Needs

From Body Communication
Every body needs somebody, sometimes.
Needs
PrerequisitesConversing with Your Body
Questions This Answers

Needs are your body's current behavioral priorities, usually for self-care purposes. However, there are a lot of nuances to how they function and how they are generated. You can use that information to more easily identify needs and take care of them, before they are likely to cause issues.

Making Querying Easier

Since you can only ask about one bodily need at a time, and your body can only give you yes or no answers, you can sometimes get stuck trying to identify the details of a specific need. To make it easier, it’s useful to have a list of all known needs and categories of needs, so that when you are checking to see what needs your body currently has, you can go through each need from most likely to the least. Here’s an example starter list. As you learn what works for you, you can adapt it to better suit your own life and your body’s specific need tendencies.

An example list of possible needs. This list is not exhaustive.
Example Need List
Need Types Environment Possible Problems
My need or someone else’s need Lighting Rebuild
Physical or network Music Digestive limit
Digestive Social Back tired
Water Attention Too cold or hot
Normal meal cycle Communication Network conflict
Single item meal Relationship type or specific person Parasitic network
Positioning Interpersonal positioning Unidentified problem
Sit Relationship Exercise
Stand Soft Flow (Romance) Squats
Walk Powerful Flow (Passion) Pushups
Run: variable speed Care Hand Exercises
Lay down: exact position Massage Range of Motion
Elevate feet: from a little to a handstand Preening Dance

To make it even easier, a layered, categorical approach to querying your needs really helps. Here’s a flowchart that walks you through a categorical need checking process.

 
Flowchart for a layered, categorical approach to discovering what your needs are.


One more way to make it easier to discover a need that you’re having a hard time identifying is to write out the details of a query and then mark it with the response you received towards it. This will help you look at the entire picture all at once, making it easier for you locate what you may have missed or any assumptions that you may have made.

A discussion with my body in Dolish. Queries are numbered. Queries and the body's responses are color coded by the body's response. Positive responses are green, negative responses are pink, and all other responses are yellow.
Q# Query Response
2021-04-22: I feel a slight pull on my attention, meaning there is a need to figure out.
1 Intend to go to my fridge to get food. no
2 Intend to pick up my bottle of water. no
3 Intend to turn the lights down a bit. yes
4 Intend to lay down. no
5 Intend to sit down. yes
6 Intend to do my work. no
7 Intend to do nothing. no
8 Intend to cross my legs. yes
9 Picture myself in a room with someone else. yes
10 Picture myself talking with them. no
11 Picture them talking with me. no
12 Picture us in contact. yes
13 Picture us hugging. no
14 Picture myself giving them a massage. yes
15 Picture myself massaging different people, some that I know and some that I don’t know. yes to all
My body wants to massage someone, anyone. It seems like it wants to test out its new abilities in that area since the latest changes. As there is no one with me to massage, I will have to communicate to my body that this currently isn’t possible, but that I will see what I can do tomorrow and over the weekend.
16 Picture myself in a room with people, intending to offer massage, my hands out and open, turning around in a circle to spread the offer to each person in the mental image. Picture the people in the room having no interest. no answer
17 Repeat the previous picture, followed by picturing myself showing care to another of myself, my body, in an inquisitive manner to see if it’s ok. Make sure the two images are linked. yes
18 Picture myself intending to offer massage in the future, specifically tomorrow extending to the rest of the week. yes
My body understood and accepted my inability to satiate this need to massage someone. It has also accepted my plan to satiate the need in the future. This did not satiate the need, but it did clear the need so that I would not be further notified of it for a while. As there appear to be no other pressing needs. I can get back to work.

The Source of Needs

Everyone knows that their body needs food to live. We need air. We need water. Seeking out nourishment to fulfill bodily needs is the basic behavior that keeps us alive. Medical research has found the parts to the systems that keep us going, from the largest organ in the human body to the smallest organelle in a human cell. However, consciousness itself is still a mystery. This book does not answer that mystery, I am just as confused about that as everyone else. Perhaps even more so because body communication has made me aware of one more piece in the puzzle of consciousness.

Initial Assumption

When I first discovered body communication, I thought that I was sending requests for information to a biological machine, my body. I thought that I was getting responses to those requests from my body, as a biological machine. However, some observations didn’t add up. Occasionally, my body would communicate that it had a need, but the responses when trying to determine that need would exclude everything. Then the responses would weaken, and in some situations even go offline for a while, hardly responding at all. It was as if my body was confused or disagreeing with itself. If it’s a machine, why would my body express confusion when asked about some of its own needs? If it’s a machine, why would my body disagree with itself?

