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)
I read his book years ago, but now that I LISTEN to books, I wanted to "re-read" it on audible. I read this book originally because I was tired of hearing, "Things happen for a reason", or "Everything is a choice in life", from people who had never had tragedy or suffering in their lives, had never been a victim, and/or were having a fairly easy life. I wanted to hear from someone who had survived the most hellish experiences (survived the Holocaust) and was still able to find a reason to live, to have hope. Saying that "suffering is a choice", used to irritate me so much. In my mind, that was blaming the victim. However, hearing from someone that has really been through hell, I can now understand what that can mean. Suffering is not really a choice, but how we respond to it, can be. That too used to irritate me when hearing such a thing. But, I do understand now. He gives examples of some of his patients and their "recovery", that made this make sense to me. An incredible book, written by an incredible man. It's is well written, flows, and both times I "read" it, I didn't want it to end. I will probably re-listen to it from time to time. I wish that everyone would read this. The narrator had a perfect pace for me, and tone of voice.
If ever you've watched Jimmy Fallon on TV, you might not believe that I got the idea to listen to this handbook of existentialist suffering from his show. He read it in hospital when laid up with ring avulsion. It's a really engaging account of a man's experiences in Nazis concentration camps from a psychological and spiritual perspective.
I really liked this book, it makes you think of your life goals and meaning putting it all in perspective. I'd totally recommend it to everyone, great book!
My trouble is that I have already made critical mistakes twice. This is encouraging though that I can live in confidence and be more conscious, or alert if you will, to what is about to happen. We have to rise above our circumstances.
I decided to listen to this book after it was mentioned by Ryan Holiday in his book The Obstacle Is The Way.
Along with Stoic works like The Enchiridion by Epictetus (which I listen to religiously on a podcast version) and Seneca, it's one of the books that is more like a guide to life. I have so far listened to this book about five times.
It contains philosophy and psychology theory that will change your life and make you more humble and grateful.
One of the most important parts to me was when Dr. Frankl talked about curiosity. He said that to overcome fear and pain he became curious. When he and the other prisoners were forced to be out in the cold all night, he found himself curiously as to whether or not he would catch a cold. I use this every time now when I have to face something scary. I tell myself, well I've never really experienced that before, aren't I curious as to what will happen or what it'll be like?
That are so many positive and powerful ways of thinking that Viktor Frankl introduces in this book. It's definitely a quintessential book for self-improvement and awareness.
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.
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