Biological needs are things that the human being and the human race needs for survival, such as: breathing clean air containing sufficient oxygen; quantitative and qualitative adequate food and water. The ability to urinate and defecate; clothing for temperature regulation; time for rest and sleep, and activity and exercise. And sex to perpetuate the species.
The natural basis of pleasure and pain is to help the individual animal (both man and beast) respond more effectively, quicker, more strongly and more intensely prolonged when he finds his basic vital need is not being fulfilled. If one found that one was not able to breathe effectively, one would immediately act faster and more strongly to have the basic need fulfilled.
If you have to urinate or defecate, you are not going to sit around smiling, not wanting to interrupt the speaker or the audience. If you do choose to sit, you will find you are getting more and more uncomfortable, tense, you would break out in anxiety, produce sweat, you would not or could not listen to the speaker. The final fleeting experience, both emotional and physical, is pain. The last act, of course is that you would race for the toilet not caring what people thought, only hoping you will get there before you pooped or peed.
Pain and pleasure in association to our biological needs are not only based on the quality of the need, but also on the quantity of those needs. Too much of the same thing or not enough can cause pain. This reminds me of a story.
A man was lying on the desert floor for seven days about to die from lack of water. Suddenly hearing something, he slowly opens one eye. Seeing a man in a white suit holding out a pint of water, he asks in a quiet whisper, “Mirage?”
“Certainly not,” the man in the white suit says, “I give water to needy strangers who are lost in the desert. Here, have a pint of nice cold water.”
And as he said it, the man in the white suit lifted the dying man up and helped him drink the water. “Oh my God, my God,” said the previously dying man. “My God, you saved my life!”
“Here, have another pint of water” said the man in the white suit, and he handed the man another full fresh cold pint of water. The stricken man reached out and drank the water without stop. Then he said, “How can I ever repay you, you saved my life.”
“Here, have another pint of water,” the man in the white suit said with great enthusiasm.
“May I? Oh, you are so good to me. I will be your slave forever if you want me.” And the thirsty man drank, but now he stopped from time to time as he drank and sipped the water. He took some water and wet his face. Shaking himself with vigor, he stood up and said “Really, what do I owe you for all this?”
“Nonsense”, said the man in the white suit. “Here, have another pint”.
“Oh, it is enough for now … well, okay, I may be thirsty tomorrow,” he responded before he drank, slowly this time, stopping from time to time to rub his belly and at times catch his breath.
“I feel revitalized,” the man said with renewed energy.
“Here, have another pint,” said the water pusher.
“No, I couldn’t drink another drop. I’m bloated. I will burst if I drink another drop”, said the previously thirsty man as he briskly walked away.
The man in the white suit followed him.
“Oh, come on, take another pint,” he said, pushing the pint toward him.
“No, I couldn’t. I’ve had enough for now,” said the fully revived man.
But the man in the white suit would not take no for an answer.
“Oh, come on have another pint, come on,” he said.
“Well, if you insist,” said the bloated man. “You have been so good to me, I’ll do it for you. But really this is too much. It’s just too much.” Slowly, painfully he finished the pint.
“Wonderful!” said the water man. “Here have another pint” and he extended yet another full pint of water for the previously dying man.
At this point, once thirsty man exploded with anger and says, “Look, you stupid son of a bitch, get away from me or I’ll kill you”.
I think you got the point. Have you learned anything about your needs, getting too little or too much. Do you get involved with people like this? Or with people who say, “Eat, I’m hungry.” How many parents give their children things they never had but which their children have too much of … or vice versa. Take some time to think about it. Write down the answers.
For millions and millions of years, nature made a condition of healthy survival a periodic need to take in and discharge. We take in food and water, we discharge urine and feces. With or without your conscience consent you will do it. Being socially courteous by not getting up and disturbing anyone may be the result of a lifetime of training. But a lifetime of training cannot win over a biological need of all animals, indeed of all living things, evolved over millions and millions of years.
Bottom line, the basis for all emotional felt pleasure and/or pain is the quantitative and qualitative fulfillment, or deprivation of our biological needs.