-Determination Theory and the Facilitation of Intrinsic Motivation, Social Development, and Well-Being.” American Psychologist, 2000. p. 74.
  5. Ryan, Richard M., and Edward L. Deci. “The Darker and Brighter Sides of Human Existence: Basic Psychological Needs as a Unifying Concept.” Psychological Inquiry 11, no. 4 (October 1, 2000): 319–38. https://doi.org/10.1207/S15327965PLI1104_03</ref>
  6. "But poverty, though it does not prevent the generation, is extremely unfavourable to the rearing of children. The tender plant is produced, but in so cold a soil and so severe a climate, soon withers and dies. " Smith, Adam. The Wealth of Nations - An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations. Bantam Classics, 2003.
  7. Grof, Stanislav. When the Impossible Happens. Boulder, CO: Sounds True, 2006.
  8. Layton, Deborah. Seductive Poison. New York: Anchor Books, 2010. https://amzn.to/2wxOse4.
  9. "the most important characteristics of psychological health was simply the ability to perceive clearly-that is, to see the truth, to penetrate falsehood, phoniness, hypocrisy, and so on." Maslow, Abraham. “Eupsychia—The Good Society.” Journal of Humanistic Psychology 1, no. 2 (1961): p. 3.
  10. Habermas's provides a similar conception for cognitive needs in Cognitive Interests Scott, John P. “Critical Social Theory: An Introduction and Critique.” The British Journal of Sociology 29, no. 1 (1978): 1. https://doi.org/10.2307/589216. p. 2
  11. Scott, John P. “Critical Social Theory: An Introduction and Critique.” The British Journal of Sociology 29, no. 1 (1978): 1. https://doi.org/10.2307/589216. p. 2
  12. Thanks to Egle for pointing out the centrality of freedom and its relevance as an essential need. Note also that Abraham Maslow related power to self-esteem and self-respect in Maslow, Abraham. “Eupsychia—The Good Society.” Journal of Humanistic Psychology 1, no. 2 (1961): 1. p. 2.
  13. Edward L Deci and Richard M Ryan, Intrinsic Motivation and Self-Determination in Human Behaviour (New York: Springer Science, 1985).
  14. A Bandura, “Human Agency in Social-Cognition Theory,” American Psychologist 44 (1989): 1175–84
  15. A. H. Maslow, Towards a Psychology of Being (2nd Edition) (New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold Company, 1968)
  16. Carl Rogers, Freedom to Learn (Columbus, Ohio: Merrill, 1969)
  17. C. Rogers, A Way of Being. (Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin, 1980); R White, Ego and Reality in Psychoanalytic Theory, vol. Psychological Issues Series, Monograph No. 11. (New York: International Universities Press, 1963).
  18. R. M. Ryan and E. L. Deci, “Self-Determination Theory and the Facilitation of Intrinsic Motivation, Social Development, and Well-Being,” American Psychologist, 2000
  19. R. M. Ryan and E. L. Deci, “Self-Determination Theory and the Facilitation of Intrinsic Motivation, Social Development, and Well-Being,” American Psychologist, 2000. p. 68.
  20. Sheldon, K. M., Ryan, R., & Reis, H. T. (1996, January 1). What Makes for a Good Day? Competence and Autonomy in the Day and in the Person. PERSONALITY AND SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY BULLETIN, 22(12), 1270–1279. British Library Document Supply Centre Inside Serials & Conference Proceedings
  21. Sheldon, K. M., Ryan, R., & Reis, H. T. (1996, January 1). What Makes for a Good Day? Competence and Autonomy in the Day and in the Person. PERSONALITY AND SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY BULLETIN, 22(12), 1270–1279. British Library Document Supply Centre Inside Serials & Conference Proceedings
  22. Akhilananda, Swami. Hindu Psychology: Its Meaning in the West. Routledge, 1948. p. 80
  23. Ryan, R. M., and E. L. Deci. “Self-Determination Theory and the Facilitation of Intrinsic Motivation, Social Development, and Well-Being.” American Psychologist, 2000.
