The Will to Meaning: 5 Lessons, Summary and Review

the will to meaning
TitleThe Will to Meaning
AuthorViktor Frankl
Publisher‎ Plume Books
Rating★★★★★ (5 stars)
Purchase LinkBuy Here

The Will to Meaning: Foundations and Applications of Logotherapy is a book written by psychologist Viktor Frankl, where he addresses some pillars of his thought.

In fact: The Will to Meaning, despite being a lesser-known book by the author, is a great read for anyone who wants to go deeper into his thinking. Read more book summaries by clicking here.

What is the Synopsis of The Will to Meaning?

In this book, which is a collection of articles, Viktor Frankl addresses some of the main concepts of his thinking, such as the need to give meaning to life, the need to embrace suffering, the importance of religion, and also some impressions about the major schools of psychology that came before yours.

If you want to buy the book, you can purchase it clicking here.

Who is the author of The Will to Meaning?

The author of The Will to Meaning is the Jewish psychiatrist Viktor Frankl, who became famous for creating logotherapy from his experience in Nazi concentration camps. Read a summary about Man’s Search for Meaning clicking here.

What is the Summary of The Will to Meaning?

The book is a collection of articles. Therefore, each one of them addresses a different theme regarding the thought of Viktor Frankl. However, they all connect in some way.

First, he talks about the contributions coming from the psychological schools of Freud, Jung and Adler, showing that they all have merits and demerits.

However, he shows that man, instead of seeking the sexual (Freud) or social (Adler) will, seeks the will for meaning.

Secondly, the author goes a little deeper into the foundations of logotherapy, showing concepts such as paradoxical intention, which consists of encouraging the patient to do something he fears, so that he can mature in the face of such an action.

In addition, he explains the concept of dereflection, where the therapist distracts the patient’s attention, causing him to start thinking about something more important in his life.

Still, he fights the feeling of existential frustration so common nowadays, claiming that we should seek a meaning in suffering. Read a summary about the book On Theory and Therapy of Menthal Disorders here.

He also talks about the importance of medical pastoral care (those who deal with illnesses that cannot be cured) and the relationship between logotherapy and religion.

Finally, he criticizes dynamic psychologism, man’s attempt to explain everything based on theories derived from psychology.

What are the Main Lessons of The Will to Meaning?

The main lessons of The Will to Meaning are:

1. Man seeks a meaning for life

First, an important lesson of the book is that human beings do not have pleasure as their ultimate pursuit, as Freud would say, nor like social ascension, as Adler would say.

In fact: man needs to seek a meaning for his life. In this way, this search is very important, as it makes the person’s life come true.

2. We should embrace the suffering of life

Even if we think that life is difficult and that there is no escape from our problems, we must embrace the suffering that surrounds us.

That way, we’ll know what ails us and we’ll be able to look for ways to overcome it – or to accept it, if we can’t do anything. Read a summary about Psichotherapy and Existentialism here.

3. The current world has an existential void

In fact: in an increasingly materialistic world, humanity sees itself with fewer and fewer references and with less base to build roots and develop its values.

Thus, we must seek to rescue more traditional concepts that we had forgotten, such as the values ​​that are important for life in society.

4. Religion is important and useful for people

Even if some people think that religion is outdated and of little use, it serves to give man meaning and to make him want to improve.

Therefore, having a religion and seeking to practice it correctly helps human beings to evolve and become better. You can buy The Will to Meaning clicking here.

5. We shouldn’t run away from difficulties

Finally, we shouldn’t put difficulties aside: we should face them so that we can learn from them and become better.

What are the Negative Points of The Will to Meaning?

The negative points of The Will to Meaning are: first, the book is a collection of articles. This means that the book is not as cohesive or linear.

Thus, it may not be the ideal book for you to start with. But if you prefer smaller text collections and believe you can start there, no problem.

In addition, this is a deeper book, aimed at those who already know a little about Viktor Frankl’s work, so I recommend you start with Man’s Search for Meaning.

What are the Positive Points of The Will to Meaning?

The positive points of The Will to Meaning are that this work shows some of the main points of Viktor Frankl’s thought. It’s great for beginners.

In addition, it deepens some themes regarding logotherapy, being essential for those who want to delve into this theory.

Finally, despite being a slightly more complex read, I can say that it is very pleasant to read – you just need a little attention.

Is Reading The Will to Meaning Worth It?

The book The Will to Meaning is worth reading! It teaches some of the main concepts of Viktor Frankl’s thought. Although it is a little more in-depth, it does not hinder the reader’s understanding if he/she reads it carefully. So if you are interested in buying The Will to Meaning, it’s worth it! You can buy The Will to Meaning clicking here.

Vítor Costa

PhD in Polymer Science and Technology. Loves to read and study about sciences, psychology, philosophy and other subjects.

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