Persistently continuing my reflections on how to solve the practical problems of living in the world, I have sought the answers to the following questions:
Who am I?
What are my needs and how may they be fulfilled?
Which of my needs are not being met? and
How can I overcome this deficiency?
Beginning with the understanding that I am a composite being possessing a spirit, soul, and body, living in society, I have come to formulate the following hierarchy of basic needs through the consideration of my existential situation.
Spiritual Needs (Union):
Knowledge of God and the Self, the practice of prayer, and cultivation of the virtues
through faith, religion (tradition), and spiritual guidance
Psychological Needs (Equilibrium):
Noble thoughts and Ideas and their communication
through the study of the scriptures and traditional commentaries and their expression in oral or written language.
Beautiful forms of the imagination and their expression
through the appreciation and creation of sacred art, music, dance, and literature
Feelings of love, security, and satisfaction, and their cultivation
through the love of God and the neighbor, the fulfillment of needs, and accomplishment of the virtues.
Leisure and repose from all of the foregoing activities
through the practice of sports, games, and travel
Physical Needs (Health):
Satisfactory and sufficient food, medicine, shelter, clothing, and exercise
through work, physical culture, and the crafts
Social Needs (Intimacy):
Reciprocal support in the fulfillment of all of the foregoing needs
through the family, religious community, and marriage partnership.
In principle, my needs may be considered hierarchically with spiritual needs being most important and social needs least important. In practice, however, each proves to be inextricably intertwined with the others such that any of my basic needs is neglected to the detriment of all.
(Continued in Simplicity and Perfection)