Sex, power, meaning or all three – what motivates us, in what does our humanity lie?

Draft 1 16th July 2009

Sexual drive is at the heart of Freud’s view of being human.   Desire for power is a the heart of Adler’s view. Frankl put the drive for meaning at the heart of his Logotherapy view of being human.

Perhaps these are reconcilable in a Baha’i perspective?

The key of course lies in the view that the physical world is a mirror of the spiritual.  At the centre of sexual drive is the desire for at-one-ment – a kind of transcendence, longing for a (temporary) unitive state.

In the case of power we have to ask, ‘What kind, for what purpose?’ We all need empowerment to be empowered, to use power, personal or political, to good ends.

Frankl, who was for years a prisoner in a Nazi concentration camp, saw up-grading the meaning or significance of an event as a means to healing;

“If a prisoner felt that he could no longer endure the realities of camp life, he found a way out in his mental life – an invaluable opportunity to dwell in the spiritual domain, the one that the SS were unable to destroy. Spiritual life strengthened the prisoner, helped him adapt, and thereby improved his chances of survival.”

Frankl said;

“We who lived in concentration camps can remember the men who walked through the huts comforting others, giving away their last piece of bread. They may have been few in number, but they offer sufficient proof that everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”

`Abdu’l-Bahá of course was Master of this.

I can’t think of any greater body of meaning, or of meaning-making possibilities than the Baha’i teachings and vision for a world of harmonized diversity.


SunWALK Baha-i-inspired model and PhD are HERE