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Mens Search For Meaning (Gujarati)

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Mens Search For Meaning

30 review for Mens Search For Meaning (Gujarati)

  1. 4 out of 5

    Laurel

    I read this book for the first time during my senior year in high school. The year prior, I had gone to Germany for spring break with some fellow classmates. During the trip, we spent a day visiting a former WWII concentration camp in Dachau. As one might expect, this visit had a profound effect on me. I had of course read and knew about the atrocities that occurred under the Nazi regime, but to actually see a camp in person is a deeply haunting and disturbing experience. Perhaps for this reason I read this book for the first time during my senior year in high school. The year prior, I had gone to Germany for spring break with some fellow classmates. During the trip, we spent a day visiting a former WWII concentration camp in Dachau. As one might expect, this visit had a profound effect on me. I had of course read and knew about the atrocities that occurred under the Nazi regime, but to actually see a camp in person is a deeply haunting and disturbing experience. Perhaps for this reason, Frankl's book affected me even more deeply than it otherwise might have. The book is divided into two parts. The first section recounts in vivid detail Frankl's horrifying experiences as a prisoner in a Nazi concentration camp. Frankl, a former psychiatrist, also describes his observations of other prisoners and what he felt to be the main way in which people tried to cope with the insurmountable obstacles they faced. He found that those who could find meaning or purpose in their suffering were the ones who also seemed better able to find the strength to go on. As I recall, Frankl personally found his purpose in the hope of someday being able to see his wife again - a hope that was strong enough to get him through the daily horrors he faced. The second half of this book is devoted to the therapy he developed based on the search for meaning, which he calls logotherapy. The basic premise is that those who can find meaning in their suffering are better able to cope with what would otherwise be a struggle too hard to bear. As one who majored in psychology, I found this section as fascinating as the first. I have read this book at least three times now, and it is one of the few books I can say truly changed my life. I am ever grateful that I have the wisdom of this book to fall back upon when needed. Several years ago, at a very young age (in my 20s), I became ill with a disease that left me bedridden and barely able to speak above a whisper. Now 36, I am still bedridden and fighting the same battle. It is Frankl's reminder to find meaning and purpose in suffering (which I found in the love of my fiancé and my hope of recovery) that has helped me to get through each difficult day. As Frankl tells us, "Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms - to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way." I highly recommend this book!!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Frank

    After I read this book, which I finished many, many years ago, I had become self-critical of any future endeavours which would take up a lot of my time. I would ask myself "is this or will this be meaningful to me?", and if the answer was "no", I wouldn't do it. It was this book that influenced me to consciously live as meaningful a life as possible, to place a great value on the journey and not just the destination, while knowing that "meaningful" doesn't always mean "enjoyable". "Meaningful" s After I read this book, which I finished many, many years ago, I had become self-critical of any future endeavours which would take up a lot of my time. I would ask myself "is this or will this be meaningful to me?", and if the answer was "no", I wouldn't do it. It was this book that influenced me to consciously live as meaningful a life as possible, to place a great value on the journey and not just the destination, while knowing that "meaningful" doesn't always mean "enjoyable". "Meaningful" should be equated with "fulfilling". So I studied Physics instead of Engineering. I went to York U instead of U of T. I went to Europe instead of immediately entering the workforce after graduation. I want to recommend this book to all of my grade 12 students.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Petra is living in luxury in FtL but for how long?

    How is it possible to write dispassionately of life in a concentration camp in such a way as to engender great feeling in the reader? This is how Frankl dealt with his experience of those terrible years. The dispassionate writing makes the horrors of the camp extremely distressing, more so than writing that is more emotionally involved. It is almost reportage. The first half of the book is equal in its telling to The Diary of a Young Girl in furthering our understanding of those dreadful times. T How is it possible to write dispassionately of life in a concentration camp in such a way as to engender great feeling in the reader? This is how Frankl dealt with his experience of those terrible years. The dispassionate writing makes the horrors of the camp extremely distressing, more so than writing that is more emotionally involved. It is almost reportage. The first half of the book is equal in its telling to The Diary of a Young Girl in furthering our understanding of those dreadful times. There are occasional glimmers of humanity from the Germans. These are so small that rather than illuminate any basic goodness, they cast further into the shadows the terror of living in a place and time where death might be a beating or a shot to the head at any moment. There are also stories of the depths that some of the Jewish victims would sink to in what they would do to stay alive themselves. It made me think that rather than condemn these people for becoming tools of the Nazis, what would I do faced with death or the chance to stay alive a little longer and maybe save family or friends. 7 stars, golden stars for this half of the book. The second half is about Frankl's psychotherapeutic methods and lost me in boredom. I did read this in its entirety but it wouldn't have spoiled the book, or my appreciation of the genius retelling and brilliant writing of the first half, if I hadn't.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Riku Sayuj

    For most of the book, I felt as dumbfounded as I would have been if I were browsing through a psychiatric journal. Filled with references and technical terms and statistics, it was mostly a book-long affirmation of the then innovative technique called 'logo-therapy'. I do not understand how this book is still relevant and found in most popular book stores. It might have been that the book was popular in the sixties and seventies as it offered a powerful and logical argument against the reduction For most of the book, I felt as dumbfounded as I would have been if I were browsing through a psychiatric journal. Filled with references and technical terms and statistics, it was mostly a book-long affirmation of the then innovative technique called 'logo-therapy'. I do not understand how this book is still relevant and found in most popular book stores. It might have been that the book was popular in the sixties and seventies as it offered a powerful and logical argument against the reductionist approach that leads inevitably to existential nihilism, but is that still relevant today? It also attempts to free psychiatry from the belief that 'eros' was the cause of all neurosis and turns the flashlight on repressed 'logos' - which forms the premise of the book and the title. But, while the basic premises are powerful and moving, the breadth and scale of repetition of the same ideas and the technical jargon and the constant Freud-bashing ensured that I did not enjoy the book as much as I had hoped. Furthermore, the whole chapter dedicated to the theory that ultimately our basic necessity of 'search for logos' can also be explained as a 'repressed religious drive' and his exhortation to religious people to not look down on irreligious ones (read atheists and agnostics) just because they have achieved a stage that the atheists/agnostics are still aspiring (unconsciously of course) towards rang patently false and too much in line with his argument of psychiatry being a sister to theology. I wish Frankl had stuck to his original title of 'The Unconscious God' - it would have been more representative of the book as his 'logos' argument directly derives from his postulation of a transcendent unconscious super-ego that trumps Freud's 'Super Ego' and a spiritual cum instinctual subconscious that trumps Freud's 'id'. Unless you are looking for a historical perspective on the technical aspects of psychiatry and about the origins of 'logo-therapy', I would not recommend this book, especially for general reading. If you pick up this book, like I did, in the hope that it is about Frankl's personal quest for meaning amidst the horrors of Auschwitz with a strong scientific perspective, you will be disappointed to find that you have picked up a medical journal that is pedantic and repetitive, with hardly any reference to Frankl's personal journey or about how he evolved his theory and practices (that did transform many lives) based on his experiences.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Always Pouting

    The original part one was the strongest I think because the rest started to go into the typical psychobabble inherent to books trying to contribute to the academic side of psychology or psychiatry but the first part really grounded the idea of giving meaning to one existence into personal experience and I found it very poignant about the mental state of people in very stressful and hopeless situations. It's a very empowering and important idea that no matter the situation a person can control th The original part one was the strongest I think because the rest started to go into the typical psychobabble inherent to books trying to contribute to the academic side of psychology or psychiatry but the first part really grounded the idea of giving meaning to one existence into personal experience and I found it very poignant about the mental state of people in very stressful and hopeless situations. It's a very empowering and important idea that no matter the situation a person can control their behavior and influence their own feelings of the situation. This idea of a person having so much control over their own selves and survival is one I whole heartedly agree with. Anyone having trouble figuring out life or what the point is could benefit from reading this I think.

