Human Needs, as presented by various theorists
|Food, water, shelter||Distributive justice||Physical Nurturance||Subsistence|
|Safety and security||Safety, Security||Interdependence||Protection|
|Belonging or love||Belongingness||Love Integrity||Affection|
|Personal fulfilment||Personal fulfilment||Play||Creation|
|Identity||Celebration and mourning||Identity|
|Cultural security||Spiritual Communion||Leisure, Idleness|
See also: PLATO
Max-Neef: Human Needs
1. Sustenance: food, shelter, and water – the basic, physical needs.
2. Safety: protection
3. Recreation: play, rest
7. Autonomy (Rosenberg says this is one of the most important needs)
9. Meaning: purpose in life. According to Victor Frankl, probably the most important need of all
ROSENBERG: Let me give you all nine of them, because, according to the Chilean economist, Manfred Max-Neef, we only have about nine needs. Needs are very important to Max-Neef, because his whole, economic system is based on human needs. How do we measure them, so we really gauge our economy, its success, on the meeting of human needs – and not the tragic way we have been measuring it?
The first one he calls, “sustenance:” food, shelter, and water – the basic, physical needs. Next, “safety:” protection. Next, “love.” Next, “understanding.” Next, “community.” Next, “recreation:” play, rest; he lumps those as one. Then, one of the most important needs of all, “autonomy.” Look in the newspaper on any, given day and see how many wars are going on over that need. Human beings have a strong need to be in charge of their own lives, to not have somebody claiming to know what they have to do or should do. Anybody who says that to them, it threatens his or her autonomy. You see all the wars going on between nations. Listen in on any family with children. You will hear autonomy wars. “It’s time to go wash up for bed.” “No, I don’t wanna.” “Did you hear me?” “No!” See? An autonomy war. Another need, “creativity.” Then, according to Victor Frankl, probably the most important need of all, a need for “meaning:” purpose in life. How sad, how few people on the planet are getting that need met. They are educated to misrepresent needs, according to Michael Lerner. We have been educated to misrepresent our needs. We have been educated to think we have a need to consume, a need for money, a need for status – not realizing those are not needs.
plan, take care
|share, take care of,|
make love, express
sense of humour
peace of mind
relax, have fun
places to be alone
|get to know|
|equal rights||dissent, choose,|
run risks, develop
See also: Breath/Body/Need
Purpose: This guided reflection is intended to support you in experiencing a variety of ways to connect with your needs, which you can use at any time in your daily life. People resonate differently with these different ways. You may want to explore each of these to see which support you in gaining more self-connection and inner freedom. You can use these reflections as a series or separately from each other.
1. Focus your attention on a need that is not met to your satisfaction in
your life. Put your focus specifically on the unmet quality of this need. You can say to yourself: “My need for ____ is not met,” and repeat this phrase until you are fully connected with the experience of the unmet need. (You might want to close your eyes and focus inwardly while you do this.) What sensations do you notice in your body? What feelings arise?
2. Now shift your attention to the need itself. Not to the idea of having the need met, but to the need itself; to the fact of having a need. You can say to yourself: “I have a need for _____,” and repeat this phrase until you are fully connected with the experience of having the need. (You might want to close your eyes and focus inwardly while you do this.) What sensations do you notice in your body? What feelings arise?
3. Now shift your attention to the met quality of the need. What is it like for you when this need is met? You can imagine this need met, and say to yourself: “My need for _____ is met,” and repeat this phrase until you are fully connected with the experience of having this need met. (You might want to close your eyes and focus inwardly while you do this.) What sensations do you notice in your body? What feelings arise?
4. Lastly, shift your attention to the need as a presence you want to encounter (another meaning of “meet”). This is similar to focusing on the need without it being met or unmet, but may be experienced differently. Focus on what it is like to meet this need in the sense of encountering it fully. You might say to yourself: “Hello _____. Welcome,” and repeat this phrase until you are fully connected with the experience of having encountering this need. (You might want to close your eyes and focus inwardly while you do this.) What sensations do you notice in your body? What feelings arise?
5. Note any insight from the shift in focus, and or any needs met by the experience.
6. Consider: when would you want to engage with each of these different
focuses on your needs? How might each serve you? What needs would you
want to meet through this focus?
7. Do you have any requests of yourself?