Viktor Frankel

Victor E. Frankl: Man’s Search for Meaning
Under en flyrejse er man fuldstændig magtesløs, hvis der sker noget. Nogen bliver bange og jeg rammer en fuldstændig sorgløshed og hypermodtagelighed. Jeg havde lånt Viktor Frankls bog “Man’s Search for Meaning“, og den ramte mig som en bombe. Han skrev bogen i 1945 på 9 dage umiddelbart efter han blev befriet fra Auschwitz. Han havde overlevet 4 Kz lejre og havde opdaget noget vigtigt, nemlig at vi selv bestemmer hvem og hvad vi udvikler os til: “In the Concentration Camp every circumstance conspires to make the prisoner loose his hold. All the familiar goals in life are snatched away. What alone remains is the last of human freedoms — The ability to chose ones attitude in a given set of circumstances.”

Og senere, baseret på observationer af sine medfanger: “In the final analysis it becomes clear, that the sort of person the prisoner became was the result of an inner decision, and not the result of camp influence.”

“It did not really matter what you expected from life, but rather what life expected from us. We needed to stop asking about the meaning of life, and instead to think of ourselves as those who were being questioned by life – daily and hourly. Our answer must consist not in talk and meditation, but in right action and in right conduct. Life ultimately means taking the responsibility to find the right answer to its problems and to fulfil the tasks which it constantly sets for each individual.”

Han udviklede “The third school of psychiatry“, kalled Logotherapy – Logo kommer af græsk Logos, som betyder Mening – og da han blev spurgt hvorvidt mennesket er fuldstændig betinget af omstændigheder, eller hvorvidt vi rent faktisk har en fri vilje, gav han følgende magtfulde svar: “As a professor in two fields, neurology and psychiatry, I am fully aware of the extend man is subject to biological, psychological and social conditions. But in addition to being a professor in two fields I am the survivor of four camps – Concentration Camps, that is – I also bear witness to the unexpected extend man is capable of defying and braving even the worst conditions conceivable.” Og han fortsætter: “Man is ultimately self-determining. What he becomes – within the limits of endowment and environment – he has made out of himself. In the Concentration Camps, for example, in this living laboratory and on this testing ground, we watched and witnessed some of our comrades behave like swine while others behaved like saints. Man has both potentials within himself. Which one is actualised depends on decisions, not on conditions.”

Udsagnet er en bombe under det senmoderne menneskes offerbevidste: Hvis Viktor Frankl har ret, og det er jeg overbevist om, så har vi, altså du og jeg, aldrig nogensinde i vores liv haft det der ligner en gyldig undskyldning for ikke fuldstændig at tage ansvaret for vores handlinger.