Friday, December 19, 2008


I have just finished reading a book by Viktor Frankl, a neurologist and psychiatrist, titled Man's Search for Meaning. He is the proponent of logotherapy from the word "logos" which means meaning. He upholds the will to meaning as opposed to Freud's will to pleasure and Adler's will to power.

His contention is that to live means to suffer and to survive means to find meaning in our suffering. He emphasized however that suffering in this context is suffering that is inevitable. Self-imposed suffering is not heroic, it is masochistic.

When I chanced to read the title of the book owned by a colleague, i immediately told him that i will be the next reader of the book. It was indeed very enlightening! He said that one should live in search of meaning for life, otherwise, you will be in the dungeon of darkness nowhere to go, and gaping for a trace light.

According to him, there is no general definition of life, after all, no two individuals are the same, and every person is living a different life. He further said that one's definition is very dynamic as it can change from time to time. It could be a split of a second.

Our search for meaning in our life serves as our compass in living the future. That gives us the inspiration to go on living even in the greatest tribulations of our life.

He also differentiated logotherapy from psychoanalysis. Phychoanalysis is like a painter. He has a picture in his mind drawn in a canvass for the viewer to see exactly what he wants them to see. On the other hand logotherapy is like an opthalmologist, he makes the people see a clearer picture of the world around us.

Man should not spend his lifetime pursuing for happiness, instead he should find reasons for him to be happy.

Man should not be self-actualizing, but rather self-transcendent. Self-actualizing is knowing the self by focusing only of the self, while self-transcendence is knowing the self by opening up to other people. Remember that how people see us is what we really are.

Enjoy reading the book because there's more to learn.

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