An amazing insight into what it was like to go from a happy, fulfilled life into hell on earth and back. The journey of Viktor Frankl is extraordinary and the lessons in this book should be shared with every human being on earth.
An amazing insight into what it was like to go from a happy, fulfilled life into hell on earth and back. The journey of Viktor Frankl is extraordinary and the lessons in this book should be shared with every human being on earth.
My Summary & Overall Thoughts
The first thing to mention is that this guy had the idea for this book BEFORE he got taken by the Germans to a concentration camp. This is vital to understand because he was thinking about the meaning of life before he went to the depths of hell.
After the camp, it was even more apparent that life is meaningless and that we have to give meaning to ourselves. Once we let go and think it’s really pointless, we die.
He saw men who were strong on the outside suffer on the inside. Men who were “softer” on the outside were stronger on the inside.
It’s weird to say but wasn’t he the perfect guy to experience this with his background? A book that was already written on the topic of meaning and psychotherapy. It would be a disservice to all these men and women who suffered for us NOT to learn from the hell hole of a human experiment that was WW2.
He is right in saying that today we have the means to live, but not the meaning. It’s the reverse. You can’t wait for meaning to get handed to you on a plate.
What is striking is how he explains the meaning. You don’t create a grand meaning to your life; you attribute meaning on day by day basis, hour by hour, task by task. What is the meaning I can give to the task at hand? If my next task is to suffer, then the meaning I have been given is to suffer. If it is to work a shit job right now, my meaning in life is to do this task at hand. Delaying judgment is another skill we can use to make sure we don’t get pulled into the sinkhole of hell. I just lost my job, what fucking meaning is that!? Well, delay the judgment; it could turn out to be the best thing that ever happened to you.
Meaning is something I’ve been wandering a lot, not from my perspective, but from my mother’s. She has lost her husband, her best friends, her entire circle is gone. What meaning is there now to her life? To wake up, go to work, come home, sleep, repeat? She has children, grandchildren but is that enough? No amount of telling her Viktor Frankl got through the holocaust and managed to live will help; only she can help herself.
Only she can decide to give meaning day by day—things to live for, a future that has possibilities. I hear stories of when she’s at work (cleaner for schools), and she and her work colleague are messing about in the school gym on the rowing machines! Or when she threw a ball, and her colleague fell over, she told me she laughed her head off all shift.
I think it’s little moments like this that keep us going through our darkest of times. Viktor Frankl even mentions that a sense of humor was still there during the darkest camp days. He claims that humor is vital, really laughing, it’s a medicine. It makes us human; it reminds us that this life isn’t all that serious. So while we probably don’t have a grand meaning, we do have the choice to give meaning on day by day basis. Task by task. That is life, and that is what it’s about.
✏️ NOTES & QUOTES
My notes are in bold with the ✏️ next to them
Man is ultimately self-determining. The ability to decide is at the centre of our being. Man does not only exist but always decides what his existence will be, what he will become in the next moment.
Everyone’s task is as unique as his specific opportunity to implement it.
Individual responsibility is core.
The statue of liberty should be supplemented with the statue of responsibility on the west coast.
✏️ Big fan of this. We want freedom without the responsibility!
“Everything can be taken from a man or a woman but one thing: the last of human freedoms to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”
✏️ Very similar to how the Stoics look at things. Things happen but it’s up to us how we respond. This is the wisdom shared across many philosophical schools, people, and cultures. Make it a focus!
“Live as if you were living already for the second time, and as though you had acted the first time as wrongly as you are about to act now!”
“To live is to suffer, to survive is to find meaning in the suffering.”
✏️ Similar to what the Buddha says. It’s hard to accept but this is the reality in general.
“But no man can tell another what his purpose is. Each must find out for himself, and must accept the responsibility that his answer prescribes.”
“He who has a why to live can bear with almost any how” Nietzsche.
“Don’t aim at success – the more you aim at it and make it a target, the more you are going to miss it. For success, like happiness, cannot be pursued; it must ensue, and it only does so as the unintended side-effect of one’s dedication to a cause greater than oneself or as the by-product of one’s surrender to a person other than oneself. Happiness must happen, and the same holds for success; you have to let it happen by not caring about it. ”
✏️ Love this. The world worships success and due to this, it’s the chief aim of many. It’s making more and more people miserable. Social media has only accelerated this. If you’re not successful then why even bother? That’s the mentality. Success doesn’t have to be competitive or done in comparison. If you flip the script, success to you can be to live every day in accordance with your virtues (moderation, honesty, etc) and giving each task at hand a meaning. Nobody can take that away from you.
