Pursuit of meaning

February 5, 2010 at 6:35 pm 3 comments

“Freedom is a function of choice… Life has meaning under all circumstances.”

Viktor Frank’s Man’s Search for Meaning is one of the most powerful, important, and empowering books I have ever read—and since it was assigned in a college course on “Theology After Freud” more than five years ago, one I re-read annually.

Another short excerpt of an interview with Dr. Frankl in the early 1970s specifically about the will to meaning:

From Wikipedia:

Logotherapy was developed by neurologist and psychiatrist Viktor Frankl. It is considered the “Third Viennese School of Psychotherapy after Freud’s psychoanalysis and Adler’s individual psychology. It is a type of existentialist analysis that focuses on a will to meaning as opposed to Adler’s Nietzschean doctrine of will to power or Freud’s will to pleasure. Rather than power or pleasure, logotherapy is founded upon the belief that it is the striving to find a meaning in one’s life that is the primary, most powerful motivating and driving force in humans. [More here]


Entry filed under: think. Tags: , , .

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3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. jleeger  |  February 5, 2010 at 8:07 pm

    One great theory among the thousands in the field of psychology!

    Loved the book…thanks for the reminder!

  • 2. jleeger  |  February 5, 2010 at 8:08 pm

    On another note – you know what Virginia Satir said, right? “The fundamental instinct in human beings is the need to experience the familiar.”

    Not “to find meaning,” nor to “survive,” but “to experience the familiar.”


    • 3. J.R. Atwood  |  February 10, 2010 at 6:41 am

      I actually was not familiar with the work of Virginia Satir. Thanks for another great tip about people and ideas to further explore, Josh!


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Jason R. Atwood

I'm an avid trail runner and doctoral student at U.C. Berkeley who studies motivation and the relationship between the mind and body. This blog is a forum to share research, news, and musings about these topics of interest. More

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