Wednesday, December 19, 2018
Supporting Men > Morality > Abstain from asking about the meaning of life: find the right answers to its problems

Abstain from asking about the meaning of life: find the right answers to its problems

https://medium.com/@saxlaukka/viktor-frankl-finding-meaning-in-suffering-810095a39d21

Frankl states that most people in the concentration camp believed that the real opportunities in life had passed, even though they in fact had been offered an opportunity — and a challenge: “One could make a victory of these experiences, turning life into an inner triumph, or one could ignore the challenge and simply vegetate, as did a majority of the prisoners.” In Nietzsche’s terms, making a victory of these experiences would require transforming every ‘it was’ into an ‘I willed it thus!’, that is, to take hold of the situation, accept one’s fate, and strive towards a goal worth pursuing. And Frankl believed that Nietzsche’s dictum “he who has a why to live for can bear with almost any how” could have been the guiding motto for all psychotherapeutic efforts concerning the prisoners in Auschwitz.

What was needed, then, was a “fundamental change” in the attitude of the prisoners towards life. It required that the prisoners abstained from asking about the meaning of life and started to think of themselves as ones who were being questioned by life on an hourly and daily basis. For Frankl, life ultimately means taking the responsibility to find the right answers to its problems and to fulfil the tasks it sets for us. He did not think the question of meaning could be answered by sweeping statements, because life and the tasks offered by it are real and concrete