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Man's Search for Meaning an introduction to Logotherapy Mass Market Paperback – 1997

4.7 out of 5 stars 132 customer reviews

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Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback
  • Publisher: Pocket (1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0671023373
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671023379
  • Product Dimensions: 17.2 x 10.7 x 1.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 340 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars 132 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #166,173 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
After years of hearing others praise this book, I finally read it for myself, and found it is worth reading! Dr. Victor Frankl, an author-psychiatrist, experienced first-hand the horrible atrocities that were forced upon the Jews in Nazi Concentration Camps, and lived to tell about it. He shares the truths he learned as a prisoner, including man's search for meaning in life, and his ability to survive extreme physical and emotional hardships, despite the odds. In the process he developed a new approach to psychotherapy, known as "logotherapy." At the root of the theory is the value of helping others find their unique purpose or mission in life.
What was the key to the survival in the Nazi death camps? It wasn't survival of the fittest in the traditional sense of those who were the most physically robust of the human species. Rather it tended to be those individuals, described below, who found inner survival strength as follows:

(1.) Those who had a meaning in life, a sense of purpose, or intent to accomplish a goal. It was Dr. Frankl's desire to survive the death camps so that he could write and publish his experiences and truths learned through his suffering.
(2.) Those who had a spiritual belief in God and a faith that there was a divine plan for them. They believed God would help them through their difficulties. Dr. Frankl said: "In spite of all the enforced physical and mental primitiveness of the life in a concentration camp, it was possible for spiritual life to deepen."
(3.) Those who had an intellectual life to fall back on (in their thoughts) during the monotonous, strenuous, and most painful times of endurance. He states: "Sensitive people who were used to a rich intellectual life may have suffered much pain...
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By A Customer on July 16 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book was touching to the point that it was painful to read at times. Yet, the overall message of this book is wonderfully exhilarating. Whatever meaning you find in your life is your life. If that meaning gives you hope, you will have hope. If that meaning gives you despair, you will find despair. This is a fantastic piece of existential work! The whole idea in this book reminds me a bit of the concept of the self-system in Toru Sato's genius book "The Ever-Transcending Spirit". Now "The Ever-Transcending Spirit" is a much newer book but it is another truly excellent book that takes these things one step further by integrating these ideas with the psychology of relationships as well as transpersonal experiences. I recommend this Frankl and Sato's book very very much! They are both outstanding!
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
If you were assigned to read this book in school years ago, maybe you can't remember what all the fuss is about. At last count, 152 Amazon reviewers gave this book an average of 5 stars. It is undoubtably on the short list for "Books that Changed My Live" for countless people. I suggest that the real wisdom to be found in this book comes not on the first reading, but upon re-reading (luckily, the book is short and moves quickly, too). All of the self-help books out there, from Deepak Chopra to Stephen Covey to Dr. Phil, are mere twaddle compared to this book. There is more truth and wisdom in one sentence of Frankl than in many volumes of other books. Do yourself a favor and buy this book (and pass a copy on to a friend afterward). You will immediately see positive changes in your life. And don't be dissuaded by the context, believe it or not, this is a life-affirming book that happens to take place in a concentration camp.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
In my opinion, "Man's search for meaning" (1946) is a very interesting book, that will leave you with some practical knowledge easy to apply in your daily life. In a nutshell, and if you aren't feeling like reading a more or less long review, the main idea of this book is that "He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how".

The above quoted phrase is from Nietzsche, but don't jump to conclusions: Viktor Frankl (1905-1997) certainly does not share his philosophical ideas. Frankl merely chose one of Nietzsche's phrases as a way to crystallize his own ideas: that is, that the most important force in a person's life is his will to meaning. In a way, this book shows how Frankl reached that conclusion.

The first part of "Man's search for meaning" deals with the author's experiences in a Nazi concentration camp, and the lessons he draw from that torturous experience. Frankl said that those that survived had one thing in common, a purpose, and that "everything can be taken from 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 no matter the circumstance".

In the second part of this book, Frankl explains logotheraphy, the theory of psychotherapy he developed. According to the author, logotherapy focuses on the meaning of human existence as well as on a person's search for such meaning, and the consequent purpose. Frankl says that "The meaning of life always changes, but... it never ceases to be", and that we really find ourselves when we find it, or at least our own personal version of it.
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