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|Jard DeVille is now recognized by many as the most prolific and creative successor to Vicktor Frankl. For decades he and Roberta -- his wife and co-author and daughter Dee, who is their editor and computer guru, have followed Viktor’s approach to identifying meaningful lifestyles. They spent decades researching Logotherapy, rubbing concepts together while pastoring and teaching in churches, colleges and universities, working in and directing clinics and consulting in large and small organizations of various kinds around the world.
During their adult lives Jard and Roberta have produced a virtual library of books, seminars, and psychological assessment instruments -- most of them based on the Logotherapy constructs they first learned from Viktor forty years ago and then modified as they became more and more competent and thoughtful for themselves. Every one of the seventeen book length study courses in the LOGOTHERAPY LEARNING CENTER’S core curriculum, is their own work. As Viktor once said -- a dwarf seated on a giant’s shoulder can sometimes see further down the trail than can the giant. They have modified Logotherapy in this manner -
LOGOTHERAPY = f (Personal Meaning x Communal Belonging)
Jard combined Viktor’s focus on personal meaning with his own emphasis on situations and relationships where one belongs emotionally -- where good people are accepted, loved and trusted in places of the heart.
Dr. Jard DeVille | fulfillmentforum
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Viktor Frankl's Logotherapy Revisited - LOGOTHERAPY FOR FULFILLMENT
According to the saintly Viktor Frankl -- consistent fulfillment for normal persons comes only by nurturing the physical, psychological and philosophical aspects of existence. Because we homosapien creature-selves are first and foremost spiritual beings who crave meaning over almost everything else once our basic needs are met, anything less will leave a person immature, wounded and dissatisfied with life. Logotherapyis the name Viktor gave the soul health system of personal meaning he devised for his own salvation while enduring almost three years in the ante-room of Hell at Auschwitz during the Holocaust. We have found no reason to rename his approach although we have seen enough societal changes since his mid 20th century books appeared to add the benefits of communal belonging among good women and men and to use the term spirit wellness in our own books. These include NICE GUYS FINISH FIRST, LOVERS FOR LIFE, GRACE UNDER PRESSURE, THE PASTOR’S HANDBOOK, THE PSYCHOLOGY OF LEADERSHIPand the entire graduate school curriculum we offer.Our golden Maslowvian logo appears above while our behavioral equation is shown below.LOGOTHERAPY (Spirit Wellness) = f (Personal Meaning x Communal Belonging)Viktor has passed away but we believe he would approve of our continuing development of Logotherapy. After all -- as he said regarding his relationship with Sigmund Freud in Vienna --Sometimes a dwarf riding on a giant’s shoulders can see further down the trail than the giant can.The first stirrings of the concepts and practices that later became world class Logotherapy which we of the DeVille Logotherapy Learning Center also think of as Spirit Wellness -- occurred in the fertile mind of a precocious Viennese teen age boy who grew up within walking distance of Sigmund Freud’s home office. Viktor Emil Frankl came of age between the two greatest tragedies of the psychopathic twentieth century world, the two World Wars with up to a hundred million casualties of wounded and slain men, women and children, the collapse of three great empires and a ravaging financial collapse that took ten miserable years for a recovery. Viktor was the well loved son of a civil servant father in the Austro-Hungarian Empire and a very bright mother in a physically, emotionally and spiritually comfortable Jewish family. And although Freud’s constructs were spreading over the civilized world -- influencing the human sciences so completely that it took us a hundred years to discover his mistakes, young Viktor boldly wrote Freud a letter questioning the lack of personal meaning and human spirituality in his psychoanalytic concepts. Then Freud, at the peak of his vast powers, rather than crumpling Viktor’s letter into his waste basket, answered with a letter of his own, suggesting that the boy might like to correspond with him from time to time because he found his ideas interesting. The concept of a teen age boy having Sigmund Freud as a pen--pal boggles the mind but it is indicative of whom Viktor Frankl was already becoming as we discovered when we were lecturing on the same campus, Professor DeVille was first of all being tutored by Viktor personally and then they flew aerobatics together in his sport aircraft in the mid sixties.After his university years, medical school, marriage and a psychiatric residency -- the Frankl family was swept away by German and Austrian Nazis during the Holocaust when six million Jews were butchered in the German Gulag of death camps. One Frankl daughter had fled to Argentine and so survived while a strong and sturdy Viktor who remained in Austria to protect his elderly parents. He was in deep distress between fleeing to freedom and remaining in Vienna to care for his elderly parents. His dilemma was resolved when he found a spiritual sign. It was piece of a plaque from his family’s synagogue that had been burned by the Nazis. It had the commandment that made up his mind -- he stayed on to do what he could for his parents.whoHonor your father and mother that your days may be long on the earth,The entire family was murdered except for the strong young psychiatrist was spared to labor on railway track repair crews for the trains arriving daily with boxcars stuffed with countless European Jewish men, women and children. These were the death trains for which Adolph Eichman was to be executed by the Israeli Government some years later for coordinating the loading and transported of millions of victims. For almost three years Viktor labored long and hard -- never knowing from day to day when his number would come up and he would be sent to the Auschwitz gas chambers that killed and furnaces that processed twenty thousand victims every week. Always pragmatic, the Germans thriftily sold the victims’ hair like straw to stuff mattresses for the German Army and saved their rendered body fat for making