Difference between revisions of "Needs"

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Needs are physiological, psychological, emotional, and spiritual requirements, necessary to the health and well-being of the physical unit. Satisfaction of needs leads to health, happiness, and longevity. Failure to satisfy even a single basic need leads to agitation, anxiety, depression, pathology, illness, and even death.

Humans have the following seven needs, or need sets.

  • Physiological Needs
  • Safety Needs
  • Love Needs
  • Cognitive Needs
  • Power Need
  • Alignment Need (a.k.a Self Actualization)
  • Connection (a.k.a. "transcendence")

Physiological Needs are the basic physical needs of the human body. These needs are self-explanatory and include the need for air, water, food clothing, and shelter.

Safety Needs are physiological, emotional, psychological, and even spiritual needs for safety. Safe environments are calm, quiet environments conducive to physical, emotional, and spiritual health. Unsafe environments are environments where there is quarreling, assault (physical, emotional, psychological, spiritual), poor attachment, exploitation, fear, violence, manipulation, and exploitation. Safety needs are met in safe, secure, low stress, and loving environments.

Love Needs are psychological and emotional needs for love, affection, and belonging.

Cognitive Needs are the psychological and emotional need to know and understand.

Power Need is the need to feel powerful and in control. It is the need to feel good about oneself, to feel competent, to be the “master” of one’s own destiny. In Humanistic Psychology, power need is understood as need for self-esteem.

Alignment Need is the need to be properly aligned with the will and intent of the higher Self. Also understood as Self-Actualization or the need to actualize/express inner Self in and through the Physical Unit.

Connection is the need to form a strong and persistent Connection to higher Self


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 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".

In Humanistic and Transpersonal Psychology, connection is often (poorly) understood as transcendence.

Pathology: When needs are satisfied, an individual naturally grows, matures, and connects with consciousness. When needs thwarted psychopathology ensues.

Sociology: Ruling class ideology, capitalist individualism, holds that humans are powerful individuals capable of surviving on their own and meeting their own needs. That is a lie. In fact, human needs can only be met in interdependent social relationship as a result of equitable Human Exchange.

Social: In childhood, all needs are met socially, i.e. by your relationship with someone else (specifically your parents). In adulthood, most needs are met socially, i.e., in mature relationships with equitable exchange. E.g., Our need for Self Esteem can only be met by the kind and uplifting words of others. Our need for Love can only be filled by mature, fully functioning, adults.

Adults: In adulthood individuals who have been properly nurtured and socialized support their own Development and work towards satisfaction of their own needs by pursuing healthy social and/or intimate relationships. Adults who have been improperly socialized or damaged by toxic childhoods, require additional guidance and assistance, and possibly healing interventions.

Children: Children are weak, undeveloped, innocent, naive, and vulnerable. Children are totally dependent on the adults in their life (i.e. parents, teachers, uncles, and aunts) to properly satisfy their needs. If the adults in a child's life are unhealthy, toxic, sick, the child experiences a Toxic Childhood where needs go unmet. Toxic childhood's can lead to disastrous consequences in adolescence and early childhood.

Connection: The satisfaction of basic and cognitive needs are the essential prerequisites for healthy connection with The Fabric of Consciousness. The individual must be healthy, well fed, safe, have a strong sense of self-efficacy (power), and have a good sense of self (be self-actualized) in order to make a healthy connection. Failure to meet specific needs, or groups of needs, does not prevent connection, but it does make it more difficult, and it does (depending on the level of need deficit) increase the likelihood that the individual will experience confusion, fear, neurosis, psychosis, or even schizophrenic breaks. Embracing The Fabric from a space of deficit will highlight problems, amplify issues, and create additional difficulties.

Guidance and Direction: In addition to a family and society geared towards satisfaction of needs, children also need positive support, encouragement, guidance and direction in order that they may learn to properly satisfy their needs as adults. By the time children are legal drinking age they should know how addictive certain substances are (i.e. alcohol, tobacco, cocaine, crack, etc.), they should understand their own needs, and they should have the basic skills so that they can satisfy these needs for themselves, either by seeking human contact, engaging in activity (to eat dinner, get love, have healthy sex, etc.). In other words parents (and society) need to specify the right way and the wrong way to do things, otherwise need satisfaction in adult hood becomes challenging for the individual. Obviously if guidance and direction is to be provided, parents and society must themselves know the right way and the wrong way to meet needs, and they must also be able to put human need satisfaction before all other things (including competition and profit).

See Also

Socialization | Toxic Socialization | Connection | Hierarchy of Needs