He remembers his wife and vividly sees and converses with her. For example, Frankl found meaning when stumbling through the night, barefoot, across icy rocks and through big puddles, forced to work by the Nazi guards, simply by thinking of his wife, imagining her face up in the clouds and finding bliss in this moment of love. A man's character became involved to the point that he was caught in a mental turmoil which threatened all the values he held and threw them into doubt. That helps Brain Pickings by offsetting a fraction of what it takes to maintain the site, and is very much appreciated. Suffering is an ineradicable part of life, even as fate and death.
One by one, other prisoner would approach the still warm body and grab things off of it. Similarly, he mentions that people have the ability to choose what will become of them mentally and spiritually. Restall chose seven myths because the number seven has a deep meaning in history and a symbolic significance in Native American and the Spaniards. At the same time, logotherapy defocuses all the vicious-circle formations and feedback mechanisms that play such a great role in the development of neuroses. Our answer must consist, not in talk and meditation, but in right action and in right conduct. Of course, they suffered immensely, and they could do nothing to avoid it. Even though he and other prisoners saw many sent to the gas chambers and watched others die from malnourishment, lack of medical care, and frequent torture, there was still a prevailing thought that they would somehow be saved.
At first the prisoners looked away if they saw the punishment of another group; he could not bear to see fellow prisoners being tortured. A man who could not see an end to this provisional existence did not have an aim or ultimate life goal and would therefor cease living for the future. Frankl was deeply religious and this is shown at many points in the book. For hours I stood hacking at the icy ground. Frankl believes these can be overcome through the tactic of paradoxical intention.
You always think that the worst is still to come, and yet it is over already. The second part of the book is a synopsis of logotherapy, the major system of existential psychotherapy and psychology that Frankl went on to develop. A seven chapter argumentative book, arguing the conventional wisdom on the Spanish conquest in America. We saw and realized what they were, but had no feelings about them. Those who had lost faith in the future — his future — is doomed.
No one can relieve him of his suffering or suffer in his place. Once a patient has accepted the reality of his or her situation, he or she can start finding meaning in it. In the concentration camps, for example, in this living laboratory and on this testing ground, we watched and witnessed some of our comrades behave like swine while others behaved like saints. Having been is also a kind of being and perhaps the surest kind. He also perceived a universal voice telling him that life does have an ultimate purpose, and those profound experiences became part of the philosophical basis of Logotherapy.
Is man no more than a product of many conditional and environmental factors — be they of a biological, psychological or sociological nature? To do so would bring an end to all questions. Even the gas chambers lost their horrors for him after the first few days-after all; they spared him the act of committing suicide. Slowly, those illusions were destroyed one by one, and then, most of them would overcome by a grim sense of humor, for they had nothing to lose except their naked lives. Every man was controlled by one thought only: to keep himself alive for the family waiting for him at home, and to save his friends. He understood then, how a man who has nothing left in this world still may know bliss, in the contemplation of his beloved. It is this spiritual freedom — which cannot be taken away — that makes life meaningful and purposeful. This is centered on man's primary motivation of his search for meaning.
Here he outlines a theory of Logotherapy as a psychological technique for helping people. Note: This is a book summary - not the original version. It's Frankl's autobiographical account of his experiences of his three years in Auschwitz, Dachau and other concentrations camps, between 1942 and 1945. Magic is the marvelous in reality. In writing this book, Frankl states that he is not writing an account of facts and events at the concentration camp but rather of his personal experiences, experiences which millions of prisoners have suffered time and again. I suggest we call this view 2 the 'primacy of the will to meaning'.
The first stage Victor Frankl describes is the period following his admission into the camps. Frankl considers this, but ultimately decides to try and find meaning and agency through surviving. While Frankl often let fate guide his actions, he also considered taking control of his situation and trying to escape from camp. It is not about the great horrors within but about the multitude of small torments. Accordingly, Frankl summarizes the status of love and work as sources of meaning like this: 'A man who becomes conscious of the responsibility he bears toward a human being who affectionately waits for him, or to an unfinished work, will never be able to throw away his life. Naïve and ignorant to how amazing life really is and refusing to question how things work or what my true purpose is other then surviving.