soap and sent the gold melted from their teeth to Swiss jewelers. We can hardly imagine the horror of life and death in the murder camps but against all odds Viktor not only survived the ordeal with his spirit intact, he also found personal meaning despite the misery by setting up an evening medical and counseling corner to serve the sick and fearful in his barrack building. In that gateway of death, against all odds, he learned that there were ultimately two kinds of humans -- those narcissistic souls who identified with the evil aggressors and used hatred and violence in an attempt to survive at the expense of their fellow prisoners. Then there were the peacemakers who clung to their spiritual ideals to the best of their ability when starving and being treated as if beasts. Then, to his surprise, Viktor discovered that the peacemakers were far more likely to survive than the aggressive narcissists. Of course, every victim was stripped bare to his or her basic soul -- forcing his true character to emerge -- and thus Viktor also met the ultimate test. He mentally composed his first book THE DOCTOR AND THE SOULin the doorway of Hell, where all his dross was burned away until only the pure gold of a saintly character remained. And once liberated by American troops, this survivor of the Holocaust returned to Vienna, regained his strength, forgave his tormentors rather than brooding on the past and in a decade or so this brilliant man became the successor to Sigmund Freud and Alfred Adler in the Third Viennese School of Psychotherapy. He also served as the President of the Austrian Medical Society for Psychiatry, a full professor at the Viennese University, the Chairman of the great Vienna Polyklinic Hospital and eventually the author of enough Logotherapy books to empower tens of millions of readers in thirty four languages. He wrote THE DOCTOR AND THE SOUL, THE UNCONSCIOUS GODand especially MAN’S SEARCH FOR MEANING that the United States Library of Congress rated as one of the ten most influential volumes ever published. Since Guttenberg! And when the scriptures of the various religions are removed from the list because they are required reading for so many worshippers, MAN’S SEARCH becomes one of the five most valuable books of all time. This is why we require reading it as the first collateral volume for every student that studies within our Logotherapy Learning Center. In essence, the Library of Congress was saying that Franklian Logotherapy is more valuable to individuals and to society than Sigmund Freud’s Psychoanalysis, Alfred Adler’s Individual Psychology, Eric Berne’s Transactional Analysis and B F Skinner’s Behaviorism although it was written for normally frustrated rather than for deeply disturbed souls. There was only one Viktor Frankl but it is impossible to imagine what the six million victims would have contributed to the world had they not been snuffed out of existence by the monsters of the German speaking coalition in the abominable Third Reich. It was surely a case where the lunatics were running their own asylum.Of course, one the best things about Logotherapy is the fact that it offers spirit wellness or soul health wisdom for normal men and women who haven’t a hint of mental illness complicating their lives. Of course we do not see normality as the narrow white line down the middle of the highway but the entire highway of sound human interactions. Nevertheless, life is seldom a rose garden for humans. At the very best our beloved parents and elderly relatives sicken and die before our very eyes and give us a preview into our own ultimate end. We all must cope with the tragic humanquartetof suffering, guilt, rage and the death dread. Some years ago a sample of graduates from schools as divergent as Harvard, Southern Methodist, Washington State and Idaho State -- twenty years after graduation, reported that their lives were far less satisfying than they had expected them to become. Many responders couldn’t point to the collapse of a marriage, the addiction or death of a child or a parent or a financial disaster as they lived the good life of the upper middle class. They felt that life was passing them by as did seventy-eight percent of Americans surveyed as recently as the 2008 recession.This discontent or life style frustration isn’t mental illness at all -- but what Freud called the common Discontents of Civilization, that Frankl considered Existential Frustration and we DeVilles think of as Spirit Bankruptcy. This unhappiness even among the most successful people is often caused by the too secular manner in which we humans who have vital spiritual needs love, labor and lead others. In this case it became obvious during one of our FRONTIERS OF FULFILLMENTseminars -- for the Affiliated Women’s’ Clubs of Arizona at the University of Arizona in Tucson. We have paraphrased Catherine Hendricks who spoke to us as one of many frustrated and consistently unhappy souls. She said --I’m one woman who did everything well. I stayed out of trouble in school, married the right guy and joined a great company when it started taking women seriously. I’ve made sound business decisions along the way and shall surely become a VP before I’m forty. I live in a home my parents think a mansion and have two beautiful children. I do a job thousands envy. Obviously, I have everything. Right? Wrong! Much of my life feels incomplete and caught up in trivia. My kids are rebelling with sex and drugs and I’m almost certain my husband is having an affair with a little twerp. I feel deeply dissatisfied at the most inopportune times, as if nothing counts except for my sixty hour work weeks and paying for the house and the Mercedes. There must be more to life than this but when my therapist asks what‘s missing, I can’t even tell her. I worry that I’m going mad to feel this way despite my accomplishments in my company and my prestige in the community. What do I do when I’ve won everything I’ve ever wanted and it isn’t enough to keep me happy?What indeed?We see four common symptoms occurring within Existential Frustration or Spirit Bankruptcy. They are:OPPORTUNISM -- Being too pragmatic -- living haphazardly without a valid life plan.CONFORMISM -- Being too flexible -- joining the in --- crowd, even when it is wrong.FATALISM -- Being too easily defeated -- content with gaining the low hanging fruit of life.FANATICISM -- Being too narcissistic -- denying to others the benefits you expect for yourself.
