Spiritual needs: what they are, types, features, examples

A person’s spiritual needs, together with requests of a material nature, become, in fact, two sides of the same coin. As creatures belonging to the animal world, until the end of their days people remain hostage to physiology, which requires society to constantly replenish the material resources necessary for life. Humanity needs food, shelter, protection from the adversity of the weather. A lot of things are needed to make life safe and satisfying. Including things that, due to ignorance, a person is not yet aware of. But there is also an aesthetic side. As human practice has shown, starting with Adam and Eve, satisfying only biological needs for an individual from the homo sapiens tribe is not enough. Why? For a person who has reason, he also needs ideological conditioning of his actions. People need certain life guidelines that allow them to more comprehensively and rationally identify and, if possible, assimilate the benefits that guarantee optimal comfort.

Spirituality becomes this mediator. At least the most important of all achievable. It fills the individual’s consciousness with those guidelines that provide the opportunity to live better. They give everyone the same metaphorical Darwinian twig, with the help of which you can reach what was previously inaccessible. Filling the intellect with new knowledge, sensory images and applying all this in practice, a person improves his capabilities, understands their extent and thereby understands his surroundings and himself better and better.

What is this concept

Each of us has a huge number of needs that require satisfaction. They manifest themselves at the physiological, social and mental levels, and without quenching this internal “thirst” it is impossible to achieve a feeling of peace and comfort.

The primary basis is physiology, since without paying attention to this area properly, it is impossible to transfer the focus to another, more global one. It, first of all, determines the safety of our life.

The nature of human needs was most fully revealed in his works by Abraham Maslow. The scientist placed people's desire for socialization at a level higher than the physical instincts. And only after the need to communicate, to feel part of society, to be accepted and protected by it, do spiritual (ideal) desires come into play - the highest, deepest. Their presence suggests that basic needs are at least partially satisfied.

The highest level of the pyramid includes:

  • interest in the process of cognition;
  • desire for development and self-development;
  • intention to have a favorite field of activity;
  • awareness of the meaning of one's existence;
  • defining life goals;
  • thirst for self-realization;
  • aesthetic values.

The main problem that prevents a person from realizing his inner potential is the dissatisfaction of the needs of lower levels of the pyramid.

Signs of need for spiritual development

I will give the most basic signs related to spiritual needs:

  • They originate from consciousness.
  • They have mediocre needs and methods for reproduction.
  • They are satisfied by the availability of free time, the level of desire and the ability to achieve them.
  • Complete selflessness.
  • There are no restrictions on implementation.

The component of human spiritual development is objective. Explained by the circumstances of human life and the need to understand the world around us. There is an important point: the more developed a person or civilization as a whole, the greater the demand for acquiring spiritual and cultural dignity. Simultaneous development in the spiritual component is a subjective necessity, representing the internal component of people, both in the social and personal components.


The peculiarity of spiritual needs is that without satisfying them, the individual does not die, and his health is not endangered. Problems can only arise in the context of his mental and emotional state. This is how they differ from the needs of the material plane.

A distinctive feature is the motive that encourages the individual to develop his inner world. The driving force is not the receipt of tangible benefits, but sincere interest. Developing people strive to think more broadly, to look deeper, to find what is curious and may be useful in the future. At the same time, the boundaries of knowledge in the modern world are determined only by the presence or absence of free time and resources. An effective way to unlock spiritual potential is creative activity.

Cognitive activity

People have sought to understand the world since ancient times, wanting to understand how the space around them works. The result of their superficial analysis was the emergence of various myths, superstitions, and beliefs. Many natural phenomena were incomprehensible to primitive man, and he associated them with otherworldly forces. At that time, this was the simplest way to explain what was happening around us - a thunderstorm, rain, the change of seasons.

The thirst for knowledge has brought humanity to a new evolutionary level, thanks to which to this day we can improve ourselves and our environment. Each person considers the process of cognitive activity important. In searching for our own path, we determine for ourselves the most interesting areas for study, as well as suitable forms (practical application or theory, lectures or clubs, etc.).

