The Need to be Needed: from Small World Stories

As part of researching the resources areas for Cosmic Confidential, some of my friends are scouting previous annual editions for ideas that resonate with them. Lakshmi Girl has been surveying Small World Stores, our 2008 annual, and she just emailed me this one segment.

The Need to be Needed

For your sign, the essence of life is to need and be needed.

That is a primal instinct for humanity, and you embody it: it is the spirit of the relationship between a mother and a child. Cancer is the sign of mothering; the sign of breasts, security and feelings. Breasts feed humanity when it is young, and they try to as it gets older. We may be a society that has lost the comfort of breasts, having sexualized them to the point where that has become nearly their only identity.

Breasts offer fulfillment. Yet there is, in every one of us, an empty space that cannot be fulfilled: that is, going back to our actual mother’s warm breasts, if we were lucky enough to have met them. This is the need within the need, an existential emptiness we all share. This emptiness is a space, and depending on one’s personal story, this space is either small or vast. In order to be as independent (or fulfilled) as we can, the idea of growth is to bring this space at its minimum size. At the very least, we need to be aware of that space and not make it the job of someone else to fill it up.

3 Responses to “The Need to be Needed: from Small World Stories”

  1. Going back to the Thema Mundi (world chart) theme, since it has Cancer rising, this suggests this “need to be needed” is the most fundamental need of all. However, in modern patriarchal society (aka civilization) it is pushed to the bottom of the chart (aries rising).

    Daniel Quinn talks about this need a lot. He outlines a Dream he had where a beetle talked to him and explained the problem with civilization is that you’re not needed there. (Providence pgs 16-20)

    Boiled down to fit in a pistachio nutshell, Quinn’s message is that the Earth needs us, while Civilization does not.

    In civilization you are needed in a Matrix or slavish sort of way but not really needed for you. In a tribal society you are needed and you belong. You belong to the Earth in the same way beetles and aardvarks do.

    This message is so unbelievably profound and simple that it took him several books and several different tellings of the tale to really deliver it (Ishmael, Providence and Beyond Civilization are the msot impoprtant imo)

  2. Eric Francis says:

    People exist in the context of a civilization where they are not so needed; and then we exist in the context of a much smaller community, where we are needed. But what I am getting at in this interp is to admit the need and desire to be valued and wanted. We can come a long way just by making contact with that level of inner reality rather than denying or fighting it.

  3. Yeah, I get it. You mean something like jamming out to the Dead Boys “Sonic Reducer” and carry around the “I don’t need anyone” chip on my shoulder, daring people to care about me…got over that a while ago, thankfully, lol

    I think the relevance of what I’m talking about is that many people take the need to be valued into the Civilization realm instead of the Tribal realm. In other words, they think if they do not have all the “stuff” that civilization tries to sell them for some fake “status” then they don’t really matter or even exist. Or, like Tiger Woods, if he doesn’t become the GOAT (greatest of all time) of golf then he ceases to exist or matter and so he bangs his clubs like a child when he misses….

    I guess what I am saying, and i think you would agree, is that the only place we can really expect to get that “need to be needed” need met is on the tribal level. If we can make a real difference in even a few people’s lives then that really is good enough.

    BTW, your thanksgiving credits where you thanked all the people involved with PW sounded very much like Quinn’s “tribal economy”

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