Fortunately, all four symptoms can be resolved with the applied knowledge and wisdom of Logotherapy found in Viktor’s book MAN’S SEARCH FOR MEANING and our own YOUR SEARCH FOR A MEANINGFUL LIFE - Click the link to downloadNext -- a well regulated life as we teach and Catherine and her husband learned to their lasting satisfaction -- includes these spirit wellness elements.SPIRITUAL VALUES -- Serving life wisely with ethical virtues.POSITIVE ATTITUDES -- Making it easy for others to mature.HIGH EXPECTATIONS -- Finding the best ways to contribute together.MATURING BELIEFS -- Living within the realities of scientific knowledge.RESPONSIBLE CHOICES -- Doing due diligence before deciding to act.We the authors neither conduct psychotherapynor do we recommend the use of psychotropic drugs for creating positive mood changes. We rely instead on the innate resilience of normal persons to make life deeply rewarding through sound soul health. Therefore, we have learned that by adopting Viktor’s brilliant concepts and methods -- by combining his great work about personal meaning with our insights into communal belonging -- we can sometimes see somewhat further along the path toward fulfillment than many behavioral scholars and orthodox practitioners. But then, we should, because rather than dealing with mental ailments per se, we focus on finding life-style solutions for men and women who learn to cope with life’s consistent discontents. No person can continually glide smoothly through a life that is almost inevitably disrupted with times of suffering, rage, guilt andthe death dread from the tragic quartet of life. Only psychopaths go through life without some emotional and spiritual suffering. Fortunately, Logotherapy offers ordinary persons several superb methods for maintaining your personal meaning in a satisfying community among good people with whom you share life‘s many satisfactions.Another Logotherapy equation looks like this multiplication process.SPIRIT WELLNESS (Logotherapy) = f (Existential Psychology x Metaphysical Philosophy)Both of our behavioral equations support the clear message that a consistently purposeful life-style always includes some degree of personal meaning as multiplied by communal belonging among decent persons with whom we share love, labor and leadership. Personal Meaning comes out of existentialor life-style psychology while Communal Belonging emerges largely from meta--physicalor cosmic philosophy. When Professor Frankl and Professor DeVille were lecturing on the same campus, Viktor graciously tutored Jard in Logotherapy. And Jard instructed newly rated private pilot Frankl in survival aerobatics in his sport aircraft -- in order to avoid dangerous situations and to maneuver out of unexpected in-flight emergencies. As Frankl taught so well: Personal love, labor and leadership -- at the very heart of human life, can indeed be filled with purposeful values, attitudes, expectations, beliefs and choices -- once we understand the true meaning of meaning.Of course, there is no one great MEANING OF LIFE written in letters of fire across the heavens -- valid for all persons at all times and in all places as taught by a bearded guru on a mountain top. Our personal sense of purpose is always subjective and usually complex -- but our lives can indeed become deeply significant and consistently satisfying when we live wisely and well with sound psychospiritual values and choices. Pastor Rick Warren of Saddleback Church in Arizona tapped into this human need very well with his best selling book -- THE PURPOSE DRIVEN LIFE. Good events can occur, can be made to happen -- despite the fact that a great many psychologically normal Americans and Europeans report that a largely secular or materialistic life style has become frustrating and pointless for multitudes when their need for personal spirituality is neglected. Each person must find or create his or her own source of meaning despite the widespread frustration currently sweeping through our secular world. In other words -- to consistently prosper spiritually, we can succeed best by graciously sharing our benefits with those persons and the society that enables us to win them.
PyramidOur Maslowvian type pyramid -- the golden DeVille Logotherapy Learning Center logo, reveals the physical, psychological and philosophical movement of a meaningful existence despite the many conflicts within every commercial society. Literally millions of women and men agreed with the United States Library of Congress that Viktor’s soul health approach is so potent because we humans are all programmed emotionally to mature upward through each aspect of life. It is when something goes wrong in our lives that we fail to mature as we could have and should have grown to maturity.We often find ourselves struggling to create consistent sources of purpose and significance without compromising our souls because we must cope with good and evil -- with right and wrong at almost every step of life‘s journey. The very perceptive Richard Gist who is a retired United Methodist minister, recently wrote a thoughtful article for the Minneapolis Star-Tribune newspaper, in order to educate the frustrated and discontented persons who use religious concepts to deny personal freedom to many in a variety of issues such as birth control, gay marriage and generous policies for the people with whom they disagree. The retired pastor said -- and we paraphrase him within our parentheses.It’s basic to the spiritual journey we all make (from the cradle to the grave) to realize that we all react often to a secret world of our own invention (Sigmund Freud called this trait the unconscious aspect of our human minds) both within ourselves and beyond ourselves in the real world. As long as we do this (benefit too much from our own subjective and self-serving choices at the expense of others) we are ensnared by our own distorted imagination and prejudices (our inevitable pain, rage, guilt and the dread of death). And who of us has escaped this our self-created trap (of narcissistic subjectivity (that judges the worth of all humanity by our own ego defensive values, attitudes and beliefs)?It may be some degree of stupidity that makes the poverty stricken wife and child beater good old boy in a rusty roofed shack on the flood plain of a creek place a Vote Republican sign in his yard. It would certainly more intelligent to elect politicians who don’t automatically and always work in favor of the one percent who do everything they can to keep wages low and prices exorbitant. But it is also the unconscious workings of a wounded mind that is deeply fearful ofand enraged by recent racial and gender and financial benefits that make him very vulnerable to clever manipulators like Rush Limbaugh and Newt Gingrich. He lives in a cruel world filled with the tragic quartet of suffering, guilt, rage and looming death, Recent research reveals that at least forty percent of American voters will reject a second term for President Obama simply because he is a black man -- regardless of how cleverly the racial resentment is rationalized. For a century the dirt poor rural and inner city Whites could console themselves by devaluing and abusing the even poorer Blacks with state supported terror. For a century thousands of Black Americans were lynched by angry mobs of White men. And now research from the University of Alabama reveals that most of such murders occurred during long spells of very hot weather or low cotton prices when frustrations were running high. Virtually every southern politician who faced a strong opponent played the race card -- would try to sink the challenger as pandering to