  6. 5 out of 5

    JV (semi-hiatus)

    What is it that makes life worth living? Is it the pursuit of happiness? Attaining success? As human beings living in a vast and endless universe (or multiverse for that matter), what are we actually living for? I, for one, cannot answer those particular questions for you but know that I am also one of those who is searching for answers, trying to look for ways to make sense out of life, the numerous paths we've all trodden as well as the roads we haven't taken. We look backwards rummaging throu What is it that makes life worth living? Is it the pursuit of happiness? Attaining success? As human beings living in a vast and endless universe (or multiverse for that matter), what are we actually living for? I, for one, cannot answer those particular questions for you but know that I am also one of those who is searching for answers, trying to look for ways to make sense out of life, the numerous paths we've all trodden as well as the roads we haven't taken. We look backwards rummaging through our past examining our own mistakes, failures, and losses and what we could've done to correct those that which cannot be changed. We yearn for the truth about our own existence where pain, suffering, loss, and even death is inevitable, but amidst those darkest moments, we rise above those conditions and grow beyond them as Frankl puts it, "'Et lux in tenebris lucet' — and the light shineth in the darkness." What is the meaning of life — "a naïve query which understands life as the attaining of some aim through the active creation of something of value." Or perchance, we've been asking the wrong question after all? "Ultimately, man should not ask what the meaning of his life is, but rather he must recognize that it is he who is asked. In a word, each man is questioned by life; and he can only answer to life by answering for his own life; to life he can only respond by being responsible. Thus, logotherapy sees in responsibleness the very essence of human existence." Man's Search for Meaning was a transformative and life-affirming read. Brimming with illuminating insights, Frankl explores, analyses, and shares his harrowing experiences in a concentration camp during Hitler's reign. More than that, he delves into numerous ways in how he sees suffering and pain as a part of life. By employing logotherapy, he offers us ways to discover meaning in our lives by creating a work or doing a deed; by experiencing something or encountering someone; and by the attitude we take toward unavoidable suffering. "If there is a meaning in life at all, then there must be a meaning in suffering. Suffering is an ineradicable part of life, even as fate and death. Without suffering and death human life cannot be complete. [...] It is one of the basic tenets of logotherapy that man’s main concern is not to gain pleasure or to avoid pain but rather to see a meaning in his life. That is why man is even ready to suffer, on the condition, to be sure, that his suffering has a meaning. But let me make it perfectly clear that in no way is suffering necessary to find meaning. I only insist that meaning is possible even in spite of suffering—provided, certainly, that the suffering is unavoidable." These philosophical truths and therapeutic method hit close to home. For someone who has been wandering and wondering about "meaning", this gave me a better understanding about life, offered me a glimmer of hope, and provided an enormous relief. Being diagnosed with depression a year ago, I asked my psychiatrist what was the meaning of life. He provided a rather straightforward answer, "It is up to you to search for it as it will be a lifelong journey of exploration." After reading this book, I realised my doctor was correct after all, but I was hoping that he could elucidate more than that. "For the meaning of life differs from man to man, from day to day and from hour to hour. What matters, therefore, is not the meaning of life in general but rather the specific meaning of a person’s life at a given moment." Frankl also affirmed my belief that my condition stems from having an existential crisis, haunted by having an existential frustration and a void within that represents my inner emptiness, to which I say that in cases such as mine, logotherapy would be perfect, but I'm not discrediting psychotherapy for it has its own uses and benefits too. "Such widespread phenomena as depression, aggression and addiction are not understandable unless we recognize the existential vacuum underlying them. This is also true of the crises of pensioners and aging people." I couldn't recommend this book highly enough for philosophical thinkers and readers, those who are struggling with their mental health that deeply stems from having an existential crisis, those who feel hopeless due to a fate that cannot be changed, and for those who want to have a meaningful life. "He who has a Why to live for can bear almost any How." Audiobook rating (narrated by Simon Vance): Narrative voice & style - ★★★★ Vocal characterisation - ★★★★★ Inflexion & intonation - ★★★★ Voice quality - ★★★★ Audiobook verdict - ★★★★ (Great performance, highly recommended!)

  7. 5 out of 5

    Ahmad Sharabiani

    Trotzdem Ja zum Leben sagen: Ein Psychologe erlebt das Konzentrationslager = Man's Search for Meaning; an introduction to logotherapy, Viktor E. Frankl Man's Search for Meaning is a 1946 book by Viktor Frankl chronicling his experiences as an Auschwitz concentration camp inmate during World War II, and describing his psychotherapeutic method, which involved identifying a purpose in life to feel positively about, and then immersively imagining that outcome. According to Frankl, the way a prisoner Trotzdem Ja zum Leben sagen: Ein Psychologe erlebt das Konzentrationslager = Man's Search for Meaning; an introduction to logotherapy, Viktor E. Frankl Man's Search for Meaning is a 1946 book by Viktor Frankl chronicling his experiences as an Auschwitz concentration camp inmate during World War II, and describing his psychotherapeutic method, which involved identifying a purpose in life to feel positively about, and then immersively imagining that outcome. According to Frankl, the way a prisoner imagined the future affected his longevity. 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 ideas of meaning and his theory called logotherapy. عنوانهای چاپ شده در ایران: «انسان در جستجوی معنی»؛ «انسان در جستجوی معنی غایی»؛ «درون خود را جستجو کنید خودشناسی و خودباوری آشنایی با معنی درمانی»؛ «انسان در جستجوی معنا»؛ نویسنده: ویکتور امیل فرانکل؛ تاریخ نخستین خوانش: ماه می سال 1975میلادی عنوان: انسان در جستجوی معنی؛ نویسنده: ویکتور امیل فرانکل؛ مترجمها: نهضت صالحیان؛ مهین میلانی؛ چاپ نخست تهران، دانشگاه تهران، 1354؛ چاپ دوم تهران، آذر، 1363؛ در 260ص؛ کتابنامه از ص 236، تا ص 259؛ چاپ چهارم: 1368؛ چاپ دیگر تهران، نهضت صالحیان و مهین میلانی، 1370؛ چاپ بعدی 1371؛ چاپ هشتم تهران، درسا، 1374؛ چاپ دوازدهم 1381؛ موضوع اردوگاه اسیران آلمان، روانشناسی، زندانیان، از نویسندگان اتریش - سده 20م عنوان: انسان در جستجوی معنی غایی؛ نویسنده: ویکتور امیل فرانکل؛ مترجمها: احمد صبوری؛ عباس شمیم؛ چاپ نخست تهران، صداقصیده، 1381؛ در207ص؛ شابک ایکس - 964641172؛ کتابنامه از ص 165، تا ص 186؛ عنوان: انسان در جستجوی معنی؛ نویسنده: ویکتور امیل فرانکل؛ مترجم: اکبر معارفی؛ تهران، موسسه انتشارات دانشگاه تهران، 1378؛ در 106ص؛ شابک 9640337854؛ کتابنامه از ص 105، تا ص 106؛ چاپ نهم 1388، شابک 9789640337851؛ چاپ یازدهم 1393؛ عنوان: درون خود را جستجو کنید خودشناسی و خودباوری آشنایی با معنی درمانی؛ نویسنده: ویکتور امیل فرانکل؛ مترجم: الهام مبارکی زاده؛ تهران، پل، 1388؛ در 240ص؛ شابک 9789642330058؛ عنوان: انسان در جستجوی معنا؛ نویسنده: ویکتور امیل فرانکل؛ مترجم: مهدی گنجی؛ ویراستار حمزه گنجی؛ تهران، ساوالان، 1392؛ در 243ص؛ شابک 9789647609890؛ عنوان: انسان در جستجوی معنا؛ نویسنده: ویکتور امیل فرانکل؛ مترجم: امیر لاهوتی؛ تهران، جامی، 1394؛ در 184ص؛ شابک9786001761157؛ کتاب «انسان در جستجوی معنا»، اثر: «ویکتور فرانکل»، روان‌پزشک، عصب‌ شناس، و پدیدآورنده ی لوگوتراپی «اتریشی» است، که نخستین بار در سال 1946میلادی منتشر شد؛ این کتاب، دربردارنده ی یادمانهای «فرانکل»، از وضعیت خود، و سایر قربانیان اردوگاه‌های کار اجباری «آلمان»، در خلال جنگ دوم جهانی است؛ «فرانکل» در این کتاب، به عنوان یک روان‌شناس اگزیستانسیالیت، به اهمیت جستجوی معنا برای زندگی، در سخت‌ترین شرایط زندگی می‌پردازند، و ضمن روایت یادمانهای خویش، از اردوگاه‌های کار اجباری، تلاش می‌کنند، نگرش تازه ی خویش را در روان‌شناسی (لوگوتراپی) تبیین کنند تاریخ بهنگام رسانی 01/08/1399هجری خورشیدی؛ 21/06/1400هجری خورشیدی؛ ا. شربیانی

