In response to Philip :
I may need you to restate what you see as the paradox as I have failed to find it where I ‘thought’ you were pointing. All I can see is cycles - from the amoeba to the Buddha - different cycles, of greatly differing complexities, set in motion according to where the organism is currently placed on a hierarchy of needs that runs from the physiological to spiritual self-actualisation.
Disagreement appears to exist in how the two schools, Buddhism and Gestalt, view the ‘relationship’ between organism and need. For example, is the organism, in part, defined by its needs, or is the organism best served by dis-identifying with its needs? John Firman, a psychosynthesis practitioner and theoretician, usefully talks of being ‘distinct but not separate from (in this case) one’s needs’. He also speaks of transcendence and immanence being flipsides of the same phenomenological coin. If the unity in transcendence/immanence is stretched out into a polarity, Buddhism and Gestalt appear to have set up camps at the different ends respectively. Is this the paradox?
Buddha, Freud, Perls, Klein, etc., concerned themselves with what takes place around needs and their satisfaction or otherwise. All can be seen to have developed ideas on how to remedy the suffering caused by needs that have not been met, or needs that have become repetitive without providing optimum self-support.
Needs are givens. Relationship is debatable. What the Buddha would have said at such a debate we can only infer/guess/project.
In response to J. Richard White:
Gestalt therapy and Buddhism both make theoretical statements that report, and abstract, phenomenological experience.