Author: Viktor E Frankl
Publisher: Rider Books
Genre: Psychology, Spiritiuality
Forces beyond your control can take away everything you possess except one thing, your freedom to choose how you will respond to the situation.
A short book published in 1946.
The book is divided into two halves.
The first half deals with the experiences of concentration camps.
The second half is the academic detail of Frankl’s theory – ‘logo-therapy.’
Frankl was a Jewish psychiatrists living in Vienna when he was arrested by the Nazis. His book on logotherapy was almost complete by then, but was taken away from him along with everything when he was sent to the Auschwitz. He spends three years surviving four different concentration camps.
He writes about the life of Nazi concentration camps from the prisoner’s point of view, from their arrival to liberation. About their clothing, food, shelter, sanitary and work. How the horrifying videos of the starved bodies and plowing masses of humanity into vast communal graves, strip the prisoners of their individuality. He helps the fellow prisoners and simultaneously, keeps his theory alive by living and sharing it with the inmates. He observes that the ones who gave up hope of living, died soon. Those who focused on the reasons of living had a better chance of survival.
He who has a why to live for can bear with almost any how.
The second half as said is about the academic detail of his theory, ‘logo-therapy.’
Logos is Greek word which denotes ‘meaning’. The therapy in which the patient is actually confronted with and reoriented towards the meaning of life.
NUTs and BOLTs
- The basic premises are powerful and moving.
- I picked this book in the hope that it is about Frankl’s personal quest for meaning amidst the horror of Auschwitz with a strong scientific perspective. Frankl does not offer much in a way of narrative, the reader should not expect to read his personal story.
- The psycho therapeutic methods in the second half, left me to boredom.
- Not a book I wanted to binge read. Not a book for general reading.
Freedom is not the last word. Freedom is only part of the story and half of the truth. Freedom is but the negative aspect of the whole phenomenon whose positive aspect is responsibleness.
Live as if you were living already for the second time and as if you had acted the first time as wrongly as you are about to act now!
Thank You Apurva for the copy.