The Ego,Maslow's Needs,and reducing Needs

I was revisiting Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs trying to look at it compared to or in contrast to "What do it mean to have No needs to worry of, as well as how does One truly reduce Needs and How the Ego can not be say "dis-engaged" if it is constantly striving for a New Need.

The Following is from a article I found on Maslow's needs ; 


As shown in the white area in the diagram below, Maslow identified the following need levels:

  1. Self Actualization
  2. Ego Needs
  3. Social Needs
  4. Security Needs
  5. Body Needs

The diagram below shows this hierarchic theory in a pyramid format. Each white level is dependent on the previous level. 

My Question, is ;" Is the Ego not engaged in all aspects of striving for any Need, thus why is it separate here?

 Another Question if it has been being taught as shown above, is this a Correct way to teach it ?

From same Article ; 


Maslow believed that once a person is self actualized, he is in a position to follow their calling. A musician must make music, an artist must paint and a poet must write. If these needs are not met, the person feels on edge and lacking something. In the lower needs, one can find the cause of their restlessness, but as one goes up to self actualization, the restlessness can be hard to identify.

Maslow also believed that people should be able to move through the needs to the highest level provided they are given an education that promotes growth.

Some of the changes in the educational process that Maslow espoused:

People should ...

  • Be authentic.
  • Transcendtheir cultural conditioning and become world citizens.
  • Find their vocation and right mate.
  • Know that life is precious.
  • Be good and joyous in all kinds of situations.
  • Learn from their inner nature.
  • See that basic needs are satisfied.
  • Refreshen their consciousness, appreciate beauty and other good things in life.
  • Understand that controls are good, and complete abandon is bad.
  • Transcend trifling problems
  • Grapple with serious problems such as injustice, pain suffering and death
  • Be good choosers
  • Be given practice in making choices of goodies, then making choices in their religious beliefs.
  • -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

This above  is very Idealistic, yet most likely truth, and also shows why so few people are "Self Actualized"

And also what a Paradox, as unless Self-Actualized (referring to the above statement "  once a person is self actualized, he is in a position to follow their calling.

                 This is Freud’s theory of the aspects of Ego,Id,and SuperEgo


Structural Model (id, ego, superego)super ego

According to Freud, we are born with our Id.  The id is an important part of our personality because as newborns, it allows us to get our basic needs met.  Freud believed that the id is based on our pleasure principle.  In other words, the id wants whatever feels good at the time, with no consideration for the reality of the situation.  When a child is hungry, the id wants food, and therefore the child cries.  When the child needs to be changed, the id cries.  When the child is uncomfortable, in pain, too hot, too cold, or just wants attention, the id speaks up until his or her needs are met.

The id doesn’t care about reality, about the needs of anyone else, only its own satisfaction.  If you think about it, babies are not real considerate of their parents’ wishes.  They have no care for time, whether their parents are sleeping, relaxing, eating dinner, or bathing.  When the id wants something, nothing else is important.

Within the next three years, as the child interacts more and more with the world, the second part of the personality begins to develop.  Freud called this part the Ego.  The ego is based on the reality principle.  The ego understands that other people have needs and desires and that sometimes being impulsive or selfish can hurt us in the long run.  Its the ego’s job to meet the needs of the id, while taking into consideration the reality of the situation.

By the age of five, or the end of the phallic stage of development, the Superego develops.  The Superego is the moral part of us and develops due to the moral and ethical restraints placed on us by our caregivers.  Many equate the superego with the conscience as it dictates our belief of right and wrong.

In a healthy person, according to Freud, the ego is the strongest so that it can satisfy the needs of the id, not upset the superego, and still take into consideration the reality of every situation.  Not an easy job by any means, but if the id gets too strong, impulses and self gratification take over the person’s life.  If the superego becomes to strong, the person would be driven by rigid morals, would be judgmental and unbending in his or her interactions with the world.  You’ll learn how the ego maintains control as you continue to read.

Topographical Model

Freud believed that the majority of what we experience in our lives, the underlying emotions, beliefs, feelings, and impulses are not available to us at a conscious level.  He believed that most of what drives us is buried in our unconscious.  If you remember the Oedipus and Electra Complex, they were both pushed down into the unconscious, out of our awareness due to the extreme anxiety they caused.  While buried there, however, they continue to impact us dramatically according to Freud.

The role of the unconscious is only one part of the model.  Freud also believed that everything we are aware of is stored in our conscious.  Our conscious makes up a very small part of who we are.  In other words, at any given time, we are only aware of a very small part of what makes up our personality; most of what we are is buried and inaccessible.

