AN ESSAY ON THE THEORY OF THE HIERARCHY OF NEEDS OF MASLOW
<1>According to the theory of Maslow (which is accepted by
many as a well-established theory), the hierarchy of needs of the
human consists of five general categories.
1- physiological needs: hunger, thirst,
sleep, need of physical health, etc.
2- safety needs: security, shelter, etc.
3- social needs: belonging to society or
4- esteem needs: being distinguished as a
useful member of society or the group one is associated with.
5- self-actualization: to understand our
true natures and become what we really are.
<2>In understanding the true nature of human
needs, we should first explain the difference between a true need
and a false need.
<3>The need for food and nourishment in a normal
sense for the satisfaction of physiological demands can be defined
as a true (or real) need.
<4>But the constant need of food because of nervousness or
for some psychological deficiencies is a false need.
<5>Also a true need is one which if not
fulfilled or if the situation is not provided for a long period of
time, death or the destruction of the human life results. <6>But
a false need is one which will not result in natural death but will
create desperation and unhappiness.
<7>A person who is deprived of food or lives in
an unsafe situation will most probably die of hunger, disease,
injury, etc. But a person who is desperate for food because of a
false need will feel anxiety and unhappiness, but he will not die.
<8>In fact that feeling of great desire for food is a
psychological defense against the desire of the Soul to see its true
being. It is from the fear of going through a struggle or even
opposing the many psychological set-ups in the environment in order
to be released from those psychological problems. <9>This
person intuitively knows that to become actualized means to stand
for his own rights. But he is not strong enough to do that, so he
directs that deficiency toward believing that he can gain the lost
happiness of being actualized by overeating.
<10>Also the needs for belonging and esteem can
be categorized as false needs, because if they are not fulfilled the
death of the person in a natural way will not result (he might
commit suicide, but that is of
because the need is true).
<11>As in the case of the person who overeats
because he does not want to stand for his birthright (which is to
know his true
self) or the person who
desperately needs to belong to a group and feel its support, or the
person who requires recognition and respect (esteem), all these
needs can be categorized as false needs. <12>The reason is
because only a person with a
seeks support and attention from others (from outside) instead of
accepting himself as he is and developing his talents and abilities.
Therefore, respect comes because he is worthy to receive it, not
because he needs it and is ready to do whatever is necessary to gain
<13>Also he will enjoy the company of others and
will participate in group activities, not because he needs to be in
groups but because he realizes that greater achievements can be
gained through collective endeavors.
<14>This person can also create deeper interpersonal
relationships with the group's members because he is not desperate
for the false need of belonging. Therefore, he can enter into a
relationship without anxiety. <15>So the relationship will be
based more on a true feeling rather than a nervous one, from a
desperate need of being accepted.
<16>Therefore, as we can see, a moderate need
for physiological satisfaction and safety can be recognized as the
true needs of the human.
<17>Any desperate need to belong to some group or to be
recognized in the group (when the person is ready to do anything to
gain that recognition) is a false need.
can enjoy the company of others, because he can create deep
interpersonal relationships which will help both partners to grow
through deep understanding of each other. <19>Also he will
enjoy being recognized and respected by the group or society, not
because he needs it, but because his true merit is worthy to be
recognized (even in this stage, a realized person knows that his
talent and worth is nothing to be attached to, because it has been
given to him by the Lord to be used for the good of all).
<20>Therefore, the need for belongingness and
esteem are related to the
false ego, which is the
lower nature of
man. These cannot be categorized as real (true) needs. <21>True
needs are only physiological and safety needs, which should be
provided for all people who are born in the universe.
