Results 1 to 2 of 2

Thread: Man's search for meaning

  1. #1 Man's search for meaning 
    Forum Freshman
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    George Town Tasmania Australia
    When Man's Search for Meaning was first published in 1959, it was hailed by Carl Rogers(1902-1987), a founder of humanistic psychology, as "one of the outstanding contributions to psychological thought in the last fifty years." Now, more than fifty years and 5 million copies later, this tribute to hope in the face of unimaginable loss has emerged as a true classic. Man's Search for Meaning--at once a memoir, a self-help book, and a psychology manual-is the story of psychiatrist Viktor Frankl's struggle for survival during his three years in Auschwitz and other Nazi concentration camps. Yet rather than "a tale concerned with the great horrors," Frankl(1905-1997) focuses on the "hard fight for existence" waged by "the great army of unknown and unrecorded." 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.

    Viktor Frankl's training as a psychiatrist allowed him a remarkable perspective on the psychology of survival. In these inspired pages, he asserts that the "the will to meaning" is the basic motivation for human life. This simple and yet profound statement became the basis of his psychological theory, logotherapy, and forever changed the way we understand our humanity in the face of suffering. As Nietzsche put it, "He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how." Frankl's seminal work offers us all an avenue to greater meaning and purpose in our own lives-a way to transcend suffering and find significance in the act of living. The Library of Congress/Book-of-the-Month Club called the book: "one of the ten most influential books in America." Patricia J. Williams, author of Seeing a Color-Blind Future: The Paradox of Race, wrote that: "Viktor Frankl's timeless formula for survival. One of the classic psychiatric texts of our time, Man's Search for Meaning is a meditation on the irreducible gift of one's own counsel in the face of great suffering, as well as a reminder of the responsibility each of us owes in valuing the community of our humanity. There are few wiser, kinder, or more comforting challenges than Frankl's."-Ron Price with thanks to Beacon Press, 29 January 2011.

    I joined the Baha’i Faith that year,
    in ’59, but had my hands full with
    10th grade, autumn football, hockey
    and my concupiscent control system.
    I was comfortable in that smalltown
    smugness of my childhood, born as
    securely as we all were, then, into
    salvation’s complacent trinity of:
    Catholic, Protestant and Jew.

    My world was small, safe and so
    familiar--and very white. Indians
    were the bad guys who got licked
    in movies on Saturday afternoons
    amid candy wrappers and girls
    necking in the dark back row seats.

    The tempest came slowly back
    then in my childhood, snuck-up
    on me year after year into the
    my adolescence; I was lucky to
    survive the hurricane and the
    psychological violence….that
    depression, the schizo-affective
    state. But I came through it all
    and still I sang the new song that
    up from the Siyah-Chal it rose. I
    faltered, Lord; I quavered: yet I
    sang---and still, Lord, I sing!!!*1

    1 Roger White, “New Song,” Another Song Another Season, George Ronald, Oxford, 1979, pp.116-118.

    Ron Price
    30 January 2011

    married for 37 years; teacher for 30; living in Australia for 33 years; Baha'i for 45 years. Writer of poetry for 25 years.
    Reply With Quote  


  3. #2  
    Forum Freshman
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    George Town Tasmania Australia

    The following chapter of volume 5 of my autobiography is to be added after my passing at the instigation of my literary executor(s). The reason for this is the personal and private nature of some of the material. I have placed some of the less personal material here from this last chapter for the appetite of readers should what I offer them make them a little hungry. Readers who have followed my autobiographical work thusfar will be able to finish this story, this analysis, this memoir, when they hear of my demise and when my literary executor places this addition into the text of my work in the literary marketplace. -Ron Price for my 67th birthday on 23 July 2011.
    Having completed my autobiography or, at least, completed a sixth edition in a form that is satisfactory to me over five volumes; and keeping in mind that I will in all likelihood make additions to it in the years ahead, I want to write a sort of addendum or epilogue in the pages which follow. I often devote more than one draft to the creation of most of my literary productions. In books of this length I cannot count the number of drafts: they are really beyond counting.

    Characteristically in much of my writing, in the essay, poem or journal item I would write a first draft and then subject that draft to a quasi-rigorous redrafting or revision at what might be called the proof stage, before publication if, indeed, there was to be a publication. But this is not the case with my autobiography which I have been working on now for more than 25 years, 1984 to 2011. In the last eight years, 2003 to 2011, I have had trouble leaving the manuscript alone. Perspiration and inspiration combined in happy measure to produce this final product, at least final as of the end of my 66th year on 23 July 2011.

    Perhaps in my further years of late adulthood, like Frank and Malachy McCourt, transplanted Irishmen who have turned their autobiographies into an evening of cabaret comedy, I can interweave stories, songs, and broad character monologues and appear at some of the best entertainment places. It takes a good yarn-spinner, someone who can resuscitate stereotypes with gusto, has a sharp eye for detail and, in Australia, can make people laugh. I won’t hold my breath waiting for this development in my own life and style of writing. I won’t hold my breath, either, waiting for the complete removal from my text of the kind of political language that concerned George Orwell; namely, euphemism, question-begging and sheer cloudy vagueness.[1] I am sure I am guilty of keeping phrases in my text that, as Orwell puts it, anaesthetize a portion of one's brain, the reader’s brain that is. To those who have actually read goodly portions of this far too-lengthy book, I apologize for creating any difficulties which could have been avoided by greater efforts at simplicity, clarity and concision.

    My general approach in writing has been like that of the professional journalist, but in the case of my books I add, subtract, alter, redraft, revise, many times. Like Wordsworth and most people who write these days, though, I have never seen myself as a writer who made a living by his pen. Like Wordsworth, as is the case with most poets, the process of writing is as important as the product. Although I often draw on other writers and thinkers, unlike Wordsworth I never feel I am pitting myself against the ghost of a previous writer or writers, as Wordsworth had Milton before his mind when he wrote.[2] I have not felt the need to know what the plan of my work, my essay or poem was to be. Like Michael Ondaatje I planned as I wrote, did not preplan the entire text.

    This epilogue will be followed by seven appendices, appendices on various subjects pertinent to this autobiography.[3] The work will conclude with a final chapter. This concluding chapter will not be included in this volume until my passing, although I will add the first two pages as a sort of teaser for those who have followed the account thusfar. Time tends to diminish the bulk of every author who produces many volumes. Since I have produced few published volumes, perhaps time will not exercise its diminishing function quite as intensely. The great public which discovers a writer sometimes cherishes their works after they are gone. If I am never discovered I will never be cherished and I must, of course, leave these sorts of eventualities to those mysterious forces of Providence, fate and inscrutable design. Sometimes the work, the character, and the career of writers like myself are preserved in an admirable biography or a collection of letters. This is especially true of many great representative men who have been writers......enough for now....

    [1] George Orwell, “Politics and the English Language,” 1947, The Political Writigns of George Orwell, Internet Site.

    [2] Duncan Wu, editor, Introduction to the Selected Works of William Hazlitt, Pickering and Chatto, 1998.

    [3] There are now several editions of this autobiography floating around in cyberspace and the appendices mentioned here appear in different locations in different editions of this autobiography. The title or at least the main title under which these editions appear is: Pioneering Over Three/Four/Five Epochs.

    Last edited by RonPrice; July 21st, 2011 at 07:00 AM. Reason: to add some words
    married for 37 years; teacher for 30; living in Australia for 33 years; Baha'i for 45 years. Writer of poetry for 25 years.
    Reply With Quote  

Tags for this Thread

View Tag Cloud

Posting Permissions
  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts