Frankl: He who has a WHY can bear any HOW

Hannibal and Me: life lessons from history

Despair = Suffering – Meaning

So Viktor Frankl says in the video above, summarizing his theory of logotherapy, which I’ve read at greater length in his book Man’s Search for Meaning. In other words, if people suffer but see meaning in their life, and even in their suffering, they do not despair, as he himself did not despair when he was in Auschwitz and other concentration camps.

He is therefore, as he also says in this video, the anti-Sartre. Sartre and the other existentialists believed that we have to accept the meaninglessness of our existence. I, in my black-turtleneck and Gauloise phase (everyone has one), used to think that was cool. But Frankl thinks it is nonsense.

Or rather, he thinks that it is unhealthy and unhelpful. Hence logotherapy, which

focuses rather on the future, that is to say, on the meanings to be fulfilled by the…

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