Man's Search for Meaning

This book gave me a mixed feeling.

Firstly, I admire E. Frankl, for his unbending will to live, his intellectual attitude— the ability to build something out of utmost discomfort, even in the face of almost certain death. It's not an easy feat to psychoanalyse and create a theory, a whole new school of psychotherapy (Logotherapy) while one himself is part of the subjects. He did and did it excellently.

However, I can't agree with him regarding meaning. Now, there can be meaning, self-imposed, self-explored as he suggested. Those don't need to be intrinsic. However, he also believes in ultimate meaning and didn't put any argument on behalf of his belief. I think I can safely assume that it is due to his faith and perhaps upbringing. He is faithful, and he draws his strength from faith tremendously. His metaphysics is primitive in my opinion.

Still, Logotherapy has a virtue. Unlike other schools, it doesn't treat people as machines with libido, repressions etc but take a real interest in one's current status and environment.

Notes and Highlights
About Man's Search For Meaning by Viktor E Frankl

A prominent Viennese psychiatrist before the war, Viktor Frankl was uniquely able to observe the way that he and other inmates coped with the experience of being in Auschwitz. He noticed that it was the men who comforted others and who gave away their last piece of bread who survived the longest - and who offered proof that everything can be taken away from us except the ability to choose our attitude in any given set of circumstances. The sort of person the prisoner became was the result of an inner decision and not of camp influences alone. Only those who allowed their inner hold on their moral and spiritual selves to subside eventually fell victim to the camp's degenerating influence - while those who made a victory of those experiences turned them into an inner triumph. Frankl came to believe that man's deepest desire is to search for meaning and purpose. This outstanding work offers us all a way to transcend suffering and find significance in the art of living.