Victor Frankl's Search For Meaning Essay

2539 words - 10 pages

The eight elements that brought meaning to Victor Frankl’s life was his intense inner life, camaraderie, his manuscript, spiritual well-being, his attitude, humanity, faith, comforting or soothing images of the past, and fate.
Intense inner life: I believe that Frankl was constantly in the mindset of the doctor he was. He was continually thinking of ways to keep his mind busy. Helping others, thinking of ways to ration his bread, obtaining medicine for the typhus patients, inspiring others, or hiding comrades Frankl kept his mind busy. Although at times he struggled he found his meaning in life and his inner life kept him motivated to go on. To keep his mind busy he was constantly thinking like a psychologist and analyzing others.
Camaraderie: There were many prisoners that came and went from the concentrations camps. Many friends died and gave up. Although Frankl did not have one specific comrade consistently throughout the novel he was surrounded by men who were in the fight for their lives. These naked men huddled together every night in the barracks to stay warm. There was camaraderie among all the prisoners because they knew what each other was going through. They were in it together. At one point Frankl acquired an illness yet he knew he was healthier than others. He still had the will to survive. Frankl aided to the typhus patients; he cared for the ones who stopped caring for themselves. When he was going to attempt to escape he had an encounter with one of his friends who was in the typhus ward. The friend knew what Frankl was attempting; and when Frankl stopped at his bed once again he rolled over and would not speak a word to him. Viktor Frankl decided not to escape that night. He knew if he left his fellow prisoners would die.
Manuscript: Spared to serve as a worker, he pleaded with the guards not to destroy a manuscript he had hidden in the lining of his coat. "Look, this is the manuscript of a scientific book. . . . I must keep this manuscript at all costs; it contains my life's work.” The guards took it anyway, he knew he had to survive in order to finish his book. He so desperately wanted to keep the manuscript he risked his life just to ask to keep it with him. When they told him no I bet he was devastated. His life’s work just tossed aside. I consider the fortitude to finish the book was a key component in his survival.
Spiritual well-being: “There is meaning in life, there must therefore also be meaning in suffering.” The way he accepted his fate and all his suffering gave Frankl an ample opportunity to add a deeper meaning to his life. Despite all the adversities and anguish Frankl observed nature and love. He thought of his wife habitually and observed nature. He kept his mind busy which kept his spirit up. Even though he struggled he ultimately came to the conclusion that his existence did have significance; he had a purpose which he was going to accomplish. This permitted him to be in a spirit of well-being.
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