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One should not search for an abstract meaning of life. Everyone has his own specific vocation or mission in life to carry out a concrete assignment which demands fulfillment. Therein he cannot be replaced, nor can his life be repeated. Thus, everyone's task is as unique as is his specific opportunity to implement it. ( Man search for meaning, Frankl 2006:108-109)
Ultimately, man should not ask what the meaning of his life is, but rather he must recognise that it is he who is asked. In a word, each man is questioned by life; and he can only answer to life by answering for his own life; to life he can only respond by being responsible.
Thus Logotherapy sees in responsibleness the very essence of human existence. (Man's search for Meaning Frankl 2006:109)
Frankl (1970, p. 50) contended that existence would falter unless there is "a strong idea" or a strong ideal or important values in life to hold on to. Frankl referred here to Freud (1927, p.113) who stated:
"Men are as strong as long as they stand for a strong idea" We need to feel that there is a goal to strive towards, or that there is something to live for, that life has a purpose.
We experience life as meaningful when we feel that we have a vocation in life, or a mission in life to fulfill. (Life's Meaning in the face of Suffering: Shantall 2002:18)
The Will to Meaning is man's primary motivation. It is more powerful than the Will to Pleasure (Sigmund Freus) and the Will to Power(Alfred Adler & Friedrich Nietzche)
Man is born with the Defiant Power of The Human Spirit. Man is not delivered over; man is not the victim of physical limitations, his instincts, his genes or his enviroment. Man has the power to choose!
Man always has a choice - even if it is just the ability to choose his attitude towards circumstances, towards suffering, death and adversity.
Meaning is not only found in that which one does (in one's work, hobbies, commitment to a cause, etc.) but Meaning can be realised in that which we experience (e.g. in nature, in art, in relationships.)
Meaning can be realised through the attitude that we take in the apparently meaningless, tragic situations which cause unavoidable suffering!
Man can distance himself from himself, e.g. through humour, which can help man to break life patterns and change the course of his life.
Man is not determined by that what he was, by how and where he was born, but by his vision of the person he wants to be, how he wants to act!
So go out and be the person you always aspired to be! The world is your oyster!
Logotherapy is not satisfied with reconditioning but opens the dimension of the very humanness of man and draws upon the resources which are available in the humanitas of the homo patiens. (The will to meaning Frankl 1988:116)
Logotherapy focuses on the meaning of human existence as well as on man’s search for such meaning (Man’s search for Meaning Frankl 2008:104)
The 3 Pillars (existential analysis) of Logotherapy are: 1. Freedom of Will, 2. Will to Meaning, 3. Meaning in life.
The word “logos” is a Greek word which also denotes “meaning”. The word “therapy” originates from the Greek word ”therapia” which literally means ”service”. Thus, Logotherapy is a therapy through which one can be helped to find meaning – the meaning of one’s own life as many people feel that their lives are void of any meaning.
Have a blessed week!
I use a meaning and value based approach to help people conquer their problems, challenges, fears and obstacles for a happier and more fulfilled life.
Level Four B-BBEE Contributor.