Man`s Search for Meaning

Man`s Search for Meaning

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Man`sSearch for Meaning

Man`sSearch for Meaning

Thebook by Viktor Frankl is a fascinating bookthat captures the experiences of the author in a concentration campduring the Second World War. In the book, the author also describes apsychotherapeutic method that can be used to identify the meaning andpurpose of life. The book outlines how the experiences as a prisonerchanged his mind and view of life. The book is divided into twoparts. In the first part, the author gives his own experience in theconcentration camp. Although the conditions of the Naziconcentrations and the realities of the prisoners experience arecommon knowledge to an average reader, the author avoids graphicdescription of his experience. He argues that although there areother factors that come into play, his hope and positive thinkingenabled his survive the challenge. In the second part of the book,the author describes his psychological theory, which he calledlogotherapy. The main rationale of the theory is the search formeaning as a prerequisite for human existence. Therefore, thegreatest task individuals have in their lives is to identify themeaning of their lives. Pursuit for the wrong success, for example,a focus on materialistic success results into a wrong approach tolife.

Franklintroduces a new way of thinking about the meaning of life. Populartheories have argued that the meaning and purpose of life is pursuitfor happiness. In the modern society, the primary motivators of humanactions, food and shelters, are relatively easy to meet. However,there are many challenges that face individuals in the modern diverseworld which has significantly departed from the past. Due to thechanges that characterize the society, the meaning of life to anindividual can be defined at a specific moment rather than from ageneral perspective. This means that everybody and every situationhas specific mission that need to be fulfilled at that moment. Thisdefines the meaning of life to the individual at that moment. Thismeans that individuals are faced with unique challenges and specificopportunities to deal with the challenges. This sparks a new thinkingin my life. Before reading the book, I believed the meaning of lifecan only be based on my desires. These desires are geared towardshappiness within oneself. What makes me happy was the most importantthing that defined my life. However, the book has convinced me thatthere is no grand meaning of life. This means that I have to create ameaning for my life, depending on the circumstances, challenges andopportunities.

Franklargues that there are different ways through which individuals candiscover the meaning of life. This includes by doing something ordeed, encountering or experiencing someone or something and avoidingsuffering through change of attitude. He also identifies love andsuffering as important in understanding the meaning of life. hedepart from the common belief about love and sex arguing that bothsex and love are primary phenomena in life. Normally, people use sexto express love. Thus, according to Frankl, love should not be viewedin the context of sexual instincts. Another way of thinking derivedfrom the book is the facts that even in suffering and hopelessness,individuals have an opportunity of finding the meaning of life. Thismeans that when individuals are faced with a hopeless situation, theycan change the predicament into a success. Additionally, when one isnot able to change the situation, the only option is to change andadjust to the situation rather that giving up in life. In general themost important idea that sparks in the mind after reading the book isthat the meaning of life can not be generalized. This had a greatcontribution in my understanding of my life. Additionally, it takesoff some burden from the life. For example, I should not worry somuch about the challenges, pain, suffering and pointless ofexistence. Rather, I should concentrate finding something to live foror finding a meaning of life out of the situation.

Reference

Frankl,V. E. (2011). Man`ssearch for ultimate meaning,New York, NY. Washington Square Press.