Man's Search for Meaning is more than a story of Viktor E. Frankl's triumph: it is a remarkable blend of science and humanism and an introduction to the most significant psychological movement of our day.
©1959, 1962, 1984 Viktor E. Frankl; (P)1995 Blackstone Audiobooks
"An enduring work of survival literature." (The New York Times)
It was hard for me to for me to become as vividly aware of the extent and nature of the suffering so many endured. Yet through this account and the description of Victor's work, I have come to a deeper level of peace with the suffering I have encountered in this life. I feel empowered to unflinchingly witness, experience and utilize unavoidable human suffering (as well as pleasure) to reveal inner nobility. I sense this asset to be far more enduring than the possession of mere gold.
Victor Frankl's work speaks clarity into the human condition in ways few can manage. His anecdotes and efforts offer sound testament to an understanding of the world that is capable of inciting humanity to the best of our abilities.
This is more relevant every day. Take, for example, ISIS recruits who feel they have no purpose in life. ISIS gives them meaning. So, too, with many Americans but thankfully they don't turn to ISIS. Young, old, or in between, we all need a reason to be here and feel useful. Dr Frankel explains this so well in four hours it will stick with you.
A profound work indeed. As an aspiring psychologist I found this book giving me some direction for my own life, or some meaning if you will.
I will need to listen to this a few more times.
Yes, I absorb information well when I have the chance to listen to it while I'm walking or driving.
Hearing the perspective of a psycho analyst / concentration camp survivor.
He's an excellent voice actor with a nice accent.
No, but it did make me think.
My main takeaways:
1. Live and make decisions as if you're living your life for the second time as a do-over.
2. Don't dwell in the past, be your best self in the present and focus on your future.
3. It's not about what life means to me, but what I mean to life.
4. Avenues to meaning in life are work, love and turning unavoidable tragedy into triumph (seeing suffering as a growth experience).
Sheds light on how mental aspects of life can outweigh the physical attributes
Best book I've read for college so far.
There's something to be said about there being gems to be found in any given situation, in the case of this book, I must say I've stumbled upon a treasure chest. Not only has this opened my mind regards to the human psyche, but allowed me to better understand myself and the way I interact with the world around me. The will to meaning, our innate desire to find and ascribe meaning to our life, and the psychology, as well as, dare I say, the philosophy behind such an understanding of man, will not only mold and shape the way you perceive others, but the way you perceive yourself. Please, do yourself a favor, and open yourself the knowledge being given in this book, you surely won't regret it!
It's not that Viktor Frankl invented logotherapy so much as the fact that in his own suffering discovered a universal truth that man is a free agent; that he and he alone has the power to decide how to respond to all the suffering the world can possibly heap upon him. This truth is an eternal truth and when a human being can tap into that truth that person then obtains hope to overcome all challenges.
"Throw out your self-help books!"
This is an utterly remarkable book for so many reasons. What strikes me most about it is how it really gives meaning to the idea that the whole can be greater than the sum of its parts. What I mean by this is the following: the book is not great psychology, nor great philosophy nor even great narrative. And yet, as a whole I would call it a great book. Why? Because it makes a definitive impact. I cannot say that I walked away from this book unchanged. I suppose it is Viktor Frankl himself who makes all the difference -- in him you find a truly humane, humble and ultimately wise human being. I was truly impressed to hear him quoting Nietzsche while in a concentration camp; this at a time when Nietzsche's work had been distorted and used to promote anti-semitism by the Nazis. One warning though -- his existentialist philosophy is outdated and really needs to be complemented by a contemporary understanding of human nature.
"Potentially life changing..."
So, we all know about the Holocaust, yet this book is a bit different - told with such "tragic optimism" that the message is not moral outrage or repulsion, but of meaning in the midst of unimaginable degradation. The "why" that makes the "how" of suffering bearable. Frankle quotes Nietzsche throughout.
The most moving passages for me were his imagined conversations with his wife, (who probably by that time was dead), which nonetheless gave him the purpose for continuing to live, and the glimpses of Nature, such as sunsets, raw in beauty, beyond the barbed wire.
His message is simple - it is in loving the people we love and in the struggle that our lives demand of us, that we find meaning that transcends the mere pleasure principle. Our own "ontic logos" is individually uncovered, not found through intellectual introspection on "THE meaning of life" (which is a nonsense and which usually just leads to neurosis).
Frankle highlights the contemporary consumerist "tyranny of happiness", which is endemic in the West, so that many patients feel not just unhappy, but deeply ashamed of their unhappiness.
Existentialism is not popular in the zeitgeist, but I think we can learn much from that generation who lived through the War, and the Holocaust, and developed such philosophies of coping with terrible hardship and suffering. By contrast, we can be very superficial, and self centred, and it left me considering what issues I cared about enough to take action on. Would I regret not doing so otherwise? Yes, probably - as an opportunity wasted!
This is a humane, inspiring, potentially life changing book; well narrated, subtle, profound and unpretentious. It deserves the highest rating.
"very wise movie"
loved the book. it is amazing and humbling to listen about such extreme life experiences, above all puts one's problems into context and gives an impulse to say yes to life!
"Grippong story and an in depth review at the end"
The story of Victors hardships was compelling and I found myself unable to stop listening until the end.
The analysis at the end is a little hard to get you're head around but still worth hearing
"Very good. Interesting, moving and well produced"
This is a very good audio book. The story is very interesting, moving and thought provoking and the narration matches it perfectly.
I recommend this. The only change I would make is that the narrator when reading dialogue assumes a mock Jewish / German accent which isn't a big deal but to my ear sounded strange.
I'll definitely be listening to this multiple times.
"A book that should be on prescription"
Simon Vance is an excellent narrator, I have enjoyed his readings before. If you have anxiety or depression, I think this should be on the NHS prescription list. It is uplifting and helps you challenge your thoughts (not in the sense of 'oh it could be worse' but it in a much more positive way of finding ways to value what you have in its own right and to see the beauty in things.)
I thought the most moving part was the comments on the death of loved ones and how to cope.
I most enjoyed Frankl's musings on how prisoners coped after they were liberated. My only criticism of the entire book is that I would have liked it if this was more in depth.
I listened to this over two days, I personally found it a bit much to listen to in one day, I had to take a break but it is very addictive.
Super enjoyable, a privilege to listen to his story.
Highly recommended. Great depth, sincerity and intelligence. Well read. I found this quite life changing.
"The great book!"
The great book! It cannot be listened to without comprehensive attention and understanding each word. Every single word, every phrase is meaningful and gives a new way of living!
I would wholeheartedly recommend this book. Both parts, the autobiography, and the introduction to Frankl's logotherapy, gave me much to think about. I will be buying this in print also, having now listened to the audio. It's that good.
Was worried about reading this as thought it would be difficult & depressing, but anything but. Very objective & thoughtful, non judgemental, dispassionate, powerful & very honest. Amazing person. Respect!
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