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Man's Search for Meaning: An Introduction to Logotherapy After the Book of Mormon, this would be my second recommendation to anyone looking for purpose in life Here s a poignant excerpt from one of my favorite parts of the book when Frankl has been in Auschwitz and other camps for several years and doesn t know the war is only weeks away from ending He had decided to escape his camp near Dachau with a friend and was visiting some of his patients for the last time I came to my only countryman, who was almost dying, and whose life it had been my ambi After the Book of Mormon, this would be my second recommendation to anyone looking for purpose in life Here s a poignant excerpt from one of my favorite parts of the book when Frankl has been in Auschwitz and other camps for several years and doesn t know the war is only weeks away from ending He had decided to escape his camp near Dachau with a friend and was visiting some of his patients for the last time I came to my only countryman, who was almost dying, and whose life it had been my ambition to save in spite of myself, but my comrade seemed to guess that something was wrong perhaps I showed a little nervousness In a tired voice he asked me, You too, are getting out I denied it, but I found it difficult to avoid his sad look After my round I returned to him Again a hopeless look greeted me and somehow I felt it to be an accusation The unpleasant feeling that had gripped me as soon as I had told my friend I would escape with him becameintense Suddenly I decided to take fate into my own hands for once I ran out of the hut and told my friend that I could not go with him As soon as I had told him with finality that I had made up my mind to stay with my patients, the unhappy feeling left me I did not know what the following days would bring, but I had gained an inward peace that I had never experienced before I returned to the hut, sat down on the boards at my countryman s feet and tried to comfort him I found such strength and wisdom in this book strength and advice for me as a mother of six young children While potty training, bending over to clean up a handful of toys for the the thousandth time that day, scraping Play Dough off of a filthy kitchen floor on hands and knees, and preparing the fifth snack of the day for several hungry mouths directly after doing the dishes from the previous snack I find the text of this book to give profound meaning to small and simple acts of selflessness, patience, and service What a profound reminder that The immediate influence of behavior is alwayseffective than that of words I desperately needed to read this book, if only to remember to be calm and kind to my little ones so that they will pass on the favor to their own next generation Bravo to Viktor Frankl for bringing human frailty and greatness into perspective 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 Frankl What is it that makes life worth living Is it the pursuit of happiness Attaining success As human beings living in a vast and endless universe or multiverse for that matter , what are we actually living for I, for one, cannot answer those particular questions for you but know that I am also one of those who is searching for answers, trying to look for ways to make sense out of life, the numerous paths we ve all trodden as well as the roads we haven t taken We look backwards rummaging throu What is it that makes life worth living Is it the pursuit of happiness Attaining success As human beings living in a vast and endless universe or multiverse for that matter , what are we actually living for I, for one, cannot answer those particular questions for you but know that I am also one of those who is searching for answers, trying to look for ways to make sense out of life, the numerous paths we ve all trodden as well as the roads we haven t taken We look backwards rummaging through our past examining our own mistakes, failures, and losses and what we could ve done to correct those that which cannot be changed We yearn for the truth about our own existence where pain, suffering, loss, and even death is inevitable, but amidst those darkest moments, we rise above those conditions and grow beyond them as Frankl puts it,Et lux in tenebris lucet and the light shineth in the darknessWhat is the meaning of lifea na ve query which understands life as the attaining of some aim through the active creation of something of valueOr perchance, we ve been asking the wrong question after allUltimately, man should not ask what the meaning of his life is, but rather he must recognize that it is he who is asked In a word, each man is questioned by life and he can only answer to life by answering for his own life to life he can only respond by being responsible Thus, logotherapy sees in responsibleness the very essence of human existenceMan s Search for Meaning was a transformative and life affirming read Brimming with illuminating insights, Frankl explores, analyses, and shares his harrowing experiences in a concentration camp during Hitler s reign More than that, he delves into numerous ways in how he sees suffering and pain as a part of life By employing logotherapy, he offers us ways to discover meaning in our lives by creating a work or doing a deed by experiencing something or encountering someone and by the attitude we take toward unavoidable suffering.If there is a meaning in life at all, then there must be a meaning in suffering Suffering is an ineradicable part of life, even as fate and death Without suffering and death human life cannot be complete It is one of the basic tenets of logotherapy that man s main concern is not to gain pleasure or to avoid pain but rather to see a meaning in his life That is why man is even ready to suffer, on the condition, to be sure, that his suffering has a meaning But let me make it perfectly clear that in no way is suffering necessary to find meaning I only insist that meaning is possible even in spite of suffering provided, certainly, that