Saturday, February 28, 2009

Man's Search For Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl

"He who knows the 'why' for his existence, will be able to bear almost any 'how'."

Internationally renowned pyschiatrist Viktor E. Frankl, through his book, Man's Search For Meaning has shared his personal experiences and of others. It is the inside story of a concentration camp which deals with the sufferings of the common prisoners in small camps where they were stripped of literally everything and left with their naked existence and whose existence was just a number.

According to Frankl, everything can be taken from a man but one thing: to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way. Man can preserve a vestige of spiritual freedom, of independence of mind even in such terrible conditions of pyschic and physical stress. If there is a meaning in life at all, there must be a meaning in suffering. Suffering is an ineradicable part of life, even as fate and death. Without suffering and death human life cannot be complete.

Man's inner strength may raise him above his outward fate. The way in which a man accepts his fate and all the suffering it entails, the way in which he takes up his cross, gives him ample opportunity even under the most difficult circumstances - to add a deeper meaning to his life. It may remain brave, dignified and unselfish. Or in the bitter fight for self-preservation he may forget his human dignity and become no more than an animal. Here lies the chance for a man either to make use of or to forgo the opportunities of attaining the moral values that a difficult situation may afford him. And this decides whether he is worthy of his suffering or not.
Attitude was what made the difference between the prisoners who survived and the prisoners who perished.
I can tell you from personal experience that you don't need to be in a concentration camp to experience that sought of mental torment, sometimes in life even though everything seems absolutely normal on the surface but there may be some constraints, not necessarily physical which can lead you to question about your existence and a phase where you feel absolutely blank and stuck and don't know what to do.
Well I'm a strong believer of karma and I know that whatever good and bad experiences that we go through in life depends on our karma but we all have the freewill to choose what what we want to make of our life in spite of being trapped in the cirlce of karma and this is what even the author is trying to convey through this highly inspirational book.

No comments:

Sav's Book Club