Our Search for Meaning
This was my first LIFE course. The proposal for the course was a wordy explanation. Selections from that explanation follow. [Text distributed at each session (as pdf files) are appended.]
The LIFE Institute asked for course proposals. I was impressed by Viktor Frankl's Man's Search for Meaning. Intuitively, the book's message struck a responsive chord. Why not offer a course on Our Search for Meaning? It has been my experience that developing a course is an excellent way to develop greater understanding in the subject matter. I offered to moderate a course on our search for meaning.
I have an initial, approximate, personal answer to the question of meaning. It is through positive contributions to family and personally important communities that my life finds value. Family and community are the larger reality against which my contributions can have value, and I can feel that my actions are meaningful. That works, for me, on a basic emotional level.
What kind of conceptual scaffolding could be erected to support such a position? In retrospect, I recognize that an important part of my motivation in offering the course was a desire to uncover just such a conceptual scaffolding, … or discover that there was no such thing to be uncovered.
Session One: Introduces the subject and gives an opportunity for all participants to introduce themselves and their concerns.
Session Two: Provides one possible description of what we are. A co-moderator could provide an alternative view and/or moderate an open discussion.
Session Three: Describes the various context important to us. A co-moderator could provide an alternative view and/or moderate an open discussion.
Session Four: Describes the role for patterns and their importance to places. A co-moderator could provide an alternative view and/or moderate an open discussion.
Session Five: Describes communitarinism and the role of community. A co-moderator could provide an alternative view and/or moderate an open discussion.
Session Six: This is an opportunity for all of the participants to comment on the material. What works, what's meaningful, and what doesn't work or isn't meaningful.