the suffering is unavoidableThese philosophical truths and therapeutic method hit close to home For someone who has been wandering and wondering about meaning , this gave me a better understanding about life, offered me a glimmer of hope, and provided an enormous relief Being diagnosed with depression a year ago, I asked my psychiatrist what was the meaning of life He provided a rather straightforward answer, It is up to you to search for it as it will be a lifelong journey of exploration After reading this book, I realised my doctor was correct after all, but I was hoping that he could elucidatethan thatFor the meaning of life differs from man to man, from day to day and from hour to hour What matters, therefore, is not the meaning of life in general but rather the specific meaning of a person s life at a given momentFrankl also affirmed my belief that my condition stems from having an existential crisis, haunted by having an existential frustration and a void within that represents my inner emptiness, to which I say that in cases such as mine, logotherapy would be perfect, but I m not discrediting psychotherapy for it has its own uses and benefits tooSuch widespread phenomena as depression, aggression and addiction are not understandable unless we recognize the existential vacuum underlying them This is also true of the crises of pensioners and aging peopleI couldn t recommend this book highly enough for philosophical thinkers and readers, those who are struggling with their mental health that deeply stems from having an existential crisis, those who feel hopeless due to a fate that cannot be changed, and for those who want to have a meaningful lifeHe who has a Why to live for can bear almost any HowAudiobook rating narrated by Simon Vance Narrative voice style Vocal characterisation Inflexion intonation Voice quality Audiobook verdict Great performance, highly recommended Viktor E Frankl, MD PhD Was Professor Of Psychiatry And Neurology At The University Of Vienna Medical School, Professor Of Logotherapy At The United States International University, And Visiting Clinical Professor Of Psychiatry At Stanford University He Was The Leader And Originator Of The School Of Logotherapy Or Existential Analysis He Was Also The Author Of Books That Have Been Translated Into Languages The US Edition Of Man S Search For Meaning Had Sold Over One And A Half Million Copies In It S First YearsAfter Three Grim Years At Auschwitz And Other Nazi Prisons, Dr Frankl Gained Freedom Only To Learn That Almost His Entire Family Had Been Wiped Out But During, And Indeed Partly Because Of, The Incredible Suffering And Degradation Of Those Harrowing Years, He Developed His Theory Of Logotherapy The original part one was the strongest I think because the rest started to go into the typical psychobabble inherent to books trying to contribute to the academic side of psychology or psychiatry but the first part really grounded the idea of giving meaning to one existence into personal experience and I found it very poignant about the mental state of people in very stressful and hopeless situations It s a very empowering and important idea that no matter the situation a person can control th The original part one was the strongest I think because the rest started to go into the typical psychobabble inherent to books trying to contribute to the academic side of psychology or psychiatry but the first part really grounded the idea of giving meaning to one existence into personal experience and I found it very poignant about the mental state of people in very stressful and hopeless situations It s a very empowering and important idea that no matter the situation a person can control their behavior and influence their own feelings of the situation This idea of a person having so much control over their own selves and survival is one I whole heartedly agree with Anyone having trouble figuring out life or what the point is could benefit from reading this I think This is a short but extremely intense book, first published in 1946 It begins with the author s experiences in four different German concentration camps in WWII, including Auschwitz, and how he coped with those experiences and saw others cope with them, or not He continues in the second half of this book with a discussion of his approach to psychiatry, called logotherapy, based on the belief that each person needs to find something in his or her life, something particular and personal This is a short but extremely intense book, first published in 1946 It begins with the author s experiences in four different German concentration camps in WWII, including Auschwitz, and how he coped with those experiences and saw others cope with them, or not He continues in the second half of this book with a discussion of his approach to psychiatry, called logotherapy, based on the belief that each person needs to find something in his or her life, something particular and personal to them, to give their life meaning We need to look outside ourselves There is nothing in the world, I venture to say, that would so effectively help one to survive even the worst conditions as the knowledge that there is meaning in one s life There is much wisdom in the words of Nietzsche He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how The first half of the book is completely absorbing, fascinating reading When I tried to read the second,academic part of it years ago, I floundered I don t think I ever got through to the end But I stuck with it this time and found it truly rewarding.The second part did sometimes challenge my brain cells with concepts like this I never tire of saying that the only really transitory aspects of life are the potentialities but as soon as they are actualized, they are rendered realities at that very moment they are saved and delivered into the past, wherein they are rescued and preserved from transitoriness For, in the past, nothing is irretrievably lost but everything is irrevocably stored.I had to read that one two or