The Unconscious Urge For Survival

Social Science is a part of Humanities which tends to acquire many scientific and empirical methods in its studies while being peculiar about Man and Society, being its area of expertise where the whole study revolves around these two major discipline presumably known as Anthropology and Psychology which in a manner claims itself to be more of a scientific discipline as per the methods and principles followed are concerned.

Both in their ways have shadowed each other in its certain areas of study. Well by doing so two major theorist Abraham Harold Maslow an American psychologist and Bronisław Kasper Malinowski an anthropologist in there times have come up with functionalist theory which had its work on Needs of Man and their impulses to be particular. While Malinowski was rather a functionalist who also happened to be the follower of Wilhelm Wundt, a psychologist, who talked about structuralism and introspection. On the other hand Maslow, who was a behaviourist giving the motivation theory was in a way functionalist too.

Well, the two of them talked about the Basic Needs of Humans and both of them in their theories agreed upon few common things like the Physiological Needs stated by Maslow to be the Hunger and Thirst followed by Safety Needs where the life from any harm was important and then came the Biological Needs where the Love and Sex was the important need of a human which next brought in line the Self-Esteem that is the confidence and respect for oneself and others and self-worth, strength, capacity, achievement, reputation all falls into it. Once a person has achieved them he tends to move towards the need of Self-Actualization which is the desire for self-fulfilment where one wish to reach his true potential and attain the happiness and satisfaction of life he desired for. While Malinowski gave these division in three levels that is Primary or Basic Needs, Instrumental or Derived Needs and Integrative or Imperative needs. Divided the same measure of Maslow’s hierarchy in 3 levels respectively, where Primary is concerned with basic needs that are physiological, safety and love needs while Derived Needs are strengthening the primary needs adding to self-esteem and these led to imperative needs which talks about fulfilment and happiness.

The two of them talked of basic needs in two different contexts Malinowski using the cultural context while Maslow using the motivation context but both of them was in one way or the other attached to the one single goal that is the unconscious goal of humans called as Survival in this whole mental maze of human being. The one thing that leads them to behave in a particular manner is arisen from the unconscious goal of survival which in ones conscious comes up as the basic need of the human. Well it might be a little complicated; so to understand it better one needs to know the Psychodynamic Approach given by Sigmund Freud where he talked of three levels of consciousness: Conscious- a state of mind of which person is aware about, Preconscious- the state of mind of which one can be aware of if attend closely and Unconscious- the state of mind people are unaware of. In the unconscious mind of human all sorts of desire and impulses are stored which human denies or is unable to come up with. And on the other hand he comes up with three structural elements of personality that is the concept of ID-instincts (unconscious level) Ego- reality principle and Super Ego- morality principle. Here, ID comprises of two kinds of instincts called as EROS- that is the life instincts which help individual to survive, it directs life sustaining activities such as respiration, eating and sex. The energy created by the life instinct is called as Libido and on the other hand is THANATOS- which is death instinct which is viewed as a set of destructive forces present in all human beings. This energy is directed outward onto others, expressed as aggression and violence.

So the human’s unconscious goal that is of survival coming from Eros makes the need of humans conscious enough to act and in order to attain that goal one used to behave in a manner that its ultimate desire is fulfilled. While here the motivating factor is the need for survival and as said by Charles Darwin only the fittest would survive. Thus, all human being in one way or the other tends to seek what they desires to be as fit enough to survive the course of life in a fulfilling manner and achieve the ultimate goal of happiness and satisfaction while in the process of survival.

Therefore, the two disciplines of social sciences that are psychology and anthropology directs us to one major goal that is survival and if both works together hand in hand it could uncover much more than it already does about the human nature and how the human psyche works in order to survive and what’s the motive behind the behavior of humans particularly while in any act and what triggers it basically. As for here, it’s the need for survival that triggers humans to attain certain goals which are defined in terms of human need.

Article by :- Jagjeet Kaur

© Alysane Society

© Jagjeet Kaur

3 thoughts on “The Unconscious Urge For Survival

    1. Namaste!!!
      Thank you for sharing our Article.🙂


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