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Man’s Search For Meaning~ everyone should have to read this book.

Mans Search for Meaning

by Viktor E. Frankl

Mr. Frankl  was a psychiatrist who spend much time in the Nazi death camps.

(that should be a good enough statement to make you want to read this book)

How does a Man who has been trained to deal with humans, and help humans deal with their “issues”  deal with life when life becomes more than unfair but downright horrific?

This book details Frankl’s experience in the death camps, and in the beginning he makes it clear that it is not intended to represent “…facts and events..”  rather “Personal Experiences”

I first came to this book in a class I took on the Holocaust while in college, and again I think it was also required reading for the seminar on Violence in Religion at the same college.

So in going back over this book…some 2o years later I am seeing the phrases  I highlighted and find them still the ones that stick out to me.

So here goes :

“Apathy, the blunting of the emotions, and the feeling that one could not care any more, were the symptoms arising during the second stage of the prisoner’s psychological reactions, and which eventually made him insensitive to daily and hourly beatings.  By means of this insensibility the prisoner soon surrounded himself with a very necessary protective shell”(page 42)

don’t we do that also, when necessary, when we’ve been hurt physically or emotionally?(ella speaking here)

“No man should judge unless he asks himself in absolute honesty whether in a similar situation he might not have done the same.”(page 68)

We make decisions all the time, based on our background, our upbringing, our current situations, our emotions, but do we take into consideration what the background, upbringing, current situation and emotions are of the other individual? (ella speaking here)

“…Everything  that was not connected with the immediate task of keeping oneself and one’s closes friends alive lost its value…”(page 70)

“…this was not my way; …I had learned to let fate take its course.”(page 75)

and finally… for this review anyway

“Man can preserve a vestige of spiritual freedom, of independence of mind, even in such terrible conditions of psychic and physical stress.” (page 86)

I believe this applies to humanity…not just the gender specific man. (ella speaking here)

I could quote more and discuss more and I may do that another day…another post….but for now…I recommend you read the book and then pass it on.

Age wise I would reserve it for high school and older as some of the material may be too much for the younger ages to understand.

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About ellasurreau

I am a first grade religious education catechist I have been teaching for 20 years I have a BA in Religious Studies I have continued taking classes in religious studies since graduating. I grew up Methodist, and became catholic after marrying.

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