Tag Archives: Viktor Frankl

From Frankl, to Maslow, to Heidegger…

Frankl’s “paradoxical intention” can be paraphrased as follows: let the fulfillment of second-order desires (e.g., accruing wealth) follow only from meaningful living.

This is consistent with Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, which places self-actualization atop a pyramid of lower-level “deficiency needs” (D-needs). It also follows from his Theory Z–once people achieve a sufficient level of economic security, this theory goes, humans will search for more in life.

What will human persons seek? Specifically, what do human persons aim for (paradoxically or not) once they self-actualize?

Human persons will self-transcend.

Maslow viewed self-actualization and peak experiencing as overlapping more often than not. “B-values”–i.e., Being-values–partially comprise the peak experience.

Environment-transcendence is one out of 14 total B-values. Self-actualization partially involves resistance to enculturation, as well as independence from one’s environment.

While typing and reading about Being and the environment, we could propose the following construct: “being-with-nature”. Being-with-nature follows linguistically from Heidegger’s “being-with-others”, or mitsein in German.

Do we save the natural environment by transcending it or being with it? Is such transcendence not also a being-with? A hierarchical relation is still a relation. Once we add the horizontal, egalitarian level to this, we need to either separate environment-transcendence from being-with-nature or fuse them in some novel way.

Accommodating hierarchy and “heterarchy” as proposed above leads us to a holarchic approach. The holarchic approach fuses these perspectives or approaches.

Thus–holarchically-speaking–we may speak of being-with-natural environment-transcendence!

Of course, before transcending the environment, one should transcend oneself. Maslow wrote that the acceptance of self, of others and nature is a self-actualizing characteristic. Perhaps his order here was deliberate?