Some Thoughts About LogotherapyWhat I like most about this book, is the way in which Viktor Frankl uses his experience of the death camps to explain his philosophy of logotherapy. It's not the most catchy title for a philosophy of thought, but it is actually quite exciting as philosophies go.
According to logotherapy, all humans strive for a meaning in life, and our maladies are caused by a loss of meaning. We often lose meaning when events happen that are out of our control. The solution then, is to realise that no matter what happens, we have the freedom to choose what something means to us. We don't have to be at the mercy of external events. Bad things will happen, but we get to decide if they destroy us or not. In other words, while it may seem delusional, we can take an empowering meaning from anything that happens.
Since meaning is so subjective, it must go beyond having to be right or wrong, or even having to "know the truth", and is more akin to having faith, that things are what we understand to be true, at the current time, with the current information we have, and with the understanding that this interpretation remains open to change.
This mode of thought may seem woolly and even a bit liberal, but we all know the problems caused by having fixed ideas and rigid rules to live by, ba
Many holocaust survivors, like Primo Levi, killed themselves, perhaps because they chose to believe (in his words) "that only the worst survived" ie that survivors were those people that were ruthless enough to ensure that someone else died in their place. Viktor Frankl took a different meaning, that he had something to teach and share from his experience. Neither of them are wrong. But which choice is most empowering?