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THE REMARKABLE Dr. VIKTOR.E.FRANKL

                    
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THE FOUNDER OF LOGOTHERAPY


Many know him as the founder of the third Vienna school of Psychotherapy-‘Logotherapy’- first being that of Sigmund Freud and second that of Alfred Adler.

Logotherapy is a kind of existential analysis based on having a purpose or meaning in life. Frankl developed this new philosophy of therapy based on his own and others’ terrible experiences as Jewish prisoners in Hitler’s concentration camps. The therapy also supports Nietzsche’s theory that ‘He who has a why can endure any how’.

Born in 1905 in Vienna, middle among three children, Frankl evinced a lot of interest in Psychology and did his medical studies in this field. He met the iconic Freud and had a lot of interaction with him, though he liked Adler’s theory better. He worked in various capacities in Vienna in the years before Hitler, and even was in charge of a psychiatric ward for suicidal women.

In 1940, when Dr Frankl was the head of the neurological department in Rothschild, a Jewish hospital, he displayed his immense love for humanity when he deliberately made many false diagnoses of mentally ill patients to prevent their being subjected to cruel Euthanasia, as per the prevailing rules. This, among other experiences, prompted him to start writing a great book called ‘The Doctor and the Soul’ in manuscript form.

Everything changed in 1942, within a few years of Hitler invading Austria. His peaceful life was shattered to smithereens when he, along with his young wife, parents and siblings were apprehended and sent to a concentration camp. Over a period of time, the eminent Doctor lost almost everyone of his family in the various concentration camps, like Theresienstadt, Bergen-Belsen and of course Auschwitz.

Everyone except sister Stella, who managed to escape to Australia somehow.

His carefully concealed manuscript-his beloved brainchild- was also snatched from him and destroyed.

It was during this period of mind boggling trauma that the roots of his now-famous logotherapy slowly formed.

Heartbroken about the separation of his loved ones (he knew full details about their fate only in 1945, only after his own freedom.) and loss of his manuscript, he was filled with a resolve to reunite with his people and to create the manuscript again, word by word, from memory.

The twin passionate ‘purposes’ of creating his masterpiece again and the hope of meeting his loved ones again kept him alive even in the worst subhuman conditions. He not only succeeded in re-writing the book destroyed by the Nazis but also created his Magnum Opus work, ‘Man’s search for Meaning’ which became a great bestseller, with over 9 million copies sold.

Dr. Frankl moved on in life to become a very successful therapist, establishing his own school of therapy called ‘Logotherapy’ basing on his personal experiences. He became well known outside Austria too and lived till 1997, earning many awards during his distinguished career.

He wrote 32 books in all, translated into 27 languages.

Based on various online biographies.

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There must of course be several such examples in the various languages ‘spooken’ in our delightful India.




RIGHT WRONG

Seeing her eyes glow in excitement,
Obviously though she has it all wrong,
I rush to grab the correction opportunity,

Till I have another look at the gleam in her eyes.

Hell, I think, let me be wrong a hundred times over,
If only to preserve that glorious joy,

Rather than prove her wrong
And watch her enthusiasm wither.

THULABARAM

There is, in the Lord's Abode in Guruvayoor,
A common balance for weighment of offerings.

It's called Thulabaram.

Only, it is anything but common.

A priest there is entrusted the task
Of weighing the offerings you committed
To Lord Krishna.

It may be a few kilos of some vegetable
Or fruit, grains or sugar or what you will.


But it got to be necessarily what you committed!

For,

Have seen with my own eyes
The priest struggling to weigh
A couple of kilos or maybe three
Of a certain vegetable, think it was yam.

But it simply wouldn't balance, though he
Kept on heaping the yam on it!

Then, on the priest's asking,
The devotee said he had thought
Of a different vegetable, maybe raw banana,

But had settled for yam since he couldn't
Get the banana.

The priest quickly removed the yam
Asked the devotee to be back
With the vegetable committed!

Only then, the priest said with conviction,

The weighment would happen.