  8. 4 out of 5

    Dr. Appu Sasidharan

    If someone asks me to recommend the best three books related to the Second World War and the horrors of the holocaust, this book will be one among them. Viktor Emil Frankl was an Austrian Neurologist and Psychiatrist. He was also a Holocaust survivor. This book describes his experiences in concentration camps in the first section and the logotherapy he developed for finding meaning in all forms of existence during the suffering in the second section. My favorite three lines from this book If someone asks me to recommend the best three books related to the Second World War and the horrors of the holocaust, this book will be one among them. Viktor Emil Frankl was an Austrian Neurologist and Psychiatrist. He was also a Holocaust survivor. This book describes his experiences in concentration camps in the first section and the logotherapy he developed for finding meaning in all forms of existence during the suffering in the second section. My favorite three lines from this book. “Those who have a 'why' to live, can bear with almost any 'how'.” "But there was no need to be ashamed of tears, for tears bore witness that a man had the greatest of courage, the courage to suffer." “I do not forget any good deed done to me & I do not carry a grudge for a bad one.” The way the author recalls all the events is simply brilliant. The hardships he faced in the concentration camp will indubitably shock you. I always wondered how he was able to survive three years in four concentration camps when I can't even think about living there for a single day. This is one of the most challenging books I read in my life so far. But I reread this book once in a while to remind me of the importance of hope and how it can help a human being to overcome one of the most harrowing experiences that humankind has ever witnessed on this planet. This is one of those books that everyone in this world should read at least once in their lifetime.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽

    This is a short but extremely intense book, first published in 1946. It begins with the author's experiences in four (!!) different German concentration camps in WWII, including Auschwitz, and how he coped with those experiences -- and saw others cope with them, or not. He continues in the second half of this book with a discussion of his approach to psychiatry, called logotherapy, based on the belief that each person needs to find something in his or her life, something particular and personal This is a short but extremely intense book, first published in 1946. It begins with the author's experiences in four (!!) different German concentration camps in WWII, including Auschwitz, and how he coped with those experiences -- and saw others cope with them, or not. He continues in the second half of this book with a discussion of his approach to psychiatry, called logotherapy, based on the belief that each person needs to find something in his or her life, something particular and personal to them, to give their life meaning. We need to look outside ourselves. There is nothing in the world, I venture to say, that would so effectively help one to survive even the worst conditions as the knowledge that there is meaning in one's life. There is much wisdom in the words of Nietzsche: "He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how."The first half of the book is completely absorbing, fascinating reading. When I tried to read the second, more academic part of it years ago, I floundered (I don't think I ever got through to the end). But I stuck with it this time and found it truly rewarding. The second part did sometimes challenge my brain cells with concepts like this:I never tire of saying that the only really transitory aspects of life are the potentialities; but as soon as they are actualized, they are rendered realities at that very moment; they are saved and delivered into the past, wherein they are rescued and preserved from transitoriness. For, in the past, nothing is irretrievably lost but everything is irrevocably stored.I had to read that one two or three times before I felt like I really grasped what Frankl was saying. And this one:Live as if you were living already for the second time and as if you had acted the first time as wrongly as you are about to act now!I assume it's to help give us motivation to avoid making a wrong choice, by thinking through the likely consequences of what we are about to do. But there are so many nuggets of wisdom in this short volume. A few things that really impacted me:We had to learn ourselves and, furthermore, we had to teach the despairing men, that it did not matter what we expected from life, but rather what life expected from us. One should not search for an abstract meaning of life. Everyone has his own specific vocation or mission in life to carry out a concrete assignment which demands fulfillment. Therein he cannot be replaced, nor can his life be repeated. It is one of the basic tenets of logotherapy that man's main concern is not to gain pleasure or to avoid pain but rather to see a meaning in his life. ... In accepting this challenge to suffer bravely, life has a meaning up to the last moment, and it retains this meaning literally to the end. Man does not simply exist but always decides what his existence will be, what he will become in the next moment. By the same token, every human being has the freedom to change at any instant.Inspiring words; inspiring life. Bonus material: Here is an interview with Viktor Frankl when he was 90 years old. He died just a couple of years later.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Francisco

    This book stands out as one of the most helpful tools I've found in my life-long search for the way to live and be useful to others despite depression. As opposed to Freud, who believed that the primary drive in man, the most urgent motivation, was pleasure, Frankl believes that it is meaning. Now meaning for Frankl is not something abstract and airy and noble but rather something very concrete and specific to your life - what is the task that life asks of you that only you can do? Look at the c This book stands out as one of the most helpful tools I've found in my life-long search for the way to live and be useful to others despite depression. As opposed to Freud, who believed that the primary drive in man, the most urgent motivation, was pleasure, Frankl believes that it is meaning. Now meaning for Frankl is not something abstract and airy and noble but rather something very concrete and specific to your life - what is the task that life asks of you that only you can do? Look at the circumstances of your life, look at your talents and the people that surround you. Where is the need that is calling for you to respond? For Frankl, the hope that kept him trudging on day by day in the concentration camps was the need to re-write the manuscript (taken away when first imprisoned) where he could present to the world his theory of Logotherapy. Why I found this book so helpful in my struggles with depression is because one of the rock-bottom places where depression can take you is despair. Despair is the absence of hope. The search for meaning, for a response to something life is asking of you, is the place where hope is born. Frankl states that hope, like genuine laughter or like faith or love is not something that we can will into being. We cannot make hope appear willy nilly in our lives because hope is more than a nice thought, it is, like true love something that involves your whole being. I find this to be true but there are things that we can do to prepare the way for hope's arrival and hope will come, it will always come. We can search for meaning because searching and looking and asking and expecting are acts and attitudes that we can will. Meaning, according to Frankl is found in three different forms. Meaning is found in creating or doing. Meaning is found in experiencing something greater than ourselves and in encountering another being through love. And finally, meaning can be found in the attitude we take toward unavoidable suffering. The important thing here is that in all of these instances the value of the thing that gives meaning is subjective. There is no scale out there that says that writing a novel gives more meaning than helping your spouse with the dishes. When it comes to meaning, the small, the hidden, the unsaid is as important as the great acts of genius and you alone are the judge. Orienting yourself to responding in some way to what life is asking of you may not be the sole cure to depression but it is for me a necessary part of any healing process, of learning to live and be useful, despite the illness.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Maxwell

    I have to separate the emotional impact of the first half of the book from my overall impression on how effective the book was as a whole. It's really difficult not to find stories of the holocaust incredibly gripping, and the way in which Frankl speaks of his experience is inspiring and yet still maintains that gravity you'd expect from such a narrative. However, the latter half of the book delves much more into a psychological, and less personal, examination of 'logotherapy' (that is, the autho I have to separate the emotional impact of the first half of the book from my overall impression on how effective the book was as a whole. It's really difficult not to find stories of the holocaust incredibly gripping, and the way in which Frankl speaks of his experience is inspiring and yet still maintains that gravity you'd expect from such a narrative. However, the latter half of the book delves much more into a psychological, and less personal, examination of 'logotherapy' (that is, the author's personal psychological theory). Once it became more of a text book with small sections reflecting on specific terms and theories, it was difficult to stay engaged. I also felt it lacked the cohesiveness that the first part of the book had with a more linear narrative structure. Nonetheless, the nuggets of wisdom I gleaned from this book were worth the reading. And I can only commend Frankl on his 'tragic optimism' in such a horrific environment as a Nazi concentration camp.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Swrp

    "He who has a Why to live for can bear any How." ~ Nietzsche "A thought transfixed me: for the first time in my life I saw the truth as it is set into song by so many poets, proclaimed as the final wisdom by so many thinkers. The truth” that love is the ultimate and the highest goal to which man can aspire. " This is an apt example of a book appearing when the reader truly needs it. Professor Viktor E. Frankl's Man's Search For Meaning has been on my 'to-read' shelf for quite sometime no "He who has a Why to live for can bear any How." ~ Nietzsche "A thought transfixed me: for the first time in my life I saw the truth as it is set into song by so many poets, proclaimed as the final wisdom by so many thinkers. The truth” that love is the ultimate and the highest goal to which man can aspire. " This is an apt example of a book appearing when the reader truly needs it. Professor Viktor E. Frankl's Man's Search For Meaning has been on my 'to-read' shelf for quite sometime now. This book came to the top of the list at a time when life's in shambles and everything around seems to be crumbling. This wonderful book has provided something to hold on to, and an understanding of the power of the true love for the beloved one. Man's Search For Meaning is for everyone who would want to live a meaningful life. This book is also for all those who have a goal in life to help others find a meaning for their life. Professor Frankl indicates three sources for meaning in life: doing significant work, selfless love for your beloved, and showing courage during difficult and trying times. Forces beyond your control can take away everything you possess except one thing, your freedom to choose how you will respond to the situation. But there was no need to be ashamed of tears, for tears bore witness that a man had the greatest of courage, the courage to suffer. A man who becomes conscious of the responsibility he bears toward a human being who affectionately waits for him, or to an unfinished work, will never be able to throw away his life. After all, man is that being who invented the gas chambers of Auschwitz; however, he is also that being who entered those gas chambers upright." "For the world is in a bad state, but everything will become still worse unless each of us does his best. So, let us be alert; alert in a twofold sense: Since Auschwitz we know what man is capable of. And since Hiroshima we know what is at stake.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Reading_ Tamishly

