The Right Brain and the Unconscious: Discovering the Stranger Within

By R. Joseph | Go to book overview

15
The Misinterpretation of Needs

Limbic Needs

Many needs, but by no means all, are mediated by the limbic system, particularly biological needs, such as hunger, thirst, and the need for social, emotional, and physical contact with others. Even the need for love or, conversely, the need to get even by striking back has limbic roots. Thus, many needs originate in the most primitive unconscious regions of our mind.

Some of these needs, originating in the most inaccessible realms of the psyche, must go through a laborious process of transformation and interpretation before they can be recognized by the conscious mind. Because the conscious and unconscious minds do not speak the same language, misinterpretation is a natural by-product of the translation process. Some impulses cannot even be consciously recognized by the language-dependent left half of the brain.

For this reason, some needs remain unconscious and never achieve conscious scrutiny, whereas others in fact become wholly misinterpreted in the process of linguistic translations and categorization. In either case, these needs go unfulfilled. Fortunately, many needs that remain unconscious do not require conscious assistance to be taken care of and many more do not even have to be acted on; they just fade away. For example, an individual may be feeling extremely angry or sexually

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