Books


Format: Paperback
Condition: Used - Acceptable
Language: English
The Doctor and the Soul
Viktor Frankl, M.D.
Product Overview

"The Doctor and the Soul" is one of the books I read after reading "Man's Search for Meaning", whose key message, which you are free to agree or disagree, is that if everything has been chosen for us except one, it would be our ability to choose our attitude toward our circumstance in life.  

Here are some more noteworthy ideas from "The Doctor and the Soul". 

1) "Everyone must admit that a person surrounded by loving relatives, a person who is the irreplaceable object of their love, is a person whose life has meaning, though that meaning may be only passive. Not everyone realizes, however, that just because of their helplessness, mentally retarded children are as a rule particularly loved and tenderly protected by their parents." 

This is vital.

2) "It might be said that the doctor who intervenes in an attempt at suicide is taking on himself the role of arbiter of destiny, instead of letting destiny take its course. To which we reply: If 'destiny'--or Providence--were intent on letting a person weary of life die, it would have found ways to make the doctor's intervention come too late."

"Masarap Mabuhay!"

3) "Certainly the past does much to explain the present, but we are not to see the future as exclusively determined by that past... It is never too late to learn--but neither is it too soon; it is always 'high time' we learned whatever is to be learned." 

I disagree with the process of "testing" that does not uplift human life. Having said this, we do what we can.

To these ideas, I would share that while psychoanalysis as it is taught in the West has its merits, we must remember that the East may also offer a remedy that may finally bring a person out of Western psychoanalysis (with its words and labels) and medical treatment altogether.

By this I mean, when a person finds his/herself in a situation where he/she suffers from too much noise brought about by the streaming of thoughts and ideas (and a person may physically manifest this suffering through his or her behaviour), I have learned that it would do a person well neither to ask where those thoughts and ideas are coming from, nor what interpretations to put, for either or both would only mislead a person.

Instead it would do a person good to perform physical tasks that would not require too much mental gymnastics, i.e. house-cleaning, cooking.

While these may seem menial tasks, and may appear unfitting for a person who deems him/herself mentally superior, they are, in fact, quite helpful in achieving a calm, quiet, and tranquil state of presence.

And once a person has already realized this, even if the streaming of thoughts and ideas return to bring more noise, he/she would need only be.

Now a person may ask: what he/she must do when the noise is not mental, but physical?

And by this I would kindly add that I need not necessarily mean direct physical harm to a person to which a person must always be on guard, but should not be excessive or beyond one's capability. Indeed, it is important that a person drives defensively, even if there are drivers who do not.

As it turns out, in this case, the best course of action may be what M. Scott Peck advises in his book, "The Different Drum", i.e. undergo the stages of Community-Making.