    I never thought the book would actually deal with psychiatry, neuroses and some basic mental health issues. The book just ended. Did it just end? Like end?! I was so enjoying the concepts and the writing. Loved the later half of the book more. Actually O should not compare as it is almost like the author is trying to present those days at concentration camps in the first part and in the second part, how his concept of logotherapy/various mental disorders/physiological health issues should be dealt w I never thought the book would actually deal with psychiatry, neuroses and some basic mental health issues. The book just ended. Did it just end? Like end?! I was so enjoying the concepts and the writing. Loved the later half of the book more. Actually O should not compare as it is almost like the author is trying to present those days at concentration camps in the first part and in the second part, how his concept of logotherapy/various mental disorders/physiological health issues should be dealt with. This book is so informative and insightful from a very practical point of view, historically relevant and quite helpful from a medical point of view. It helps that the author is from the said field and he just wrote everything important in such a concise manner that you just cannot afford to skip a word. I have less information about concentration camps or the history behind it. But yes, this book is like 80 percent more than that. This is not a story of survival or a description of how the author suffered during those days. Of course, suffering was there. And oh, how the author described suffering in a new light attached to the meaning of life! I really loved the writing. This book is going to help me in both my personal as well as my profession. This book will remain next to me. If I were to annotate this book, I would have to just highlight each and every sentence of part two of the book. I will definitely reread this book. Because life's meaning isn't constant. And yes, I need that motivation and life's understanding as discussed in this short book. Amazing! *There's so much more to this book regarding the camp inmates; discussion on the psychology of prisoners; it not only handles about life issues on just all the issues mentioned before but also about life in general - family and various human needs and emotions. *Love the parts where he talked about his wife. Loved it so much! Thanks to my Instagram buddies who recommended this book at one of my recent posts. Definitely loving taking recommendations ❤️

  14. 5 out of 5

    Tharindu Dissanayake

    "no one has the right to do wrong, not even if wrong has been done to them." "Life is not primarily a quest for pleasure, as Freud believed, or a quest for power, as Alfred Adler taught, but a quest for meaning." Man's Search for Meaning provides an unbiased narration of the experiences faced by a prisoner in a concentration camp, and the effects of it on one's most inner self. This is not a book on the specifics of torture, or other such inhumane things, but a prisoner's psychological impacts cau "no one has the right to do wrong, not even if wrong has been done to them." "Life is not primarily a quest for pleasure, as Freud believed, or a quest for power, as Alfred Adler taught, but a quest for meaning." Man's Search for Meaning provides an unbiased narration of the experiences faced by a prisoner in a concentration camp, and the effects of it on one's most inner self. This is not a book on the specifics of torture, or other such inhumane things, but a prisoner's psychological impacts caused from numerous hardships. "No man should judge unless he asks himself in absolute honesty whether in a similar situation he might not have done the same." Dr. Frankl incorporates his own experiences while trying to find common ground among the prisoners and how one must survive when all else is lost. The first autobiographical section is followed by an evaluation of the adapted methodology, in which the author clearly describes the fundamentals of the basics and specifics on this school of thought. This is a very unique interpretation as to how a man should live, while allowing reader to relate his own experiences and to see life in a different perspective. "at any time each of the moments of which life consists is dying, and that moment will never recur. And yet is not this transitoriness a reminder that challenges us to make the best possible use of each moment of our lives?"

  15. 5 out of 5

    Emily

    After the Book of Mormon, this would be my second recommendation to anyone looking for purpose in life. Here's a poignant excerpt from one of my favorite parts of the book when Frankl has been in Auschwitz and other camps for several years and doesn't know the war is only weeks away from ending. He had decided to escape his camp near Dachau with a friend and was visiting some of his patients for the last time. "I came to my only countryman, who was almost dying, and whose life it had been my ambi After the Book of Mormon, this would be my second recommendation to anyone looking for purpose in life. Here's a poignant excerpt from one of my favorite parts of the book when Frankl has been in Auschwitz and other camps for several years and doesn't know the war is only weeks away from ending. He had decided to escape his camp near Dachau with a friend and was visiting some of his patients for the last time. "I came to my only countryman, who was almost dying, and whose life it had been my ambition to save in spite of myself, but my comrade seemed to guess that something was wrong (perhaps I showed a little nervousness). In a tired voice he asked me, 'You too, are getting out?' I denied it, but I found it difficult to avoid his sad look. After my round I returned to him. Again a hopeless look greeted me and somehow I felt it to be an accusation. The unpleasant feeling that had gripped me as soon as I had told my friend I would escape with him became more intense. Suddenly I decided to take fate into my own hands for once. I ran out of the hut and told my friend that I could not go with him. As soon as I had told him with finality that I had made up my mind to stay with my patients, the unhappy feeling left me. I did not know what the following days would bring, but I had gained an inward peace that I had never experienced before. I returned to the hut, sat down on the boards at my countryman's feet and tried to comfort him..." I found such strength and wisdom in this book--strength and advice for me as a mother of six young children. While potty training, bending over to clean up a handful of toys for the the thousandth time that day, scraping Play Dough off of a filthy kitchen floor on hands and knees, and preparing the fifth snack of the day for several hungry mouths (directly after doing the dishes from the previous snack) I find the text of this book to give profound meaning to small and simple acts of selflessness, patience, and service. What a profound reminder that "The immediate influence of behavior is always more effective than that of words." I desperately needed to read this book, if only to remember to be calm and kind to my little ones so that they will pass on the favor to their own next generation. Bravo to Viktor Frankl for bringing human frailty and greatness into perspective. "Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms--to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way." -Frankl

  16. 4 out of 5

    Susan's Reviews

    One of the first of Viktor Frankl's books that transformed my thinking and my world view. Man cannot survive without hope, and hope cannot survive feelings of futility or meaninglessness. We must therefore move away from despair and negativity and look for meaning in our suffering, or grow from it and find a different path. Everyone should read this book. Lately, I have been evaluating Frankl's messages about Love, that: "Love is the ultimate and highest goal to which man can aspire" and "Love is One of the first of Viktor Frankl's books that transformed my thinking and my world view. Man cannot survive without hope, and hope cannot survive feelings of futility or meaninglessness. We must therefore move away from despair and negativity and look for meaning in our suffering, or grow from it and find a different path. Everyone should read this book. Lately, I have been evaluating Frankl's messages about Love, that: "Love is the ultimate and highest goal to which man can aspire" and "Love is the only way to grasp another human being in the innermost core of his personality. No one can become fully aware of the very essence of another human being unless he loves him". As Eleanor Roosevelt pointed out, many of us are afraid to fully "love" - we fear being being exposed to hurt. If, as I have come to conclude, there is Yin and Yang in all things, then there is joy and suffering even in the state of love. To open ourselves to love, therefore, requires courage and acceptance of both states. So perhaps we should be taught to be courageous first, to be more fearless. Maybe then we would be more open to the inevitable pain as well as joys of love?

  17. 5 out of 5

    anarki

    TO COMPOSE a brief synthesis of Viktor Frankl’s lucid insights on a prisoner’s self-transcendence over the inhumanity of the Holocaust is the purpose of this brief essay. From 1941 until 1945, the Jews were held captive and systematically massacred in the concentration camps under the Nazi territories. The covert methods of this genocide included starvation, heavy manual labor under severe conditions, torture, hanging in the gallows, then mass murders, gas chambers, and crematoriums—methods that, TO COMPOSE a brief synthesis of Viktor Frankl’s lucid insights on a prisoner’s self-transcendence over the inhumanity of the Holocaust is the purpose of this brief essay. From 1941 until 1945, the Jews were held captive and systematically massacred in the concentration camps under the Nazi territories. The covert methods of this genocide included starvation, heavy manual labor under severe conditions, torture, hanging in the gallows, then mass murders, gas chambers, and crematoriums—methods that, by the final stages of the war, had already decimated approximately 11 million people. Upon captivity, all possessions were taken away from the prisoners, names replaced by numbers, not a strand of hair left unshaven on their bodies. They were forced to toil like animals, despite their serious malnourishment, and slumber in abominably small bunk beds like stacks of corpses. Nothing was left of the prisoners’ lives but their hope for liberation and their nakedness to the inevitability of death surrounding them. But amid the gamut of terrors, for three years, Frankl, who was a psychiatrist before the occupation, investigated the camp’s psychology and secretly jotted down notes on scraps of paper that served as the manuscript for his own psychotherapeutic theory: that is logotherapy (logos is Greek for meaning). In his book Man’s Search for Meaning—an autobiography about his Holocaust experience and an introduction to the concepts of logotherapy—Frankl postulated that “the sort of person a prisoner became was the result of an inner decision, not the result of the camp influences alone.” Numerous prisoners, after recognizing the impossibility of surviving under the camp’s environment, either ran into the electrically charged fences to commit suicide or simply awaited death to come over their beds. They found no meaning in prolonging their unjustifiable suffering. But Frankl observed there were a few prisoners who “never lost their ideals in the depths of degradation” and possessed a humor that offered necessary self-detachment and reprieve from the conditions. They endured their suffering honorably and remained as though undaunted in the face of the camp’s thoroughly abject reality. These odd behaviors, however small in number, Frankl concluded, suffice as proof that the “work of choosing” and the “will to meaning” become the “soul’s weapon in the fight for self-preservation.” As long as there is a deep sense of meaning that fortifies the spirit, an individual can suffer without despair and not become subject to decay. Logotherapy presupposes that man’s inherent will to meaning and freedom of choice are the authors to his own personality: “Man is more than psyche. […] Man is a self-determining being, man decides what his existence will be, what he will become in the next moment.” The antithesis of surrendering to the machinery of the base instincts is the discipline of making conscious decisions in each moment. Between stimulus and response is a space of freedom that is solely determined by the individual’s volition.