three times before I felt like I really grasped what Frankl was saying And this one Live as if you were living already for the second time and as if you had acted the first time as wrongly as you are about to act now I assume it s to help give us motivation to avoid making a wrong choice, by thinking through the likely consequences of what we are about to do But there are so many nuggets of wisdom in this short volume A few things that really impacted me We had to learn ourselves and, further, we had to teach the despairing men, that it did not matter what we expected from life, but rather what life expected from us.One should not search for an abstract meaning of life Everyone has his own specific vocation or mission in life to carry out a concrete assignment which demands fulfillment Therein he cannot be replaced, nor can his life be repeated.It is one of the basic tenets of logotherapy that man s main concern is not to gain pleasure or to avoid pain but rather to see a meaning in his life In accepting this challenge to suffer bravely, life has a meaning up to the last moment, and it retains this meaning literally to the end.Man does not simply exist but always decides what his existence will be, what he will become in the next moment By the same token, every human being has the freedom to change at any instant.Inspiring words inspiring life.Bonus material Here is an interview with Viktor Frankl when he was 90 years old He died just a couple of years later For most of the book, I felt as dumbfounded as I would have been if I were browsing through a psychiatric journal Filled with references and technical terms and statistics, it was mostly a book long affirmation of the then innovative technique called logo therapy I do not understand how this book is still relevant and found in most popular book stores It might have been that the book was popular in the sixties and seventies as it offered a powerful and logical argument against the reduction For most of the book, I felt as dumbfounded as I would have been if I were browsing through a psychiatric journal Filled with references and technical terms and statistics, it was mostly a book long affirmation of the then innovative technique called logo therapy I do not understand how this book is still relevant and found in most popular book stores It might have been that the book was popular in the sixties and seventies as it offered a powerful and logical argument against the reductionist approach that leads inevitably to existential nihilism, but is that still relevant today It also attempts to free psychiatry from the belief that eros was the cause of all neurosis and turns the flashlight on repressed logos which forms the premise of the book and the title But, while the basic premises are powerful and moving, the breadth and scale of repetition of the same ideas and the technical jargon and the constant Freud bashing ensured that I did not enjoy the book as much as I had hoped Further, the whole chapter dedicated to the theory that ultimately our basic necessity of search for logos can also be explained as a repressed religious drive and his exhortation to religious people to not look down on irreligious ones read atheists and agnostics just because they have achieved a stage that the atheists agnostics are still aspiring unconsciously of course towards rang patently false and too much in line with his argument of psychiatry being a sister to theology.I wish Frankl had stuck to his original title of The Unconscious God it would have beenrepresentative of the book as his logos argument directly derives from his postulation of a transcendent unconscious super ego that trumps Freud s Super Ego and a spiritual cum instinctual subconscious that trumps Freud s id.Unless you are looking for a historical perspective on the technical aspects of psychiatry and about the origins of logo therapy , I would not recommend this book, especially for general reading If you pick up this book, like I did, in the hope that it is about Frankl s personal quest for meaning amidst the horrors of Auschwitz with a strong scientific perspective, you will be disappointed to find that you have picked up a medical journal that is pedantic and repetitive, with hardly any reference to Frankl s personal journey or about how he evolved his theory and practices that did transform many lives based on his experiences Trotzdem Ja zum Leben sagen Ein Psychologe erlebt das Konzentrationslager Man s Search for Meaning an introduction to logotherapy, Viktor E Frankl Man s Search for Meaning is a 1946 book by Viktor Frankl chronicling his experiences as an Auschwitz concentration camp inmate during World War II, and describing his psychotherapeutic method, which involved identifying a purpose in life to feel positively about, and then immersively imagining that outcome According to Frankl, the way a prisoner Trotzdem Ja zum Leben sagen Ein Psychologe erlebt das Konzentrationslager Man s Search for Meaning an introduction to logotherapy, Viktor E Frankl Man s Search for Meaning is a 1946 book by Viktor Frankl chronicling his experiences as an Auschwitz concentration camp inmate during World War II, and describing his psychotherapeutic method, which involved identifying a purpose in life to feel positively about, and then immersively imagining that outcome According to Frankl, the way a prisoner imagined the future affected his longevity The book intends to answer the question How was everyday life in a concentration camp reflected in the mind of the average prisoner Part One constitutes Frankl s analysis of his experiences in the concentration camps, while Part Two introduces his ideas of meaning and his theory called logotherapy 1975 1354 1363 260 236 259 1368 1370 1371 1374 1381 20 1381 207 964641172 165 186 1378 106 9640337854 105 106 1388 9789640337851 1393 1388 240 9789642330058 1392 243 9789647609890 1394 184 9786001761157 1946 This book stands out as one of the most helpful tools I ve found in my life long search for the way to live and be useful