Seven Essential Needs

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The Seven Essential Needs are the seven needs the Physical Unit is required to meet in order to grow, develop, and finally achieve and mainttain strong Connection. [1]

See Also

Seven Toxic Needs


Essential needs are equivalent to "basic needs" in that they represent an "an energizing state that, if satisfied, conduces toward health and well-being but, if not satisfied, contributes to pathology and ill-being." [2] The Seven Essential Needs are:

  1. Physiological needs -- food, water, air, clothing, exercise, sex
  2. Safety and security needs -- safe home, safe spaces, secure finances. Safety includes the absence of assault of any kind, including physical assault (e.g., spanking), and emotional and psychological assault.
  3. Love needs -- unconditional support, acceptance, inclusion, being made to feel that we belong
  4. Truth/understanding needs  -- "Mommy, why is the sky blue?" "Daddy, why are you angry all the time?" We all have a biological drive to know and understand the world.
  5. Esteem/Power/Freedom[3] -- we all need to feel good about ourselves, and we all need to feel powerful and efficacious like  can create the world we want
  6. Need for Alignment with Highest Self - in Humanistic psychology, self-actualization[4]
  7. Need for Connection with Highest Self -- in Transpersonal Psychology, transcendence; in Christianity, Islamic, salvation; in Buddhism, enlightenment; etc.)

In order for a Physical Unit to grow up healthy and Connected, all these needs must be completely met.

Need for Love

Reflected in the need for attention, need to be included, need for positive regard.

When unmet, the need for love, positive regard, and attention can become desperation, and 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. [5]

Need for Connection

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."[6]

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)

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"[7]

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 [8].

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."[9]

Further Reading

Sosteric and Ratkovic. “Seven Essential Needs,” 2018.

Sosteric, Mike and Ratkovic, Gina (2019,BOOK2). Lightning Path Workbook Two: Healing. Lightning Path Press. [1]

Sosteric, Mike (BOOK3). Lightning Path Workbook Three: Connection. Lightning Path Press. [2]


Development > Active Need Fulfillment, Attachments, Dependent Need Fulfillment, Hierarchy of Basic Needs, Hierarchy of Cognitive Needs, Realistic Empowerment, Self-Determination, Seven Essential Needs


  1. Sosteric and Ratkovic. “Seven Essential Needs,” 2018.
  2. 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.
  3. Thanks to Egle for pointing out the centrality of freedom and its relevance as an essential need.
  4. 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".
  5. Layton, Deborah. Seductive Poison. New York: Anchor Books, 2010.
  6. Underhill, Evelyn. Mysticism: A Study in the Nature and Development of Spiritual Consciousness. New York: Dover Publications, 2002.
  7. Laszlo, Ervin, Stanislav Grof, and Peter Russell. The Consciousness Revolution. Las Vegas: Elf Rock Productions, 1999. p. 67.
  8. Laszlo, Ervin, Stanislav Grof, and Peter Russell. The Consciousness Revolution. Las Vegas: Elf Rock Productions, 1999. p. 8.
  9. St. Teresa of Avila. The Way of Perfection. New York: Dover Publications, 2012.
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