Some basic needs that we, as human beings all have can be classified into various heads :-
· Independence : this includes choosing dreams/goals/ values and choosing plans for fulfilling the above
· Happiness/ Celebration which comes from celebrating the creation of life and dreams fulfilled
· Mourning losses: loved ones, dreams etc and moving on
· Integrity which includes Authencity, Creativity, Meaning, Self-worth
· Interdependence which comprises of Acceptance,Appreciation, Closeness, Community, Consideration, Contribution to the enrichment of life, Emotional safety, Empathy, Honesty (the empowering honesty that enables us to learn from our limitations), Love, Reassurance, Respect, Support, Trust, Understanding
· Physical Nurturance which includes Air, Food, Movement, exercise, Protection of health, Rest, Sexual Expression, Shelter, Touch, Water
· Play which includes play, fun, recreation
· Aesthetics which includes beauty, harmony, inspiration, order, peace
· Knowledge of truth that will free us
For most of us living our lives means fulfilling our needs. We learn how to meet these needs by better management and improved communication. Money and power is not a need – it is more a strategy for meeting these needs.
When needs are fulfilled we feel comfortable, confident, eager, energetic, enthusiastic, fulfilled, glad, hopeful, inspired, intrigued, joyous, moved, optimistic, proud, relieved, stimulated, surprised, thankful, touched, trustful.
When needs are not fulfilled we could feel angry, annoyed, concerned, confused, disappointed, discouraged, distressed, embarrassed, frustrated, helpless, impatient, irritated, hopeless, lonely, nervous, overwhelmed, puzzled, reluctant, sad, uncomfortable.
Fulfilled needs become likes and unfulfilled needs stay on as dislikesin our psyche. And there will be a constant pursuit of these likes and dislikes.
At every stage in our life, there will always be some needs that are unmet and cannot be met with any amount of management of resources or communication skills. For example terminal diseases, or chronic health conditions that defy cure like rheumatoid arthiritis, diabetes etc. leave us with the unmet needs for physical nurturance. The needs for love and appreciation cannot be met all the time.
So the presence of these unmet needs can leave us with the gnawing sense of discontentment which fuels the basic sense of inadequacy and insecurity that is centered on our sense of identity, the I-sense. The knowledge that we innately possess about the temporary nature of everything in life also fuels that sense of insecurity.
Since at every stage of life there will always be some unmet needs, are we doomed to be experiencing feelings of discomfort and discontent with ourselves, and worse still the conclusion that ‘I am inadequate and insecure’ forever?
Addressing this condition of the human being, the Vedanta shastra, boldly declares that indeed the ‘I’ is truly free of need, is independent of need, is independent of desire and all the effects of desire. The only reason for concluding that ‘I’ needs something or the other to complete itself is because of ignorance of its fundamental real nature. Our entire life which is committed to need-fulfillment has its basis in ignorance of our fundamental nature of a wholeness that never changes.
If this ignorance has to go, we need knowledge – knowledge of our truth. And this knowledge we gain from Vedanta – a means of knowledge for the truth of the self.
Om Tat Sat