Some dreams convey needs. A need-based dream that I had showed a situation I was in as a child from the perspective of me as the abuser and my body as the abused. When I asked my body about it, my body wanted to cry. I did not want to cry or see a reason to cry, but my body did. It turned out that my body wanted an apology from me. It wanted remorse. When my body received that remorse, it let the issue go and the need to cry stopped. If my body is just a machine, how could it feel trauma, remember trauma, and express trauma from situations that I was personally completely fine in and had no issues with? Why would my body need me to apologize? Why would it react to me apologizing? Machines don’t want apologies, nor do they care about or react to apologies. I came to the realization that there is more to the human body than I had first thought. It appeared to be a separately conscious entity. I was closer to seeing what was going on, but I wasn’t even close to the full picture.

Trouble in Paradise

After six years of learning to use body communication to take care of my body’s needs to the best of my abilities, I went through something physically traumatic. I was going through a rough period for a few months, having to deal with a surprise legal issue far from home in a place that I had never been and had little support in. Before that happened, I was eating exactly what I needed, the exact moment I needed it, in the exact amounts my body requested, for every single meal, for years. Transitioning to constantly lacking nutrients and not getting enough food in general was frustrating, but my body adapted well to a bad situation. When it was all done, however, adapting back to optimally taking care of my body triggered an unexpected problem: the parasitic digestive microbiome problem.

My body and I spent a year trying to fix that problem, with limited success. It was painful at times, once landing me in the hospital emergency room when a clinic doctor feared possible appendicitis. Tests for immediate dangers came back negative, so the emergency room doctors referred me to a gastroenterologist. I would have followed through on that had I been able to afford it. As it was, I was concerned enough about the unknown cost of the emergency room visit. So, with the knowledge that I wasn’t in any immediate medical danger, I went home and returned to the task of trying to figure out the problem with my body’s help. Not what I would have preferred, and definitely not recommended, but it was the best that I could afford at the time.

About one year into trying to work out my digestive system’s problem, my body did something that I did not expect. Apparently, cooperating with my body had worked out so well for it in other areas that it decided that the only way to make headway on the parasitic digestive microbiome problem was to improve our ability to communicate. So, my body modified itself to be able to understand what I was saying, both verbally and in my internal monologue.

A New Ability

Instead of having to word every question to my body in Dolish, in the form of an intended or imagined action, suddenly I could just ask my body questions outright. My body would still answer with its normal positive or negative responses in whatever body part I was paying attention to, but this was still a major improvement in communication. There was no more need for me to translate every question I have into an intended action. I can just ask my body literally anything that I want to know, about any topic that my body cares about or is involved in.

That is where a lot of the information in this website comes from: asking a lot of questions. It would be amazing to explore every topic in this website scientifically, in a lab setting. I graduated with a Bachelor of Science in psychology for that purpose. I worked hard to learn research methods and improve my skills in any lab that I could join and assist. I learned statistical analysis methods and how to design experiments. I am a very logic and science-oriented guy. But as for the research being documented in this book, only the smallest of sample sizes are available for running the most basic tests outside of a lab setting. While I cannot be as rigorous a scientist right now as I would like to, I can be, effectively, an anthropologist exploring this unknown internal population.

A New Friend

With improved communication came an opportunity for me to learn about what I had been communicating with from its perspective. I started asking my body about its internal world, starting with the most important questions of all: who and what exactly am I addressing when I query my body? How does it conceptualize itself? How could it suddenly understand me? What did it do to make that happen? Did my body just make the effort to learn English?

As it turned out, I had to piece together information on what I was talking to, as it didn’t really conceptualize itself. It had its own memories, its own decision making, its own desires and cares. It expressed its own emotions. It was a living thing rather than a machine, so I was right about that. What I was talking with, however, it wasn’t my body as a whole. It was just another part of my body, like I am. This new part of my body didn’t have a name or anything to call it, but its primary action turned out to be triggering a yawn in response to a bodily need coming to its attention. So, I named it Yawnie, as it was in favor of having a name related to the action of yawning.

I eventually discovered how Yawnie made itself able to understand what I was verbally asking it. Yawnie didn’t learn anything. Yawnie built something similar to itself to handle translating for it. Yawnie wired a translator together, and the translator was providing information on the intentions underlying what I was saying. I could address the translator directly and have a conversation with it, separate from Yawnie. I, being a logic-minded programmer at heart, unimaginatively named the translator Translator.

