Man's Search for Meaning

Man's Search for Meaning

Book - 2006
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We needed to stop asking about the meaning of life, and instead to 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 right action and in 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 Man's Search for Meaning was first published in 1959, it was hailed by Carl Rogers as "one of the outstanding contributions to psychological thought in the last fifty years." Now, more than forty years and 4 million copies later, this tribute to hope in the face of unimaginable loss has emerged as a true classic. Man's Search for Meaning --at once a memoir, a self-help book, and a psychology manual-is the story of psychiatrist Viktor Frankl's struggle for survival during his three years in Auschwitz and other Nazi concentration camps. Yet rather than "a tale concerned with the great horrors," Frankl focuses in on the "hard fight for existence" waged by "the great army of unknown and unrecorded."

Viktor Frankl's training as a psychiatrist allowed him a remarkable perspective on the psychology of survival. In these inspired pages, he asserts that the "the will to meaning" is the basic motivation for human life. This simple and yet profound statement became the basis of his psychological theory, logotherapy, and forever changed the way we understand our humanity in the face of suffering. As Nietzsche put it, "He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how." Frankl's seminal work offers us all an avenue to greater meaning and purpose in our own lives-a way to transcend suffering and find significance in the act of living.
Publisher: Boston : Beacon Press, c2006.
ISBN: 9780807014264
Branch Call Number: 150.1957 FRANKL V
Characteristics: xvi, 165 pages : portraits ; 22 cm.


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LPL_PolliK Sep 26, 2017

A classic work of philosophy. Frankl survived four camps during the Holocaust and he turned his experience into his life's work, logotherapy, while asserting that the key to survival is a sense that one’s life has meaning. Frankl theorizes three key concepts frame our sense of meaning in the worl... Read More »

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Mar 20, 2018

Great book. Definitely recommend that everyone read --and, because it's such a quick read, there's really no reason to not have it on your list.

Mar 16, 2018

The most vivid and horrifying portrayal of Hell I have ever read. Most frightening of this depiction is that Hell is a real place - and it had the names Auschwitz, Dachau, and Mauthausen - and the author lived there for several years, which he describes in the first half of this book. Somehow, the author, Viktor Frankl, found the will and resolve to make his time in Hell mean *something*, and then explains how this could even be possible in the second half of the book.

This book moved me. Perhaps not because of the clinical psychological approach Frankl details for attributing meaning to life, but because it exposes the reader to the types of absolute horror which humans are capable of inflicting on each other.

Not for the faint of heart, but a very important must-read nonetheless.

Mar 15, 2018

Two of Frankl's tenets (1) that each of person is unique and irreplaceable (2) there is purpose
for each person's life bring hope , optimism and clarity regardless of spiritual background.
A hard but worthwhile read.

Feb 22, 2018

I think this book was a tad overhyped for me. I really liked the accounts of world war 2, but the logotherapy chapter was a bit loose and could have been delivered better. In all I enjoyed it, and there were some great life lessons, but I left wanting more.

Feb 18, 2018

A wonderful account of resilience, the human spirit an Frankl's observations. This book is a must read.

Dec 20, 2017

Great book.

One of the best ones out there in general.

Really happy I picked this up.

Nov 30, 2017

I decided to listen to the CD version of this book, thinking that perhaps it might help my perspective. I have been looking at the problems unfolding in here America (and around the globe) with such pessimism -- evidence of looming environmental, catastrophes, growing income disparities, injustices that just seem to be increasing, more impediments to free speech, along with information fatigue in citizens, while a massive transfer of more and more of, "the commons" to private control is accelerating like never before...
I thought that, Man's Search For Meaning, might help me to appreciate that not only have there been darker times/places, but that, even under the most horrific of conditions, the human spirit has an incredible ability to continue on. That was why I got this book. It is an extraordinary book, so powerful that at times I had to stop the CD simply to think about and process what was being said.
Although at times the narrative was darker than I imagined it would be, the narrative combined with the author's analysis -- as a psychiatrist -- was both illuminating and reassuring: The human being is capable of adapting to and surviving through some pretty extraordinarily dispiriting, dehumanizing and degrading experiences. In that, I found a bit of hopefulness -- along with the reminder that even though we may ourselves be headed for some enormous challenges as a nation, at least for right now and for many of us, things really are SO MUCH better then what many others have had to endure.
It is worth noting -- that many scholars believe an important part of what led up to the Holocaust -- was the declining social and economic conditions in Germany following WWI -- a scary thought now as we watch the neoliberal movement remove public safety nets, and shift wealth increasingly away from the masses and towards the most privileged, while Facebook and other technologies remove privacy and make big brother monitoring of us easier and easier -- but I diverge.
The take away is that while we often can't control the events that happen to us, we do have a choice about how we react to those events.

LPL_PolliK Sep 26, 2017

A classic work of philosophy. Frankl survived four camps during the Holocaust and he turned his experience into his life's work, logotherapy, while asserting that the key to survival is a sense that one’s life has meaning. Frankl theorizes three key concepts frame our sense of meaning in the world: work, love, and suffering. A poignant read that transcends the horrors of the camps and illuminates our world and search for meaning, even today.

Jul 26, 2017

I highly recommend this book to anyone. It enabled me to put things into perspective and remind myself what I am living for, what really matters. The first section Frankl describes his experience in the concentration camps, followed by an introduction to logotherapy (Frankl's branch of psychoanalysis), followed by an afterword of the author's life. I usually like to read up on the author prior to reading their books, however it worked out just fine in this case.

Jul 19, 2017

The view of a psychologists who survived Auschwitz and other concentration camps. Moving observations into human behaviour but sometimes too generalized. A worthwhile reading.

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Apr 01, 2008

Personal narrative of time in Nazi concentration camp, including insights about how he was able to cope psychologically with the ordeal.


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Jul 20, 2014

"Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom." Viktor Frankl


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