AGEISM…MAN’S SEARCH FOR MEANING! I recently read Viktor Frankl’s book, “Man’s Search For Meaning”. This is my third reading of this thought provoking manuscript and since the first time I read it in my 30’s, each reading changes the way I view the life I am leading. Frankl completed this book in nine days following his release from a concentration camp at the end of WW II. He writes that his story is: “not about the suffering and death of great heroes and martyrs…but the sacrifices, the crucifixion and the deaths of a great army of unknown and unrecorded victims.” Frankl recounts that he was no longer a psychiatrist but only number 119,104. This is very significant since he was totally removed from his identity and given a totally new one. This is truly what all of the stages of our life are about. I will be sharing thoughts from this book with you through the next posts but the focus will be on what Frankl has to say about being stripped of all that is known and familiar and being reduced to the lowest denominator of sometimes hourly survival. I honor this man who so fully lived and documented man’s search, our search for meaning. What is your experience? Have you read this great book? We would love to know.
There is nothing like a birthday to wake me up to the reality that time is marching on. Marking time’s passage is an occasion for celebration of life as family and friends gather to witness the blowing out of candles and the eating of cake. To have survived another year, to have experienced the ups and hopefully fewer downs, is indeed a cause for joy. We celebrate aging but not the aged. As a society, how do we reconcile the dichotomy? After all, to age is to survive. Surely that is the hope we have as we witness the fragility of life around us. Natural disasters, senseless killing, accidents…others have left and we are here, we have figuratively and literally “dodged another bullet”. What is our purpose? Is it merely to survive to blow out the candles and eat the cake? Viktor E. Frankl is the author of a book that literally changed my life decades ago. I am grateful not only for his survival but for his ability to put into words and actions a philosophy for life and living. I would like on this, the occasion of my birthday, to reflect in future blogs on his book, “Man’s Search For Meaning”. It is based not only on his physical survival but the growth of his spirit while in a concentration camp during WWII. Frankl’s survival is a testimony to the reason we blow out the candles and eat the cake. It is to celebrate not just the aging of the body, the physical testimony to longevity…it is to celebrate the growth and blooming of the Spirit of man which never dies but continues to rejuvenate through the passage of years. Its message is to look beyond the physical and celebrate the Spirit within…let us light the candles that never go out and eat the cake of wisdom. Dr. Frankl wrote his book in 1945 in 9 successive days and he wrote it as he states: “to prove that life holds a potential meaning under any conditions, even the most miserable ones”. I hope you will read and comment on the upcoming blogs.
Happy 4th of July/Independence Day!
This space is dedicated to sharing the Good News with one another as we journey Home.