In psychiatry, there is a certain condition known as ‘delusion of reprieve.’ The condemned man, immediately before his execution, gets the illusion that he might be reprieved at the very last minute. We, too, clung to shreds of hope and believed to the last moment that it would not be so bad. Just the sight of the red cheeks and round faces of those prisoners was a great encouragement. Little did we know then that they formed a specially chosen elite, who for years had been the receiving squad for new transports as they rolled into-the station day after day.
90% of people got ‘the finger,’ which meant death.
✏️ How crazy is this, a flick of one man’s finger likely killed 1000s.
They were nice to us as long as they saw watches on our wrists and could persuade us in well-meaning tones to hand them over. Would we not hand over all our possessions anyway, and why should not that relatively nice person have the watch? Maybe one day, he would do one good turn.
✏️ Strange as they could have just stolen the stuff anyways. I do think many of the SS soldiers were working-class background, many of the prisoners were wealthy and successful. In other writings about WW2 it seems some SS soldiers still thought of the jews as ‘better’ intellectually but this turned into brutality in the camps as it was often a ‘we the poor, harder workers’ vs you ‘the jews, the scum, the rich’ as you’ll see in other quotes.
Thus the illusion some of us still held was destroyed one by one, and the quote unexpectantly, most of us were overcome with a grim sense of humor. We knew that we had nothing to lose except our own ridiculous naked lives. When the showers started to run. we all tried very hard to make fun of, both of ourselves and about each other. After all, real water did flow from the sprays!
✏️ What else can you do? Humor is key not just day to day but when going through tough times too. Napoleon used humor during the dark times, prisoners of wars here do, examples in my own personal experience too. When going through a breakup or something that’s devastating (at that moment) someone making you laugh even when you don’t want to is often a great relief.
“Yes a man can get used to anything, but do not ask us how”
There is only one look, the look for work.
✏️ Aka be useful or you’ll die.
Therefore, remember, shave, stand and walk smartly, then you need not be afraid of gas
I spent some time in a hut for typhus patients who ran very high temperatures and were often delirious, many of them moribund. After one of them had just died, I watched without any emotional upset the scene that followed, which was repeated over and over again with each death. One by one the prisoners approached the still-warm body. One grabbed the remains of a messy meal of potatoes, another decided that the corpse’s wooden shoes were an improvement on his own and exchanged them. A third man did the same with the dead man’s coat, and another was glad to be able to secure some – just imagine – genuine string!
✏️ Sensitivity disappears if you’re faced with something over and over again. Even the most tragic of horrors it seems. Might be a useful lesson in that we can also become desensitized to what we fear such as public speaking, public gatherings, meeting new people, new jobs, fear of failure etc?
If my lack of emotion had not surprised me from the standpoint of professional interest, I would not remember this incident now because there was little feeling involved in it.
✏️ He gave a meaning to his survival, he had his “learning” lens on which meant he remembers more of the finer details.
Apathy, the blunting of the emotions and the feeling that one could not care anymore, were the symptoms arising during the second stage of prisoner’s psychological reactions, and which eventually made him insensitive to daily and hourly beatings. By means of this insensibility, the prisoner soon surrounded himself with a very necessary protective shell.
Then he began ‘You pig, I have been watching you the whole tme! I’ll teach you to work, yet! Wait till you dig dirt wit your teeth – you’ll die like an animal! In two days, I’ll finish you off! You’ve never done a stroke of work in your life. What were you, swine? A businessman?
I was past caring, But I had to take this threat of killing me seriously, so I straightened up and looked him directly in the eye “I was a doctor – a specialist.”
‘What? A doctor? I bet you got a lot of money out of people!”As it happens, I did most of my work for no money at all in my clinics’
✏️ Like I mentioned before it seems there was the fight of “working class vs elites” going on during the camps which likely made it even worse. Hitler did play on this, he played into the working class of Germany to rise up and fight against the rich bankers and business owners who betrayed them. (his claim)
Apathy, the main symptom of the second phase, was a necessary mechanism of self-defense. Reality dimmed, and all efforts and all emotions were centered on one task: preserving one’s own life and that of the other fellow. “Well, another day is over”
Psychoanalysis – guy often spoke of ‘regression’ in the camp inmate – a retreat to a more primitive form of mental life. His wishes and desires became obvious in his dreams.
