The Will to Meaning - Foundations and Applications of Logotherapy


How much do I want to read more? 8/10

It might seems a bit boring to read, but I have to read this. I want this sense of emptiness to end. I want this existencial crisis to end.
And I think logotherapy can help.


PREFACE

logotherapy is based on the following three concepts:

  1. the freedom of will; determinism versus pan-determinism.
  2. the will to meaning;
  3. the meaning of life. relativism versus subjectivism.

Ever more patients complain of a feeling of emptiness and meaninglessness, which seems to me to derive from two facts.
Unlike an animal, man is not told by instincts what he must do.
And unlike man in former times, he is no longer told by traditions what he should do.
Often he does not even know what he basically wishes to do
Instead, either he wishes to do what other people do (conformism), or he does what other people wish him to do (totalitarianism).

despite the crumbling of traditions, life holds a meaning for each and every individual, and even more, it retains this meaning literally to his last breath.
psychiatrist can show his patient that life never ceases to have a meaning.
he cannot show his patient what the meaning is, but he may well show him that there is a meaning, and that life retains it: that it remains meaningful, under any conditions.

Logotherapy may justly be called optimistic, because it shows the patient how to transform despair into triumph.
In an age such as ours, in which traditions are on the wane, psychiatry must see its principal assignment in equipping man with the ability to find meaning.
In an age in which the Ten Commandments seem to many people to have lost their unconditional validity, man must learn to listen to the ten thousand commandments implied in the ten thousand situations of which his life consists.

INTRODUCTION - The Situation of Psychotherapy and the Position of Logotherapy

it speaks against the capacity of everyday language to express thoughts and feelings hitherto unknown.