Question: You speak of a hierarchy of repressed emotions as follows: anger, hurt, need and fear. I gather from what you say that our needs, other than for survival, are an illusion. Is awareness of these needs all that is necessary for them to be met and to move beyond them? Is there some action we must take?

Leonard’s Answer: The only true need is the need for others to be present with us. All other needs are substitute needs. When we came into this world as tiny and vulnerable babies, we had a need for our parents to be truly present with us. But to varying degrees, they were not, and so we did not feel safe. In order to feel safe, we began our pursuit of substitute needs.

“Well, if you will not be present with me, then will you at least love me?”

It soon became obvious that we would not receive the level of unconditional love that we needed to feel safe, so we went after the next substitute need.

“Well if you will not love me, then will you at least accept me unconditionally?”

That substitute need was not met.

“Well, if you will not love and accept me unconditionally, will you at least approve of me, or acknowledge me, or make me feel special.”

With each step we take in pursuit of these substitute needs, we are moving away from ourselves and becoming lost in others.

Most of us spend our entire lives in pursuit of these substitute needs, completely unaware that all we really need is for others to be truly present with us. One who is fully present is loving, accepting and acknowledging. When another is truly present with you, you get it all.


Submit questions to author and teacher Leonard Jacobson for guidance on the path of presence by email to info@leonardjacobson.com, or mail your questions to: The Edge, Ask Leonard, P.O. Box 25543, Woodbury, MN 55125. Include your name and mailing address. If your letter is selected for publication, you will receive a copy of the author’s latest book, Journey to Now.

3 COMMENTS

  1. The only true need is the need for others to be present with us. All other needs are substitute needs. When we came into this world as tiny and vulnerable babies, we had a need for our parents to be truly present with us. But to varying degrees, they were not, and so we did not feel safe. In order to feel safe, we began our pursuit of substitute needs.

  2. Leonards Words! ~ The only true need is the need for others to be present with us. All other needs are substitute needs. When we came into this world as tiny and vulnerable babies, we had a need for our parents to be truly present with us. But to varying degrees, they were not, and so we did not feel safe. In order to feel safe, we began our pursuit of substitute needs.

    I say: There are NO TRUE NEEDS!
    For a need to be TRUE it must be present in every “Present Moment of Now!”
    NEED is an illusion within the “Experience of the Something”!
    In the absence of the “Experience of the Something”, there is NOTHING or No Thing!
    “Need” is the experience of missing something!
    Why? Simply for the purpose of deciding what is of value and what is not within the “Process and Discovery of Self!

    The True Energy of Self needs nothing, including “another”!! But, to fully understand “What Is”! The experience of what is not, as it is experienced within the dualistic experience was desired to BE realized and the “Experience of the Something”, was how it was chosen to BE realized! But even the “Energy and the Experience of the Something” is an illusion created by SELF for SELF!

    Even the human body at it’s highest level of vibration and resonation not yet realized or achieved, will no longer need food to live on or water to survive! Today the only true needs from a human standpoint are physical needs. Food, clothing, physical cleanliness, shelter and water. “Another” to interact with is not a need…it is a desire!!

    Even your statement of “Love” and “Unconditional Acceptance” shows need as I believe you intended it too.
    “Well, if you will not love and accept me unconditionally, will you at least approve of me, or acknowledge me, or make me feel special.”

    Unconditional Acceptance is a neutral energy! It supplies nothing to another! This is why it is such a powerful energy, it is an energy of the “Nothing” not an energy of the “Something”! Yet within the energy of the “Something”, it is the one energy that is virtually impossible to embody.

    Love is a need energy and carries with it expectations as well as disappointment when it is not given or realized according to it’s interpretaton and need both by the user and the receiver!
    Love is an energy of the “Something” that is for the body! Unconditional Acceptance can be embodied but does not effect the body. But it does free the “Self” to BE!

    But then again everyones defintion of love is different and is an umbrella word for many to use even if it is over used or spoken frivelously or from the heart.
    But “Unconditional Acceptance” is very clear and very concise!
    There is “Conditional Acceptance” or “Unconditional Acceptance” it is black and white!

    You used “Unconditional Acceptance” as being secondary to “Unconditional Love” or even “Conditional Love” in your message. Any energy created within the “Something” for the body is an illusion energy!

    Leonard Your Words! ~ Most of us spend our entire lives in pursuit of these substitute needs, completely unaware that all we really need is for others to be truly present with us. One who is fully present is loving, accepting and acknowledging. When another is truly present with you, you get it all.

    You say you get it all! So I ask you….do you NEED it ALL?
    In the absence of “One” who is fully present, loving, acknowledging and accepting of You and from whom you Get It All and have become dependent for it all to flow to you. If there was only YOU, would YOU still need another to give to YOU what YOU have come to depend on in order to get it all? Isn’t the other just another version of your Self for You to interact with for the fun of it?

    So did you get that when you got it all, that another is just supplying to us, what we have not yet come to understand is already there within each of us and that another is an illusional construct for Self by Self for the fun of it and not for dependence on it?

    Just curious!
    Rick Schuster

  3. Rick,

    When making a comment, you might want to first reflect upon who I am addressing in my original article. There are two kinds of people that I am addressing and I am doing so with love and compassion.

    There are many on the path of awakening who find it difficult to settle fundamentally into Presence. They are caught in a wounded past from their childhood, where their need for their parents to be truly present with them was not met. This created feelings of hurt, fear, unworthiness and separation which all proved too much to deal with. These feelings were repressed and as a strategy of survival, the child began to seek love, acceptance, and acknowledgment as a substitute for that original need. Their parents failed to fulfill those substitute needs and so the pursuit of those unfilled needs from others grew stronger and stronger as they grew older, which took them further and further into the mind and the illusion of separation.

    As long as they continue to pursue these substitute needs, they will remain imprisoned within the mind. Most of our relationships are based in the hope that these substitute needs will be fulfilled, but they rarely are and the original need from childhood for others to be present with us remains concealed and forgotten.

    To be present is to surrender that pursuit for love and acceptance from others, and I have found that when people can return to their original need for someone to be present with them, it helps them to relax out of the substitute needs. They can more easily see the folly of seeking love and acceptance from those who were not loved or accepted in their own childhood. It gently opens the doorway into the present moment, as they also realize the folly of wanting others to be present with them, when that those others are caught in the past or future, full of opinions, concepts and beliefs, and are lost in their own projections. They then disengage from that need also and make the choice to be present even if no one is present with them.

    I am also addressing those who have opened very deeply into presence and the realization of Oneness and yet they have to maintain a balance between the timeless state of Presence, and the world of time. They have relationships. They have children. They go to work. They are not in denial of their humanness, even though they have awakened into their Godliness. It is helpful for these individuals to realize that the only need they have as they play in the world of time is for others to be present with them. It helps them to maintain their foundation in Presence and not drift back into pursuing those substitute needs. The need for others to be present is not a neurotic need. They will not collapse if no one is present with them. It is a soft and gentle need that enhances intimacy and leads to the sharing of Presence with another.

    These are the people I am addressing. Now let me tell you who I am not addressing. I am not addressing those who in any given moment are in a timeless state of Oneness. Of course, in that state, there are no needs. There are no relationships. There is no work. You do not exist outside of the moment. You are fully immersed in Oneness with what is.

    I thank you for your comment and for providing me with the opportunity to clarify what I mean by substitute needs and the price we pay for unconsciously pursuing those needs.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.