Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Man's Search For Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl
I was recommended this book by one of my professors in graduate school and have had the book sitting on my shelf for almost that long!! I decided I wanted a quick read before my baby was born, so picked this one up. Unfortunately, I did't get it all read before my baby decided to arrive, but it was easy to pack in my purse and read while I was in the hospital. And, it definitely is a quick read. All I can say is . . . EVERYONE MUST READ THIS BOOK!!!
Viktor Frankl, a psychiatrist who experienced the Holocaust first hand, wrote this very powerful and inspirational book originally in the late 50s. It has been edited and additional sections added since then, including a new foreward by rabbi and author, Harold Kushner. In the first portion of the book, Frankl shares his personal experiences as a survivor of the concentration camps; however, he tried to present just the facts of his experiences without the emotion that accompanies it. The second portion of the book then goes into a detailed explanation of logotherapy, a school of psychoanalysis in which the focus is on the meaning of our existence. In other words, one is not out to fulfill their pleasures as Freud theorizes in the original school of psychoanalysis, but rather one's purpose is to fulfill their meaning. The quote from Nietzsche sums it up the best: "He who has a Why to live for can bear almost any How." And, Frankl is living proof of just that!!
Many students studying psychology are recommended to read this book for their studies; however, I personally would recommend this book to everyone, whether you like to read or not. It provides a refreshing outlook on life, it will influence you in many ways, and inspire you to find your meaning of life.