Assalammualaikum Woke! people! This time we want to discuss about a book titled ‘Man’s Search For Meaning‘. This book was written by a holocaust survivor who was also a psychiatrist, Viktor Frankl. It details his horrifying experience while explains the concept of logotherapy that helped him surviving concentration camps and finding the meaning of life.
Quoting Nietzsche, “he who has a why to live, can bear almost any how”, Frankl explains how search for meaning was essential for the prisoners of the camps to survive. He also introduces the term “logotherapy”.
Logotherapy comes from the Greek word logos (meaning). In logotherapy, the “will to meaning” is fundamental and takes precedence over pleasure (as suggested by Sigmund Freud) or power (as suggested by Alfred Adler). A will to meaning that become frustrated may cause existential frustration.
People with ultimate meaningless in their lives may experience a state of mind Frankl refers to as “existential vacuum”. While boredom is the most common symptoms, it may also lead to depression, aggression and addiction. Logotherapy helps people to fill the vacuum with potential meaning.
People can find meaning through three different ways:
1. through work, deeds or achievements
2. through experiencing something (nature, culture, art, beauty, goodness) or loving someone
3. through (if necessary) suffering with dignity and courage
“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing, the last of the human’s freedoms – to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way” – Viktor Frankl.