At the same time, the information received must be systematically applied in practice so that it is fully assimilated and useful.

Self improvement

This need is associated with the intellectual, physical and moral development that the individual strives for. The process of cognition alone is no longer enough; in an ever-changing world, a person needs tools for personal growth.

A developed intellect can be called a mind that combines:

  • The ability to make decisions quickly and rationally.
  • The ability to quickly find answers to emerging questions by using memory.
  • Increased level of memorization of useful information.
  • Development of various types of thinking.
  • High-quality concentration, productivity over a long period of time.
  • Erudition, a wealth of knowledge and skills.

Regular physical activity allows an individual to feel healthier and more attractive, and professional passion for sports opens the way to high achievements.

Psychologist Daria Milai

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Over the course of life, a person improves his views on the space around him and other people, resolves various moral issues and grows spiritually, increases willpower, and becomes wiser.

To become smarter, more thoughtful and stronger, you need to systematically pay attention to developing your skills: study useful publications, read quality books, watch high-quality films and TV series, play educational games that provide aesthetic pleasure.

Realization in work

Working in one field or another, most people try to achieve high results and grow above themselves. Unfortunately, not everyone manages to earn enough doing what they enjoy. In such a situation, a hobby comes to the rescue, helping the individual realize his potential.

This need is associated not only with the spiritual, but also with the social category of human aspirations. It is important to be valued, respected and supported in the workplace. In the process of mastering any business, a person gains new skills, knowledge and begins to better understand his life goals.

You should devote as much time and energy to work as possible, while avoiding burnout and maintaining normal physical and mental health.

Satisfaction of aesthetic feelings

To one degree or another, people have a desire to be in beautiful places, to admire nature and the interior. This desire for aesthetics encourages many to work on their own appearance, use cosmetics, buy attractive clothes, and play sports.

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That is why more and more artistic products and creative content are appearing in the world: films, books, exhibitions, museums, beautiful streets for walking - all this helps to improve mood and develop taste. The spiritual needs of the individual are also embodied in art.

Finding the meaning of life

A thinking person is prone to philosophy, especially when he is going through a difficult, crisis period. From time to time he has a desire to analyze his existence and set new goals for himself.

Without finding answers to deep-seated questions, people often face internal conflicts, which, in turn, give rise to depression and apathy. To prevent this from happening, you need to listen to your “I”, analyze what is happening and reason more often. In addition, you should not demand the impossible from yourself: the bar that you set for yourself should be feasible. My personal consultation will help you learn how to competently build a dialogue with space.

Ways to improve

As long as a person feels that there are a lot of closets with skeletons in his soul, he will not be able to enjoy even the most luxurious life in material terms. The need for self-knowledge is an ideal need, the satisfaction of which ensures peace and a positive state of mind.

It is a well-known fact in psychology: a person’s moral state is closely related to his self-esteem. Every person wants to feel special, unique, capable of doing what others cannot. This is not narcissism or bragging, but a normal necessity when it does not go beyond adequate limits.

How human spiritual needs are formed: ideal conditions

The formation is influenced by several factors:

  • Upbringing. It is in the family that the child first receives certain ideas about personal and social values ​​and norms.
  • Socialization. Society has a huge impact on the development of personality, the emergence of various desires and attitudes.
  • Mental and physical condition. The aspirations of a sick individual differ markedly from those of a healthy person. In addition, there are people who, due to the peculiarities of the development of intelligence, do not need to comprehend the sphere of ideals.
  • Education. People spend a significant part of their lives in educational institutions, so their influence is also great.
  • Work activity and colleagues. An adult is mostly influenced by the team in which he works, as well as the work itself, to which he devotes a huge amount of time every day.

Open your soul

Most people are in their vacuum for only a short time. After the wounds from the last fall are healed, there is a natural desire to take flight again. In order to protect yourself from moral wounds, you need to learn to organically combine the world of emotions and pure reason.

