Books on my wish list: Man’s Search for Meaning

As per Sugar suggestion, I put Man’s Search for Meaning  in my list. I have heard about this book before, but when I read that it talks about the author’s experience in a concentration camp, I was very reluctant to search for it. But now after reading a review, it seems to be ok.

Viktor Frankl’s 1946 book Man’s Search for Meaning chronicles his experiences as a concentration camp inmate and describes his psychotherapeutic method of finding a reason to live. According to Frankl, 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 theory of logotherapy.

And here is a quote: “It did not really matter what we expected from life, but rather what life expected from us. We needed to stop asking about the meaning of life, and instead to think of ourselves as those who were being questioned by life—daily and hourly. Our answer must consist, not in talk and meditation, but in right action and in right conduct. Life ultimately means taking the responsibility to find the right answer to its problems and to fulfill the tasks which it constantly sets for each individual.”

But what is this logotherapy? It is a type of Existential Analysis that focuses on a “will to meaning” as opposed to the Nietzschian doctrine of “will to power” or Freud’s “will to pleasure, it’s main 7 principles are:

  • Exercise the freedom to choose your attitude (a freedom that can never be taken away)
  • Realize your will to meaning
  • Detect the meaning of life’s moments
  • Don’t work against yourself
  • Look at yourself from a distance
  • Shift your focus of attention
  • Extend beyond yourself
  • Mmmm, seems very interesting…


    3 responses to “Books on my wish list: Man’s Search for Meaning

    1. Have I told you what a great blog this is? I enjoyed reading your posts. Wonderful effort in selection and writing.

      The human being is the only species searching for a meaning to his life. Which I think is amazing. And it has always occupied my mind that some people don’t actually care to reach any meaning. They merely exist!

      Thanks for the info provided about “logotherapy”.

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