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)
Viktor Frankl's book has two main parts: a) very moving description of his experiences in different concentration camps and how he dealt with suffering and pain; b) an introduction of his school of psychotherapy ("logotherapy")partly derived from these experiences.
Really inspiring, even if today you are not suffering. Great help to remember in difficult times.
It's difficult to describe the darkest moments of your life. It's even harder to find meaning in them. Frankl shows courage and great resilience by having created this work of art, which will help others find purpose in their struggles as well.
Frankl captures the world of the concentration camp with stunning vividness. As a psychiatrist he describes the madness of Auschwitz that could bring one to tears. He puts to shame the evil that is of the human condition. One is left in awe and disgust at what we have become and what we have the potential to become. This book is a must read for those who really want an insight into real suffering. After this book one is fortified, confident in the knowledge that no hell is worsse than what Frankl and others endured. One is awakened by coming to face with the potential evil that lives in us all - that which may be released in the set up of the concentration camp. This is about what Guantanamo Bay may have bordered on. As a fellow psychiatrist myself, I was able to walk with Frankl and be with him. I almost smelt and touched the scenes he described. His book is also a survival manual for the hopeless. Don't kill yourself - read this!!
Say something about yourself!
There are a handful of books that should truly be required and desired reading for everyone across the world. This is one of them. It is simultaneously repulsive and compelling, disheartening and hopeful.
I read this book perhaps 20 years ago. The older I get, the more I find new meaning in it. There are a great many self-help books out there that go on and on and say nothing. Then there's a book like this that offers an unblinking look at one of history's most horrific events from an inside perspective and uses that as a lead-in to offer to us a scientific embrace of the three little words that could mean the most to all of us.
Love. Faith. Hope.
Great book for anyone dealing with existential issues or anyone who wants an introduction into a sound anthropological psycho-therapy method. Frankl chronicles his experiences as a concentration camp inmate and from the viewpoint of his psycho-therapeutic / phenomenological method of finding meaning in all forms of existence, even the most sordid ones, and thus a reason to continue living. Through his experience, he developed a method of psycho-therapeutic method that he called logotherapy. His analysis focuses on a "will to meaning" as opposed to Adler's Nietzschean doctrine of "will to power" or Freud's "will to pleasure". Rather than power or pleasure, logotherapy is founded upon the belief that it is the striving to find a meaning in one's life that is the primary, most powerful motivating and driving force in humans. According to Frankl, "We can discover this meaning in life in three different ways: (1) by creating a work or doing a deed; (2) by experiencing something or encountering someone; and (3) by the attitude we take toward unavoidable suffering" and that "everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances". For Frankl, it was his love for his wife that enabled him to survive Auschwitz and three other camps, not to mention many moments of "luck" or grace. Love, for Frankle, became the highest experience that a human can have. I appreciated the back story of Frankl's experience that lead to his method and agree with his conclusions, but I think some of his premises fall into a naturalistic fallacy. Nevertheless, he has a great ability to put into words the psychological and existential reality that one deals with when suffering or striving to understand a purpose in life.
If I had to choose a must-read-list this one would be a sure candidate. It has the ability to touch you in so many levels. There is not only the insights into and behind the scenes from "the horrors of concentration camps", but a personal story of struggle and contemplation. All of this in the light of his own theories about us humans, what drives us and how we may search for happiness. I would like to recommend this book to you with my deepest conviction it holds true wisdom!
I love espionage, legal, and detective thrillers but listen to most genres. Very frequent reviews. No plot spoilers! Please excuse my typos!
I listened to Night by Holocaust survivor by Elie Wiesel immediately prior to Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl. Frankl was born in 1905, 23 years before Wiesel, so he has well established general practice physician, psychiatrist, and neurologist when he was sent to Nazi concentration camps for 3 years at age 37. He was still required to perform lard labor in the four camps. He lost his parents and wife during the Holocaust with he and his sister being the only survivors in his family.
This book details his time in Nazi concentration camps, but its other major topic is his development of logotherapy, a form of existential therapy used modern psychiatry. The logotherapy concept uses the theory that humans need a cause, a purpose, to live fulfilling lives. Many believe that Freud made the most important contributions to modern psychiatry. Freud's contributions were very significant but the pale into virtual insignificance compared to Frankl's contributions. Man's Search for Meaning discusses the worldwide use and success of logotherapy.
This is a short book at less than 5 hours, but it is a critically important one. It is one that everyone should read, and then reread again and again. The book was written in 1946 but has been updated several times. This audiobook is the 1995 update, the final one.. It contains wisdom that can help every person live a more fulfilling life. Simon Vance's narration is outstanding.
Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl is must listen non-fiction that can literally change ones life. It has my highest recommendation.
For the thinker, philosopher and nurturer of souls...
This is my first review. I felt compelled to write something about this book...
I bought the book about half a year ago... and listened to it three times, back to back. Since then I have found myself still ruminating on what I listened to. What a great book... I highly recommend it to those who are seeking to "walk alongside" others.
I was riveted by this book. It is a fascinating insight into the human psyche under extreme circumstances. It also provides a brief introduction to Frankl's Logo-therapy method of psychotherapy. The psychotherapy section of the book is just the right length. It explains just enough so that you can decide if you want to look further into the subject, but is not long winded or tedious.
I felt the performance was well executed and easy to listen to.
Although the Holocaust was a terrible event, I am not apt to read about it more than I already have. For one, the focus is most often on the Jews rather than the other several million non-Jews who died in it and two, 'our side of it' never touches on the millions of Russians who lost their lives fighting the Germans. But this book is different. It touches everyone of those people and more. The focus is not necessarily on the "Jewish" side of the Holocaust or the "victor's side"; rather it delves into the minds of all those who suffered there, and all those who suffer anywhere. One thought that has stuck with me is this: Sometimes grown men would cry in their sleep from the nightmares they were having but I never woke them because no matter how bad their dream was, it was still better than the reality they would wake up to. Sometimes we think we have it bad, but bad is just as relative as good can be.
"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.
insightful discussion of our existence and what the meaning of life is. My first experience of the Aushchwitz camp.
"Deep and Thought Provoking"
This is a bool that make you think to the core of your being, it makes you ask just as the title suggests, what meaning actually is and how you can poses it.
The first half of the book is autobiographical and is an harrowing account of the concentration camps, harrowing but not graphic.
The second half is psychoanalytical and more theoretical.
I absolutely loved this book, I can recommend it to anyone one from young adult upwards.
"shook me to the core and built me up again"
my first Frankl. just had to finish. Audible is amazing at choosing right voices. grateful.
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I'd split this book into 3 sections.
The first is an amazing account of the war, Frankl's time there and the happenings. It really did open your eyes
The second part of say is about how he helped the people in camp, some links to finding meaning and purpose and crossing the bridge between his time in camp and his use of logo therapy .
The third part is where I tuned out a lot. It's his views and use of logotherapy so can get quite deep - I'm not sure if it's he subject matter or he very English narrator (which works well on the first 2 parts, not as much on the third!) but it was quite specialist!
Still, I'd rate this book highly for the first two sections!
"well read and structured"
the text was insightful and well structured. the narrative of how to make the most meaningful life was given weight by the author's experiences
simple and refreshing, helps keeping feets on ground, not undermining any suffering or problems,
"Absolutely astounding! "
This book opened my eyes to the meaning of suffering. Man is not undone by suffering but by meaninglessness
The first part talks about what he learned in his experiences in concentration camps. It doesn't focus on gory details, but rather what insights can be drawn from the conditions. The second part is an introduction to logotherapy--which seeks to help people to find meaning in their lives and thus fulfillment.
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