My younger daughter was home this past week for her spring break from graduate school. She brought with her a stack of books that she thought that my wife perhaps might enjoy reading. Included in that stack was a copy of Victor Frankl’s classic work Man’s Search for Meaning.
I have read different parts of Frankl’s work over the years and find him engaging and insightful. I was delighted, then, that during the first year of my Ph.D. program at Southern Methodist University, Frankl came there to lecture. I still have the ticket stub and the page of notes I took from the lecture. I also discovered the a clip from the lecture on the web:
http://www.viktorfrankl.org/e/clipgallery.html (see SMU 1987)
Here Frankl discusses our need for both a depth psychology and a height psychology, and for both freedom and responsibility. I agree that we need both a depth psychology and a height psychology, an ability to dig deep within to examine the fears, anxieties, traumas and triumphs that are there, and a recognition that we are symbolic, meaning-seeking, meaning-creating beings. I agree with Frankl when he argues that in our society we need to balance freedom and responsibility. Asking questions about the common good has become too rare, and we desperately need to find our way back to them.
With Faith and With Feathers,