THIS SITE IS ABOUT ME, MY CREATIVITY, MY IMAGINATION AND MY FEELINGS.
Author: Ashish kumar
I am a cool and clear hearted person who is passionate about writing. I am writer by passion. I love to write and put down my thoughts whenever it appears in my mind. Your suggestions and views are always welcomed. :-)
Life is a wonderful journey of ups and downs, happy and sad moments, good and bad experience etc. The meaning of life is found when one identifies his purpose which is of course, subjective. How to find that meaning? The classic book written by Dr Viktor E. Frankl gives the answer. This book provides a different way to life and has the power to change the perspective towards life. Before going to the review, it is important to understand the background of this book.
The Background: This book revolves around the three years’ experience of Viktor Frankl during World War II. During World War II, he had to spent three years in various concentration camps like Auschwitz, Dachau and other concentration camps. As the book says, it is the classic tribute to “hope” from the Holocaust. Holocaust was the genocide of Jews by Nazi Germany during World War II. Around six million Jews were murdered or killed by the Nazi Germany in the German occupied Europe during those years. Auschwitz camp was the dominant symbol of holocaust. As a holocaust survivor, Viktor Frankl wrote memoirs of his experiences in this book. Surviving from the holocaust and developing the “logotherapy” technique, Viktor Frankl journey is commendable. The book contains a dedicated chapter on logotherapy.
In order to understand why the book is a tribute to “hope”, one can understand the experience of a man who spent three years in various concentration camps wherein death was common punishment for prisoners. There are several incidents mentioned in the book how people were carried to gas chambers and killed. Prisoners in concentration camps were having no hope whether they will see the outside world or not. This book is about survival and a man can survive when he had some reasons to survive. If there is no reason to survive, there is no reason for existence which creates what is known as “apathy”. Every prisoner suffered a lot, and these sufferings were the motives for many to commit suicides apart from normal killings. Suicides happened due to lack of hope.
It is important to note that this book was written in 9 successive days, as mentioned in the Preface.
About the Author
Dr Viktor E. Frankl (1905-1997), born in Vienna (Austria) was the founder of logotherapy. He was the author, psychiatrist, neurologist and a holocaust survivor. He was Professor of Neurology and Psychiatry at the University of Vienna Medical School. He was the founder of what has come to be called the Third Viennese School of Psychotherapy.
He had written 32 books that have been translated into 26 languages. Man’s Search for Meaning is a classic book with millions of copies sold.
About the Book
“He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how”. This quote from Nietzsche is mentioned several times in this book. The meaning is clear, one should know the “why” to live. That why comes when one knows the meaning and purpose of his life.
The great task for any person is to find meaning in his or her life, as stressed by the author in this book. The author describes poignantly the prisoners who gave up on life, who had lost all hope for a future and were inevitably the first to die. They died less from lack of food or medicine than from lack of hope, lack of something to live for. Author kept his hope alive, and that hope kept him alive.
This book is an inside story of a concentration camp said by one of its survivors. The prisoners in concentration camp went through several atrocities and “one five-ounce piece of bread was their only food in four days”. The thought of suicide was entertained by nearly everyone, if only for a brief time. The readers might be surprised to know how prisoners committed suicides. They committed suicides through “run into the wire”. This was a phrase used in camp to describe the most popular method of suicide – touching the electrically barbed-wire fence. Ever wondered there can be most popular method of suicide? There was a time when prisoners did not fear death. Even gas chambers lost their horrors. The author had described these experiences of concentration camp.
The author had described the experiences in concentration camp in three phases, based on the inmate’s mental reactions to camp life. These three phases are: the period following admission, the period when he is well entrenched in camp routine, and the period following his release and liberation. The last phase was only a dream till it happened. Hope was the force behind survival including the author. In one of the incidents, a prisoner was firm and hopeful that he will be free on 31st March and he did become free but through death. The author had described this incident how and what kept him alive till 31st March.
The book had a very important incidents when prisoners started to have “apathy” feeling, the blunting of the emotions and the feelings that one could not care any more. This made them insensitive to daily and hourly beatings. The author calls this “apathy” feeling a very necessary protective shell for survival as it became the necessary mechanism of self-defense.
