One of the outstanding classics to emerge from the Holocaust, Man's Search for Meaning is Viktor Frankl's story of his struggle for survival in Auschwitz and other Nazi concentration camps. Today, this remarkable tribute to hope offers us an avenue to finding greater meaning and purpose in our own lives.
Man's Search For Meaning 6 csillagozás
Eredeti mű: Viktor E. Frankl: …trotzdem Ja zum Leben sagen
Eredeti megjelenés éve: 1946
Boldogság vs. az élet értelme? És egyáltalán mi az élet értelme? Van egyáltalán egy általános fogalom, amire azt lehet mondani, hogy ha ezt megtalálod, akkor megtaláltad az élet értelmét, és vele együtt a boldogságot?
Hogy lehet, hogy néhányan túlélték a koncentrációs tábort, míg mások feladták az életért való küzdelmet?
Viktor Frankl műve örökérvényű történet az élet értelmének és a boldogságnak a kereséséséről, valamint annak megtalálásáról. Egyúttal letette a logoterápia alapjait is ezzel az írással. A mű eleje, a Holokauszt leírásáról számomra könnyebben olvasható volt, mint a logoterápiáról szóló második rész. Érdekes volt megfigyelnem, hogy milyen tárgyilagos tudott maradni a koncentrációs táborban történt események, megaláztatások, éheztetések, kínzások leírásakor. A hideg, józan, racionális gondolkodás és azzal együtt a remény, célok, életöröm megőrzésének képessége hitet ad arra, hogy bárki, bármilyen körülmények között képes lehet a boldogság megtalálására és megélésére.
We had to learn ourselves and, furthermore, we had to teach the despairing men, that it did not really matter what we expected from life, but rather what life expected from us. We needed to stop asking about the meaning of life, and instead to think ourselves as those who were being questioned by life – daily and hourly.
I once had a dramatic demonstration of the close link between the loss of faith in the future and this dangerous giving up. F __, my senior block warden, a fairly well-known composer and librettist, confided in me one day: „I would like to tell you something, Doctor. I have had a strange dream. A voice told me that I could wish for something, that I should only say what I wanted to know, and all my answers would be answered. What do you think I asked? That I would like to know when the war would be over for me. You know what I mean, Doctor – for me! I wanted to know when we, when our camp, would be liberated and our sufferings come to an end.”
„And when did you have this dream?” I asked.
„In February, 1945,” he answered. It was then the beginning of March.
„What did your dream voice answer?”
Furtively he whispered to me, „March thirtieth.”
When F told me about his dream, he was still full of hope and convinced that the voice of his dream would be right. But as the promised day drew nearer, the war news which reached our camp made it appear very unlikely that we would be free on the promised date. On March twenty-ninth, F suddenly became ill and ran a high temperature. On March thirtieth, the day his prophecy had told him that the war and suffering would be over for him, he became delirious and lost consciousness. On March thirty-first, he was dead. To all outward appearances, he had died of typhus.
Yet it is possible to practice the art of living even in a concentration camp, although suffering is omnipresent. To draw an analogy: a man's suffering is similar to the behavior of gas. If a certain quantity of gas is pumped into an empty chamber, it will fill the chamber completely and evenly, no matter how big the chamber. Thus suffering completely fills the human soul and conscious mind, no matter whether the suffering is great or little. Therefore the „size” of human suffering is absolutely relative.
What was really needed was a fundamental change in our attitude toward life. We had to learn ourselves and, furthermore, we had to teach the despairing men, that it did not really matter what we expected from life, but rather what life expected from us. We needed to stop asking about the meaning of life, and instead to think of ourselves as those who were being questioned by life—daily and hourly. Our answer must consist, not in talk and meditation, but in right action and in right conduct. Life ultimately means taking the responsibility to find the right answer to its problems and to fulfill the tasks which it constantly sets for each individual.
The privilege of actually smoking cigarettes was reserved for the Capo, who had his assured quota of weekly coupons; or possibly for a prisoner who worked as a foreman in a warehouse or workshop and received a few cigarettes in exchange for doing dangerous jobs. The only exceptions to this were those who had lost the will to live and wanted to „enjoy” their last days. Thus, when we saw a comrade smoking his own cigarettes, we knew he had given up faith in his strenght to carry on, and, once lost, the will to live seldom returned.
I shall never forget how I was roused one night by the groans of a fellow prisoner, who threw himself about in his sleep, obviously having a horrible nightmare. Since I had always been especially sorry for people who suffered from fearful dreams or deliria, I wanted to wake the poor man. Suddenly I drew back the hand which was ready to shake him, frightened at the thing I was about to do. At the moment I became intensely conscious of the fact that no dream, no matter how horrible, could be as bad as the reality of the camp which surrounded us, and which I was about to recall him.
Does this not bring to mind the story of Death in Teheran? A rich and mighty Persian once walked in his garden with one of his servants. The servant cried that he had just encountered Death, who had threatened him. He begged his master to give him his fastest horse so that he could make haste and flee to Teheran, which he could reach that same evening. The master consented and the servant galloped ogg on the horse. On returning to his house the master himself met Death, and questioned him, „Why did you terrify and threaten my servant?” " I did not threaten him; I only showed surprise in still finding him here when I planned to meet him tonight in Teheran, " sais Death.
We came to meadows full of flowers. We saw and realized that they were there, but we had no feelings about them. The first spark of joy came when we saw a rooster with a tail of multicolored feathers. But it remained only a spark; we did not yet belong to this world. In the evening when we all met again in our hut, one said secretly to the other, „Tell me, were you pleased today?”
And the other replied, feeling ashamed as he did not know that we all felt similarly, „Truthfully, no” We had literally lost the ability to feel pleased and had to relearn it slowly.
Naturally only a few people were capable of reaching great spritual heights. But a few were given the chance to attain human greatness even through their apparent wordly failure and death, an accomplishment which in ordinary circumstances they would have never achieved. To the others of us, the mediocre and half-hearted, the words of Bismarck could be applied: „Life is like being at the dentist. You always think that the worst is still to come, and yet it is over already.” Varying this, we could say that most men in a concentration camp believed that the real opportunities of life had passed. Yet, in reality, there was an opportunity and a challenge. One could make a victory of those experiences, turning life into an inner triumph, or one could ignore the challenge and simply vegetate, as did a majority of the prisoners.
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