The final part is the preconscious or subconscious.  This is the part of us that we can access if prompted, but is not in our active conscious.  Its right below the surface, but still buried somewhat unless we search for it.  Information such as our telephone number, some childhood memories, or the name of your best childhood friend is stored in the preconscious.

Because the unconscious is so large, and because we are only aware of the very small conscious at any given time, this theory has been likened to an iceberg, where the vast majority is buried beneath the water’s surface.  The water, by the way, would represent everything that we are not aware of, have not experienced, and that has not been integrated into our personalities, referred to as the nonconscious.

                     Now as a Scenario , Lets imagine this is not the Truth                            

                                                                       And we simply have a Ego

                         And the Ego's job is to strive for One's personal Needs

                                      Let's assume the Ego is Protector of One's Belief system

                                      Let's assume the Ego doesn't understand or doesn't have time for Empathy

                                      Let's assume the Ego is Left brain Leader

                                      Let's assume the Ego is the defender of every judgement One makes,guards that judgement


The following writings are from ; pathwaytohappiness.com

The Ego Unmasked

Why is the ego so hard to explain or describe?  The ego is difficult to define because the ego isn’t one specific thing.  It is actually made up of many different beliefs that a person acquires over their life. Those beliefs can be diverse and even contradictory.  To further complicate it, each person’s ego is different.  If someone were to clearly identify and describe all the parts of their ego and what it drives them to do, you might not get a good description of what yours looked like.  The challenge of becoming aware of what your personal ego looks like becomes more difficult because our culture doesn’t reward us for directing our attention inward and noticing such things.

How to Spot the Ego

The ego is difficult to see, because it hides behind opinions that appear true – our attachment to descriptions of our identity – and because we haven’t practiced looking.  You can get a glimpse by noticing certain thoughts, similar to those listed above.  The easier way to spot the ego is by the trail of emotional reactions it leaves behind: Anger at a loved one, a need to be right, a feeling of insecurity in certain situations, feelings of jealousy that are unexplained, the need to impress someone, and so on.  These emotions can be attributed to the false beliefs that comprise the ego.  In the beginning it is easier to see the symptoms of resulting emotions and drama, rather than the ego that caused it.

One of the most deceptive aspects of the ego is that it generates powerful emotional reactions, and then blames us for how it made us feel.  The anger we react with comes from ego based beliefs of being right and “knowing better’ than someone else.  Perhaps there is also a victim interpretation of betrayal or injustice underneath.  After we overreact with anger we might feel badly for what we expressed.  The ego shifts to a “righteous self” that “knows better” and berates us for overreacting with anger.  At the same time, it assumes the identity of being the “stupid idiot” that didn’t know any better and takes the blame for overreacting.  All these attitudes, thoughts, and beliefs take place in the mind, and even though they are completely different, we assume all of them come from us.  If they really were expressions coming from our genuine self, they wouldn’t contradict, and we would be able to stop them.

To the unaware person, it is difficult to discern the difference between what is ego and what is really them.  They are left to wonder, “What came over me that I reacted that way?”  Even their post-emotional analysis lacks the consideration to see the different parts of their belief system at work as separate from themselves.  As a result, everything they express is blamed on “themselves” by one of the condemning voices in their head.  In effect, the ego hijacks the analysis and turns it into a self-criticism/blame process.  When the ego controls the self-reflection process you have no chance of seeing the root cause of your emotional dramas, as the ego reaffirms itself and hides in the self-criticism.

Let's just Imagine the Ego mainly resides as a Left hemisphere function for scenario sake

           " The Narrow Focused Attention "

For every Need we create ,for example we purchase something we really don't need, we just created another Need of the Ego to defend that judgement to purchase that un needed thing.

 If we make a belief judgement, now we just created another Need, everyday we make belief judgements, thus everyday create a need to defend those judgements. "This is where Our Ego steps in", thus we are creating a need for the Ego,to work harder,thus giving it more power. 