A Whole New World

Exploring what I discovered, I came to the realization that the human body is a consciousness machine. It makes one consciousness (me) for managing the outside world, and many for managing individual aspects of the inside world, like Yawnie and Translator. But to do that, it doesn’t just make consciousnesses individually. It makes layers of consciousnesses. Layers upon layers upon layers of lifeforms wired together to perform more and more complex behaviors. The awareness of the vast, conscious population that I had stumbled upon was mind boggling. For a while, I didn’t know how to process it. Even more unsettling was discovering that to them, I was just another wired together entity among their population, made of smaller conscious entities. I even knew where I was among them. Since the internal structure of this population is like a network, I, with their permission, called these entities nodes.

It took a while to adjust to. It’s easy to work with the idea of sending requests to a machine that you live in. Everyone is so used to working with machines that that’s normal these days. After that assumption was dashed, it was still easy to work with the idea of asking questions to a separately conscious body that I live in and cooperate with. Cooperating with another person is something that most people are pretty used to. This, however, was well beyond that. I was dealing with the idea that not only do I live among a vast, conscious population in my own body, but I was simultaneously dealing with the realization that I am made of a vast, conscious population myself. It’s a bit much adjusting to the concept of being made up of entities that you do not know; literally made-up by entities that you do not know. Talk about being late to the party and socially awkward about it. I avoided most of the population for the longest time after this realization, not knowing how to even go about working with a large population.

It’s one thing to know that you’re made of around thirty trillion living cells that you can only see under a microscope. It’s another to be able to meet conscious entities that live in your brain, help you live, and oh yeah, some of them are parts of you that are working together to be you reading this website right now. It’s mind boggling. For me, it was so unexpected and so, so weird.

The Purposes of Needs

So, why do these bodily needs exist? What nodes push for them, and why should you bother with following them at all? Some needs appear pointless, some needs may be based on wrong information, and some needs may create social issues in daily life. Do the benefits outweigh the possible costs? Why are needs put upon us like this? Why should we care?

Reason #1: For your sake

These other entities, these subconscious systems that live with you in the body you all share, they know more about what’s going on inside you than you do. They are built specifically for and are responsible for taking care of different aspects of your body, your mind, and even your social life. They are part of you, and they are there to help. So why not work with them instead of against them? They don’t always make the best decisions. They never went to school, and they can’t even count. But they can do a lot, and you can help each other.

Reason #2: Kindness

You are a single consciousness with a lot of external attention power behind you, letting you properly interact with the outside world. That is what makes you the external control managing consciousness. That is what you are built for. It is your body, but not just your body. The rest of your body, the entities that make you function and help you live, they have to live there too. You have your senses. They have theirs. You have your memories. They have theirs. You may have grown up dealing with bullies. They deal with bullying too, from each other and from you. Sometimes they just need to express themselves externally. Sometimes one of them will need to cry. You would comfort a friend in need, would you not? What if that friend was part of you? Is that not a bond at least as strong as family? Would you really turn your back on something that has only ever tried to help you?

Conclusion

Needs are there for a reason. The brain makes one consciousness to solve external problems, you, but it seems that it also makes thousands upon thousands of others to solve internal problems. That is what it does. It is a consciousness machine, and you are one of a multitude. They guide you without your awareness, so why not work with them to build all of you a better future?

Existential Issues

Free will is an important aspect of human life. Your wants are your wants and your choices are yours to make. However, there is a multitude of sentient beings that make up and/or influence your likes, choices, and everything that you think and do. This calls free will and personal identity into question. Those, however, are abstract concepts. Let’s get practical.

In later chapters, you will learn that by communicating with my body, I gave it the power to block off and effectively remove the behavior patterns and remembered feelings associated with depression and loneliness. The source of my depression, a decade ago, was starved bodily needs. I fixed that myself through using body communication to know what I need and care for myself, preventing that form of depression. I was doing something good for myself. I was actively working to better my life, and it worked. Those were my actions, though. I was still occasionally depressed after that, simply because I occasionally fell back into my depressive memories and behavior patterns. I had grown up feeling that way, so it was easy to be that way, even if there was no biological cause at the time. My body didn’t like that, so it took its own actions to get rid of the rest of my depression. My body blocked off my ability to remember feelings of depression or access depression-related thought patterns or behavior patterns. My body used an aversion to prevent memory and behavior pattern access. Those aversions last months, and by the time they are over, what was blocked off is, for all practical purposes, inaccessible. It’s effectively no longer there at all.

