Victor Frankl (1905-1997) on the Struggle for Meaning aka Conflict

‘What man actually needs, is not a tensionless state, but rather the striving and struggling for some goal worthy of him. What he needs is not the discharge of tension at any cost, but the call of a potential meaning waiting to be fulfilled by him.’

~Victor Frankl, Austrian neurologist and psychiatrist as well as a Holocaust survivor; founder of logotherapy, which is a form of existential analysis, the “Third Viennese School of Psychotherapy

Thanks to my friend Kathryn R for this quote. It seems to capture the role conflict plays in my life: finding a longer term goal, and striving towards it, overcoming obstacles, which frequently include conflict with other people more over the means than the goal. It also explains why non-profit organizations that have goals around what might be called ‘sacred values’ are so conflict riven while remaining in denial that they are so. ‘We are all one team dedicated to…..’


About creativeconflictwisdom

I spent 32 years in a Fortune Five company working on conflict: organizational, labor relations and senior management. I have consulted in a dozen different business sectors and the US Military. I work with a local environmental non profit. I have written a book on the neuroscience of conflict, and its implications for conflict handling called Creative Conflict Wisdom (forthcoming).
This entry was posted in Conflict Book Reviews, Conflict Processes, Creativity and Conflict, Philosophy of Conflict, Religious Conflict and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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