They don't teach us this at school. There are books on these topics, but they are opened only by those who themselves have realized the need for this, have felt that a full life implies the satisfaction of ideal needs. You need to learn to get pleasure from both delicious food and a sincere conversation, both from a comfortable sofa and from an interesting book. Banal consumerism eventually gets boring, and a desire appears to touch something divine.

In addition, a person himself can become closer to the Almighty in the process of creation. By creating interesting projects, works of art, organizing events, making the world around us a better place, we ourselves blossom before our eyes, reaping the beneficial fruits of our own activities. You just need to open your heart and soul, stepping towards everything new.

Basic differences from physical needs

You can do without them. Existence itself will not be under threat, the problem will only be in its quality. They are perceived as extremely necessary.
The priority is not obtaining benefits (although such a task may exist), but achieving internal satisfaction.In the first place is the possession of certain goods.
The most important thing is mental harmony.Aimed at providing the body with comfort and safety.
They are determined not by visible image and practical function, but by internal content.The utilitarian orientation is primary.
Disobjectification of the results of cultural activities.Objectification of cultural creations.
Durability of values: even after physical loss, memories remain of them.Fragility: a thing has weight only when it is imprinted in a certain form, a shell.

Basic Spiritual Concepts

Kind people are happier than others, because by doing good they bring joy and benefit to the world and help others. The basis of good deeds is compassion, selflessness and the desire to help. Such people are respected and loved.


Only a talented person can see beauty in the world around him and convey it to others. Beauty inspires creative people to create works of art. Many artists, poets, performers and musicians try to find this important landmark.


This value leads to self-knowledge and the search for answers to important moral questions. Truth helps people separate good from evil, understand relationships, and analyze their actions. Thanks to truth as a spiritual need, humanity has created a set of moral laws and rules of conduct.


Art makes a huge contribution to personal development. It encourages you to think outside the box and unlock your inner potential. Thanks to art, the range of interests of an individual expands and allows him to develop spiritually and see beauty. Artists throughout history have contributed to culture and everyday life.


This spiritual need helps the individual realize individual talents, develop and strive for high things. Creativity promotes the manifestation of abilities for the benefit of society. Creative figures tend to transform the world; they move towards something new, think more broadly and productively, leaving behind:

  • cultural monuments;
  • literature;
  • music;
  • painting.

All these things together influence society and encourage other people to develop and not stand still. In everyday life, creative individuals help progress transform the world around us.


The realm of “spirit” can be divided into two categories. The first includes everything related to the disclosure of a person’s inner potential:

  • The desire for contemplation and familiarization with beauty, acquaintance with the works of masters and creators, appreciation of works of art.
  • Scientific and educational activities, expanding the boundaries of worldview.
  • Taking care of physical health without visible problems with it.

The second is what relates to its implementation in society:

  • The desire to be surrounded by interesting, versatile personalities both in reality and in the space of fiction (works of fiction).
  • Carrying out work activities, which allows you to close both ideal and material “holes”.
  • Mastering moral guidelines, which makes it possible to compare personal views with public opinion.


Typically, human needs are often presented in the form of a pyramid, and at the very beginning, at the foot, physiological needs are located, and spiritual needs are located at the top of this very pyramid. These can easily include the result of self-expression in various fields of activity, from art, religion and science to sports. The need to communicate with other people who are completely different from yourself or who have the same character traits as you.

There is no person on planet Earth who would not like to assert himself in society, to earn honor, respect and admiration from as many people as possible. In addition to the above needs, it should be noted that there is a huge number of very diverse requests, which are explained by the complexity of not only natural, but also social conditions that people are accustomed to putting up with. It is very difficult to identify any special groups of needs; it is known that today there are about 120 of them.

What is considered to be the satisfaction of spiritual needs: examples

We can talk about the development of the inner world when a person strives for self-development, knowledge and achieving harmony. For example, imagine that someone works as a car mechanic. He is satisfied with his activities and earnings, but in his non-working hours he is interested in physics, plans to enter a university and wants to improve his competence in the field of interest to him in order to:

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a) develop professionally; b) reveal your potential; c) expand your social circle, filling it with thinking people.