  18. 5 out of 5

    K.D. Absolutely

    The sun is slowly rising up ushering the dawning of a new day. The mother and the father are sipping their first cups of coffee. Their schooling children are rising up from their bed. The mother attends to her children’s daily routine. She bathes, feeds them their breakfast and makes sure that their things are all in their individual school bags. Para Kanino Ka Bumabangon? (translation: Whom Do You Wake Up For?) is heard as a voice over. This is Nestle’s TV ad for Nescafe coffee but it sends a v The sun is slowly rising up ushering the dawning of a new day. The mother and the father are sipping their first cups of coffee. Their schooling children are rising up from their bed. The mother attends to her children’s daily routine. She bathes, feeds them their breakfast and makes sure that their things are all in their individual school bags. Para Kanino Ka Bumabangon? (translation: Whom Do You Wake Up For?) is heard as a voice over. This is Nestle’s TV ad for Nescafe coffee but it sends a very clear message: that each of us has our own reason for living and this reason is the meaning of our life, our existence. In a nutshell, this is what Viktor Emil Frankl (1905-1997) an Austrian Jew, neurologist, psychiatrist and a Holocaust survivor, is saying in this 1946 originally-published book, Man’s Search for Meaning. He says that the life of each one of us has its own meaning. That meaning cannot be generalized. His theory of logotherapy which is a form of Existential Analysis, can be used to determine one’s meaning for living or even suffering. Using his horrendous experiences at Auschwitz concentration camp, which he narrated in the first part of this book, he said that he and the other survivors kept themselves alive by imaging and looking forward to their lives after the war. Those who felt hopeless and they could not picture themselves reuniting with their families after the war, perished. As if they had no longer any reason for living and thus they chose to die rather than to survive. He also said that we should not ask for the meaning of our life. Rather, we should ask what life wants from us. I have read several books about the holocaust. I have seen and liked Steven Spielberg’s Schindler’s List and read and liked Thomas Keneally’s Schindler’s Ark, Imre Kertesz’s Fatelessness, Elie Wiesel’s Night, Victor Klemperer’s I Will Bear Witness and of course Anne Frank’s Diary of the Young Girl. That’s why the first part of this book did not shock me anymore. However, there are some parts here that were new to me like Frankl’s heavy interactions with the Gapos, co-inmates but they have leadership positions and also he, as a doctor, had a chance to escape from the Auschwitz concentration camp together with another doctor. This was the first time I heard that a prisoner could well, almost successfully escape the camp. The second part of the book is more on clinical analysis and theories about logotheraphy which Frankl pioneered. It is similar to psychotherapy but this one is more forward-looking. It is a type of existentialist analysis that focuses on a will to meaning as opposed to Adler’s Nietzchean doctrine of will to power or Freud’s will to pleasure. Rather than power or pleasure, logotherapy is founded upon the belief that it is the striving to find a meaning in one's life that is the primary, most powerful motivating and driving force in humans. (Source: Wikipedia). And this striving to find a meaning is the reason why we wake up each morning. Ikaw, para kanino ka bumabangon?

  19. 5 out of 5

    Diane

    This is a fascinating book by a psychiatrist who survived the Holocaust. The first part, which I loved, is the author's story about how he endured the concentration camps. Frankl's purpose in describing his time in Auschwitz and other camps was not to dwell on the horrors -- though there were plenty of those -- but instead to focus on how prisoners found meaning in their lives and how they chose to survive. The book's foreword has a good summary of the ideas to come: "Terrible as it was, his exp This is a fascinating book by a psychiatrist who survived the Holocaust. The first part, which I loved, is the author's story about how he endured the concentration camps. Frankl's purpose in describing his time in Auschwitz and other camps was not to dwell on the horrors -- though there were plenty of those -- but instead to focus on how prisoners found meaning in their lives and how they chose to survive. The book's foreword has a good summary of the ideas to come: "Terrible as it was, his experience in Auschwitz reinforced what was already one of his key ideas: Life is not primarily a quest for pleasure, as Freud believed, or a quest for power, as Alfred Adler taught, but a quest for meaning. The greatest task for any person is to find meaning in his or her life. Frankl saw three possible sources for meaning: in work (doing something significant), in love (caring for another person), and in courage during difficult times. Suffering in and of itself is meaningless; we give suffering meaning by the way in which we respond to it." I have read Elie Wiesel's Night and Art Spiegelman's Maus books, both of which provide searing images of the horrors of the camps, but Frankl's description of Auschwitz is noteworthy because he was able to view his ordeal philosophically. In the midst of hell on earth, he had the brilliant focus of a scholar who was trying to see beyond the present and into greater human truths. At spare moments in his work at doctoring sick patients in the camp, he would jot down ideas for a manuscript. And one night when prisoners were forced to march in the bitter cold, Frankl was wondering if his wife was still alive when he had a realization: "A thought transfixed me: for the first time in my life I saw the truth as it is set into song by so many poets, proclaimed as the final wisdom by so many thinkers. The truth -- that love is the ultimate and the highest goal to which man can aspire. Then I grasped the meaning of the greatest secret that human poetry and human thought and belief have to impart: The salvation of man is through love and in love. I understood how a man who has nothing left in this world still may know bliss, be it only for a brief moment, in the contemplation of his beloved." Frankl described the different attitudes of prisoners, and how some people gave up hope of living and they soon died. Those who focused on their reasons for living had a better chance of survival. "We who lived in concentration camps can remember the men who walked through the huts comforting others, giving away their last piece of bread. They may have been few in number, but they offer sufficient proof that everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms -- to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way." The second part of the book focuses on Frankl's system of logotherapy, which is about finding someone's primary meaning in life, and this section is more difficult to read and seems to be geared toward graduate students in psychology. The 2006 edition that I read had a lovely afterword giving more details about Frankl's life and the impact of his work. One story was about a young Israeli soldier who had lost both his legs in battle and who was depressed and suicidal. Then the soldier became more serene after reading Man's Search for Meaning. "When he was told about the soldier, Frankl wondered whether 'there may be such a thing as autobibliotherapy -- healing through reading.'" (As someone who frequently finds comfort in books, I say yes, autobibliotherapy is real.) When Frankl's camp was finally liberated by the Red Cross in 1945, he moved to Vienna. He discovered that he was all alone -- his wife, parents and brother had all died in the camps. Frankl chose to resume his career as a psychiatrist, wrote several books and gave innumerable lectures. In one of his classes he was asked to express the meaning of his own life in one sentence. He wrote it down and asked his students to guess what had been written: "After some moments of quiet reflection, a student surprised Frankl by saying, 'The meaning of your life is to help others find the meaning of theirs.' "'That was it exactly,' Frankl said. 'Those are the very words I had written.'" Note: Originally I gave this book 4 stars, having docked a star because of the denseness of the second part. But the first part of this book is so powerful and memorable that I've raised it back up to a 5.