Undernourishment, besides being the cause of the general preoccupation with food, probably also explains the fact that the sexual urge was generally absent. Apart from the initial effects of shock, this appears to be the only explanation of a phenomenon which a psychologist was bound to observe in those all-male-camps: that as opposed to all other strictly male establishments – such as army barracks – there was a little sexual perversion. Even in his dreams, the prisoner did not seem to concern himself with sex
✏️ Robert Sapolsky also speaks about this. Being under constant stress causes huge changes to the body
In general, there was also a ‘cultural hibernation’ in the camp. There were two exceptions to this” politics and religion. Politics were talked about everywhere in camp, almost continuously; the discussions were based chiefly on rumors, which were snapped up and passed around avidly. The rumors about the military situation were usually contradictory. They followed one another rapidly and succeeded only in making a contribution to the war of nerves that was waged in the minds of all the prisoners. Many times, hopes for a speedy end to the war, which had been fanned by optimistic rumors, were disappointed. Some men lost all hope, but it was the incorrigible optimists who were the most irritating companions.
In spite of all the enforced physical and mental primitiveness of life in a concentration camp, it was possible for spiritual life to deepen. Sensitive people who were used to a rich intellectual life may have suffered much pain (they were often of a delicate constitution), but the damage to their inner selves was less. They were able to retreat from their terrible surroundings to a life of inner riches and spiritual freedom. Only in this way can one explain the apparent paradox that some prisoners of less hardy make-up often seemed to survive camp life better than those of a robust nature. In order to make myself clear, I am forced to fall back on personal experience.
✏️ Interesting. A strong mind is more useful than a strong body. But combine both.
My mind still clings to the image of my wife. A thought crossed my mind: I didn’t even know if she were still alive. I knew only one thing – which I have learned well by now” love goes very far beyond the physical person of the beloved. It finds its deepest meaning in his spiritual being, his inner self. Whether or not he is actually present, whether or not he is still alive at all, ceases somehow to be of importance.
We were carried away by nature’s beauty, which we had missed for so long.
The meager pleasures of camp life provided a kind of negative happiness – ‘freedom from suffering’ as Schopenhauer put it – and even that in a relative way only.
No man should judge unless he asks himself in absolute honesty whether in a similar situation he might not have done the same
The prisoners saw themselves completely dependent on the moods of the guards – playthings of fate – and this made them even less human than the circumstances warranted
‘They tried to save themselves but they only sealed their own fates’
✏️ Hmmm, I wonder what I would have done? If I felt desperate and no other choice going 100% in on a 0.1% of escape would be worth the 0% chance of escape without trying. I can’t imagine the inner turmoil that they went through battling this decision daily.
This escape from commitment was most apparent when a prisoner had to make the decision for or against an escape attempt. In those minutes in which he had to make up his mind – and it was always a question of minutes – he suffered the tortures of hell. Should he make the attempt to flee? Should he take the risk?
Many weeks later we found out that even in those last hours, fate had toyed with us a few remaining prisoners. We found out just how uncertain human decisions are, especially in matters of life and death. I was confronted with photographs which had been taken in a small camp not fat from ours. Our friends who had thought they were traveling to freedom that night had been taken in the trucks to this camp, and there they were locked in the huts and burned to death. Their partially charred bodies were recognizable in the photograph. I thought again of Death in Teheran.
In attempting this psychological presentation and a psychopathological explanation of the typical characteristics of a concentration camp inmate, I may give the impression that the human being is completely and unavoidably influenced by his surroundings.
Take the fate of the sick – especially those who are incurable. I once read a letter written by a young invalid, in which he told a friend that he had just found out he would not live for long, that even an operation would be of no help. He wrote further that he remembered a film he had seen in which a man was portrayed who waited for death in a courageous and dignified way. The boy had thought t a great accomplishment to meet death so well. Now – he wrote – fate was offering him a similar chance.
There were an opportunity and a challenge. One could make a victory of those experiences, turning life into an inner triumph, or one could ignore the challenge and simply vegetate, as did a majority of the prisoners.
Emotion, which is suffering, ceases to be suffering as soon as we form a clear and precise picture of it
The prisoner who had lost faith in the future, his future, was doomed.