Blacks -- who if given the vote would steal their white jobs at the sawmill, ravish their wives and daughters and spread their sexual diseases through the community. But when that consolation of apparent racial and gender superiority was lost to the rural whites and President Johnson predicted that the passage of civil and gender rights laws would turn the South against the Democrats for a generation -- he was too optimistic. The passage of such legislation lost the rural vote for progressives forever. The fear and resentment spread from the Gulf South into Oklahoma, Iowa and Kansas, into Wyoming and Montana and even into distant Idaho where with few Negroes to fear and hate -- there were always the even poorer reservation Indians. The human mind’s ability to justify its greed and cruelty is virtually unlimited. Or what was Freud’s fixation on our unconscious all about?Logotherapy virtually always captivates the interest of persons who meet it with even a modicum of self-awareness. When we did Logotherapy Leadership programs for the University of Arizona at Tucson -- a thousand or so hard nosed middle managers during an eight year period, rated them at a hither to unseen 3.68 on a four point scale. And when we did a Logotherapyprogram for the MENTAL HEALTH SOCIETY of INDIANA -- so many people lined up to get copies of our NICE GUYS FINISH FIRST, that the manager of the facility threatened to turn off the lights so his employees could go home before midnight. We very busy persons may not often talk about meaning per se -- certainly not at work -- but making one’s life count for something significant is an area of importance to almost every reasonably normal person who becomes aware of Logotherapy’s benefits. By way of example, Professor DeVille had just completed a Logotherapy Leadership program for a mid-size power tool manufacturing company when a manager stopped by his table and perused our FRONTIERS OF FULFILLMENT course book. Sharon Johnson examined the table of contents and pensively said ---Given my all too hectic life of doing my job here, relating with my husband and children, caring for my home, serving the church and doing a little something for society -- I wish you had spoken on this topic.Here are the major principles of Franklian/DeVille Logotherapy --LOGOTHERAPY PRINCIPLES1. Our most satisfying satisfaction comes from our experiencing a consistent sense of purpose in sound relationships with good persons where we belong.2. Every psychospiritually maturing person can develop a personally significant life-style during the most rewarding and the most difficult of times.
3. Liberated souls have enough maturing wisdom to find a sense of meaning among the good people with whom we share love in joyful situations.4. A sense of meaning and satisfaction virtually always occurs as the result of some legitimate activity we complete or a loving relationship we establish.Franklian Logotherapists generally hold the following assumptions in the real world of working and playing – loving and learning and worshiping and persevering constructs that form the second half of our primer -- YOUR SEARCH FOR A MEANINGFUL LIFE.1. All normal persons have a persisting desire to win spiritually meaningful satisfaction although we usually must discover or even create a sound sense of purpose for ourselves.This first assumption is that our search for meaning is a major spiritual factor in our attitudes and activities. Living purposefully is much more important for normal persons than grubbing endlessly for possessions, prestige, pleasure and power. When we live with a sense of meaning in our activities and attitudes, we can persevere through life’s bad days as well as enjoying the most satisfying of times.2.Our second Logotherapy assumption is that each person is a subjective soul who weaves body (soma), mind (psyche), and spirit (logos) together. Our bodies and minds supply the pragmatic aspects of existence while our souls are what we become in the Cosmic scheme of love, labor and leadership.3.Life can become meaningful under all circumstances – during the most benevolent of times and also through the most unfortunate. This third assumption is about cosmic reality. This is something mystical all persons experience consistently when we identify with the Cosmos and embrace life and love with a psychospiritual mind-set.4. A spiritual life has some valid requirements which all persons must fulfill if our choices are to be meaningful. This fourth assumption is that existential meaning focuses our normal life-style choices. When embedded in ultimate meaning – or cosmic reality, this working meaning of life can be expressed pragmatically. This is done by projecting the verities of faith, hope and love into society through our ethical virtues and responsible choices and by following the sound promptings of an awakened conscience.5. Women and men normally maintain their search for psychospiritual meaning through their entire lives. Assumption five is that we are all free enough to focus our need for meaning among good people and that this can be done under any and all circumstances. It includes a victory of spiritual values, positive attitudes and high expectations despite any and all painful events. Jesus, the finest Logotherapy or life-style counselor demonstrated this when he courageously faced suffering and an ignominious death because the truth of his ministry angered the religious and political establishments of his day.6. Each individual is a unique soul consisting of his or her own physical, psychological and philosophical values, attitudes, expectations, beliefs and choices. While we speak of these three traits individually because we cannot write about all of them at once -- in each person’s life they are as inextricably linked together as the ingredients of a cake after it is baked.You will learn many of life's secrets download YOUR SEARCH FOR A MEANINGFUL LIFE.FinisVITE -- JARD DeVILLEEDUCATION1947 -- Journalism - San Bernardino Community College1954 (A B) - Religion/History/Writing -- Pasadena College1963 (M Ed) - Education/Educ. Psych -- U. of Cincinnati1967 Curriculum Development -- University Of Illinois1969 Academic Administration -- University Of Wisconsin1977 (Ph D) Existential Psychology -- Calif. Western UniversityCurrently -- Logotherapy Research, Teaching and Extensive AuthorshipCAREERMilitary Airman -- U S Army Air Forces -- Pacific And Asia.Minister And Counselor -- Western Hills Church, Cincinnati.Psychology Professor / Student Counselor -- Illinois Olivet College.Psychology Professor / Psych. Dept. Chair -- Utah Westminster College.Director -- The Learning Disabilities Clinic Conjoined With U. of WisconsinAdjunct Lecturer -- Leadership Logotherapy University of Arizona -- TucsonAuthor / Leadership Consultant (International -- 20 hard copy and E-booksFounding Director -- www.logotherapylearningcenter.com On Line Grad SchoolA far more complete resume of Professor Jard DeVille’s contributions can be seen by entering his name on Google or by downloading his major gratis book
Existential Psychology & Narcissism - Mini-Quiz For The 99%
EXCERPT FROM Your Search For A Meaningful Life DOWNLOAD FOR FREE
When we use existential as in existential psychology, existential alienation or an existential vacuum, we the authors mean only that the topic under discussion relates to the satisfying, mediocre or disappointing lifestyle men and women choose or have thrust upon them by society. For us, existential or life style values, attitudes, expectations, beliefs and choices have no connection with the purposeless European philosophy formerly called existentialism or know now as secular nihilism.
