The Ultimate Meaning of Freedom

Topics: Meaning of life, Nazi concentration camps, Auschwitz concentration camp Pages: 3 (1018 words) Published: September 1, 2011
“The Ultimate Meaning of Freedom”

"Ultimately, man should not ask what the meaning of his life is, but rather must recognize that it is he who is asked. In a word, each man is questioned by life; and he can only answer to life by answering for his own life; to life he can only respond by being responsible." – Viktor Frankl

In this quote, Frankl explains that the answer to man’s search for meaning cannot be found in others, but he must find it himself without asking anyone for the straight answer. That answer can only be sought by himself, with the aid of his experiences, his feelings and the beginning to the end of the pain, agony and torment – whether it be in physical or emotional form.

Through his recollection of the experiences he had as a prisoner in Auschwitz, a concentration camp in Poland, Viktor Frankl explains the concept of seeking one’s own meaning in life, and that ultimate quest for freedom. He narrates their attempts to escape, the rare happiness which sometimes find its way into their huts and the sufferings of not only himself, but also of others: the friends he had acquired during his stay in Auschwitz, his colleagues, his patients inside the camp and even those whose name he only knew of as a number.

He answers the question about what keeps us going; what makes us treasure and preserve life even when we have lost almost everything we had once, when all hope seems to have vanished. For those of us who want to know what keeps us going and understand what that ultimate silver lining in our lives is – it is our search for meaning – about becoming aware of possibilities against the background of realities. It is the primary motivation in our lives and the drive to keep on living. Frankl said that while meaning of life always changes, it never ceases to be. There are ways in which to find the meaning of life: first, by creating a work or doing a deed; second, by experiencing something or encountering someone; and...
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