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Monday, September 7, 2009

Episode 9: Conscience and the Spiritual Unconscious

Of Interest to Logotherapists:

Radio National's podcast All in Mind has a fascinating portrayal of 1900 Vienna available here:

and here:

Definition of Terms:

Self: The core of our being, distinctly human, of an existential quality, associated with consciousness and responsibility. Cannot be reduced solely to the ego.

Conscience: Arises from the spiritual unconscious, of a transcendent quality, involves dialog with a transpersonal agent that we may or may not call God. Cannot be reduced solely to the superego.

Spiritual Unconscious: The unconscious aspect of the core of our being, the source of conscience, love, humor, artistic expression.

Unique Quality of Phenomena Arising from the Spiritual Unconscious:

Conscience: Acts as a compass, pointing us toward the one unique meaning that a concrete situation calls for.

Love: Allows us to see, or know, the potentials that are unique to the beloved, and to call forth the actualization of those potentials.

Artistic Conscience: Allows for the unique expression of meanings.

Click here to download Episode 9: Conscience and the Spiritual Unconscious.

Thank you for listening. Please email any questions or comments to and may you have a meaningful day.


  1. My problem with the 'height psychology' is the danger of inflation.

    In the contemporary world the assimilation of logotherapy to 'positive psychology'.

    I find that when people embrace 'the shadow' that this releases huge positive energy - and can lead to the danger of inflation.

    I wouldn't want to give up the ability to embrace the parts of ourselves that we judge negatively.

    Not sure what logotherapy makes of these kinds of things.

  2. Hi Evan...just catching up with you. I've been out of town for a couple of weeks. Logotherapy doesn't talk about the Shadow in the Jungian sense, but it does talk about "noodynamics" - the tension caused by the difference between who we are and who we are capable of becoming. I think it follows that to use the dynamic power Frankl describes, one must be able to see the parts of ourselves that we judge negative.

    I, too, would not want logotherapy to be assimilated to positive psychology. I don't think that will happen. Positive psychology is off on its own empirical course and logotherapy is solidly phenomenological.