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Critical Analysis of Viktor Frankl 'Man's Search for Meaning'

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This paper claim that man’s comprehension of human condition as it emerged in the most outrageous and harshest of conditions will even find meaning in life. The researcher will support his claim by presenting that what lie beyond any man’s condition is a meaning that only he himself can comprehend and appreciate and not any other, even in the harshest process in life one will still be able to find meaning in it. The researcher will also provide thoughts from another philosopher who thinks that what determines in life is the determination to achieve anything that a will to live upon any other being is what matter most.

In the first part of the paper, the researcher will argue that to find meaning in life it cannot be replied in general terms. A meaning that can be found in either in an active way or passive way of enjoyment. An active life that is manifested in one’s work and deed. A deed that greatly contribute to everyone not just by oneself.

Man can also find meaning in the latent existence of happiness or in the passive way of enjoyment. It is a meaning that arises in encountering something or someone. The main concern is there is a method for being and seeing that establishes another importance of life, and along these lines is typically connected with the most noteworthy type of adoration and that is love. This type of discovering meaning in life is not an active type, rather it is a type of surrendering and giving up.

In the second part of the paper, the researcher will tackle the most vital part of how man could manage unavoidable suffering and still be able to find meaning in it. Man can take stand no matter what circumstances he is in, even if he is deprived of many things in life. Man can choose to transcend any difficulty in life even toward death. Man even in the harshest condition still has the ability to find meaning in it.

In the latter part of the paper, the researcher will validate the authenticity of man in the process of claiming wholeness through the meaning of condition by presenting the experience of Viktor Frankl and the life of Maximillian Colbe. That there is a sense of moral courage to stand out from any condition. The meaning of life can be strengthened through hardship and by overcoming difficulty in life. There is an unrestrained choice in life. Man’s main concern is to fulfill meaning and actualize values. Often times, individuals make due with the quest for pleasure and power just when they fail to discover meaning. Thus, the meaning is one of a kind and explicit in that it should and can be satisfied by only him, at exactly that point does it accomplish a significance that will fulfill his own will to meaning.

Statement of the Problem

This paper deals with man’s authenticity in the process of claiming wholeness through the meaning of human condition. An existential crisis of finding meaning despite of the harshest condition in life. A crisis that occurs to everyone. A crisis that sometimes led a person to give up and commit an outrageous act that destroy one dignity in life. In the process of finding meaning, it is important to know the nature of human person. Thus, the logotherapy of Viktor Frankl greatly help the person who in his devastating condition be confronted with and reoriented toward the meaning of his life. To elaborate on those ideas, this paper will further answers this following questions:

  1. What are the essentials of life component that make life worth living for? Is it sufficiently strong that man can commit to be goal oriented and ignore the part that is unauthentic?
  2. In comparison to an individual’s personal and family problem as a concentration camp, how can one find significance in life despite of difficulties and struggles?
  3. What exists fundamentally in life and how should man view about it?

Significance of the Study

This paper will help people who are prone to despair that in spite of life’s difficulty there is always a light that can fill meaning in everything. For those individuals who continually searching and hoping to find answers to their questions about the significance of life. One’s own existence differ from another. For certain individuals, there reason for existing is associated with employment, significant in fulfilling work. For other people, their motivation lies in their obligations to their family or companions.

The Meaning of Life

Is there an objective and rational way to understand the ultimate and objective meaning of life?

Man essential inspiration is the will to meaning. This uniqueness and singleness which recognizes every person and gives an importance to his reality has a direction on innovative work as much as it does on human love.

Human being are not a life form that simply seeking for pleasure or power but a life form that continually evolving and seek meaning in life. In fact, individual make due with the quest for pleasure and power just when they fail to discover significance in life.

Active Way of Enjoyment

The primary method to discover meaning is through a functioning life in which you make a work or complete a deed. An active life serves the reason for allowing man the chance to acknowledge esteems in innovative work.[footnoteRef:1] Every individual has an exceptional condition, and everyone has unique purpose in life. In that way Viktor Frankl does not believe that the significance of life can be replied in general terms because the importance of life varies from man to man, day to day, and hour to hour.[footnoteRef:2] For consistently there is dependably an open door that anticipates throughout everyday life. An open door that extraordinarily decided one’s destiny throughout everyday life. Man may discover meaning in things that really interest in his mind. He may discover significance by being great at his particular employment. The deeds that man do add to an option that is more prominent than oneself that it may able to contribute to the community. [1: Viktor Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning; An Introduction to Logotheraphy 4TH Ed, trans., by Ilse Lasch (Boston: Beacon Press, 1992) 130.] [2: Frankl, Man’s, 86.]

