Friday, November 21, 2014

Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl

This is, if there ever was one, a story that could excuse someone believing that life is meaningless and suicide a reasonable option. Yet having been lowered into the pits of humanity, Frankl emerged an optimist. His reasoning was that even in the most terrible circumstances, people still have the freedom to choose how they see their circumstances and create meaning out of them.

Sources of meaning
Logotherapy says that mental health arises when we learn how to close the gap between what we are and what we could become. But what if we are yet to identify what we could become? Frankl noted that the modern person has almost too much freedom to deal with. 

We no longer live through instinct, but tradition is no guide either. This is the existential vacuum, in which the frustrated will to meaning is compensated for in the urge for money, sex, entertainment, even violence. 

We are not open to the various sources of meaning, which according to Frankl are:

1 Creating a work or doing a deed.
2 Experiencing something or encountering someone (love).
3 The attitude we take to unavoidable suffering.

In a nutshell
The meaning of life is the meaning that you decide to give it.

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