(Please find two videos embedded below the excerpt.)

Excerpt from “Earth: Need and Hunger”

“As time goes on, [there] comes the final phase of adulthood of the Earth Element, which is the discover that I have need that nobody else around me seems to have, so I can’t just pitch in in what’s already going on and join the community agriculture thing and figure I’ll do my weeding and get my cucumbers—I actually have needs that are my needs that nobody else seems to even understand around here. I’m going to have to start farming a crop nobody else around me has even heard of, in order to be nourished, and once I start farming this crop, for my needs, for my thriving, that nobody else has ever heard of—I cultivate this ability, I cultivate this crop—next thing you know, I have something to share with the community, and something to trade that’s completely unique, something to offer, a foundation for generosity in my community that started out with hunger. It starts with need, and ends up with something I have to give. So it’s worth knowing your needs, going through the cycle of crying out, asking for, reaching for, creating, pitching in, farming, and plotting and scheming, ‘How am I going to get—what do I need? What’s missing? What is it?

What do I hunger for, and how do I create that, so that I will be fully fed, and able to feed, in a way that no one else has yet been able to feed this community?’ So that’s a healthy Earth cycle. Love your needs. Listen to them.

In health, hunger comes from need. In health, hunger is the natural consequence, the crying forth of a need. Yeah. Crazy things can go on. There are certainly situations where we have hungers that are absolutely not rooted in a need, and that—drug addiction being a really clear example of that, for instance, or binge eating. One can have tremendous hunger, and it’s not connected, at least not directly connected to—generally speaking, and this is a great lead-in to the formula I’m going to teach, if there’s hunger, there’s need, but there sometimes can be a disconnect and confusion about what the need really is, and what the hunger is really for, and, as the great sage Bono, of U2, said, ‘You can never get enough of what you don’t really need.’

So there is a tremendous insatiability that can come up when hunger and need are not centered. Centeredness, the great virtue, otherwise known as ecology, is that ability to know what I need! What do I need? One of the biggest problems we have in our culture is, people are trying real hard not to have needs, have a lot of shame around having needs, considered a form of weakness to have needs, and so are really trying not to. ‘I don’t want to think about it. Having needs is inconvenient.’ And so that whole center gets shut down. ‘I don’t think about what I need. Nevermind what I need.’ Full thriving, becoming fruitful, having enough compost, sun, and rain to be able to actually bear fruit and feed the whole community? ‘Oh, but that means I have to ask for a little more rain, a little more fertilizer.’

So having needs is a tremendous and important thing, but when we’re in a climate of trying to deny that we even have them, it’s really hard to figure out what they are, but when we don’t know what our needs are, they don’t go away. They usually sneak out sideways, into various compulsions and unnatural appetites.”