What Would You Say is the Meaning of Life It has been noticed that Stoicism, as philosophical doctrine, and Logotherapy, as psychotherapeutic method, share many metaphysical premises, which also define the essence of both, Stoicism and Logotherapy. We can say that it the notion of responsiblesness that both philosophical approaches to ones existence are firmly based upon. According to Stoic philosophy, it is quite possible to distinguish between what constitutes truth and falseness with the mean of our sensory perception, since every new impression, before becoming engraved in our mind, is being analyzed by our sense of logic. In other words, our ability to reason has value in itself, because it is being genetically predetermined and because namely such ability creates preconditions for individual to be able to operate with highly abstract terms. The empirical information that we receive on daily basis is worthless, without our conscious mind digesting it, in order to make use of it. There are many people who consider themselves as educated, simply because they have memorized a lot of factual data, without being able to relate such data to the objective reality that surrounds them. On the other hand, there are also many people who never went to college, but who were able to gain social prominence, because they understand the ways of the world.
Thus, in order for individual to understand the essence of object of his interest, he does not necessarily need to know a lot about this object. He will have to think about it, within the context of law of nature, which will provide him with the insight on objects real meaning. Our ability to reason is what enabled the existence of civilization, as we know it. Such ability has objective properties, since our social status, our state of health or our political affiliation do not have even a slightest effect on how we apply our sense of logic, during the process of perceiving physical reality. Ones value, as individual, is related to his ability to find the meaning of life, within the context of objective circumstances that affect his existence. The realization of meaning of his life provides individual with emotional comfort and allows him to choose in favor of socially appropriate mode of existence, because understanding the essence of ones own destiny is impossible outside of social context. Thus, the adherent of Stoicism is always a socially responsible individual.
In its turn, it is stoics social responsiblesness that allows him to associate purely abstract concepts, such as freedom, dignity or religious righteousness with perceptible value. It is a common misconception is to think of Stoicism as philosophy that has a skeptical attitude towards sensual pleasures. Stoicism provides individual with the insight as to how to fulfill its own existential potential. If persons physical urges prevent him from adopting a socially responsible stance in life, it means that such person might not have any higher destiny in the first place, because it is physiology alone that defines his existential mode, which does not make him much different from any animal. Logotherapy can be referred to as practical tool of helping people to deal with the feeling of psychological inadequateness. Such inadequateness derives out of peoples inability to adjust their existence to be such that corresponds to the laws of nature. Many people become subjected to different forms on depression, simply because they cannot find a meaning of their lives. This is because the realities of post-modern living prevent individual from actively seeking the realization of his plans. Gradually, such individual begins to think of himself as being thoroughly subjected to circumstances.
This happens because people think of their physical existence as such that has value in itself. Nowadays, children in schools are being taught that the value of human life is indisputable, regardless of whether we talk of ninety years old grandpa in wheelchair, who is burdened with his own existence, or about mentally and physically healthy young man, who is at the peak of his existential might. Logotherapy teaches patient how to refer to its own existence as the mean of getting bigger picture of the world, rather then a mean of satisfying his animalistic instincts. The more individual is capable of mentally elevating itself above its own psychological anxieties, the more his life makes sense to such individual, because it enables him to adopt an unengaged attitude, while contemplating about his place in universe. The founder of Logotherapy, Viktor Frankl used to insist that, even though objective circumstances affect our lives to a significant degree, we nevertheless are capable of attaining existential freedom with the mean of adopting a position of unengaged observer, in regards to these circumstances. For example, person can be sentenced to do time in jail, because of his political beliefs; however, it will not deprive him if his inner integrity. Individuals existence is better discussed within a context of self-transcendence then self-actualization.
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There are three ways for the individual to realize the meaning of his life, which will automatically lead to attaining a psychological comfort, on his part: 1) through accomplishing a great task, 2) through experiencing an objective value of his existential impressions, 3) through suffering. Frankl was able to realize that suffering is not what people fear the most, but the absence of purpose in suffering. Thus, Logotherapy is the art of finding purpose. It is needless to say, of course, that Logotherappy is only applicable to the depressed people who are capable of engaging in philosophical contemplations. Both, Logotherapy and Stoicism rely on ones sense of rationale, when it comes to looking for the sense of life. Follow where reason leads is the motto of Stoic philosophy. The same can be said about Logotherapy, which strives to make individual to feel better with the mean of enabling him to look at himself as semi-god, who is capable of subjecting his emotions to its will. In its turn, such will is perceived by Stoicism and Logotherapy as being subjected to individuals ability to make moral choices.
Morality, as seen by Stoisism and Logotherapy, is the notion that has objective properties, for as long as it corresponds to the laws of nature. Thus, both philosophical approaches imply the existence of morality as thing in itself, which cannot be affected by peoples irrationality. At the same time, such morality cannot be associated with objective value, while remaining simply an abstract concept. Therefore, Stoicism and Logotherapy suggest that socially motivated concept of responsibleness, as integral component of natural morality, needs to be applied, when we want to help individual finding the sense of his life. Stoic is a person who understands that physical existence is nothing but the set of physiological functions, subjected to blind instinct. Therefore, we can hardly refer to this kind of existence as such that needs to be maintained at all costs. It only takes one visit to assisted living facility to realize the sheer absurdity of keeping elderly people alive by forcing them to eat through the tube, despite the fact that such practice is counter-productive, in social context of this word.
... is the pinnacle of his denouncement of morality. He believes that morality removes that which makes life life. The obstacles, search for answers to ... the subject but a representation invoking different feeling in different people. Nietzsche states that in this situation if the painting ... against the life instincts Only in the absence of morals are we able to grow and develop as an individual, without ...
Therefore, stoic is person, for whom the notions of morality and social responsibility are inseparable, even though that very often stoics responsibleness is being regarded as immoral. Stoicism and Logotherapy suggest that it is quite impossible for the individual to maintain self-respect, unless he associates his existence with specific type of responsibility, as it is only the mean of making ones life count. People who were able to go down in history and who are being remembered well after their death had an acute sense of responsibleness. The fact that their legacy lives on proves that their lives had a meaning. The names of Napoleon, Hitler or Ronald Reagan are going to be remembered, even in five hundred years from now, whereas the names of people who have no historical significance, despite being immensely popular, such as Oprah Winfrey or Wayne Gretzkey, will be forgotten within a matter of next 10-20 years. Thus, we can only agree with suggestion that the notion of responsibleness lies at the core of both, Stoicism and Logotherapy, as practical methods of addressing objective reality for the purpose of mastering it. One cannot be taught how to be a responsible individual, because the ability of assuming responsibility is highly idealistic in its essence and therefore, has inborn properties. However, in order for the individual to realize that he is capable of leading a meaningful and responsible lifestyle, the idealistic qualities of his character need to be invoked.
... change life’s course, personal responsibility is necessary for academic success because every choice made is one’s own responsibility and every individual can ... herself. There is a direct connection between personal responsibility and academic success. During an individual’s college years, students begin to make ...
This is where Stoic Philosophy and Logotherapy come in handy..