What do you think of the book? What do you think of Viktor Frankl's ideas?
I knew next to nothing about Viktor's brainchild logotherapy before reading this book. I find his ideas intriguing in that department but would like to hear from some critics of logotherapy. While much of his psychological advice is wise and I bet effective, I think that has little to do with his assertion that meaning be the focus. I remember in one point he talks of how a person trying to go to sleep but who can't needs to stop focusing so hard on going to sleep, but that like much of his best practical advice seems to have nothing to do with being a meaning-focused shrink as opposed to any other shrink.
I do appreciate is personal story and admire the way he takes being thrown into the horrors of a concentration camp so positively. I find the tone of his re-telling interestingly odd; it comes across as almost a dry, carefree, matter-of-fact attitude. This story may not only intrigue the reader, but give us a lesson in making the best out of even the worst situations--which while sounding like cliche advice is not considering the gravity of Viktor's worst situations.
Here are a few passages I like so much I wish to highlight:
Viktor Frankl wrote:I consider it a dangerous misconception of mental hygeine to assume that what man needs in the first place is equilibrium or, as it is called in biology, "homeostasis," i.e., a tensionless state but rather the striving and struggling for a worthwhile goal, a freely chosen task. What he needs is not the discharge of tension at any cost but the call of a potential meaning waiting to be fulfilled by him
I also remember one point that really stung a cord with me: Frankl pointed out that there are heroes and villians, nice people and mean people in every group--with the example of some of the camp guards being sympathetic and relatively quite kind to the prisoners while some of the prisoners themselves, namely many of the kapos, were harsher to the other prisoners then the guards. I believe I had written down the particular passage on a piece of paper immediately after reading it, but I guess I lost that piece of paper.Viktor Frankl wrote:Love is the only way to grasp another human being in the innermost core of his personality. No one can become fully aware of the very essence of another human being unless he loves him.
Overall, I don't think it's the greatest book in the world but I think it's still worth the read.
What do you think?