Man’s Search for Meaning

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Date Submitted: 01/13/2013 11:02 AM

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I. Key Concepts Obtained from the Assigned Reading

In Man’s Search for Meaning, the first key concept captured is Viktor Frankl’s theory of Logotherapy in which he explained it was best to stay focused on the future even throughout all the injustices and horrible ordeals. Everything was taken from him, including his family, work and life as he knew it. He was stripped naked, assigned only a number, and was forced to live and work in terrible conditions. He suffered much, yet still his idea was to find meaning within the suffering in order to survive it. His guiding motto were the words of Nietzsche, “He who has a why to live for can bear any how” (Frankl, 1984).

Logotherapy treatment includes an awareness experience in which a person participates in action and reflection activities to find, discover, actualize and get in touch with his or her own meaning and meaning-potentials that have been covered, hidden, denied, or repressed (Lantz, 2006). Logotherapy provides motivation that allows a way for one to sustain mental health throughout distressing situations. By focusing on ideas and thoughts beyond himself and beyond the immediate, Frankl managed to maintain sanity and hope, explained Rabbi Reuven Bulka (Koven, 2005). For those who could not understand or practice logotherapy and who closed their eyes to live in the past, life became meaningless (Frankl, 1984).

Another key concept that Frankl explained was that the only thing that mattered was what life expected from us, not our own personal expectations of life. With fate in control, our attitudes, responses and actions are the unique things which lead us to our destiny. Regardless of the circumstances life provides us, even in the face of death, there are always hidden opportunities for achievement. Doing nothing meant losing hope, which also meant losing the will to survive. An example was Frankl’s frustration with his mind’s constant thoughts of the everyday oppressions of camp life. He made the conscious...