He can easily live without these aspirations, but determination helps him feel significant. A person is always missing something to feel happy. Even with many material benefits, he does not feel whole or harmonious.

The fact is that happiness is, for the most part, a state of mind that can only be achieved by developing internally. The definition of spiritual needs is associated with the highest human values, but they are often more accessible than material ones. They help develop a worldview, adapt to society, and find their place in the world.

  • Good. Most often it is perceived as an assessment of an individual’s actions in accordance with moral laws. Contrasted with evil.
  • Beauty. A set of external qualities that are pleasing to the senses.
  • True. The desire to understand reality without idealizing it, objectively.

The formation of spirituality occurs in childhood. Then a feeling of beauty arises. And the more love for aesthetics and desire to develop parents try to invest in their child, the more fruitful and favorable he will interact with the world in the future. A formed, holistic personality will be able to overcome difficult life trials associated with the loss of important people, disappointments, crises, and death without fatal consequences. You can develop your spiritual potential in the following ways:

  • Communicating with nature more often. Once in the fresh air, it is important to be able to relax and admire the beautiful little things around you.
  • Turn to art. Every person has an area that inspires him: literature, music, dance, cinema, theater. Find yours and dive into studying its aspects.
  • Establish a dialogue with yourself. Listen to your inner voice that will tell you your true desires. Do yoga, meditation, or find another way to stay alone with the subconscious.
  • Communicate with animals. This communication has a beneficial effect on people even on a physical level. I recommend that children with various mental disorders undergo therapy with dolphins to relieve stress and facilitate the process of socialization.

Each of us has something special

The need for self-realization refers to ideal needs. People who are unable to achieve something claim that if they got what they want, they would be at the peak of bliss. When a certain thing is in the zone of our imagination, everything is really like that. But, having become commonplace, the acquisition will lose its novelty.

When you achieve your goals step by step, you understand that, in essence, it is not the crossing points that are important, but the route itself. Most people go to work with more or less good wages. So what if the work is not pleasant? You can survive for a while. Only sooner or later patience comes to an end.

The role of art

Indeed, by engaging with the creativity and works of outstanding authors, humanity not only solves the problem of satisfying spiritual needs, but also copes with other life tasks.

The communicative side of the artistic sphere is revealed in literature. It allows you to associate yourself and your friends with certain characters, literally live their lives, evaluate their actions and form your own system of values ​​and ideals. It also gives rise to certain ideas that often become defining for a person.

The cognitive function helps to acquire new knowledge and skills, which can later be applied in practice, which will serve to achieve global goals. At the same time, an individual who grows and develops in favorable conditions reveals his potential and broadens his horizons.


To distinguish between material, spiritual and social needs, you need to understand their nature. Material needs are interconnected with ensuring material existence. Without material wealth, it is impossible to imagine the full life of a modern person. Spiritual benefits are interconnected with the desire for creativity, communication, and love.

Social and spiritual needs are closely related. Social needs arise in the process of an individual’s life within society. Social needs form the basis of motivation for work and other activities and participate in the formation of behavioral models. In the sphere of correlation of spiritual and social needs, self-realization and self-affirmation of the individual are distinguished. Signs of spiritual ideal needs in comparison with material needs:

  1. Formation in consciousness.
  2. Relative degree of need (for example, in comparison with physiological needs - the need for air, water, food, clothing, shelter).
  3. A wide choice of means of achievement, ways of satisfaction.
  4. Satisfying spiritual needs usually only involves spending time.
  5. Unselfish connection between object and subject.
  6. The process of satisfying needs is not limited by boundaries.

Unmet physiological needs will lead to the physical death of the individual. The inability to satisfy spiritual needs affects the psychological state of the individual, leads to social maladjustment, and a decrease in the quality of life. For example, being unemployed is associated with a loss of confidence in oneself and one's future.

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