Showing posts from May, 2014

Viktor Frankl and the Will to Meaning

On the bus this afternoon, I finished reading Viktor Frankl's nonfiction classic, Man's Search for Meaning.  It is a short, two-part memoir, detailing first his experiences as a Nazi concentration camp survivor, and second, his own system of psychotherapy, logotherapy.  This latter is based on his belief that the driving force in human life is the search for life's meaning, as opposed to more materialistic or Freudian motives.  Frankl stresses the relationship between meaning and survival, as well as his assertion that a human being is not solely shaped by his or her surroundings.  On the contrary, a person in the worst of conditions is still left one liberty, and that is to choose the way they react to what is happening to them.

For such a short work, this was a fascinating read.  I give it 4.5 out of 5 stars and would actually recommend it to anyone, whether you are into psychology or not.  There were several points that particularly stood out to me:
The meaning of life di…