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Man's Search for Meaning (1946)

por Viktor E. Frankl

Outros autores: Ver a secção outros autores.

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11,886239397 (4.25)197
In this work, a Viennese psychiatrist tells his grim experiences in a German concentration camp which led him to logotherapy, an existential method of psychiatry. This work has riveted generations of readers with its descriptions of life in Nazi death camps and its lessons for spiritual survival. Between 1942 and 1945 the author, a psychiatrist labored in four different camps, including Auschwitz, while his parents, brother, and pregnant wife perished. Based on his own experience and the stories of his many patients, he argues that we cannot avoid suffering but we can choose how to cope with it, find meaning in it, and move forward with renewed purpose. His theory, known as logotherapy, from the Greek word logos (meaning), holds that our primary drive in life is not pleasure, as Freud maintained, but the discovery and pursuit of what we personally find meaningful.… (mais)
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Brevity's not my thing:

When a man finds that it is his destiny to suffer, he will have to accept his suffering as his task; his single and unique task. He will have to acknowledge the fact that even in suffering he is unique and alone in the universe. No one can relieve him of his suffereing or suffer in his place. His unique opportunity lies in the way in which he bears his burden.

For us, as prisoners, these thoughts were not speculations far removed from reality. They were the only thoughts that could be of help to us. They kept us from despair, even when there seemed to be no chance of coming out of it alive. Long ago we had passed the stage of asking what was the meaning of life, a naive query which understands life as the attaining of some aim through the active creation of something of value. For us, the meaning of life embraced the wider cycles of life and death, of suffering and of dying.

Once the meaning of suffering had been revealed to us, we refused to minimize or alleviate the camp's tortures by ignorning them or harboring false illusions and entertaining artificial optimism. Suffering had become a task on which we did not want to turn our backs. We had realized its hidden opportunities for achievement, the opportunities which caused the poet Rilke to write,
"Wie viel ist aufzuleiden!" (How much suffering there is to get through!). Rilke spoke of "getting through suffering" as others would talk of "getting through work." There was plenty of suffering for us to get through. Therefore, it was necessary to face up to the full amount of suffering, trying to keep moments of weakness and furtive tears to a minimum. But there was no need to be ashamed of tears, for tears bore witness that a man had the greatest of courage, the courage to suffer. Only very few realized that. Shamefacedly some confessed occasionally that they had wept, like the comrade who answered my question of how he had gotten over his edema, by confessing, "I have wept it out of my system." (77-79) ( )
  LibroLindsay | Jun 18, 2021 |
Very interesting book about logotherapy. Also, his experience of 3 years in 4 different concentration camps. It is hard to imagine the horrors that he experienced. A very profound man, neurologist and psychiatrist. ( )
  Jeff_Simms | Jun 9, 2021 |
O fundador da Logoterapia mostra aqui como foi a sua própria experiência em busca do sentido da vida num campo de concentração durante a Segunda Guerra Mundial. Apresenta também, numa segunda parte, os conceitos básicos da logoterapia.
  JefersonMello | Jun 2, 2021 |
To be honest, I didn't get much out of the book after the first part. The latter parts were full of technical terms and phrases that would be more understood and appreciated by psychiatrists and psychologists or students of such subjects. The parts I did understand, well, were a bit meh. Except for the first part. The first part was solid. ( )
  deguzmanmvl | May 13, 2021 |
This is one of those "everyone has read this" classics that contains a lot of hard-won wisdom, and whose insights are worth reiterating even if you've read similar books about therapy or happiness. It's two books in one, and the relationship between the two is interesting even above and beyond their contents. The first half is an extremely moving portrait of the horrors of his time in several WW2 concentration camps, and like a non-fiction equivalent to Varlam Shalamov's fictional Kolyma Tales, Frankl's near-death experiences are made even more powerful by his calm, detached narration. His dry descriptions of the camp, the guards, and the lives of the prisoners are set against the grim absurdities of his near-helplessness at the chance events which determined whether someone lived or died, and those physical struggles are contrasted with his emotional striving to find something to live for, the spiritual sustenance that is almost more important than physical sustenance for a human being to survive the worst that his fellow humans can subject him to. The second half is a brief description of Frankl's chosen psychological discipline of logotherapy, a type of therapy which seems to descend from Stoicism and have left a legacy in modern cognitive-behavioral therapy. It was not nearly as affecting as the first half, but as Frankl himself considers it the more important part, the two haves together are more valuable than either alone.

Outside of questionably authentic thriller novels like Papillon, prison literature tends to be on the grim side. It's just really hard to avoid emphasizing how brutal prison is, and that goes more so for anything about gulags or concentration camps, where death is typically the only way out. The short fiction of the Kolyma Tales remains my gold standard for depictions of bureaucratized horror, but the added realism of Frankl's experiences is not any less harrowing. This section is full of ethical dilemmas, inhuman atrocities, nightmarish gambles (should you volunteer for an extra shift of duty, which could bring you some extra favor but also carries the risk of a quick death?), and cruelty that is not any less cruel for being done out of impersonal duty rather than personalized malice. The only way to remain sane is to concentrate on the good, to find something to live for beyond yourself, yet with the knowledge that fate has its own ideas (Frankl mentions the fable "Death in Tehran", which I'd previously read as "Appointment in Samarra", wherein a man's efforts to avoid his scheduled death only hasten it). The peculiar mixture of constant background risk of death and unbearable tedium reminds him of a Bismarck quote: "Life is like being at the dentist. You always think that the worst is still to come, and yet it is over already." To find your purpose won't save you from death, but without something to live for you're dead even before your body grows cold.

