The difference between “want” and “need”.

Question from the Internet:

“What that began as a want turned into a need?”

A “want” is our general state, wanting something for ourselves, wanting to fulfil ourselves since our basic “matter”, the engine that constantly drives us and gives us a sense of existence, is an insatiable desire to receive pleasures and fulfilment for ourselves.

If we do not have a general “want”, we can’t get out of bed; we can’t move a finger or do anything. Everything we do is a result of this general desire to search for and receive pleasures for ourselves operating in us.

People who are depressed and give up on life without any obvious physical reasons for it loses this “want” for different reasons. They lose the fuel to existing.

A “need” is already a scrutinized, refined and polished “want” when we already know exactly what we want. Moreover, we want it so much that without getting it, we can’t imagine living for a moment longer.

How does a “want” turn into a “need”?

Usually, through the influence of the environment, we exist. We receive our values, behavioural patterns, our goals and aspirations from the environment. This has always been so, but in our generation, this has been vastly augmented through the marketing industry and media and with everything that bombards us 24/7 through all the technology that has been created, mainly for this reason.

We start to “need” what others have, what celebrities use and wear, and what is cool in the movies or on TV. Unfortunately, since the consumerist society is concerned only about profit accumulation, these needs have nothing to with human existence; most of the time, we “need” things we do not actually need; we “need” things we cannot afford and that are usually harmful for us and for our children.

But our present society has no concern for educating or developing human beings. We measure everything through monetary worth and the accumulated material possessions each of us has.

On the other hand, as this artificial and inhuman system is now collapsing, we need to know what it means to be Human beings and what our evolutionary purpose is in Nature’s system.

We need to receive and refine this Human need through a different and purposeful environment which we will need to build for ourselves as it will not come from “top-down”.

This “inner need” to become Human beings in Nature’s system comes from the original DNA that is implanted in us by Nature’s evolution. We need to discover and cultivate this natural and evolutionary “need” until this inner, Human need overcomes and dwarfs all other needs in life.

Then we will start a very different, truly Human development and conscious progress towards a better world.

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Zsolt Hermann

I am a Hungarian-born Orthopedic surgeon presently living in New Zealand, with a profound interest in how mutually integrated living systems work.