The author had brilliantly explained the meaning and the role of sufferings in life. Life is incomplete without sufferings. According to author, suffering is similar to behaviour of gas, which can be understood by the below extract from the book
It is possible to practice art of living in a concentration camp, although suffering is omnipresent.To draw an analogy: a man’s suffering is similar to the behaviour 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.
Suffering is omnipresent and absolutely relative. It fills the human soul completely. If analysed and thought peacefully, it is true. The author had beautifully explained what is known as “provisional existence” which prisoners in concentration camp was having. Their existence was provisional as the sufferings had no end. A man who could not see the end of his “provisional existence” was not able to aim at an ultimate goal in life. This is the reason why a day in camp lasted longer than a week. The author sees such suffering in other way as such sufferings sometimes opens the gateway of opportunity to grow spiritually. This is the test of inner strength.
The author sees life in different perspective. What we expect from life does not matter, it matters what life expects from us. Life ultimately means taking the responsibility to find the right answer to its problems and to fulfil the tasks which it constantly sets for us. This is really inspirational way to look towards life as life is not “vague”. Human life, under any circumstances, never ceases to have a meaning, and that this infinite meaning of life includes sufferings and dying, privation and death.
The book has such kind of eye-opening extracts which has the power to change the mind the perspective towards life. There is a dedicated chapter on logotherapy as well wherein the author who itself had developed this technique, had explained this concept in simple and understandable manner. Logotherapy focusses on meaning of human existence. This meaning is unique and specific and must be fulfilled by him alone. Man needs “something” for the sake to live or else it will be a “provisional existence”.
This book is an inspirational read. The journey of survivor from holocaust and finding the meaning of life is well described in the book. There are many who have always complains towards life because of the sufferings and obstacles they face. This book is a must read for them.
Lastly, I would like to conclude the review post by sharing a sentence from the book itself which is self explanatory.
Suffering is an ineradicable part of life, even as fate and death. Without suffering and death, human life cannot be complete.
After reading the review post, share your views and what you think is the “meaning” of life, in general.
Let us be chill and laugh. This post is a try to make you smile and laugh by using the famous phrases, Raitan failana and Raita sametna.
Raita is an Indian dish made of curd together with raw or cooked vegetables. The other form of Raita is boondi raita. It is also served with Biryani and sometimes consumed after lunch or dinner. Hold on, this post is not about preparation of raita but about when we use raita in our conversation. The popular Hindi saying, “Rait failana (Spreading raita)” and “Raita sametna (wind up raita)” are often used in the conversation. Those who aren’t aware of these phrases, let me give a small description.
Raita Failana: Raita failana is used when there is a mess created. This phrase is used to crate a mess in situations where things were going well.
Raita Sametna: This phrase is used to get back to the normal after raita is spread. This means when someone had created a mess (raita failana), the same is used to clean up the mess.
Let us look at the below incidents…
Mr X was invited by his friend, Mr Y, for dinner. Mr X and was welcomed by his friend. He had dinner and Mr Y asked him to taste Raita as well. Mr X was shocked, and he asked, you want me to eat Raita? Mr Y responded, Yes. Mr X reiterated his question and Mr Y gave the same answer. The moment was becoming little but serious as Mr X tone was not normal. After some time, Mr X said, Maine to suna hai ki Raita failaya jata hai aur tum mujhe Raita khane ko bol rahe ho (I have heard that Raita is spread, and you are asking me to eat). Everyone present was laughing after Mr X responded. Mr Y gave a look to his friend and said, Maine to tumhe Raita khane ko bola tha aur tumen Raita faila diya (I offered you to eat Raita and you ended up spreading the same). Everyone was laughing with their conversation of Raita… 😊 😛
Mr X and Mr Y were colleagues and good friends. Both were working in the same company and in the same project. Mr Y was given a task which he didn’t liked as it was not the kind of work, he considered he should be doing. Hence, he was not serious about it. He was working but not with his interest and potential. The deadline was near, and his manager called for a review meeting to discuss the status. Mr Y was unable to give justification of the work which he had done so far, and his manager understood that he had created a mess. The manager called Mr X and asked him to take over that work from Mr Y and complete the same in stipulated timeframe. Mr X agreed and started working on it and he understood that a mess has been created and he must be very cautious. It will be a time-consuming task, but he was confident to do the same. He was working late in the office and used to come early. One evening, Mr Y asked him, how is the work going on. Mr X said, he had to do a lot as the work Mr Y did was a mess. Mr Y was smiling and asked him this is the reason he is working late. Mr X said, han tumne Raita failaya hai main ab use samet raha hun (Yes, you spread the Riata and now I am winding up the same). 😊 Mr Y laughed and so do Mr X and other colleagues sit nearby.
