Man's Search for Meaning

Topics: Meaning of life, Human, Psychology Pages: 3 (967 words) Published: December 6, 2005
In Man's Search for Meaning, Viktor Frankl describes his revolutionary type of psychotherapy. He calls this therapy, logotherapy, from the Greek word "logos", which denotes meaning. This is centered on man's primary motivation of his search for meaning. To Frankl, finding meaning in life is a stronger force than any subconscious drive. He draws from his own experiences in a Nazi concentration camp to create and support this philosophy of man's existence.

Frankl endured much suffering during his time in the concentration camp. All of his possessions were taken away, including his manuscript in which he recorded all of his life's work. He went through rough manual labor, marching through freezing temperatures, and little or no food. To add to this, he didn't even know if his wife was alive or if she had been killed when they were separated. However, throughout all this, Frankl was able to keep his hopes alive, and still care for his fellow man. This is due to his philosophy of person. He figured that the key to surviving in those horrible conditions was to find a meaning in his life. Once there is a meaning to live for, there will be a will to live.

Finding a meaning in life is the most important thing according to Frankl. This is the core of his philosophy, and claims that it is the core of human existence. In his view, anything can attribute to be something to live for. Love is perhaps the strongest motivation, but even someone can even find fulfillment in his profession. According to logotherapy, we can find meaning in three ways. Man can either create a work or do a good deed, experience something or encountering someone, or by the attitude we take toward unavoidable suffering can we discover a meaning in life.

Love according to Frankl is the only way to fully understand another human being completely. You can't be aware of the essence of another person unless you love them. Love becomes one of the strongest drives for human meaning....
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