Man’s Search for Meaning Review and Logotherapy

The book “Man’s Search for Meaning” written by Victor E. Frankl, which started with his concentration camp experiences, with descriptions of the concentration camp that reminds us of the Zimbardo experiment; strikingly and impressively, it turns our eyes towards the second world war. The most blood-filled parts are that it is not an experiment, but it is about a set of experiences and experiences that can be considered almost autobiographical.

Humans get used to everything, but don’t ask how In the book, which also contains a quote from Dostoevsky, it is mentioned that the prisoners can stay without sleep for many hours, they can stay without food for long hours, and moreover, they can continue their lives despite the wounds on their bodies. When a prisoner comes to warn the others and points to Frankl and says, “You are in danger, you look weak”, a truth is grasped, which is that prisoners who are not strong enough to work can be sent to the gas chamber at any time…

The tension caused by the cold in the shoes, the pain at every step, the dirt in the barracks, the sleeping together of many prisoners at night, hunger, even physical and psychological torture, none of them can be greater than the pain they suffer when their relatives come to their minds and think about what they are doing now and whether they will ever see them again.

While talking about normal reactions to an abnormal situation, Frankl states that prisoners trying to adapt to camp life go through almost the same stages as traumatized people. A temporary state of insensitivity and apathy following the shock phase and resistance as the first phase. The prisoner is no longer affected by anything; even a twelve-year-old boy coming to the infirmary with frozen fingers, as mentioned in the book! Frankl mentions that the loss of emotion at this stage is a necessary defense mechanism and a great focus on protecting one’s own life. However, the desires of the camp residents appear in their dreams, which is sometimes a hot bath and a good meal, and sometimes they see the day when they will come out of here.

Frankl speaks of the terrible contrast of dreams and reality. While some provide short-term satisfaction of impulses, they say that the emotional gap that will occur when you wake up and face the truth will not be good for the resistance level of the person for that moment. This also leads to contradictions, such as prisoners giving each other recipes. dangeroussimilar to an action.

These people, who experience a deep sense of hopelessness, fall into a cultural hibernation, in Frankl’s words. Although the ways of coping with this situation were different from each other, the common denominator was that they suffered the same pain and thought about their loved ones and past lives with a corner of their mind. One part that impressed me more than the book was Frankl’s wife, who came to mind one day when the prisoners were walking in the freezing cold with commands and kicks to go to their jobs. “Real: The ultimate and highest goal one can yearn for is love. .” Frankl’s wife’s dream and description of this moment fell upon the second world war as our tears.

Logotherapy with its General Principles

Logotherapy: Logos: It is a Greek word meaning meaning. Logotherapy basically; “ The search for a meaning in one’s own life is the main motivational force in man. In this respect, it emerges as a counter to Freud’s pleasure principle and Adler’s search for superiority. Frankl argues that the basic motive in life is the search for meaning. Man asserts that he is capable of living and dying for his ideals and values.

If the human will to meaning is blocked, then logotherapy speaks of existential frustration. Existential frustration is not pathological in itself, nor is it pathogenic. A person’s anxiety and despair about the worth of life is an existential anxiety.

The term ‘existential’ is used in three ways: 1) to describe oneself, that is, the state of being human; 2) For the meaning of existence, and 3) As the will to meaning to find concrete meaning in personal existence.

From Frankl’s reference to Nietzsche in the book ” He who has a why to live can endure almost any how. Based on the expression ”, the fact that man has a goal and a meaning in life depicts that he raises the threshold to withstand even the tension of the concentration camp conditions. (This had existed in Frankl in the form of his deep desire to complete his scientific work.)

According to the theory, which states that tensions are structural in humans and asserts that mental health is indispensable: In order for man to find the meaning of his own life, he should not hesitate to challenge, fight freely for his goal and make choices on the paths of life.“What is needed is not to release tension, but to discover potential meaning.

According to Frankl; Patients who lack a sense of meaning worth living for, approach the concept of existential emptiness together with the emptiness within themselves.

  Existential space:Human behavior leads to desiring what others do or to do what other people want him to do (totalitarianism), which manifests itself mainly as boredom, and because motives and traditions do not tell him anything about what he should do.

What is the Meaning of Life?

Only man can answer the question of the meaning of life, and The addressee of this question is the person himself.

Essence of Existence” Live as if you were living it for the second time and as if you acted wrong as you are about to do it for the first time!It can be explained with the sentence ”. We can’t touch the past anymore, moments pass by every moment . This phrase, which stimulates the sense of responsibility, confronts the patient with a choice about what to do.

Logotherapists do not impose value judgments on the patient, they leave the essence of one’s life to themselves and stay away from judgments.

According to logotherapy, the meaning of life can be discovered in three different ways:

  1. By creating a work or doing a job;

  2. By experiencing something or interacting with a person;

  3. By developing an attitude towards inevitable pain.

Frankl gave a slightly more detailed explanation against the 2nd and 3rd items and explained that the meaning of the 2nd article is a human being. with love He wrote that it is related. Article 3 talks about the meaning of suffering and the potential of human beings to turn even a personal tragedy into a victory.

People’s search for meaning varies according to their value judgments and lives, and they make choices in life, the responsibility of these choices again belongs to the person himself. Claiming that human existence is fundamentally temporary, logotherapy follows an activist, not pessimistic, path in this regard. His point of view on the theme of old age: “ The surest proof of existence is that something has happened. ” is happening. The facts, meanings and experiences of the past create the meanings of human beings and save them from the warehouse of nothingness.

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