  20. 4 out of 5

    J.L. Sutton

    In Man's Search for Meaning, Victor Frankl begins his description of life in Nazi concentration camps (including Auschwitz) with the premise that life in the camps represents a provisional existence. In what must have seemed hopeless circumstances, is there any point in searching for meaning for one's life? Frankl does not dwell on the atrocities, but he does detail the mindset of his fellow prisoners facing what most of them knew was their death (as well as the death of their loved ones). Using In Man's Search for Meaning, Victor Frankl begins his description of life in Nazi concentration camps (including Auschwitz) with the premise that life in the camps represents a provisional existence. In what must have seemed hopeless circumstances, is there any point in searching for meaning for one's life? Frankl does not dwell on the atrocities, but he does detail the mindset of his fellow prisoners facing what most of them knew was their death (as well as the death of their loved ones). Using his experiences as a guide, he outlines his ideas about logotherapy while finding reason to hold to a 'tragic optimism.' There are other essential books detailing life in concentration camps (I'm thinking especially of Primo Levi's Life in Auschwitz), but Frankl's is an important work which should be read by those who seek to understand how concentration camp prisoners faced their ordeal.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Trevor

    I’ve been meaning to read this for a very long time, but have to admit that the idea of reading a book by someone who survived the Holocaust with long descriptions of that part of their life included with graphic detail didn’t really make me want to jump at the chance. And this book is harrowing – particularly the first half or so – the pain is infinite. I was also keen to find out what he felt he learnt from this experience about how to live a good life. I have to say that I found this part of I’ve been meaning to read this for a very long time, but have to admit that the idea of reading a book by someone who survived the Holocaust with long descriptions of that part of their life included with graphic detail didn’t really make me want to jump at the chance. And this book is harrowing – particularly the first half or so – the pain is infinite. I was also keen to find out what he felt he learnt from this experience about how to live a good life. I have to say that I found this part of the book quite unsatisfying. His discussion of ‘logotherapy’ left me cold, I’m afraid. I don’t really like books that say things that amount to – this guy came to see me about some problem that had plagued his life for decades, I said three sentences to him and he went away with a skip and a spring in his step. There are bits of this that are worthwhile – you know, suffering isn’t an ‘and also’ in life, but often learning how to live with (rather than overcome) suffering is our key task. Yes, I think the Buddha said something similar. That life is better with a meaning is also hardly novel either, although, I guess not something the Buddha said, so much. Psychology is a subject that inevitably stresses the position of the individual, and the psychology of a man who has lived through an experience where those with power held his life in utter contempt and enjoyed making it clear to him that his ongoing existence was completely at their discretion would hardly encourage him to seek meaning in ‘grand projects’ and such. But I don’t really like psychology and worry it gazes wistfully down the wrong end of the telescope. I feel awful writing this review, by the way. It feels disrespectful to criticise a book written by someone who lived through something so utterly unimaginable and disgusting. But this is a book providing advice on how one should live one’s life – and even though people tend to think that having lived through the unspeakable is qualification enough to write such a book, I find I can’t really agree. As he makes too clear, sometimes we can look into the abyss and learn nothing from it at all. What he has learnt is better than what some of his fellow prisoners learnt, but if anything this book should be a reminder that someone forced to live through the banality of evil isn’t really under obligations to learn cuddly and life-affirming lessons from that experience. All to the good if that is what you do learn – but it does seem to compound the punishment of such an experience if such ‘lessons’ become mandatory.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Thomas

    While reading Man's Search for Meaning, I could not stop thinking: why can't I be a psychologist now? By the time I reached page 103, I wanted to highlight passage after passage, or at least add them to my favorite quotes on Goodreads to preserve their impact forever. Frankl divides his inspiring book into two parts. The first describes his experience living in Nazi death camps and how he dealt with the doom and decay that always surrounded him. He laces his story with astute, dispassionate obser While reading Man's Search for Meaning, I could not stop thinking: why can't I be a psychologist now? By the time I reached page 103, I wanted to highlight passage after passage, or at least add them to my favorite quotes on Goodreads to preserve their impact forever. Frankl divides his inspiring book into two parts. The first describes his experience living in Nazi death camps and how he dealt with the doom and decay that always surrounded him. He laces his story with astute, dispassionate observations about his emotions and the suffering of those around him. The second section explores a type of therapy that arose from his time in the death camps: logotherapy. Logotherapy focuses on helping people find meaning in their lives, to give them a greater sense of purpose and to push them past the obstacles they face. He writes that people can discover meaning in three different ways: 1) by creating a work or doing a deed, 2) by experiencing something or encountering someone, and 3) by the attitude we take toward unavoidable suffering (this last option is only meaningful when the first two are unavailable). Overall, I would recommend this book to those interested in psychology, or those who want to read an inspiring tale by someone who survived the Nazi death camps and used his experience to transcend himself. Frankl veers into the spiritual side in the second portion of the book, which might perturb a few people, but for the most part he keeps his ideas open to everyone. For the rest of the review I'm just going to write down all of the book because it was so good a few of the quotes about logotherapy that stood out to me, so I can reference them later on. Feel free to read or skip. (about man and meaning) "As each situation in life represents a challenge to man and presents a problem for him to solve, the question of the meaning of life may actually be reversed. Ultimately, man should not ask what the meaning of his life is, but rather he must recognize that it is he who is asked. In a word, each man is questioned by life; and he can only answer to life by answering for his own life; to life he can only respond by becoming responsible. Thus, logotherapy sees in responsibleness the very essence of human existence." (about transcending the self) "By declaring that man is responsible and must actualize the potential meaning of his life, I wish to stress that the true meaning of life is to be discovered in the world rather than within man or his own psyche, as though it were a closed system. I have termed this constitutive characteristic 'the self-transcendence of human existence.' It denotes the fact that being human always points, and is directed, to something or someone, other than oneself - be it a meaning to fulfill or another human being to encounter. The more one forgets himself - by giving himself to a cause to serve or another person to love - the more human he is and the more he actualizes himself. What is self-actualization is not an attainable aim at all, for the simple reason that the more one would strive for it, the more he would miss it. In other words, self-actualization is possible only as a side-effect of self-transcendence." (about how we mistakenly use money and sex to replicate meaning) "Moreover, there are various masks and guises under which the existential vacuum appears. Sometimes the frustrated will to meaning is vicariously compensated for by a will to power, including the most primitive form of the will to power, the will to money. In other cases, the place of frustrated will is meaning is taken by the will to pleasure. That is why existential frustration often eventuates in sexual compensation. We can observe in such cases that the sexual libido becomes rampant in the existential vacuum." Of course I would love to include a few more passages, but I want to avoid writing down the entire book. Perhaps I will purchase a copy, then.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Roy Lotz

    An abnormal reaction to an abnormal situation is normal behavior. Viktor Frankl, at the age of 39, was sent to a concentration camp to endure dehumanizing conditions while being used for slave labor. While there, he lost his brother, mother, and wife. Upon his release, he re-commenced developing and teaching his own brand of therapy: logotherapy. This book is a rather strange hybrid. In the first part, Frankl gives an overview of his time in the camps, paying special attention to the psycho An abnormal reaction to an abnormal situation is normal behavior. Viktor Frankl, at the age of 39, was sent to a concentration camp to endure dehumanizing conditions while being used for slave labor. While there, he lost his brother, mother, and wife. Upon his release, he re-commenced developing and teaching his own brand of therapy: logotherapy. This book is a rather strange hybrid. In the first part, Frankl gives an overview of his time in the camps, paying special attention to the psychological repercussions of being so inhumanely treated. This leads to a general overview of his psychological theories, in part two, in which he argues that the search for meaning is of fundamental importance to the human psyche. I feel odd saying this, but the book left me feeling a bit cold. I found his descriptions of the concentration camp to be, however gruesome and depressing, somewhat detached in tone, which prevented me from being deeply affected. I do think he did a skillful job in conveying the day-to-day horrors of the experience; but the fact that this description is simply the foreground to a therapeutic theory somewhat detracts from its force, in my opinion. Maybe I only think this because I wasn’t too impressed with logotherapy, Frankl’s system of psychology. This therapeutic technique relies on helping patients to find a meaning in their lives. But I don’t think Frankl defines what “meaning” is very well, nor does he give much practical advice in the way of finding it. The theory all just seemed like a bunch of vague talk to me. I couldn’t see any usefulness or theoretical insight in Frankl’s system. I found it to be little more than a collection of platitudes. Perhaps I am unimpressed because we have already absorbed much of this existentialist-tinged psychotherapy into our culture? Perhaps my lack of excitement is a sign of this book’s enormous influence? I can’t say. But if you're curious, I recommend you read the book. It is short enough to be read in a day, and yet packs an impressive amount of narration and thought into its pages.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Cortney