I once had a dramatic demonstration of the close link between the loss of faith in the future and this dangerous giving up. F–, My senior block warden a fairly well-known composer and librettist, confided in me one day. “I would like to tell you something, Doctor. I have had a strange dream. A voice told me that I could wish for something, that I should only say what I wanted to know, and all my questions would be answered. What do you think I asked? That I would like to know when the war would be over for me. You know what I mean, Doctor- for me! I wanted to know when we were our camp would be liberated and our sufferings come to an end” And when did you have this dream? i asked. ‘In February 1945’ he answered. It was then the beginning of Mach. What did your dream voice answer? “March 30th”. When F told me about this dam he would be right. But as the promised day drew nearer, the war news which reached our camp made it appear very unlikely that we would be free on the promised date. On March twenty, F suddenly became ill and ran a high temperature. On March thirtieth, the day of his prophecy had told him that the war and suffering would be over for him, he became delirious and lost consciousness. On March thirty-first, he was dead. To all outward appearances, he had died of typhus.
✏️ Daaaaymn. Crazy story.
Those who know how close the connection is between the state of mind of a man – his courage and hope, or lack of them – and the state of immunity of his body will understand that the sudden loss of hope and courage can have a deadly effect. The ultimate cause of my friend’s death was that he expected liberation did not come and he severely disappointed. This suddenly lowered his body’s resistance against the latent typhus infection.
✏️ Stress can kill us so surely the loss of all hope can do some crazy damaging things in a short space of time.
The death rate in the week between Christmas 1944 and New Year’s 1945 increased in the camp beyond all previous experience. In his opinion, the explanation for this increase did not lie in the harder working conditions or the deterioration of our food supplies or a change of weather or new epidemics. It was simply that the majority of the prisoners had lived in the naive hope that they would be home again before Christmas.
✏️ More proof. Hope, don’t get, die. Don’t put too much hope on future stuff! Be optimistic, be hopeful but don’t expect it all to go your way. That is killer. One of the main reasons people play the lottery every week is because they get some hope, they think they are going to win. It keeps them in the loop.
What was really needed was a fundamental change in our attitude towards life. We had to learn ourselves and, furthermore, we had to teach the despairing men, that it did not matter what we expected from life, but rather what life expected from us. We needed to stop asking about the meaning of life, and instead of think of ourselves as those who were being questioned by life, daily and hourly. Our answer must consist, not in talk and meditation but in the right action and the right conduct. Life ultimately means taking the responsibility to find the right answer to its problems and to fulfill the tasks which it constantly sets for each individual.
When a man finds that it is his destiny to suffer, he will have to accept his suffering as his task: his single and unique task. He will have to acknowledge the fact that even in suffering he is unique and alone in the universe. No one can relieve him of his suffering or suffer in his place. His unique opportunity lies in the way in which he bears his burden.
Suffering had become a task on which we did not want to turn out backs.
So I began by mentioning the most trivial of comforts first. I said that even in his Europe in the sixth Winter of the SWW, our situation was not the most terrible we could think of. I said that each of us had to ask himself what irreplaceable losses he had suffered up to then. I speculated that for most of them those losses had really been few. Whoever was still alive had a reason for hope. Health, family, happiness, professional abilities, fortune, position in society – all these were things that could be achieved again or restored. After all, we still had all our bones intact. Whatever we had gone through could still be an asset to us in the future. And I quoted from Nietzsche “That which does not kill me, makes me stronger”.
✏️ He made this speech, one of his few and it kept people going. Now ask yourself, are there times when you need to step up? To say something to help people to keep going. Sometimes it’s all some need, words of encouragement that things will be okay.
In the evening when we all met again in our hut, one said secretly to the other ‘Tell me, were you pleased today?’ And the other replied, feeling ashamed as he did not know that we all felt similarly, ‘truthfully, no!’ We had literally lost the ability to feel pleased and had to relearn it slowly.
✏️ The same goes the opposite way? What if you were optimistic, joyful, and enthusiastic for life every day for years? Would you forget what it feels like not to be?
Bitterness was caused by a number of things he came up against in his former home town. When on his return, a man found that in many places he was met only with a shrug of the shoulders and with hackneyed phrases, he tended to become bitter and to ask himself why he had gone through all that he had. When he heard the same phrases nearly everywhere – “We did not know about it” and “we, too have suffered” then he asked himself have they really nothing better to say to me?
✏️ God, imagine this. How grim! Nobody knows what happened, nobody cares, it’s all hell. The aftermath must have been terrible.
Logotherapy is a meaning-centered psychotherapy
Suffering may well be a human achievement, especially if the suffering grows out of existential frustration.It may well be that interpreting the first in terms of the latter motivates a doctor to bury his patient’s existential despair under a heal of tranquilizing drugs. It is his task, rather, to pilot the patient through his existential crises of growth and development
To be sure, man’s search for meaning may arouse inner tension rather than inner equilibrium. However, precisely such tension is an indispensable prerequisite of mental health. There is nothing in the world, I venture to say, that would so effectively help one to survive even the worst conditions as the knowledge that there is a meaning in one’s life. There is much wisdom in the words of Nietzsche ‘He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how’.
