Needs vs Wants

Came across this short video where a guy spoke of an interesting way of looking at needs vs wants…never saw it that way

While it seems needs are more primary and fundamental and wants are secondary, he says how there is a want that comes before that need…

I need food, water to survive, but before that I want to live hence the need for food, water etc…or in other words, I want to live, so I need to find food, water


I want to have sex, therefore I need to do x,y,z
I want to have a car, therefore I need to have money

But the moment I start contemplating giving up wants such as living, sex, owning a car etc I can start feeling the nibbana coursing through my vein already lol…180 degree opposite :arrows_clockwise:


Simple actualist metric: a need is a need only if you still need it in a PCE :smile:

Nothing quite like witnessing a “need” completely and thoroughly evaporate in the span of a second! Lol

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Lol true :smile:

The thing that comes up for me when looking at these need/want/desire categories is that they seem to be ultimately arbitrary divisions. It is the feeling being which needs to be able to separate the world according to various ‘categories’ so that it can then work out various rules (morals) which are used to provide some sort of structure/safety for the self.

At the end of the day why do I need to say - "this is a want, but this is a desire and this is a need? So that from this I can then extrapolate some kind of ‘hard rules’ which I can then use to direct my life.

It is that lost, lonely and cunning entity looking for some kind of direction.

So it seems to me all of those categories will disappear along with the tried and failed, they are the tried and failed in fact.

Because when going up the felicitous and innocuous ladder and into PCEs it seems that I do things because they make sense haha and that is it!

To start invoking these hard rules as to what is what is to invoke morality it seems.

Also @Shashank Did you actually include a link to the video? I couldn’t find it.

I took a screenshot of that video earlier but now can’t seem to find that video link to post here…maybe have to dig more on his FB profile !

This is that guy on FB…

I haven’t sorted out my need vs want concerning talking and communication. I don’t know if my communication on this list is a need or a want. It seems like both.

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This is an interesting question and I think it may be partly be like a need coming ultimately from the need to belong ?

I want to self-immolate and penning down thoughts here and getting feedback from the legends(love this word to death these days :joy:) here is very valuable…leading to more clarity…Ultimately there is no need to communicate here but communicating here helps get more clarity towards the goal of self-immolation, then its kinda like a need at this stage atleast…but I can’t say all this from a 100% certainty because the identity is super-cuning max and unless careful, it could just be reinforcing the herding instinct…I think only sincerity can answer that

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require (something) because it is essential or very important.

What is essential? What is very important?

Ultimately, nothing matters all that much. Needs are always my projection of what I think is a big deal, up to and including continuing to be physically alive


I think this about sums it up:

RESPONDENT: Where is the boundary between instinctive drives and bodily needs and desires?

RICHARD: The bodily needs – there are no bodily desires – can be summarised as follows:

(1) air;
(2) water;
(3) food;
(4) shelter;
(5) clothing (if the weather be inclement).

Virtually anything else deemed a need is an instinctive drive (an urge, an impulse, a compulsion) and being affective anything instinctual can be readily distinguished by its emotional/passional nature … desire, for instance.

RESPONDENT: Is the example above the outcome of one’s instinctive urge to desire or should it be considered a ‘sensible’ bodily desire?

RICHARD: A general rule of thumb is: if it is a preference it is a self-less inclination; if it is an urge it is a self-centred desire.

No wants in a PCE or actual freedom, but there seem to be “needs” and wants as an identity. But if we are going by the definition of a need being something you need to stay alive then it really is just air, water, food, shelter, and/or clothing.

Interesting to note that sometimes people seem to consider sex a need. I’ve heard it a few times on TV and in conversation. Usually when couples are arguing it will be something along the lines of “but what about my needs?” (referring to sex). Sometimes obsessive/compulsive tendencies get labelled as needs I think.


I heard exactly this from a friend just a few weeks back !

Recently I was having a discussion with my brother as to why Russia is targeting so much of Ukraine’s energy infrastructure…which discussion then went on to whether we should also keep some standby source of power(like a diesel generator or a roof solar panel) for a dire situation…but then I reflected - upto several hundred years ago, our ancestors survived without electricity lol

@Kub933 Finally got the link…here you go

I can see even those basic needs for survival being perverted by the self because of its fundamental resentment and insecurity.

As in even with a roof over my head and enough food to sustain me ‘I’ find myself in some desperate fight for survival. Then ‘I’ might justify this to myself by saying that I really need even more money in my account or even bigger house, after all there is a recession going on and it’s a tough world out there etc.

It seems as long as I am a self any conversation around what is essential and what is merely a desire is doomed to become perverted into what ‘I’ am driven to have in order to fill that void. Or conversely into what I reject under some spiritual/actualist morality.

A preference quickly becomes a ‘must have’ and before I know it I am clawing my way for security.

And then comes in the spiritual approach of rejection and denial of all those wants so that I can attain freedom, but this is still in the wrong direction.

Then the 3rd alternative comes in where the focus shifts away from all that and into that which is sensible and intelligent. If this becomes my yardstick things get a lot simpler, then I can escape this thing of trying to decide just what is essential and what I should be allowed to desire.

Instead I can focus on what is sensible right now, but the thing is there is really no hard rules with that, it’s something that is always obvious, right in front of me.

Eg it’s the weekend right now and I’m going to do some training which I enjoy, is this a need, want or desire? Probably depending on which way I want to present it, it could be all of them.

I could argue that it’s a need because it keeps me physically healthy and I learn self defence :man_shrugging::joy: I could say it’s a want because I enjoy doing it but really it has no ‘practical’ benefits. I could say it’s a desire because without training I would feel bored.

But it seems whichever way I label it up would depend on the various beliefs which I am seeing the situation through. The fact of the matter is that it makes sense for me to go do this thing, based on all the facts that comprise this current situation happening right now such as - I have free time, I don’t have other plans, I enjoy this thing, I have the capacity to do this thing etc.

If any of those facts were to shift, that which is sensible might also change, maybe I will end up staying at home or going to do something else. But the outcome would be dictated by the facts of the situation as opposed to being dictated by emotion or morality.