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The true significance in discovering meaning in life is to dwell in creation rather than putting oneself in a box where there is no room for improvement. That is self-transcendence[footnoteRef:3] through work or service. Man in every possible way must indulge in things that may interest and help him get out of the box. For instance, if man is fond of education then he will always try his best to achieve excellence that led to a meaning in it. Thus, one may discover meaning in doing great at one’s particular pace. By accomplishing and achieving something that put a lot of a person’s effort and time is a worth it a meaningful one that can be truly cherished. [3: Frankl, Man’s, 133.]

Man’s creation or activity does not need to be apparent to be called a decent creation. By having this in mind, it would not defeat the essence of making a humble work which pleased the creator.

Passive Way of Enjoyment

The second method to discover meaning is through the latent existence of happiness or the passive way of enjoyment. This manages an individual the chance to get satisfaction in encountering excellence in beauty, art, or nature.[footnoteRef:4] It is implying that emerges in experiencing a person or thing that changes how one see reality. As of now, you are alive, its mind blowing in the event that man could by one way or another change the manner in which one fit to see, by encountering the extraordinary beauty, wonder, and mystery in life. A person may be the kind of individual that can discover significance in life by just lying in bed for the whole day and getting a charge out of it. Frankl proposes that man can discover meaning in this type of aloof happiness or in the passive way of enjoyment. [4: Frankl, Man’s, 67.]

The bottom line of this method is about love. On love, Frankl states that love is the best way to get a handle on another individual in the deepest center of his identity.[footnoteRef:5] In Frankl’s experience in the concentration camp, he depicts on how he was console in his struggle by envisioning his adored spouse. He discovered significance in basically recollecting her in affection. Right then at the very moment when one is in constant recollection of latent affection towards their beloved they can understood and can find meaning in living. [5: Frankl, Man’s, 134.]

It is called the passive way of enjoyment because it is latent in a way that it is there like a wind that you know that it exist but it cannot be seen apparently. Strangely, it was not just the desire for seeing her that kept him alive, however the memory, which gave him a cherishing perspective as he pondered her. He composes that the memory of holding that affection before his eyes was sufficient, regardless of whether he realized she was dead.

Meaning in Suffering

When there is a meaning in life, then there is also a meaning in suffering. A meaning that will incredibly transcend the nature of man. Suffering is always at man’s side, for without suffering there would be no color to life. Suffering is the partner of enjoyment.

When we are never again ready to change a circumstance, we are tested to change ourselves[footnoteRef:6] [6: ????]

‘Even the vulnerable casualty of a miserable circumstance, confronting a destiny he can’t change, may transcend himself, may develop past himself, and by so doing change himself. He may transform an individual catastrophe into a triumph”[footnoteRef:7] [7: Frankl, Man’s, 146.]

In spite of all the enforced physical and mental primitiveness of life it was possible for spiritual life to deepen.55

Unrestrained choice the concept of opportunity

Frankl believe that man generally have some level of opportunity, and that man can utilize this opportunity to find importance in life. He expresses, ‘what was at last in charge of the condition of the detainee’s internal identity was less the mental causes but rather more it was the aftereffect of a free choice.'[footnoteRef:8] [8: Frankl, Man’s, 69.]

How about we investigate a portion of the recorded occasions to more readily comprehend his concept of opportunity. In his book in titled “Mans Search for Meaning,” Frankl portrays his awful encounters in the death camp. He portrays detainees called Capos[footnoteRef:9] who were eager to do anything for power and survival. The experience is like the survival of the fittest, beating fellow Capos more than the guards. Frankl states, ‘Just those detainees could keep alive who, following quite a while of trekking from camp to camp, had lost all compunctions in their battle for presence; they were set up to utilize each mean, legit and something else, even severe power, burglary, and double-crossing of their companions, so as to spare themselves'[footnoteRef:10] [9: Frankl, Man’s, 21.] [10: ?]

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Critical Analysis of Viktor Frankl ‘Man’s Search for Meaning’. (2022, December 27). Edubirdie. Retrieved May 24, 2023, from
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