This is Raita which is consumed as a dish and used in several conversations. Often parents also use this raita failana when their child creates a mess in house. The above incidents are relatable, and one may have experienced or observed the same.
After reading the post, try to laugh or smile and recall those incidents wherein you spread the raita or you have to wind up the raita spread by others… 😊 Stay safe, stay healthy and stay happy.
Peace is one of the most important things which one want to have in life. Everyone wants peace at some point or the other. The nature of peace can differ. One of the ultimate goals is to live a healthy, happy and peaceful life. Life is not same every time. If offers various setbacks too and learning from these setbacks makes us stronger and helps in decision making. Good and bad moments keep coming in life and so is the case with peace.
Living a peaceful life is everyone’s desire. How peace arrives in one life differ from others. There is no measurement of peace or peace cannot be quantified. If I am at peace, I can only feel it and that too from inside. Situation and environment also play its part to have peace in life. The deeds and activities we do in our life also matters to get peace. As peace can be only felt from inside, but most of the time, peaceful feeling occurs with outside situation and our actions or deeds. Confused???
Let’s understand it. Someone can feel the peace by listening songs, some can get the peace by exploring natures beauty, looking at the various landscapes can give peace, helping others can provide peace. Doing meditation provides peace. Someone can get peace by teaching the economically weak children free of cost, writing can give peace (including me) etc. and the list goes on.
Having said that, let us see the other aspect of peace which few so called “egoistic” people practice. Someone gets peace by hurting others, disrespecting others, and letting others down. They enjoy this and peace comes that way for them. In corporates, few managers get peace by humiliating their subordinates, by providing unrealistic tasks, by asking the status of work which were not assigned to them etc. Few does gets peace by practising such unethical things. Such kind of species exist.
Life is not free of problems and obstacles. It is full of ups and downs, good and bad moments and nothing lasts forever. So is the case with peace. Having peace for 24*7 is an ideal situation. It come and go, again come, and go and so on. If one is not having peace at a moment, one should not be worried because worrying for peace makes arrival of peace, far away. It just a matter of time which will pass, one day or the other. This reminds me of the below extract from a poem:
Peace comes in pieces.
All in shades of grey.
Peace comes in pieces. This line is so deep and intense. Indeed, as nothing lasts forever so is the peace. Just like happiness is followed by sadness, peace too has some moment to last and then past. Sometimes, we feel we are in full peace and sometimes we want some more peace. Such thoughts keep revolving in our mind but the point here is when we feel peace, whether it the full one or the part of it. That partial feeling of peace is what comes in grey sometimes and gets away from us. It is subjective to experience the full or partial peace. When it comes, it goes and comes back. This is life having multiple shades.
The above extract is from a poem, written by my blogger friend, Hema Narayan of HemasSphere. One can read the full poem here. She is a brilliant writer, and I would request my readers to explore her blog as well to taste her unique writings. Her blog URL is https://hemassphere.wordpress.com
Whatever life offers, there is a hidden learning, and we must try to explore that learning from various life situations. Stay safe, stay happy and of course, stay peacefully.
I share my expertise, experiences and secret of coping with insecurities and constant struggle of body and image. I’ve spent the last 7 years in learning everything there is to know about the Weight loss & Image building. I am a certified Life Coach and DIET Coach