Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl

Will you give up if being kept at concentration camp ?

Man search for Meaning


Its a book about how everyday life in a concentration camp reflect in the mind of an average prisoner. Its surprisingly to know most people actually get used to the prison life very soon despite the adverse conditions, A man can get used to everything….just don’t ask him how. During most energy / personal development study, apathy is actually the lowest level of all emotion carry the most negative energy, however according to the author, ampthy is SO ESSENTIAL as a mechanism for self-defense, one cut off all effort/ emotion to preserve one’s life.

Everything can be taken from a man , but one thing a man can always be in control, is to choose what attitude in any given set of circumstances to choose its own way. The meaning of how you see things is totally up to our choice. He who has a why to live can bear with almost ANYTHING. Its can be said if you have enough why there is a HOW already. Another angle the author introduce is “doesn’t matter what we expected from life, but what life expected from us !”. We can only answer the question with right action and conduct. Ultimately, the meaning of existence , could be your creative work and human love ! , as long as the “why” of existence , we will be able to bear “how”.

Every prisoner will go through phrase of liberation, the bitterness : Why i have to go thru this ? and disillusionment, which he could suffer more as its no limit.

The first part of the book is more on description of the life and how he get released from the Camp eventually, the second part is introducing a terms “LOGOTHERAPY” on how he use to cure other patients.

The main idea of Logotherapy is to hear the disagreeable. Nowadays, man either wish to do what other people do (e.g.  a rapper / NBA player )  or he does what other people want him to do (e,g, 9-5 job ). However when we not doing what we love, when we slow down we feel a sense of emptiness. the existential vacuum manifest itself mainly in state of boredom.

There is no standard answer of meaning of life , as it different from man to man, day to day, hour to hour, its a dynamic and organic than a static goal.  Life represent a challenge to man and present a problem for him to solve.

How will we act if we live as you were living already for second time, as if you have acted the first time wrongly as you about to act now ? will you still make the same decision ? will you still do what you are doing ?

The more we can forget our-self, the more human we can be. Perhaps self actualization is a side effect of self-transcendence, during our shift in different phrase of life, the more revelation of the real being come out.

There are 3 ways the author suggested we can use to find your own meaning of life :

  1. Create a work / doing a deed
  2. Experiencing / encounter someone
  3. We take toward unavoidable suffering.If you view your life from a death bed, we are able to see meaning for our suffering.

If you wish not to be in trouble, you will probably in trouble at the end, its called Paradoxical intention. Fear bring which one is afraid of in as much as his fear, replaced by paradoxical wishes. The wishdom behind is for example, if you are swearing when you are nervous, imagine yourself, i hope i wont swear 10 Liter of sweat , make it awkward and funny and make yourself laugh.

In conclusion, man is ultimately self-determining , it decide what his existence will be, what he will become in the next moment.

Until next time !

GET the concentration camp experience : BD_Man search for meaning



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