I can see in these words a motto that holds true for any psychotherapy. In the Nazi concentration camps, one could have witnessed that those who knew that there was a task waiting for them to fulfill were most apt to survive. The same conclusion has since been reached by other authors of books on concentration camps, and also by psychiatric investigations into Japanese, North Korean, and North Vietnamese prisoner of war camps.
Aa for myself, when I was taken to the concentration camp of Auschwitz, a manuscript of mine ready for publication was confiscated. Certainly, my deep desire to write this manuscript anew helped me to survive the rigors of the camps I was in. For instance, when I was a camp in Bavaria I fell ill with typhus fever, I jotted down on little scraps of paper many notes which intended to enable me to rewrite the manuscript, should I live to the day of liberation
What man actually needs is not a tensionless state but rather the striving and struggling for a worthwhile goal, a freely chosen task.
In actual fact, boredom is now causing and certainly bringing to psychiatrists, more problems to solve than distress.
✏️ interesting. We have now gone the opposite way!
‘Sunday neurosis’ a kind of depression that afflicts people who become aware of the lack of content in their lives when the rush of the busy week is over and the void within themselves becomes manifest.
The meaning of life….
I doubt a doctor can answer this question in general terms. For the meaning of life differs from man to man, from day to day from hour to hour. What matters, therefore is not th meaning of life in general but rather the specific meaning of a person’s life at a given moment. To put the question in general terms would be comparable to the question posed to a chess champion ‘Tell me, Master, what is the best move in the world?” There simply is no such thing as the best or even a good move apart from a particular situation in a game and the particular personality of one’s opponent. The same holds for human existence. One should not search for an abstract meaning of life. Everyone has his own specific vocation or mission in life to carry out a concrete assignment that demands fulfillment. Therein he cannot be replaced, nor can his life be repeated. This. everyone’s task is as unique as his specific opportunity to implement it.
As each situation in life represents a challenge to a man and presents a problem for him to solve, the question of the meaning of life may actually be reversed. Ultimately, a man should not ask what the meaning of his life is, but rather he 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 his life he can only respond by being responsible. Thus, logotherapy sees in responsibleness the very essence of human existence.
✏️ Love love love this. Read it again, then again, then again.
Thus far we have shown that the meaning of life always changes, but that it never ceases to be.
We can discover the meaning of life in 3 ways
1) By creating a work or doing a deed
2) By experiencing something or encountering someone
3) By the attitude we take towards unavoidable suffering
Let me cite a clearcut example: once, an elderly general practitioner consulted me because of his severe depression. He would not overcome the loss of his wife who had died two years before and whom he had loved above all else. Now, how could I help him? What should I tell him? Well, I refrained from telling him anything but instead confronted him with the question “what would have happened if you had died first, and your wife would have had to survive you?” ‘Oh’ he said ‘for her this would have been terrible, how she would have suffered!’ Whereupon I replied ‘You see, such suffering has been spared her, and it was you who have spared her this suffering – to be sure, at the price that now you have to survive and mourn her’ He said no word but shook my hand and calmly left my office. In some way suffering ceases to be suffering at the moment it finds a meaning, such as the meaning of a sacrifice.
✏️ Love this story.
But let me make it perfectly clear that in no way is suffering necessary to find meaning.
✏️ VITAL to understand, we don’t have to suffer. (but we likely will at many points during life not from our own doing)
Where the incurable sufferer is given very little opportunity to be proud of his suffering and consider it ennobling rather than degrading
Ironically enough, in the same way, that fear brings to pass what one is afraid of, likewise, a forced intention makes impossible what one forcibly wishes. This excessive intention or ‘hyper-intention’ as I call it, can be observed particularly in the cases of sexual neurosis. The more a man tries to demonstrate his sexual potency or a woman her ability to experience orgasm, the less they are able to succeed. Pleasure is, and must remain, a side-effect or by-product, and is destroyed and spoiled to the degree to which it is made a goal in itself.
✏️ Pleasure should be a by-product! Chasing the end goal aka pleasure will always keep you chasing and evade you. Pleasure should not be the goal of life, the Stoics believed in this strongly.
