"Two roads diverged in a wood, and I, I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference" - Robert Frost

November 15, 2013

Book Review: Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl

Hello, friends. How are you?
I hope everything's going well with you. :)
Today's review might be a bit serious -- since the book is serious too, hehehe.
But I promise you that's it's going to be exciting, so please keep scrolling. ;)

Some of you might have known the fact that I'm interested in psychology/self-healing thingy. The book that I'm gonna give a review is the book that I had been longing to read.
Someone special (:p) lol I mean my mom recommended this book to me. She said that it's one of the best psychology/psychotherapy books ever written. Burt when I looked for it on the shelves in house, it wasn't there. Sad. But then again, a year later, I iseng-ly looked for some books on shelves.
Tadaaaaa! There it was, I finally found it! :""") I was so happy hooray hooray I finally could read it without having to buy the English version one. Alhamdulillah :)

Here's the cover of the book:

taken from google
 Why are you interested in reading this book, Nad? It's written by Jewish lho.
Well, for me, it's not about who wrote it or what religion the author believed in. I'm interested in reading this book because the content is really, really good. And it's all useful.
So let's widen our mind, and start to see things not from how they look like, but by what they contain. If it's good for us --means we can be a better person by doing/reading it-- then take it. If it's not then leave it. As simple as that. :)

Viktor Frankl, the author of the book, was a well-known psychiatrist in Vienna, Austria. And all over the world, thanks to this book.
The book itself has two parts.
Part one is about the story of his life when in the death/concentration camp and how he survived through it.
Part two is about logotherapy, the psychotherapy method he found when (and developed by him after) surviving in the death camp.

Well I'm not going to tell you further about the content of the book --since it's too long to be explained here hehe.
But I can tell you that the book is GREAT!
I feel so enlightened by the book. It taught me psychology things that I never knew before.

Anyway, the original version of the book (which is written in German) is titled "From the Death-Camp to Existentialism" and the English version is titled Man's Search for Meaning.
When in the death camp, Frankl thought a lot about life. Suffering from such pain, wearing no clothes but old clothes from the old prisoners, not enough food (only too-aqueous soup and a thin slice of bread a day), being harassed by the SS soldiers, etc.
With that kind of life so many prisoners gave up and became really what the Nazi wanted them to be: the lowest level of creature.
You see, surviving from such suffering is not easy. At all.
You could easily lose control, lose faith, lose hopes, and, eventually, lose yourself. It's dangerous.
Thus, Frankl found out that we need a bigger cause for us to survive. To live.
Frankl thought that, to survive, we need to find the meaning of our life.
No matter how bad the condition is, if we have a Purpose, we can surely pass through it.
As he said brilliantly quoting Nietzsche:

"He who has a Why to live for can bear with almost any How."


On part two...
Part two explains about logotherapy, a therapy method found by Frankl himself.
What is logotherapy anyway?
Logo comesfrom word Logos (Greek), means "meaning".
So, logotherapy  is a therapy that helps   human find his meaning of life --which Frankl believed is the ultimate motivator to live.

Unlike any other therapy --that focuses on revealing the past and ask the human to be introspective-- logotherapy focuses more on helping human heal theirselves by finding the meaning of life.
I learn a lot in this chapter.

Last, after reading Frankl's biography on Wikipedia, I just knew that when brought to Auschwitz, Frankl put pieces of scripture. How brave.
And also, he had his book manuscript destroyed by the SS soldiers. Then he re-wrote it on pieces of teard papers. He believed that it's what made him spared from heart attack.


Whether you are interested in psychology or Jewish thingy or not, I really recommend you this book--because the content is so beautiful. It is a must-read.
Ciao, have a nice day, friends. :)

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