Man's Search for Meaning an introduction to Logotherapy Mass Market Paperback – 1997
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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...Read more ›
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.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
An enduring classic. Be careful not to confuse it with its sequel, Man's Search for Ultimate Meaning, which is a very different book aimed at a specialist audience.Published 21 months ago by thomas pawlick
An unforgettable book from a man who lived a remarkable life. You will never permit yourself to whine again after reading this truly inspiring work.Published on Dec 12 2010 by The Transformer
This book would be instrumental to those who wish to understand the greater purpose behind their suffering. Read morePublished on July 4 2004 by Aaron A. Golub
Every now and then, I notice that a book is frequently mentioned in conversations or referenced in other works. Read morePublished on June 17 2004 by Matthew Dodd
Surely topics and questions that have not been sufficiently answered since time began (whenever that was). Read morePublished on May 14 2004 by Scamp Lumm
This book as was referenced by Denis Waitley's Psychology of Winning Tape/Book. Was one of the great changers of my life. Read morePublished on March 25 2004 by Craig M. Rosenblum
Man Search For Meaning is a timeless self help classic that is still best selling even though it was written in the 1940s. Read morePublished on March 8 2004 by Zev Saftlas
The first half of this book is the authors struggles held in a Nazi prison camp during the second world war. No matter how many times we here these stories they still hit you hard. Read morePublished on Feb. 3 2004 by T West