“When we shift our focus from ourselves to the world around us, we often find contentment, fulfillment and purpose” Viktor Frankl
Frankl’s works have given me new reason to not only live but to thrive after the passing of my dad last September 11, 2021. There has been the desire to die and go be with him; he was and is in a new way my biggest supporter in my life. My dad instilled in me not only values but much philosophy about how to treat others from family and friends to strangers. He did not write his philosophies down, but led by example which I will ever cherish the many memories of seeing my dad in action with whomever he was with.
I have decided to take on new writing projects because of the inspiration I have learned from my dad and the many books written by Viktor Frankl. Of course most people have heard of Man’s Search for Meaning and many have read it and found it profound. But I have also found much benefit to reading some of his other books.
The Will to Meaning: Foundations and Applications of Logotherapy by Viktor Frankl is my new current read. It discusses much on the topic of body (somatic), mind (psyche) and spirit (logos) being interconnected. I am still trying to grasp its deep meaning so will share more as I am able.
It is my hope to spread his views on the principles of Logotherapy (healing through meaning). He gave hope to many people, from when he was a prisoner in concentration camps, to his practice where he could be found at odd hours helping people he didn’t even know find meaning in their lives, to his family, friends and associates.
Frankl often writes about other peoples’ observations in the field of psychology and philosophy in his books. I intend to focus solely on his pearls of wisdom from these books because while I don’t agree with every word in the books, there is plenty to begin to understand Logotherapy and what he writes about in terms of healing through meaning. His most famous book, Man’s Search For Meaning sets the foundation with these pillars.
The 3 pillars of Logotherapy are:
- The Freedom of Will
- The will to meaning and
- The meaning of life
So it is inferred that Logotherapy teaches that through an individual finding meaning in their life through exercising free will, and by finding meaning in one’s life, one will choose hope over despair and ultimately, life over death. He used this model in the concentration camps where many prisoners, starting with himself, lost hope until he found meaning in his life, as did many other of the prisoners thanks to Logotherapy he developed while still a prisoner.
This has also happened to me in my experience of having Schizophrenia/Schizoaffective disorder. Through finding meaning in my life through my writing and other healthy habits (yoga, walking, gardening and meditation etc…) my life now has purpose and my self study of Frankl’s works has come at the perfect time in my life. More to come in this May 2022 series.