Anyone who angers you conquers you

Charles Klein

At the time of growing meaninglessness, the doctrine of meaning is useful to effectively counteract the lack of meaning.

Viktor E. Frankl's logotherapy and existential analysis teaches to search for and find meaning under any circumstances. Through experiencing and creatively shaping his life, a person perceives his own worth. Appreciation and self-esteem are an experience of self-worth that makes one happy.

Logotherapy and existential analysis marks a “Copernican Revolution” (Frankl) in viewing a person. According to this different view, a person is not (any more) a helpless victim of his external circumstances or internal states but – also in difficult life situations – the person remains somehow a manager and creator of his external environment. With this different attitude, Frankl experienced and survived even his 4 concentration camps. Even when free room for his own actions was so little. He used every smallest chance with the help of his “Opposing power of the spiritual person” to say “Yes” to every smallest possibility to act freely, to shape his circumstances, to be the master of his life. This possibility to act on the basis of the personal freedom is the general principle of Frankl's concept of man: the person becomes what he decides to be and what he then implements by responsible actions. The person inherently possesses his freedom “from” and “to” something – and thus is able to detach from harmful actions as well as to commit himself to something, to give his answer to the possibilities.

The answers can follow in three ways:

  • by living and experiencing
  • by creatively producing and shaping
  • by changing one's attitude to the fateful experience.

Experience and creation of something valuable have priority over tolerating inevitable fate; however, if this fate – in the case of an incurable suffering, unatonable guilt or in the face of inevitable death – cannot be avoided, the person still has possibilities to find meaning in life.