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2011-02-14 01:49:16 (UTC)


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