  24. Ryan, Richard M, and Edward L Deci. Self-Determination Theory: Basic Psychological Needs in Motivation, Development, and Wellness. New York: The Guilford Press, 2017. p. 402.
  25. Expression is identified as an emotional need in Akhilananda, Swami. Hindu Psychology: Its Meaning in the West. Routledge, 1948.
  26. Ryan, Richard M, and Edward L Deci. Self-Determination Theory: Basic Psychological Needs in Motivation, Development, and Wellness. New York: The Guilford Press, 2017
  27. Vivekananda, Swami. “Karma Yoga.” Collected Works of Swami Vivekananda. Vol. 1. 9 vols. Advaita Ashrama, 2016. https://www.holybooks.com/wp-content/uploads/SWAMI-VIVEKANANDA-COMPLETE-WORKS-Vol-1.pdf
  28. Sosteric, Mike, and Gina Ratkovic. “Toxic Socialization,” 2016. https://www.academia.edu/25275338/Toxic_Socialization
  29. The term self-actualization, originally coined by Kurt Goldstein, was picked up by Abraham Maslow. For Maslow, the need for self-actualization is the need to be creative, to express one’s essence and desire, and to do what one is “fitted for.” As he says, “A musician must make music, an artist must paint, a poet must write, if he is to be ultimately happy. What a man [sic] can be, he must be. This need we may call self-actualization” (Maslow, 1943, pp. 382). This is all true, but in LP psychology we would understand self-actualization as actualization/expression of Self, with a capital "S".
  30. Lucana, Sonia, and John Elfers. “Sacred Medicine: Indigenous Healing and Mental Health.” The Qualitative Report 25, no. 12 (December 1, 2020): 4482
  31. Lucana, Sonia, and John Elfers. “Sacred Medicine: Indigenous Healing and Mental Health.” The Qualitative Report 25, no. 12 (December 1, 2020): 4482.
  32. Akhilananda, Swami. Hindu Psychology: Its Meaning in the West. Routledge, 1948. p. 51-2.
  33. Ryan, Richard M., and Edward L. Deci. “The Darker and Brighter Sides of Human Existence: Basic Psychological Needs as a Unifying Concept.” Psychological Inquiry 11, no. 4 (October 1, 2000): 319–38. https://doi.org/10.1207/S15327965PLI1104_03
  34. Simmel, George. Essays on Religion. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1997. p. 3.
  35. Underhill, Evelyn. Mysticism: A Study in the Nature and Development of Spiritual Consciousness. New York: Dover Publications, 2002. https://amzn.to/2C91xNY.
  36. Grof, Stanislav. Technologies of the Sacred Part Two.” The International Journal of Humanities and Peace 15, no. 1 (1999): 93–96. p. 93.
  37. Grof, S. (1999). Technologies of the Sacred—Part Two. The International Journal of Humanities and Peace, 15(1), 93–96. p.96 https://www.lightningpath.org/readings/Technologies_of_the_sacred_II.pdf
  38. Laszlo, Ervin, Stanislav Grof, and Peter Russell. The Consciousness Revolution. Las Vegas: Elf Rock Productions, 1999. https://amzn.to/2TlOCmC. p. 67.
  39. Laszlo, Ervin, Stanislav Grof, and Peter Russell. The Consciousness Revolution. Las Vegas: Elf Rock Productions, 1999. https://amzn.to/2TlOCmC. p. 8.
  40. Grof, Christina, and Stanislav Grof. The Stormy Search for the Self: A Guide to Personal Growth Through Transformational Crises. Penguin, 1990. https://amzn.to/2UtkgP1. p. 31.
  41. St. Teresa of Avila. The Way of Perfection. New York: Dover Publications, 2012. https://amzn.to/2Id75es.
  42. Sivananda, Sri Swami. All About Hinduism. Uttar Predesh, Humalayas, India: Divine Life Trust, 1999. https://www.academia.edu/32682910
References
A-HI-PQ-Z