Man's Search For Meaning Essay

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Finding meaning is humanity’s salvation from adversity Viktor Frankl makes it clear from the beginning of Man’s Search For Meaning that the first part of the book is not concerned with the sheer facts and events pertaining to the Shoah, but, rather it is an examination of how day-to-day camp life affected the prisoners. Consequently, the book, in lieu of revolving around acts of great heroism, is a testimony vis-à-vis the psychological reactions experienced by the common inmates facing camp life. Given the immeasurable, multitudinous suffering experienced by these inmates, it is not surprising that suffering is a major theme of the book. Frankl, witnessing the attitudes taken towards suffering and perseverance by his peers, both in a positive…show more content…
He stresses that such an existential vacuum is the product of humanity’s recently developed diminishing amount of traditions which it clung to. In lieu of conforming to these antiquated traditions, one resorts either to do what others do, or what others wish him to do. The prevalence of this existential vacuum is considerable; with 25% of Frankl’s European students and 60% of his American students surveyed exhibiting a degree of existential vacuum. One fallen into the existential vacuum will ultimately pursue to fill the void meaninglessness has left in their lives; for instance, in the form of drugs and alcohol, a rampant sexual libido, gluttony or materialism. This existential vacuum is also linked to being an underlying cause of many widespread phenomena; such as addiction, depression and…show more content…
page 114, Man’s Search for Meaning A notable example of this way of finding meaning is presented as Frankl recalls his experiences in the camp. He is then reminded of a moment in which the ethereal meaningfulness of love (in this case, the love he feels for his wife) is fully revealed. On an early morning walk to the work site, his mind is entranced completely by thoughts of his wife; so much so that the reality of his very existence in the camps is rendered null, that through the contemplation of his beloved, he is able to achieve a momentary bliss and fulfillment in this position of utter distress and devastation. The truth - that love is the ultimate and the highest goal to which humanity can aspire. Then I grasped the meaning of the greatest secret that human poetry and human thought and belief have to impart: “The salvation of man is through love and in love.” page 48-49, Man’s Search for
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