Let me recall a case. A young physician consulted me because of his fear of perspiring. Whenever he expected an outbreak of perspiration, this anticipatory anxiety was enough to precipitate excessive sweating. In order to cut his circle formation, I advised the patient, in the event that swearing shuld recur, to resolve deliberately to show people how much he could sweat. A week later he returned to report that whenever he met anyone who triggered his anticipatory anxiety, he would said to himself ‘I only sweated out a quart before, but now I’m going to put at least ten quarts!’ The result was that , after suffering from his phobia for four years he was able, after a single session to free himself permanently of it within one week.
Paradoxical intention can have permanent effects
On the other hand, as soon as a patient stops fighting his obsessions and instead tries to ridicule them by dealing with them in an ironic way – by applying paradoxical intention – the vicious circle is cut, the symptom diminishes, and finally atrophies.
Freedom, however, is not the last word. Freedom is only part of the story and half of the truth. Freedom is but the negative aspect of the whole phenomenon whose positive aspect is responsibility. In fact, freedom is in danger of degenerating into mere arbitrariness unless it is lived in terms of responsibleness. That is why I recommend that the statue of liberty on the east coast be supplemented by the statue of responsibility on the west coast.
In the concentration camps, for example. in this living laboratory and on this testing ground we watched and witnessed some of our comrades behave like swine while others behaved like saints. Man has both potentialities within himself: which one is actualized depends on the decisions but not on conditions.
Tragic Optimism – remain optimistic even in the face of:
Can life retain its potential meaning in spite of its tragic aspects?
Turning suffering into human achievement and accomplishment
✏️ Like this. It is! Suffering is the hardest thing you’ll ever have to do. If you can do it, push through and cope with it. That’s incredible.
Deriving from guilt the opportunity to change oneself for the better
Deriving from life’s transitoriness the incentive to take responsible action
“Be happy!” but happiness cannot be pursued, it must ensue. One must have a reason to ‘be happy’. Once the reason is found, however, one becomes happy automatically.
If you want anyone to laugh you have to provide him with a reason, e.g you have to tell him a joke. In no way is it possible to evoke real laughter by urging him, or having him urge himself to laugh.
Is this not reminiscent of another parallel, a parallel that confronts us day by day? I think fo those youngsters who worldwide scale, refer to themselves as the ‘no future’ generation. To be sure, it is not just a cigarette in which they sort, it is drugs.
People have enough to live by but nothing to live for, they have the means but no meaning.
Being jobless was equated with being useless, and being useless was equated with having a meaningless life. Consequently, whenever I succeeded in persuading the patients to volunteer in youth organisations, adult education, public libraries, and the like – in other words, as soon as they could fill their abundant free time with some sort of unpaid but meaningful activity – their depression disappeared although their economic situation had not changed and their hunger was the same. The truth is that man does not live by welfare alone.
✏️ So important. Having a job and earning more money means nothing about your character or your worth. So what if you’re jobless right now! Not ideal financially of course but it doesn’t stop you from developing your character. Remember, JK Rowling wrote Harry Potter while on the dole. It doesn’t mean her work is worthless does it? Sometimes we need state aid, life is hard and we are dealt shit hands sometimes.
90 percent of alcoholics she studies had suffered from an abysmal feeling of meaninglessness.
Doesn’t the final meaning of life, too, reveal itself, if at all, only at its end, on the verge of death?
You don’t understand the whole film until right at the end! So why do you think life should show it’s meaning so soon?
Austrian public opinion pollsters recently reported that that held in highest esteem by most of the people are neither the greatest artists or scientists or sports people but those who master a hard lot with their heads held high.
There is no justice, everything is random. Only when you realise this will you understand how silly it is to take yourself seriously. There is no grand purpose in the universe. It just is. There’s no particular meaning in what decision you make today about how to act.
A negative attitude intensifies pain and deepens disappointments, it undermines and diminishes pleasure, happiness and satisfaction that may even lead to depression or physical illness.
Positive emotions, expectations, and attitudes enhance our immune system
Healing through reading.
Freud = depth psychology which emphasizes delving into an individual’s past and his or her unconscious instincts.
Viktor Frankl = height psychology which focuses on a person’s future and his or her conscious decisions and actions
✏️ I prefer this method. Ask yourself what would your next action be if your past just got deleted? What if you didn’t have to live with the burden of your past anymore? How would you feel? What would you do? What would happen to the excuses or the reasons why you are how you are? They would vanish. Easier said than done but focusing on actions right now, and conscious decisions to improve our lives is way better than trying to explain the reason we are hoe we are due to something that happened 10 years ago. Okay so even if it was the case, what do we do next? What meaning can be applied to it? That’s what matters