    There must be something wrong with me. This is a book that everyone is supposed to love. But I didn't. I didn't even like it. I only gave it three stars because I would have felt like a first class jerk giving it only two stars. Here's the thing- I love WWII stories- The Hiding Place, Anne Frank, etc. But Man's Search for Meaning had no emotion in it. It was so clinical and frankly quite boring. The first section- Experiences in a Concentration Camp- was ok, but as I said, contained no emotion. Th There must be something wrong with me. This is a book that everyone is supposed to love. But I didn't. I didn't even like it. I only gave it three stars because I would have felt like a first class jerk giving it only two stars. Here's the thing- I love WWII stories- The Hiding Place, Anne Frank, etc. But Man's Search for Meaning had no emotion in it. It was so clinical and frankly quite boring. The first section- Experiences in a Concentration Camp- was ok, but as I said, contained no emotion. The next two sections- Logotherapy in a Nutshell and The Case for Tragic Optimism- were excruciating the muddle through. It's a really good thing that I didn't major in psychology, philosophy, etc because I would have slept through the textbooks and flunked out of college. These last two sections of the book put me to sleep several times. This was quite a disappointment. I thought Man's Search for Meaning was supposed to be one of "those" books- you know the ones that are super-fabulous and make you see the world in a different way. It wasn't. But, I have to end on a positive note- so here is a quote that I liked... from pg 116- The Meaning of Love- "Love is the only way to grasp another human being in the innermost core of his personality. No one can become fully aware of the very essence of another human being unless he loves him. By his love he is enabled to see the essential traits and features in the beloved person; and even more, he see that which is potential in him, which is not yet actualized but yet ought to be actualized. Furthermore, by his love, the loving person enables the beloved person to actualize these potentialities. By making him aware of what he can be and of what he should become, he makes these potentialities come true."

  25. 4 out of 5

    Wendyslc

    Reading this book in high school changed my life. I grew up in an abusive home and was in constant survival mode. After reading this book I realized that I had a choice. I could let my circumstances dictate my attitude or I could choose my attitude, which could then change my circumstances. Becoming an adult is the hardest thing we ever do. Being an adult means accepting responsibility for your thoughts, actions and character. I realized that I can choose my thoughts and actions regardless of my Reading this book in high school changed my life. I grew up in an abusive home and was in constant survival mode. After reading this book I realized that I had a choice. I could let my circumstances dictate my attitude or I could choose my attitude, which could then change my circumstances. Becoming an adult is the hardest thing we ever do. Being an adult means accepting responsibility for your thoughts, actions and character. I realized that I can choose my thoughts and actions regardless of my past or present after reading this book. I finally understood that work and life are good. As I discipline my attitude, I have more opportunities for service. I can teach with love and have compassion for all around me. I can serve with a humble attitude, which gives my existence meaning. This book enlightened me and helped me to expand my ability to practice patience. I am more positive. I understand that all humans are striving everyday. What I think and choose to do are under my control. I can choose an attitude with a long term perspective and motivate my life to a higher meaning. This is the ultimate book on self motivation.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Greta G

    Dr. Frankl didn't invent it, "The Meaning of Life". But he invented Logotherapy, that is based on it. The book consists of two parts. The first is a short autobiography of his time in the concentration camps, as he experienced it as a logotherapist. The second part of the book is an introduction to his therapeutic doctrine of Logotherapy. He added this chapter to his book because there was a great demand for it by readers. The second chapter therefore will only appeal to readers who want to know Dr. Frankl didn't invent it, "The Meaning of Life". But he invented Logotherapy, that is based on it. The book consists of two parts. The first is a short autobiography of his time in the concentration camps, as he experienced it as a logotherapist. The second part of the book is an introduction to his therapeutic doctrine of Logotherapy. He added this chapter to his book because there was a great demand for it by readers. The second chapter therefore will only appeal to readers who want to know more about his therapy, and about mental health in general, or how he came to write his experiences in the camp the way he did. “ Logos is a Greek word which denotes “meaning.” Logotherapy, or, as it has been called by some authors, “The Third Viennese School of Psychotherapy,” focuses on the meaning of human existence as well as on man’s search for such a meaning. According to logotherapy, this striving to find a meaning in one’s life is the primary motivational force in man. ” According to his doctrine, the feeling of meaninglessness must be treated in assisting the patient to find meaning in his life : “By declaring that man is responsible and must actualize the potential meaning of his life, I wish to stress that the true meaning of life is to be discovered in the world rather than within man or his own psyche, as though it were a closed system. I have termed this constitutive characteristic “the self-transcendence of human existence.” It denotes the fact that being human always points, and is directed, to something, or someone, other than oneself—be it a meaning to fulfill or another human being to encounter. The more one forgets himself—by giving himself to a cause to serve or another person to love—the more human he is and the more he actualizes himself.” “According to logotherapy, we can discover this meaning in life in three different ways: (1) by creating a work or doing a deed; (2) by experiencing something or encountering someone; and (3) by the attitude we take toward unavoidable suffering.” It is his doctrine about the meaning of life that can be found in the attitude toward suffering, that Dr. Frankl applies to his experiences in the camp. Therefore, the first section of the book, is more a study of his experiences, based on this premise, rather than an autobiography. He observed the way how both he and others in Auschwitz coped (or didn’t) with the experience. To me, it's the ultimate testing of his doctrine, based on the universal search for a meaning in one's life. Can there really be found some good in an experience so abysmally bad ? Can there really be given a higher meaning to suffering, in order to survive the suffering ? This is what this book is all about. Dr. Frankl tries to explain how everyday life in a concentration camp was reflected in the mind of the average prisoner ; his book (first chapter) aims to be a psychology of a concentration camp. He describes three phases of the inmate’s mental reactions to camp life : the period following his admission ; the period when he is well entrenched in camp routine ; and the period following his release and liberation. The symptom that characterizes the first phase is shock and the 'delusion of reprieve'. The second phase is the phase of relative apathy, in which the inmate achieves a kind of emotional death. Apathy, the main symptom of the second phase, was a necessary mechanism of self-defense. It is in this part of the book, that Dr. Frankl implements his theories. He is convinced that "the way in which a man accepts his fate and all the suffering it entails, the way in which he takes up his cross, gives him ample opportunity—even under the most difficult circumstances—to add a deeper meaning to his life. It may remain brave, dignified and unselfish. “Any attempt at fighting the camp’s psychopathological influence on the prisoner by psychotherapeutic or psychohygienic methods had to aim at giving him inner strength by pointing out to him a future goal to which he could look forward. Instinctively some of the prisoners attempted to find one on their own. It is a peculiarity of man that he can only live by looking to the future—sub specie aeternitatis. And this is his salvation in the most difficult moments of his existence, although he sometimes has to force his mind to the task.” The last phase is the psychology of the prisoner who has been released. For most, it was a “disillusionment”, "“there could be no earthly happiness which could compensate for all we had suffered.” This is definitely a book that make you think, about meaning in life in general, and about the meaning of suffering in particular. It helps to understand the experiences and the sufferings of the inmates, and above all their behaviors in response to these experiences, which for someone who has not been there, may seem inconceivable. To me, it was very useful to better understand the biographies of Holocaust survivors that I have read so far. Imre Kertèsz's nostalgic memories of camp's life after his release ; the importance of religion in the camp, as described by Eli Wiesel ; the strong will to survive by Olga Lengyel, in order to testify about what she and others endured ... And so much more. One thing that I missed in Dr. Frankl's psychology of the prisoner who has been released, was the feeling of guilt that he and not others had survived. Apparently, many survivors struggled with this guilt. I would have liked it to be handled in the book. I also think that the small part of prisoners who were able to find a higher meaning in their suffering, had been given some opportunity, by mere luck, to find a meaning. Dr. Frankl himself believed that his wife was still alive ; he was given the opportunity to work as a doctor in the camp, which he accepted, because : “ I knew that in a working party I would die in a short time. But if I had to die there might at least be some sense in my death. I thought that it would doubtless be more to the purpose to try and help my comrades as a doctor than to vegetate or finally lose my life as the unproductive laborer that I was then.” To me, the question arises, what he would have written if he hadn't had these circumstances which enabled him to see a meaning, a purpose in the suffering. For a great deal of the prisoners, who had been taken everything - their house and everything in it ; their family, friends and neighborhood - and who had to do unproductive labor in extremely harsh conditions every day, and who didn't met kindness but only cruelty, what was left to them to live for ? What meaning was there to be found in their world ? No therapy in the world could help these poor poor creatures, who were completely dehumanized. In reading this book you will ask yourself these kind of questions, and many others, which in itself is a great achievement by Dr. Frankl. For Dr. Frankl, writing his book probably also was a form of self-therapy to cope with his experiences, in finding a meaning in it. 7/10