The anti-spiritual or too pragmatic devotees of nihilism which is a selfish belief in disbelief (or of meaninglessness) have devastated entire nineteenth and twentieth century generations with a hundred million battle deaths plus a great many political, religious and financial disasters within many nations. Life can still become nasty, brutish and short for many naïve or simply unfortunate women and men from a society that seems to have lost the ability to serve its members with wisdom.
Consider the sad fate of the millions of families who have lost their employment,life savings, educational opportunities and homes since 2008 because of the greed of a relatively few narcissistic investment bankers like Bernie Madoff and his ruthless narcissist peers who dominate the American Congress so completely that our much despised legislators have only a nine or ten percent approval rating by their victims.
EXCEPT FROM Your Search For A Meaningful Life DOWNLOAD FOR FREE
It was Sigmund Freud who resurrected the ancient Greek myth of Narcissus who was so enamored with his own beauty and charm that he rejected the worth of all other persons and eventually destroyed himself. Freud wove this all too common human failing into his psychoanalysis treatment system to represent the many neurotic souls who remain too selfish to co-operate with women and men in sound relationships and ventures.
The narcissistic scams that caused the world wide financial disaster of 2008 -- with a double dip recession threatened across Europe in 2011 and 2012 when few new jobs were created -- were neither acts of God nor the normal vicissitudes of fate. They were orchestrated by no more than three hundred or so wicked investment banker sharks and their greedy remoras. These were the primary users and abusers One percent of society who invented the mortgage bundling and other wicked schemes that sabotaged the world’s financial system in order to increase their already vast personal and institutional fortunes. Those greedy investment bankers certainly verified the old French witticism:
Behind every vast fortune is someone’s limitless greed and his great crime.
This was surely the case during the early twenty-first century mortgage scam that ravaged the world by those three hundred or so financial manipulators who control so much wealth that they fancy themselves beyond the physical, political, legal, financial and pychospiritual values and traditions that keep most ordinary persons honest stewards of their responsibilities and rewards.
These financial narcissists that included reactionary politicians, fundamental preachers and ideological plutocrats -- certainly did not feel required to obey the rules and regulations of governance and business that keep the peasants of society laboring for as little income as possible! The limitless narcissism of no more ideologues who could be carried aboard one Boeing 747 on a single flight, has made it much more difficult for we honest, hard working people to find consistent sources of life-style satisfaction for ourselves, our families and our institutions.
We reasonably well adjusted homosapien creature-selves have always been self-centered to some degree, although the narcissistic approach to existence emerged full blown from the anti-spiritual European assumption that we humans evolved by chance from a series of meaningless events - that we sentient beings appeared on earth because of a great Cosmic accident. Thus, a rigorous spirituality and sound ethics seemed pointless superstitions to deeply secular men and women. Both spirituality and ethics were often replaced by the less demanding feel-good esthetics of literature and the arts. Therefore, since the origins of life per se were considered a random event and human life a meaningless accident rather than spiritual and purposeful in nature -- the powerful triad of narcissistic users and abusers emerged in society; they prospered in virtually all research universities, governments, association, religions and corporations -- eventually deciding that our grubbing for personal possessions, power, prestige and pleasure could satisfy our souls. Thus, it seemed to make sense to secular minded manipulators that ordinary people should be satisfied by simply eating, drinking, fornicating and being merry because tomorrow we die. The narcissistic triad that we shall later discuss in greater detail include the following narcissists with their most damaging yearnings that well up out of their badly wounded souls --
REACTIONARY POLITICIANS WHO CRAVE TOTAL POWER OVER HUMANITY
FUNDAMENTAL PREACHERS WHO CRAVE OBEDIENCE AS GOD’S PROPHETS
IDEOLOGICAL PLUTOCRATS WHO CRAVE ENOUGH WEALTH TO DEFY DEATH
The cleverly orchestrated financial assault pre-2008 against society eventually self-destructed because great greed creates conflicting bubbles that inevitably burst after the perpetrators have taken to their golden parachutes. The recent financial manipulators simply couldn’t bring themselves to stop raiding our industrial civilization when they had already garnered enough wealth from ordinary families to cripple the entire world. This is why eight out of every ten contemporary Americans report that they are deeply frustrated with the way our nation’s politicians have stopped protecting the ordinary citizens who have neither the knowledge and wealth nor the time and strength needed to protect themselves from clever abusers who so corrupted our political system that the people cannot rely on it. Our many reactionary legislators have allowed this narcissistic triad of manipulators to cripple our once affluent middle class with its vast purchasing power that for decades kept America prosperous. As the great Elizabethan Era Lord McCauley wrote - virtually every dynasty, society, company or religion eventually commits suicide when the vested aristocracy refuses to adapt as circumstances shift and the powerful elite must change their ways or perish.
Much personal and communal cooperation simply fades away among the secular users and abusers who live primarily for possessions, power, prestige and pleasure -- who often plunge ruthlessly along without a lasting sense of spiritual purpose for their labors and permanence in their relationships. Faith, hope and love are considered delusions of weak souls who haven’t the ruthlessness and strength to wrest everything they desire from a naïve society. The peasants shall have to be satisfied with their weak families and friends, their work and simple games and their absurd worship -- while the manipulators skim the cream off the top. This is still the rationalization of wounded souls who are driven neurotically to seize so much wealth and power from society that they can never be challenged again. Not even by death! Of course this self-defeating narcissism of crippled creature-selves appeals to the young, restless and discontented as well as to many narcissistic adults who are determined to become powerful and prestigious in life regardless of whom they use and abuse along the way.