             Here's kind of a Metaphor I though of ; Say it is the Time of the Civil war, after viewing the video above, say President Lincoln is the Right hemisphere, General Grant the Left (the Ego,the in field defender,guard) ,General Grant has contact with Lincoln,yet at that time in history communication was slow,compared of today. History shows that Grant was very Loyal to President Lincoln,

   A Letter from Grant     "Between President Lincoln and General Grant was a mutual appreciation society of the difficulties presented by their respected positions. “In time of war the President, being by the Constitution Commander-in-Chief of the Army and Navy, is responsible for the selection of commanders,” wrote Grant in his memoirs. “He should not be embarrassed in making his selections. I having been selected, my responsibility ended with my doing the best I knew how. If I had sought the place, or obtained it through personal or political influence, my believe is that I would have feared to undertake any plan of my own conception, and would probably have awaited direct orders from my distant superiors. Persons obtaining important commands by application or political influence are apt to keep a written record of complaints and predictions of defeat, which are shown in case of disaster. Somebody must be responsible for their failures.” He noted: “With all the pressure brought to bear upon them, both president Lincoln and General Halleck stood by me to the end of the campaign I had never met Mr. Lincoln, but his support was constant.”2

President Lincoln had to by Faith trust Grant, as Grant was The Defender,Grant's Role was to get control of this Country,and by Force, he didn't have time to care about anything but that, even if Grant was the most humble person alive, still if force to defend so much, by needs created,instead of being reduced , he had to become sort of a "Ego" only, as the Needs where set before him.

Applied to Ourselves, "If we endlessly keep creating Needs for the Ego to defend", then we are occupied constantly

I don't think the Ego, at least without intervention/help (say steered in a new direction) has the role of mediator, for example Grants role was to Win,only win, there was no thought of conceding,it was not a opinion,Slavery was going to be Done with,once and for all.

how history changes ; "But the greatest presidential gainer was Ulysses Grant, who ranked at an abysmal No. 33 in C-SPAN’S 2000 poll but now resides at No. 22—right in the middle of all the presidents. This remarkable rise is attributable to major changes in thinking among academics about Reconstruction. For decades, historians viewed Grant as a puppet of the Senate’s so-called Radical Republicans, who imposed harsh Reconstruction policies upon the South and thus—in those historians’ view—exacerbated the nation’s sectional divide. But more recent scholarship has washed away this negative view of those Republican radicals and portrayed them instead as forerunners to the country’s later civil-rights activists devoted to equal justice for freed blacks. Grant’s embrace of those sentiments now elevates his status.


For example ;  My Ego defends the fact that my Authentic-self to be psychologically Androgynous  which my belief is I have the  psychologically identity of male and female thus Androgynous, I don't wish to be female in the appearance,other then to have female type breasts, which would satisfy my desire to appear as "Hermaphroditus",as 

 I can wear a dress if I choose,or jeans as I identify with Hermaphroditus.  

                         Like Grant above, I can't change this belief,there is no conceding,I very much believe Grant would of never                                          yielded,never surrender. thus a Ego force for a Country as a Whole. just imagine if Slavery had not ended,                                            though I am sure many people wish we still had slaves,sad but true.

                         As well as I feel it sad ,that as a Society we even are still discussing gender issues, as it should not matter , and the                            fact we live in a Country where the laws state "Freedom of Beliefs". when standing back and asking :                                                                                             "Freedom based on Who's belief?" , what might the answer be?


I think there is a great Paradox of Ego,in that it will defend a belief ever if proven to be not true, and will defend to the death, unless another intervening force,sets it free.  For example any addiction, most likely needs intervention.

The Need for a Sense of Control-changingminds.org

Control is a deep, deep need

Perhaps the deepest need people have is for a sense of control. When we feel out of control, we experience a powerful and uncomfortable tension between the need for control and the evidence of inadequate control.

Note that the need is for 'a sense of control', not just for 'control'. This need around how we feel about control is much deeper and has a wider scope than just seeking power and the control it brings.

One of the most disturbing things about having a terminal illness, as those who unfortunately suffer from such afflictions will tell you, is the feeling of powerlessness, of being unable to do anything about it. Being unable to control the illness and knowing that others cannot help either can be even more painful than impending death.

From an evolutionary standpoint, if we are in control of our environment, then we have a far better chance of survival. Our deep subconscious mind thus gives us strong biochemical prods when we face some kind of danger (such as the fight-or-flight reaction).

Other needs that lead to a sense of control include:

Maslow revisited

Psychologist Abraham Maslow defined a hierarchy of needs, with the particular revelation that when lower level needs are not met, then higher-level needs will be abandoned in favor  of shoring up the deeper needs.

Locus of control

There is a principle of locus of control whereby we tend to attribute control in our lives either internally (I have control) or externally (others control my life). People with an internal locus of control are more proactive and self-motivated. External attribution leads more to passivity and belief in fate or luck.