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Where Do Needs Come From?

the Emergence Explorer

Questions for the Week of May 12, 2008

Emergence Character Type Babies 9-AI-2

This Week's Questions

  • What creates a need?
  • Is the urge to punish a need?
  • What creates blame?

Do you know?

What creates a need? The move from layer 8 to 7?
Close. The move from 10/9 to 8 to 7. The momentum of a stone being thrown into the pond of our mind / body existence. The sudden waking up out of the dream like state of connection only to be thrown out of paradise for the ninety thousandth time. The passage from the smiley faced big end of the hour glass to the frowny faced big end.

Is the urge to punish a need?
Actually, the need to punish is what happens when we a need flies by us so fast it becomes unmet and we feel the urge to bitch to someone about this loss. Ragefully, by assaulting someone's physical world (Layer 4). Calculatedly, by impairing someone's temporal world (Layer 3). Or with cold hearted intellectual tones, by talking someone's soul into wishes for the blessed relief of suicide (Layer 2).

How does a need become the urge to punish?
We get taught from a young age that to be needy is to be a baby. And this is true. Being needy is being a baby. The thing is, adults who do not admit they feel like babies at times usually act like judges instead. And juries. And mindlessly mad political lynch mobs, and holier than thou, in the name of religion, soul robbers. This makes non judgmentally feeling one's babyishness the remedy to one's urges to punish.

Sadly, most people feel punishment is an adult activity and therefore, more acceptable. Too bad, too. Punishments lead to more feelings of babyishness, not less. And more urges to punish as people feel the need to hide this side of themselves.

Do I "need" to punish?
Does a bear do his business in the woods?

Yes. You feel urges to punish. However, feeling urges is not indulging as long as you see this for what it is; normal, natural, and a poor substitute for satisfying one's babyishness.

What creates blame?
Blame is what justifies our urges to punish. Without it, we fear we are sociopathic. The truth is though that in those moments wherein we feel urges to punish, we are sociopathic. Unlike true sociopaths though, we normal folk self regulate, at least enough to not be charged by the local legal establishment.

Why is it our nature to disown our suffering and to punish the perceived person responsible?
Ed, this is like asking why the sky is blue. A valid question in one sense but answerable only with another question provoking response. So why is it our nature to disown our suffering and to punish the perceived person responsible? Because whenever we disown our suffering, we feel less suffering. Less of everything in fact. Thus a fact of human nature is that we prefer numbness to suffering, and to see this as true, simply sample a selection of medical / psychological readings and note how many times they refer to suffering as optional, the result of some missed opportunity or wrong doing.

According to some folks, we should even attribute death to missed opportunities or wrong doings. For instance, even in my father's death at 88, some a-holes were looking at what the doctors did wrong.

Is it a need to hurt less?
In a sense, yes. However, actually, this is just a semantic dance around the truth. Just as saying we have a "need" to connect. Needs are neither the desire to connect or the desire to avoid suffering, nor the desire to punish or help. Needs are a state of being between Layer 6 and Layer 8; between the death-like grip of moving through a room while internally blind and the abject terror of falling into an infinitely dark bottomless crevasse.

If owning our suffering is so powerful, then how is it human nature to disown our suffering?
The answer to this question lies in seeing that the ambivalence between these two experiences is what creates the courage to live a life. Omit either and this courage evaporates. Or as the bard said, "omitted, all our life is bound in shallows and in misery."

What is the mechanism that creates the commitment to make suffering worthwhile?
This time, you've alluded to one of the greatest mysteries in human nature; does suffering have an authentic upside. So does it? The previous question pretty much says it all. "Omitted, all our life is bound in shallows and in misery."

Why is it so powerful in some people to disown their suffering to the point of murder or suicide?
Urges this powerful can occur only in those who cannot escape a close to binary experience of the holy ambivalence; I need to suffer, I need to stop suffering, with nothing in between. Thus no one feels urges to kill, neither oneself or another, while experiencing single focused states like clinical depressions or catatonia.

Case in point. Years ago, I had a very intelligent professional come to me after having sliced her wrists. This event occurred only after was a year of unchanging clinical depression was punctuated by a warmly connected phone call from a friend. After which, this person promptly waked into her kitchen to make lunch then mindlessly picked up a knife and sliced her wrists.

The thing to see here is, a year of clinical depression led to no harmful act, while the intensely binary oppositions created by the experience of connect, disconnect, then need led directly to hell.

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