Living for more and more possessions, power, pleasure and prestige alone, rather than completing purposeful activities and developing permanent relationships, goes against the grain of every personalized or living religion and every legitimate philosophy of existence. Normally healthy women and men are first, last and always spiritual creature-selves who need both the mystical and earthy aspects of life within the Cosmos in order to become completely human. Unfortunately, narcissism and nihilism do virtually nothing to open avenues of personal meaning in places where we belong communally among good people with whom we share love, labor and leadership.
Nevertheless -- despite our inevitable frustrations and challenges of a life crippled by its obvious legitimate secular and materialistic needs, the application of Frankl and DeVille Logotherapy concepts and processes does indeed remove many discontents and frustrations through a sound psychospiritual development of personal meaning in places where we belong among good persons. Download Your Search For A Meaningful Life, to read more.
Mini-QuizWRITE A SAMPLE SENTENCE OR TWO THAT DEFINES THE TERM “EXISTENTIAL", TO YOUR SATISFACTION.
WHEN HAVE YOU HAD TO COPE WITH THE EVIL NARCISSISTIC TRIAD OF REACTIONARY POLITICIANS, FUNDAMENTAL PREACHERS AND IDEOLOGICAL PLUTOCRATS? THEIR VICTIMS.
Jard DeVille has published more than a score of psychology books, seminars and psychological assessment instruments. His book NICE GUYS FINISH FIRST was a powerful best seller. THE PSYCHOLOGY OF LEADERSHIP was New American Library's offering in their Executive Development Series. Download Your Search For A Meaningful Life and visit Logotherapy Learning Center and The Fulfillment Forum for Free Ebooks.
The Fulfillment Forum - Power and Purpose of Life with Free self help ebooks & eCourses
The Fulfillment Forum - Power and Purpose of Life with Free self help ebooks & eCourses
What Is Logotherapy - It Will Change Your Life
LOGOTHERAPY (Spirit Wellness or Soul Health) is the existential or life-style approach for developing a life filled with meaning and significance in well functioning families, faith communities, companies and neighborhoods where we find a lasting sense of belonging among the good people with whom we share faith, hope and love.
Logotherapy is a world class psycho-spiritual system for winning a satisfying life for normal persons who apply pragmatic existential psychology and mystical philosophy in the best approach to living, loving, and leading well yet identified by the human race. It helps heal people suffering from mental illness, neuroticism or psychopathy but is more often useful for normal persons making their way through the high expectations and anxieties and joys and sorrows of everyday existence.
The spiritual values, positive attitudes, high expectations, mature beliefs and responsible choices that were to eventually be woven into Logotherapy, first appeared in Jesus’ Sermon On The Mount. These key aspects of Logotherapy offer brilliant solutions to life’s challenges that Mahatma Gandhi called the most meaningful discourse about living with satisfaction and joy ever conceived by any scholar. The very fact that world class scholars are still praising these constructs two thousand years after a wandering rabbi and field preacher first uttered them in a primitive land to simple farmers and shepherds – verifies their world class worth. Logotherapy does indeed strike a resounding cord in contemporary minds and hearts for millions of normal souls. Through the last half century Logotherapy has become the action arm of existential psychology -- although it goes much further in serving thoughtful persons than psychology alone.
Those initial concepts that lead ordinary women and men through increasing knowledge and wisdom with purposefulness and generosity for the health of their souls, were next elaborated on by St. John the Beloved, Paul the Apostle, the Buddha, Lao Tsu, Soren Kierkegaard and more recent life-style scholars that included Otto Rank, Carl Rogers, Ernest Becker and others. However, it remained for Viktor Frankl, the brilliant successor to Sigmund Freud and Alfred Adler as leader of the Third Viennese School of Psychotherapy, to break with tradition to systematize this very powerful approach to fulfillment, Frankl combined life-style (existential) psychological knowledge with philosophical wisdom into a unified psycho-spiritual whole that keeps lives and souls normal.
He learned that after we meet our clamoring physical needs – after a society becomes affluent and comfortable, men and women absolutely must open sources of meaning or become frustrated with their lives. Unfortunately, we humans who developed in a slow paced society that seemed changeless -- have now invented a tumultuous civilization that makes it difficult to find consistent stability and peace. Our fast changing society often forces us to adapt too swiftly for many souls to remain comfortable. We no sooner find stability than life’s demands shift once more and we are forced to find new and often painful ways to get comfortable again. For -- while we humans usually claim to enjoy changes, we resist new relationships and attitudes unless the rewards are obviously and immediately useful to ourselves.
Multitudes of completely normal persons complain of days, weeks and years of boredom at meaningless jobs that are inter-spaced with times of stark terror as society makes U Turns and frustrates them. Masses of unhappy souls report being lost in the mind-numbing routines of life until they want to scream --
Is this all there is to life, to my precious life -- that is passing like sand through an hour glass.
When do I fulfill the high expectations of my brilliant youth? Then too, a great many secular values and attitudes limit our joy and satisfaction because we humans first, last and always have a broad streak of mysticism at the core of our souls. And our metaphysical needs must be satisfied or life remains incomplete. Every civilization that left its footprints on earth arose around a religion or a philosophy that explained the meaning of their existence and offered a modicum of psycho-spiritual security. They always knew that for life to be consistently meaningful it had to include more than eating and drinking, copulating, defecating and boasting.