Though it's those narrative parts that will be most likely to stick with readers, in the Preface to my 1992 edition Frankl mentions that the first half of the book is really just an explication of the second half about logotherapy, which is very important to him: his precious manuscript which he lost on his first day in camp was about logotherapy, so it's interesting to see how his drive to see it through to publication helped him survive four different concentration camps before he even published it. I won't pretend to fully understand it - there are too many terms like "noögenic neuroses" and "the existential vacuum" for me to be really comfortable - but it's striking how the purpose of publishing the manuscript helped Frankl popularize a discipline that's intended to help people find purpose. There is much of his real life experience in that quotation from Nietzsche: "He who has a WHY to live for can bear almost any HOW." As he says:

"Logotherapy, keeping in mind the essential transitoriness of human existence, is not pessimistic but rather activistic. To express this point figuratively we might say: The pessimist resembles a man who observes with fear and sadness that his wall calendar, from which he daily tears a sheet, grows thinner with each passing day. On the other hand, the person who attacks the problems of life actively is like a man who removes each successive leaf from his calendar and files it neatly and carefully away with its predecessors, after first having jotted down a few diary notes on the back. He can reflect with pride and joy on all the richness set down in these notes, on all the life he has already lived to the fullest."

There's a great Kafka aphorism that I wish Frankl had referenced, because it bears directly on that insistence that logotherapy be attuned to action: "You can hold back from the suffering of the world, you have free permission to do so, and it is in accordance with your nature. But perhaps the holding back is the one suffering you could have avoided." We know that not nearly all psychological issues can be solved by calm discussion with a therapist, no matter how well trained, and that sometimes suffering isn't ennobling but merely enervating. Frankl is a powerful example of someone who used his suffering to find meaning and achieve good things in the world, and he acknowledges that there were many others who tried no less hard who never made it out of Auschwitz. But while suffering is not a necessary or sufficient condition for finding a purpose, Frankl is absolutely correct in asserting that finding meaning is possible even in the face of seemingly unendurable suffering, which should cheer up people who are in circumstances less dire than Auschwitz (i.e. just about all of us). Perhaps meaning is where you find it, and the clear corollary - that almost any road could lead there - means that logotherapy is no shortcut to psychic satisfaction, but if "the journey can be the destination", and "the real meaning is the friends we made along the way", and so forth through those clichés, then merely by encouraging people to actively find meaning in their lives Frankl has done the world a valuable service, and proved his own point in the process. Not bad! ( )
  aaronarnold | May 11, 2021 |
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» Adicionar outros autores (80 possíveis)

Nome do autorPapelTipo de autorObra?Estado
Viktor E. Franklautor principaltodas as ediçõescalculated
Allport, Gordon WPrefácioautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Aveline, Carlos C.Tradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Šuvajevs, IgorsTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Åkerberg, Hans, professorPrefácioautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Bacon, Clifford J.Traductionautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Benigno Freire, JoséEditorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Drolet, LouiseTraductionautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Edgardh, MargaretaTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Eitinger, LeoPrefácioautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Herrera, GabrielTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Herrero-Velarde, Gabriel InsaustiTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Hygen, Johan B.Tradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Insausti Herrero-Velarde, GabrielTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Kalmar, JanosFotógrafoautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Kopplhuber, ChristineTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Kushner, Harold S.Prefácioautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Lasch, IlseTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Marcel, GabrielPrefácioautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Martínez, FrancescaTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
McDonald, Alonzo L.Prefácioautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Metspalu, PiretTÕlkija.autor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Pearson, BrigidDesigner da capaautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Pisano, HelenTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Stegmaier, Anna-MariaPostfaceautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Vance, SimonNarradorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Winslade, William J.Posfácioautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
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He who has a Why to live for can bear almost any How
Life is not primarily a quest for pleasure, as Freud believed, or a quest for power, as Alfred Adler taught, but a quest for meaning.
Man's inner strangth may raise him about his outward fate
Forces beyond your control can take away everything you possess except one thing, your freedom to choose how you will respond to the situation. You cannot control what happens to you in life, but you can always control what you feel and do about what happens to you.
Life is meaningful and that we must learn to see life as meaningful despite our circumstances.
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In this work, a Viennese psychiatrist tells his grim experiences in a German concentration camp which led him to logotherapy, an existential method of psychiatry. This work has riveted generations of readers with its descriptions of life in Nazi death camps and its lessons for spiritual survival. Between 1942 and 1945 the author, a psychiatrist labored in four different camps, including Auschwitz, while his parents, brother, and pregnant wife perished. Based on his own experience and the stories of his many patients, he argues that we cannot avoid suffering but we can choose how to cope with it, find meaning in it, and move forward with renewed purpose. His theory, known as logotherapy, from the Greek word logos (meaning), holds that our primary drive in life is not pleasure, as Freud maintained, but the discovery and pursuit of what we personally find meaningful.

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Beacon Press

3 edições deste livro foram publicadas por Beacon Press.

Edições: 080701429X, 0807014265, 0807014273

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