Date: 2nd May, 2012
Man’s search for meaning
Dr.Frankl’s approach to meaning differs to Sigmund Freud’s approach. According to Frankl, man is naturally driven by the desire of searching for meaning in life. This contradicts Sigmund Freud who says that man is controlled b the unconscious desires from the unconscious mind To him, Frankl, the meaning of life has more weight as compared to the unconscious desires of man. (Viktor 59)
Dr.Frankl approaches meaning from three different dimensions. He says that meaning can be three in one depending on the approach that a person may decide to take. He says that meaning can be discovered through our actions or deeds in life. The ways we create our works or rather in all that we do we can find meaning. He also says that meaning can be through experience. It is different when one does something and another gets the meaning from encountering someone or experiencing something. Thirdly, he says that meaning can be got through attitude we have especially in cases that will cause suffering and we can not avoid them. He says that this meaning can be gotten when one is denied the will to choose, is denied freedom. From these descriptions, three situations that define meaning come forth. First, the meaning due to the nature of human beings of not subjects to specific conditions but are free; they can choose and take stance on psychological, social and biological conditions that they may encounter. Freedom therefore refers to the spacethat is necessary for one to evaluate himself or herself and see the possibilities or the limitations involved in taking some actions. This is the space that plays the role of giving people the authenticity to actions in psychotherapy. Secondly, meaning also comes from the natural desire of human beings to achieve their goals and aspirations. It is true that people are free but their goals and purposes in life also matter. So, Dr.Frankl argues that the driving force of human beings into choice is primarily their goals. These act as primary motivation to people I their wills to choose. This is why when people fail to meet these objectives in their choices, they become embarrased. Lastly, Dr.Frankl says that people find meaning from the nature of the meaning. Meaning is not an illusion but a realistic objective that must be achieved. This means that a person can not just imagine or convince himself or herself that meaning is achieved when it is realistically absent.
In finding these meanings, logotherapy is very useful. Dr.Frankl says that logotherapy helps people to manage an incredible balance. He says that logotherapy is an incredible power that helps people shapes their attitudes as well as their responses in times of challenges in their present lives. He also says the logotherapy helps people to do away with the obstacles that could make them not to realise goals that are meaningful.in this importance, people are simply given guidance but not directed to specific meanings. This gives them the freedom to choose and do what will have meaning to them. In addition to these, logotherapy also enables people to realise that their actions are very important. This is to mean that after people have made choices and acted; their actions become the proof of whether they made the right choices or the wrong ones. This is why logotherapy is very important.(Viktor, 64)
Despite the fact that Dr. Frankl’s logotherapy is very straight and probably easy to understand, there are criticisms concerning it. Some people have come forth to say thatlogotherapy is authoritarian in nature. For instance, people like May Rollo says that he can not get it how Frankl’slogotherapy can give solutions to all human problems. Some critics have also claimed thatlogotherapy has elements of religiousness that could be from the influence that Frankl might have when he was young. This criticism is for the idea that Frankl is searching for meaning through faith.
Viktor F.Man’s Search for Meaning, Viktor Frankl. Beacon Press, 2006: 59
Viktor F. A Life Worth Living, Anna Redsand .2006: 109