And when empires became so secular that they eventually faltered as did Rome, Babylon, Persia, Britain and all the rest –- they fell because their vested secular interests brought then down. Most of the crumbling societies created pseudo religions such as Communism, Fascism, and Capitalism with selfish ideologies and greedy practices that were used unsuccessfully to meet the metaphysical needs of humankind. Precisely as occurred in America during the 2007 to 2010 financial disaster caused by secular greed. We humans cannot find lasting satisfaction through possessions, power, prestige and pleasure alone. We must develop an abiding sense of purpose that sustains our positive attitudes and activities or we burn out and turn to self-defeating choices.
Logotherapy became so valuable that some fifteen million copies of Frankl’s paperback book MAN’S SEARCH FOR MEANING were devoured intellectually by men and women in a few years as it was translated into thirty-four languages. Viktor then wrote thirty more, powerful books about life, love, labor and leadership that taught many more millions of women and men the spirit wellness methods that can keep life meaningful and satisfactory. Finally, Professor Jard DeVille, who cheerfully admits to being the dwarf seated on his mentor’s giant shoulders, can occasionally see further along the path of knowledge than Viktor could. Therefore, in his twenty graduate volumes and courses about Logotherapy, DeVille integrates Frankl’s crucial need for meaning with the humanly essential need to belong that leads to the following equation.LOGOTHERAPY = f (Personal Meaning x Communal Belonging)
Even psycho-spiritually maturing men and women must find ways to live, love, labor and lead others - by building on the crucial choices that make life meaningful and significant in places blessed by human hearts where we share faith, hope and love.
And any thoughtless approach that draws from time expired assumptions, worn out traditions and self-defeating ideologies leads to the complaint -- Too soon we get old and too late we get smart.
Katherine Hendricks, who became a successful mining company executive, lamented after a FRONTIERS OF FULFILLMENT seminar at the University of Arizona.
We paraphrase --
I seem to be working sixty hour weeks only to pay for the house and the Mercedes while my family falls apart. I sometime feel I’m going mad because I’ve won everything I’ve ever wanted and it isn’t enough to keep me happy. And I cannot even tell my therapist what has gone wrong.
Multitudes of persons feel much as Catherine did but we are pleased to report that she and her husband brought some key Logotherapy constructs into their marriage and family and that effort saved their relationship. Most people admit that they suffer through three or four disappointments for every one period of joy. A great many graduates from Harvard, Southern Methodist and other great schools reported that life and careers have become painfully boring and much less satisfying than they had expected when they graduated twenty years earlier. A great many women and men dread the final twenty years before retirement after life has no new challenges. And multitudes of career workers wither away soon after retiring because they lost the purposes of life that sustained them. About half of all new marriages fail because of sexual or financial dis-satisfactions and many careers are sacrificed in self-defeating searches for success. With eighty percent of American women and men now saying that they feel frustrated because the nation has lost its way and fear they cannot recoup their former significance. Some existential scholars call this widespread existential frustration the mass neurosis of the twenty-first century – while Frankl called it the existential vacuum of modern industrial life. We also call it psycho-spiritual bankruptcy. We all must find avenues of fulfillment as did one elderly nanny who sorrowfully counseled with Frankl because she felt that her life had been wasted.
Anna -- I’m so discouraged because my life is over. I reared another family’s children and grandchildren and had none of my own. And now they are all grown and although the family takes good care of me, no one needs me any longer. I get so discouraged that I could cry.
Frankl – You feel that your life was wasted? That you caused the children to turn out badly?
Anna -- Oh no! They’ve done well. One boy is a professor and another is a sea captain with his own ship. And the girls have dress shops all over France and Italy. They’ve all succeeded.
Frankl -- But they’ve forgotten you? Is that it?
Anna -- Not that either. When they come home at Christmas or on holiday, they always visit with me. We talk about the old days and they give me presents and some money and we go on rides with their children and dine out together. They are always generous and kind to me.
Frankl -- Anna! Anna! You have it all wrong. You should take pride from having cared for those children. You life wasn’t wasted. It was invested! Your love is still being reflected by the new generation for their own children. You taught two generations generosity and love. And as far as being useless… go to your rabbi and ask to help with the babies in the nursery during Sabbath and volunteer to help neighborhood mothers. You are needed in an avocation.
Anna -- (After a long pause) Why, Doctor Frankl, I see that you are right. My life isn’t over rafter all. Children will still care for me. (She thanked him, found places in which to use her skills as a volunteer and never returned with another lament.)
Logotherapy is neither psychotherapy nor the use of psychotropic medication because it opens consistent avenues of fulfillment for normal men and women in a complex and often painful society through spirit wellness or soul health. Logotherapy offers consistent satisfaction and times of great joy to men and women of all ages and conditions in virtually every aspect of life. Logotherapy can teach you how to –
LIVE - CONSISTENTLY ACCORDING TO SOUND PSYCHO-SPIRITUAL PRINCIPLES,
LOVE - DEEPLY ENOUGH TO MANAGE INTERPERSONAL RELATIONSHIPS WELL,
LABOR - BY SHARING THE REWARDS OF ACHIEVEMENT WITH YOUR HELPERS,
LEAD - WISELY ENOUGH TO CREATE A GREAT COMMUNITY OF ACHIEVERS.
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Coping With Change - Mini-Quiz
Why do we resist change? Most People live with the illusion that humans welcome change but the fact is we do not --unless it is to our immediate and obvious advantage. And even then it is difficult for most people to cope with a major shift although they desperately yearn for something new. Read the article and take the quiz.
When Dorothy Hamill won the gold medal for figure skating during one of the Winter Olympics, it was a magnificent accomplishment for a twenty year old girl. But it's possible Dorothy did not spend one hour planning what she would do should she win her heart's desire. No sooner did she come home than a flock of leeches pounced on her, taking advantage of her innocence to use and abuse her for their own financial benefit. They confused Dorothy and brought such conflict that she went into emotional shock that complicated her life. She eventually skated again in her own ice show, having matured as an entertainer but it took almost ten years to cope with the major changes a gold medal brought to her. Of course, she isn't alone. Not a year goes by that famous young athletes and actors don't ruin their prospects through the use of drugs and the abuse of other people. Too much change that comes too fast is always a problem.