  27. 4 out of 5

    Brendan Monroe

    This is the kind of book that demands a five-star review. The thing is called "Man's Search for Meaning" for crying out loud. And it's written by a guy who survived four Nazi concentration camps. FOUR! What kind of philistine would give this anything less than five stars or, at the very least, four? Ahem, well, this does indeed put me in an uncomfortable spot. I didn't read Viktor Frankl's book with the intention of only giving it two stars, I promise. I would have loved to have given it five. I This is the kind of book that demands a five-star review. The thing is called "Man's Search for Meaning" for crying out loud. And it's written by a guy who survived four Nazi concentration camps. FOUR! What kind of philistine would give this anything less than five stars or, at the very least, four? Ahem, well, this does indeed put me in an uncomfortable spot. I didn't read Viktor Frankl's book with the intention of only giving it two stars, I promise. I would have loved to have given it five. In fact, if we're being honest with ourselves, I think we all know that this book has accumulated plenty of five star reviews it didn't deserve simply due to the trials of its author and because we like the fact that a survivor of infamous Nazi camps like Auschwitz and Dachau comes off as a surprisingly cheerful fellow. While I greatly admire the author and the optimism which clearly played a part in keeping him alive, I also can't help but find his book a rehashing of things that I thought were already pretty well-established. People need to feel some sense of meaning in order not to get depressed? The unemployed and those on welfare are more likely to view themselves as relatively insignificant and their actions as meaningless? Giving yourself some purpose helps you get through the day? I couldn't agree more. But didn't we all know that already? Perhaps these things are widely understood today because of the influence Viktor Frankl's book has had, but the reality is that Frankl was far from the first to suggest that one's meaning serves as a primary motivating factor. At times, Frankl comes off as disingenuous or even just plain wrong. Nihilism, he tells us, is dangerous, and bound to lead to despair and suicide. If a person is religious, we have a duty to use their religion to instill in them a sense of meaning and importance. In short, we must use whatever means are necessary to give people hope. But why? Frankl seems to think that the worst possible outcome for a human being is the desire to end their life, or the realization that they themselves really don't matter much in the overall scheme of things. At such times, Frankl seems to be espousing the gospel of ignorance. Lie to people, deceive them, do whatever is necessary to make them think that they matter. Surely suicide hotlines employ the same tactics. And I am all for potential suicides reading this book. This book changed your life? Great. Frankl misses no opportunity to attack Freud and his philosophy that the search for pleasure is humanity's ultimate drive. Frankl posits that it is meaning, not pleasure, that drives us. I think Dr. Frankl's own life experience proves the opposite. We're clearly living in a world that sees people largely driven not by meaning, but by an attempt to achieve pleasure for themselves. And that's a pity. I wish I lived in Dr. Frankl's world. It must be lovely. But such a world would never have allowed for the concentration camps to begin with. But the world Frankl describes is also rather at odds with the optimism he's selling. Is it really as bright and cheerful as it seems? Frankl at times comes off as Mother Theresa once did, as buying into the rather absurd idea that there is something noble and good in suffering. Frankl looks at the concentration camps and points to examples of goodness there. There's even room for a good Nazi or two. I couldn't help at this point but recall Ruth Klüger who wrote in her "Still Alive: A Holocaust Girlhood Remembered" of an encounter with some German advanced PhD candidates. "One reports how in Jerusalem he made the acquaintance of an old Hungarian Jew who was a survivor of Auschwitz, and yet this man cursed the Arabs and held them all in contempt. How can someone who comes from Auschwitz talk like that? the German asks. I get into the act and argue, perhaps more hotly than need be. What did he expect? Auschwitz was no instructional institution ... You learned nothing there, and least of all humanity and tolerance. Absolutely nothing good came out of the concentration camps, I hear myself saying, with my voice rising, and he expects catharsis, purgation, the sort of thing you go to the theatre for? They were the most useless, pointless establishments imaginable." Nothing good came out of the concentration camps? It seems that Frankl couldn't disagree more. On nearly every other page he is hailing the suffering of its victims. If one follows his thesis through, Frankl in fact seems to be arguing that the concentration camps did its victims a favor. It allowed them to suffer, nobly, and to gain some sense of their own meaning. It's nice to think so. I myself wanted to get carried away in this bubble of naively optimistic thinking, but if one thinks too hard about it the bubble bursts. When Frankl says that meaning is of the utmost importance, akin to the highest good, his examples seem to betray that meaning for him is synonymous with the will to survive. Death, the realization of one's own insignificance, is the greatest evil. It's the same Catholic, Teresian doctrine that hails the value of suffering over the comfort that death may offer. Frankl would, I am sure, argue that euthanasia is never permissible. He even cites a rather macabre example of a suffering invalid who holds onto life because, against science and all odds, he just might recover. To fuel this man's ignorance, and the ignorance of others like him, Frankl cites the fact that he himself managed to survive the concentration camps despite all the odds. While there is much in "Man's Search for Meaning" that I agree with, Frankl's essential doctrine believes a life of pain and hardship to be greater, more honorable, and, for sure, more moral than one lived in pursuit of pleasure. But is such a life worth living?

  28. 4 out of 5

    ☘Misericordia☘ ⚡ϟ⚡⛈⚡☁ ❇️❤❣

    Q: There is much wisdom in the words of Nietzsche: "He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how”. (c) Q: We who have come back, by the aid of many lucky chances or miracles - whatever one may choose to call them - we know: the best of us did not return. (c) A very hard to read book, which could be used as an antidepressant. If people can live through this, if you can write a book in your head, as a self-therapy so as not lose oneself or die from pain and fear and utter despair... then peop Q: There is much wisdom in the words of Nietzsche: "He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how”. (c) Q: We who have come back, by the aid of many lucky chances or miracles - whatever one may choose to call them - we know: the best of us did not return. (c) A very hard to read book, which could be used as an antidepressant. If people can live through this, if you can write a book in your head, as a self-therapy so as not lose oneself or die from pain and fear and utter despair... then people can do anything. The author... well... people like the author must have been made from steel or maybe titanuim or diamonds... Incredible will to not only live but to overcome things that would have made anyone drop and cry and die inside. A reread. This needs to be reread multiple times to sink in. Q: Forces beyond your control can take away everything you possess except one thing, your freedom to choose how you will respond to the situation. You cannot control what happens to you in life, but you can always control what you will feel and do about what happens to you. .. Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way. (c) Q: An abnormal reaction to an abnormal situation is normal behavior. (c) Q: In some ways suffering ceases to be suffering at the moment it finds a meaning, such as the meaning of a sacrifice. (c) Q: So live as if you were living already for the second time and as if you had acted the first time as wrongly as you are about to act now! (c) Q: No man should judge unless he asks himself in absolute honesty whether in a similar situation he might not have done the same. (c) Q: Man does not simply exist but always decides what his existence will be, what he will become the next moment. By the same token, every human being has the freedom to change at any instant. (c) Q: Sunday neurosis, that kind of depression which afflicts people who become aware of the lack of content in their lives when the rush of the busy week is over and the void within themselves becomes manifest. (c) Q: As a professor in two fields, neurology and psychiatry, I am fully aware of the extent to which man is subject to biological, psychological and sociological conditions. But in addition to being a professor in two fields I am a survivor of four camps - concentration camps, that is - and as such I also bear witness to the unexpected extent to which man is capable of defying and braving even the worst conditions conceivable. (c) Q: I recommend that the Statue of Liberty on the East Coast be supplemented by a Statue of Responsiblity on the West Coast. (c) Funny guy, was a he a seer or something?

  29. 5 out of 5

    Jon Nakapalau

    Leni Riefenstahl showed us the Triumph of the Will...but Viktor E. Frankl shows us the Triumph of the Soul. This book really changed my perspective on Nazism: until I read this book I did not understand how systematic and premeditated genocide could be - how every aspect the Final Solution was taken into account by the state. Reading this book was one of the transformative moments of my life - highest recommendation.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Morgan Blackledge

    This gorgeous, heartbreaking, potent, transformative masterwork should be experienced by one and all. If words can change hearts and minds, and if books actually do matter, than this book matters as much as any. This book changed me. I refer to it every time I take a difficult step. Every time I face a challenge. Every time I forget what’s important. Every time I forget what makes life worth living. Frankl cured me of my youthful nihilism and my youthful idealism. Now, when I find myself searching This gorgeous, heartbreaking, potent, transformative masterwork should be experienced by one and all. If words can change hearts and minds, and if books actually do matter, than this book matters as much as any. This book changed me. I refer to it every time I take a difficult step. Every time I face a challenge. Every time I forget what’s important. Every time I forget what makes life worth living. Frankl cured me of my youthful nihilism and my youthful idealism. Now, when I find myself searching for meaning in the universe, I call off the search and get to the business of creating it, thanks in large part to this powerful little book.

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