to others despite depression As opposed to Freud, who believed that the primary drive in man, the most urgent motivation, was pleasure, Frankl believes that it is meaning Now meaning for Frankl is not something abstract and airy and noble but rather something very concrete and specific to your life what is the task that life asks of you that only you can do Look at the c This book stands out as one of the most helpful tools I ve found in my life long search for the way to live and be useful to others despite depression As opposed to Freud, who believed that the primary drive in man, the most urgent motivation, was pleasure, Frankl believes that it is meaning Now meaning for Frankl is not something abstract and airy and noble but rather something very concrete and specific to your life what is the task that life asks of you that only you can do Look at the circumstances of your life, look at your talents and the people that surround you Where is the need that is calling for you to respond For Frankl, the hope that kept him trudging on day by day in the concentration camps was the need to re write the manuscript taken away when first imprisoned where he could present to the world his theory of Logotherapy Why I found this book so helpful in my struggles with depression is because one of the rock bottom places where depression can take you is despair Despair is the absence of hope The search for meaning, for a response to something life is asking of you, is the place where hope is born Frankl states that hope, like genuine laughter or like faith or love is not something that we can will into being We cannot make hope appear willy nilly in our lives because hope isthan a nice thought, it is, like true love something that involves your whole being I find this to be true but there are things that we can do to prepare the way for hope s arrival and hope will come, it will always come We can search for meaning because searching and looking and asking and expecting are acts and attitudes that we can will Meaning, according to Frankl is found in three different forms Meaning is found in creating or doing Meaning is found in experiencing something greater than ourselves and in encountering another being through love And finally, meaning can be found in the attitude we take toward unavoidable suffering The important thing here is that in all of these instances the value of the thing that gives meaning is subjective There is no scale out there that says that writing a novel givesmeaning than helping your spouse with the dishes When it comes to meaning, the small, the hidden, the unsaid is as important as the great acts of genius and you alone are the judge Orienting yourself to responding in some way to what life is asking of you may not be the sole cure to depression but it is for me a necessary part of any healing process, of learning to live and be useful, despite the illness After I read this book, which I finished many, many years ago, I had become self critical of any future endeavours which would take up a lot of my time I would ask myself is this or will this be meaningful to me , and if the answer was no , I wouldn t do it It was this book that influenced me to consciously live as meaningful a life as possible, to place a great value on the journey and not just the destination, while knowing that meaningful doesn t always mean enjoyable Meaningful s After I read this book, which I finished many, many years ago, I had become self critical of any future endeavours which would take up a lot of my time I would ask myself is this or will this be meaningful to me , and if the answer was no , I wouldn t do it It was this book that influenced me to consciously live as meaningful a life as possible, to place a great value on the journey and not just the destination, while knowing that meaningful doesn t always mean enjoyable Meaningful should be equated with fulfilling So I studied Physics instead of Engineering I went to York U instead of U of T I went to Europe instead of immediately entering the workforce after graduation I want to recommend this book to all of my grade 12 students How is it possible to write dispassionately of life in a concentration camp in such a way as to engender great feeling in the reader This is how Frankl dealt with his experience of those terrible years The dispassionate writing makes the horrors of the camp extremely distressing,so than writing that isemotionally involved It is almost reportage The first half of the book is equal in its telling to The Diary of a Young Girl in furthering our understanding of those dreadful times.T How is it possible to write dispassionately of life in a concentration camp in such a way as to engender great feeling in the reader This is how Frankl dealt with his experience of those terrible years The dispassionate writing makes the horrors of the camp extremely distressing,so than writing that isemotionally involved It is almost reportage The first half of the book is equal in its telling to The Diary of a Young Girl in furthering our understanding of those dreadful times.There are occasional glimmers of humanity from the Germans These are so small that rather than illuminate any basic goodness, they cast further into the shadows the terror of living in a place and time where death might be a beating or a shot to the head at any moment There are also stories of the depths that some of the Jewish victims would sink to in what they would do to stay alive themselves It made me think that rather than condemn these people for becoming tools of the Nazis, what would I do faced with death or the chance to stay alive a little longer and maybe save family or friends 7 stars, golden stars for this half of the book.The second half is about Frankl s psychotherapeutic methods and lost me in boredom I did read this in its entirety but it wouldn t have spoiled the book, or my appreciation of the genius retelling and brilliant writing of the first half, if I hadn t

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