Because humans were so long evolving into what we are today, with our emotions still far more primitive than our intelligence and logic, it seems entirely likely that our fear of and resistance to change is carried in our very genes. Change came very slowly to our ancestors. We suspect that President William Howard Taft from the late 1800s would have felt more at home in ancient Rome or Greece than he would in contemporary America. There have been more changes in society from 1890/1900 when our fathers and grandfathers were born than from 200 B.C. to 1900. And the tempo of change continues to increase. Life seems to be turning upside down and that's very frustrating. Who could have believed at the end of World War II that skinny little Vietnamese riflemen, shivering with malaria in the monsoon, would maul United States Marines severely enough to lose America the Indochina War? Or that a rag-tag bunch of Islamic fundamentalists could hold American diplomats captive for years and then force a president of the United States to wreck our economic future with massive debts and to cripple the American Bill of Rights? We all resist change unless we win some immediate benefit and yet, it keeps sweeping over us despite our crying out -- Stop the world - I want to get off! No sooner do we win a bit of physical and psychological comfort than our key activities and relationships shift into a new and challenging mode and we are forced to rethink our values, attitudes and choices. We all to often fear and resist anything that is different from life when we were learning who we were and how we fit into the scheme of things.
However, simply knowing that change is inevitable and that most people resist adapting does little to move us beyond useless traditions and crippling ideologies from the past. We need to adapt and make responsible choices as did a friend of ours -- Susan Frey who'd been conditioned by her grandparents and parents to think of herself as a broodmare. Susan had married young as women of her generation were expected to do, had three children in quick succession and settled in to be a traditional housewife to a bread-winning husband. She and Harold even attended a week long seminar in which a religious educator taught that the father was the commanding officer who gave the orders, the mother was the company adjutant who stayed home and carried them out and the children were troopers who saluted and did as they were told. Unfortunately, that simplistic approach was disastrous. Sue grew weary of doing all the scut work and Harold became tired of being responsible for everything else. He fled the family, leaving Susan with no money, no job skills and no security, in other words, one of the 20th centuries major problems, an irresponsible husband and father living in a self-defeating patriarchal model of marriage, came crashing through her life. It became worse. When she turned to her family and church for support, both failed her badly.
Her parents - especially her mother - blamed her for Harold's desertion. Had Susan, her mother insisted, been a good wife her husband would have stayed home as Susan's father did when they'd faced problems years earlier. They offered largely criticism as their daughter struggled to survive. Her pastor, who'd brought into the community the military style family seminar leader, took Susan to task even more severely. He preached sermons that one Sunday condemned working mothers who sent their children to day-care centers and the next Sunday blasted lazy welfare women who failed to teach their kids the values inherent in standing on their own two feet. It was a catch twenty-two approach used by a reactionary man who hid behind a pulpit and chose out of context scriptures through which to make fear driven, anti-women attacks.
A social worker finally rescued Susan by helping her find work and child care and to enter a nursing program. Being a single parent and a working mother was the hardest thing Susan ever did, but she continued maturing until she became an outstanding nurse. She joined a religious community that supported her rather than railing at single mothers who didn't live in the traditional manner with a husband - with any man who'd have her, even if he crippled her in a drunken rage or brought herpes or AIDS home. In one of our seminars, Susan said:
Not only do most men refuse a ready made family, I wasn't eager to marry some bozo who'd give me more kids before running off as Harold did. I've had fine relationships - I'm in a loving and supportive one now - with a good guy I love. Perhaps we'll marry and perhaps we won't. Once I learned how to change my world. how to stand on my own feet with a good job, life became satisfying for me and my children.
By maturing steadily, by coping with change rather than freezing in the past, Susan developed the knowledge and wisdom needed to reject the naive advice given by her parents and pastor. Sue eventually became a fully functional person rather than clinging as a subordinate, second class wife to an immature man. She matured through persistence and hard work and is now the resident nurse in a fine manufacturing firm. So must we all mature when we set out to change our world - when we seek a better, more meaningful life.
Remember - while we are asking what the meaning of life is - life is consistently asking us what meaning we are creating for ourselves by managing change wisely. Life demands that we make our attitudes, activities and relationships personality purposeful within our families, companies and communities, in the schools, hospitals and governmental agencies in which we serve humankind. Life challenges us to mature spiritually, to focus all our powers along lines of excellence, to become fully human rather than remaining unhouse-broken barbarians who use and abuse other persons. Successful lives must be connected physically, psychologically and philosophically to individuals and organizations that are actively searching for fulfillment along avenues of achievement rather than simply accepting some decaying status quo.
WHY DO INDIVIDUALS AND ESPECIALLY ORGANIZATIONS CONSISTENTLY RESIST CHANGE EVEN WHEN MAINTAINING THE STATUS QUO IS HARMFUL?
WHAT HAVE YOU SEEN OCCURRING WHEN PEOPLE ARE UNPREPARED FOR CHANGE BECAUSE THEY'D ASSUMED LIFE WOULD REMAIN STATIC?
HOW FAR SHOULD SOMEONE LIKE SUSAN GO IN REJECTING THE ADVICE OF PEOPLE WHO HAVE NO REAL STAKE IN HER GAME?
Jard DeVille; Psychology Dept. Chair at Westminster College; Director of the Learning And Learning Disabilities Clinic with the University of Wisconsin, also taught in the Executive Development Program at the University of Arizona. He's published many psychology books, seminars and test instruments. He's considered by many to be one of America's foremost leadership scholars. Permission to use if attributed to author with his website address.
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