<22>Self-actualization (or better "ego-actualization")
is the goal. It also cannot be categorized as a need but is the goal
of the life. <23>The actualized
ego is related to the
of man. To reach the higher nature (higher consciousness,
Consciousness, etc.) is the purpose of life. Only people in
their higher natures (self-actualized) can create effective groups
or are worthy of being recognized or respected for their true
achievements. They can create deep relationships with each other and
the groups, and they can work toward what they are made to be, not
toward what society or their parents think they should be. <24>Only
then do belongingness and esteem also become actualized rather than
<25>That is why it is so important to create
such a society where each person can be sure of receiving his basic
needs (physiological and safety) and a system that will help each
person to grow physically, mentally, and spiritually. <26>Then
it is the responsibility of each person to strive and struggle to
actualize his ego and find
his place in society in order to help others toward the goal. With
this set-up, the whole universe will be utilized for the advancement
consciousnesses toward higher and eventually
Pure Consciousness. That is when the whole universe will
joyfully march toward the goal -- to be(come)
<27>It is so important that parents, teachers,
educational systems, and society as a whole be very careful to
prevent any false ideals from being set up for the children and
youth. <28>Instead, all parts of society should encourage and
inspire them to study and understand the life of the great men so
that they search for their higher natures. They should be taught
self-control and be encouraged to discipline the
self, be sincere, and to direct their attention to the
higher self rather than the lower. <29>Failure to do so
will lead humanity toward disasters and self-destruction, which is
always the by-product of following the
lower nature of
<30>Therefore, we can conclude that the true
needs of man are: (1) a healthy, moderate need for physiological
processes (thirst, hunger, air, rest, etc., but not sex which has a
multi-purpose function, is more spiritual, and can be controlled),
and (2) safety needs. <31>Belongingness and esteem are false
when they become needs, but will be a source of joy in life when
used for the growth of individuals and the progress of society (and
the human). <32>Self-actualization (ego-actualization)
is the goal of the life, and enough inspiration should be created
for all to achieve it.
<33>This essay was also a brief explanation of
the true needs of man, and is written to distinguish between false
needs and true needs. Its understanding requires a deep realization,
and to achieve its goal a great environment is needed which enables
each person to become what he truly is. <34>It should also be
realized that it has not been suggested that groups and societies
are unnecessary for man and he should go away from them to become
contrast, groups and society are a must for a person to understand
the realities of life, the universe, and to become
<35>However also solitude, thinking, concentration, and
inspiration will help when there is a balance between them and
<36>Another point which should be mentioned is
that sex is not categorized as a physiological need. There are many
reasons for this. First of all, sexual
energy can be controlled, and even its desire can be overcome by
techniques such as right diet, exercises,
use of cool water, etc. (sex is not a basic need -- natural death
will not occur from abstinence). <37>Secondly, sex has
multiple purposes in addition to a physiological discomfort when it
is not controlled or a satisfaction when it is released. Sex is a
psychological (ethereal) relationship between two persons in a
marriage. Its most important purpose is to create children. It is a
union of a man and woman physically, mentally, and spiritually, etc.
<38>Thirdly, through marriage, sex is a way of creating the
unit blocks of families in society and a proper environment to raise
the children. <39>Therefore, to look at sex as only a
physiological need will result in ignoring the other more important
aspects of sexual relationships. That is why sex is not a basic need
for man, but is a means for spiritual progress.
<40>In addition, the hierarchy of needs proposed
by Maslow can be related to the spiritual centers (chakras)
in the body. <41>The physiological and safety needs (survival
needs) are related to the first
chakra, which is one of the most important spiritual centers (or
psychological center). The
(spiritual force) resides in this
<42>The social and belonging needs are related
to the second chakra,
which also controls thirst, hunger, and sexual
energy. It is one of the most powerful
chakras in the lower nature (the first three
chakras) in the human.
<43>The esteem, struggle for power, and prestige
needs are related to the third
chakra in the navel area.
<44>Therefore, all these needs are related to the
lower nature of
man which can be controlled by overcoming this lower self.
<45>However, moderate physiological and safety
needs are necessary for human existence. It is true that even
physiological and safety needs can be overcome, but the amount of
effort necessary to do so makes it neither practical nor desirable.
That energy and endeavor
can instead be utilized for the good of humanity.
<46>From the fourth
self-actualization process starts, and at the sixth and seventh
chakras man reaches
<47>Also one more thing should be realized, and
that is the difference between a
and an inspired
person is content with what he does and is satisfied with what
he is. <48>An
is one who stands for truth in front of all opposition, and he is
not only content with what he is but also would like to see all
become what they can be(come).