Comment: In the US, psychologist Viktor Frankl’s works are very popular and a common theme of his is that one should approach the question of the meaning of life as though it is addressed specifically to him. In this, Frankl completely contradicts Sigmund Freud who believed that if a person wonders about the meaning of life, it is a sign of mental illness.
However, Frankl notes that it is impossible to inquire about the meaning of life on a global scale since each person has his own meaning of life.
My Response: What does “one’s own meaning of life” mean? We are all products of the same nature and are all born with certain inclinations that can be divided into groups and systematized.
There is nothing special about any of us. Do not paint each person as someone unpredictable or as some special individual. Everything is predictable and predetermined. We study genes, hormones, and see how twins living in different places do the same things, marry similar women, call children the same names, etc. Therefore, everything is predictable and we can research it all.
Frankl is wrong. What does he base the meaning of life on? If everyone has their own meaning of life, then there is no such meaning at all. Everyone can decide based on their life experience that: “I live for this. Meanwhile another lives for that.”
If the meaning of your life lies within the corporeal reality, then you act according to Freud without going beyond his theory. If you are looking for the meaning of life beyond life, then how can one actually look for it outside of it? By imagining something? Then everyone will come up with their own religion, beliefs, and everything else. Nothing will come of this either because all of these are human fantasies and none of it can be proven.
But if you have to reveal that world as clearly as this one, then you will know the meaning of life. And once you do, you’ll see that just as in our world where everything is predictable, everything goes according to plan, one has a job, spins, expresses himself according to some venues set for him, and so at the next stage, beyond physical existence, we also advance according to certain laws. And these laws are the laws of nature and they cannot be denied.
Question: So the meaning of life is the same for everyone?
Answer: The meaning of life is the same for everyone. Mind you, the meaning of our present existence is revealed only in the spiritual world and it does not exist in this life.
If we focus on our corporeal life, this leads us away from true meaning and represents only a small phase. As it is written: “do not show half the work to a fool.” Therefore, if we see only half of the way, then we cannot know what follows. It seems to us that life either does not make sense or it is best to focus on this current phase and create our own meaning.
So, both the approach of Sigmund Freud and the approach of Viktor Frankl are utterly incomplete because they do not clearly reveal the next degree of our existence.
From KabTV’s “Close-Up. Is Frankl right?” 8/8/10