Most needs are a direct function of the environment and the basic instinct to survive. And hence the definition and number of ‘basic’ needs have been varied over the years. There are some that took shape with time along with the inevitable evolution of human society. And there are some which are inherent to the basic genetic fabric of us ‘homo sapiens’. Surprisingly, however, a vast majority either refuses to identify these or is made to deny by another set of a vast majority. I have never been able to comprehend why or how.
Suppression of these primal urges has in some way led to the successful existence of a civilized society, which is actually the root cause of all dilemmas in life. While we try to maintain the balance of civilized community with widely acceptable rules, more often than not we find ourselves against the desires of our inherent human nature. Anything and everything required to suppress our basic instincts or urges becomes the universally acceptable definition of right. The very definition of morals and ethics is hence flawed. How do we then decide what is right and wrong? Can there ever be a standard and unambiguous definition of right and wrong? Perhaps not. To succumb to desires is sinful and to control the senses is saintly. While we spend (or waste) a significant amount of our time in an effort to survive ‘successfully’ in a society, we continue to battle our urges. And almost every act of indulgence is tagged as sin or morally wrong. I wonder if suppressing our needs is an even bigger sin because we are going against our basic nature.
We are humans. As much as we fight for food to survive, we seek entertainment and we seek society of other humans. Food, sex, violence and affiliation… everything else is just an offshoot of these primal needs or urges. Food is the fuel for survival; sex and violence are the urges of primal animalistic genes; and affiliation is the elementary need of a human heart that defines the whole race as a species different from other animals. Community provides the support system to aid the acquisition and fulfillment of all of the above. My guess is that the whole concept of civilized society was born out of the endeavor to satisfy these needs.