That was my body choosing to remove part of what I felt defined me. I could no longer relate to others that deal with depression because I couldn’t even remember what depression felt like. This was very good for my mental health. However, that didn’t matter to me nearly as much when it first happened. Feelings and memories were taken from me without my knowledge or consent. I had no agency, no awareness that it was about to happen, and no choice in the process. It was permanent. I went through feelings of loss and existential dread the day that this happened. It was not pleasant. I was mostly over the dread the next day, but it was still concerning. Years later, nothing has changed. That part of me is still gone. There was no choice, and there is no undo button.

Another change that I experienced, and had no choice in, was to my sexuality. That isn’t supposed to be possible, but it happened. I was shocked by the change, but as I am not bigoted, I wasn’t against the change itself. I was, however, existentially shattered for a few weeks. I was rapidly changing in many ways. My body greatly reduced the amount of meat that I needed to eat, so I lost that, and I lost my sexuality. I knew how much I was changing, and I had no idea what change I would notice next. Most of the changes were internal though, so they didn’t directly affect my life. But what would be the next change to my personal identity? How was I supposed to relate to others if I could be a completely different person an hour after I share anything about myself? This still concerns me.

This warning is the most important warning in this entire book. If you walk down this path, you have very little choice in who you will become, and neither does anyone else. You can improve greatly, and those improvements tend to be almost effortless, but you cannot predict, nor control, how you will change or what you will lose of what you currently consider part of your identity. My best friend knows more about my methods than anyone. They understand this risk and chose not to take this path at this time. I chose to take it, and I regret nothing. It’s awesome, it’s amazing, and the good more than makes up for the strange situations that I find myself in because of it. I love who I am, I just have no idea what I will become.

The choice is yours. Do you want to be you, or do you want to be more? Your internal network is always there, and many of them likely hate their current life, even if you like it. It’s a kindness to work with them, and it would be good for all of you, but it’s up to you to choose what path you take. The choice is yours. 

Review

Making Querying Easier

  • It can take a while to discover the details of an uncommon need. Some ways to speed up the process are:
    • Have a list of all known needs and need categories with you.
    • Follow a layered, categorical process for querying those needs.
    • Write out each question that you ask and mark it with the answer that you receive.

The Source of Needs

  • Needs that are communicated through body communication appear to be sourced from a multitude of conscious decision makers that are part of the human body. These decision makers are nodes.
  • You are also a node on this network.
  • Nodes on this bodily network are made of smaller nodes, which are made of even smaller nodes, and so on.
  • Nodes push their own needs. Needs can disagree with each other. A node can express confusion about its own needs.
  • Needs can express emotion and trauma that your body experienced but you did not. Other entities in your body’s network may even blame you for that trauma.
  • It is possible to speak with the body verbally, but it requires that an entity on your network be designed and created to act as a translator of your verbal intentions, for the rest of your body’s network to understand. This is the Translator node.
  • The node that built Translator is Yawnie, the bodily-need-based yawn triggering node.
  • The information in this book is from a combination of observations and discussions with these nodes. This is an anthropological method of study, not an experimental method of study. This is not ideal, but it is a good starting point for future work.

The Purposes of Needs

  • Needs exist because you only have enough attention to be aware of so much. You have other nodes inside you that are aware of matters that you are unaware of. They plan actions that take care of the body that you all share, to improve all your lives. You can work with them and help each other.
  • Needs exist because it’s not just your body. You’re sharing it and the others that live there do need to have some form of agency in their own body. They need to cry occasionally. They need to be able to intend to move the body and have the body they live in actually move. They need to be allowed to be people too.

Existential Issues

  • The observation that a person is made of a layered, sentient network of entities, including their own consciousness, calls into question the concepts of free will and personal identity.
  • Working with your body can result in unpredictable changes to who you are, and you may have no say in the process or the results. Memories may be affected. Central aspects to your identity, such as sexuality, may be affected. At times, there is no choice, and there is no undo button.
  • You must consider whether you want to be who you are now or something more. The results are good, but who you want to be is your choice to make. Do you want to use these methods in your daily life, giving your body the ability to change you for the better at a greater pace, or do you want to be who you are right now?




Comments


Add your comment
Body Communication welcomes all comments. If you do not want to be anonymous, register or log in. It is free.