Academic journal article Indian Journal of Positive Psychology

Man's Search for Meaning: A Commentary

Academic journal article Indian Journal of Positive Psychology

Man's Search for Meaning: A Commentary

Article excerpt

The commentary is on the book title, 'Man's Search for Meaning written by Victor e Frankl. The purpose for writing this commentary is to start a fresh discussion on positive social psychology highlighting the sufferings of a Holocaust survivor who has no heartburn for the people who were instrumental in all the valuable losses that he had suffered. Man's search for meaning is a journey that keeps alive the drive to reach your destination, the ultimate destination, the ultimate goal, the ultimate search, the journey itself. The book tries to bring forward the concept pioneered as 'logotherapy' by Dr. Victor. The book is a must read, which perhaps brings forwards the most significant thinking since Freud and Adler.

Commentary: Since Auschwitz we know what man is capable of. And Since Hiroshima we know what is at stake.

With these lines the story of a man who survived the Nazi death camps during World War II at Auschwitz and Dachau comes to an end. A man namedDr. Viktor E. Frankl whom world saw later, as one of the most gifted psychiatrists and who humanize psychiatry using 'logotherapy' now widely accepted as the Third School of Viennese Psychiatry is aman who survived all the suffering from cold, hunger, hourly extortion in extremely stressful and life threatening conditions as a long time prisoner in a concentration camp. He is a person who after losing every valuable and invaluable possession during his stay in those camps has come up with a meaning in all these sufferings, has come up with a thought that, a man can bear with even the worse conditions ifhe/she has a meaning in his life, ifhe/she has a reason to endure and survive all the sufferings. The life changing book written by Viktor E. Frankl truly justifies its title. It not only narrates but also starts a journey for, 'Man's Search for Meaning'. The book is known more than the story of author's triumph: it has significant impact on humanity with a remarkable blend of science and humanism and science and spiritualism by Viennese psychiatrist.

When I am writing my views on the book, I am under a threefold aura of emotions which I would like to name as Relevance of Place, Relevance of Time and Relevance of Situation ('Desh- Kaal & Paristhiti1). First one is relevance of place where this review is being written, my motherland India, which in itselfis globally accepted as a laboratory for searching meaning of one's life. The second relevance is of time which coincides with the day when I could complete the book was the day of' Vasant Panchami', the day which is believed to be one of the most auspicious days in Hindu calendar 1 which initiates and astronomically officiates the beginning of new hopes in natural, physical and spiritual worlds. Relevance of time is also reflective with the fact that last year on January 27th 2014 the world witnessed the observance of the International Holocaust Remembrance Day the anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz concentration camp. The last and the third is the relevance of situation, of a book whose first manuscript was confiscated in the Nazi death camp, whose first print was published in Austria in 1946 and which holds its significance even after so many years when Ban Ki Moon, Secretary General of United Nations2 visits the place again this year (2014) and accepts that, "Bigotry still courses through our societies and our politics. The world can and must do more to eliminate the poison that led to the camps".

So, one should be mentally, socially, politically and most importantly spiritually prepared to navigate through the same sea of suffering and learning and ultimately finding out the meaning in not only those tortures that Nazi death camps have given but also in the life that succeeds thereafter.

The content of the book is presented in three parts:

Part One, is Experiences in a Concentration Camp

Part Two, is Logotherapy in a Nutshell

Postscript 1984, is The Case for a Tragic Optimism. …

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