am 11. Februar 2009
In the dialogue with Pinchas Lapide Frankl formulates that man is becoming himself, is realizing himself, is purely man exactly to the same degree as he does not try to realize himself or his own luck, rather he should be in the process of giving himself away to something else (or somebody else). Frankl`s extension of psychotherapy to transcendence comes from Jewish, Biblical thinking. It wants to set man free from his self-centerdness, which spoils his ways and removes him from God.
This kind of thinking is somehow biblically designed and practised in therapy. In the manner of Jesus for example who said: "who finds his life will lose it, and who loses it for my sake will find it". Lapide mentions this relation to the New Testament in his conversation with Frankl.
Nothing what is important for man, be it motherhood, a commandment, love, nothing is allowed to serve as an idol, Frankl teaches. Only in the extended view of the transcendence these things attain their fulfillment.
Frankl explains Saint-Exupery who had said: "Love means not to stare in the eyes of one another, but to look into the same direction together" in this way: "The real lovers look parallel into the eternity, they pray together. Love is a mutual prayer, a prayer for two."
The key for a complete life is the conscience, the "organ" to find meaning. Given that the non-religious man who has also conscience and responsibility is a man who ignores the transcendency of the conscience, he misses yet the question of responsibility for what? And of conscience from who? He takes conscience as the last thing in front of which he has to be responsible, but he ignores that it is only the last but one, because the last is God.
Pinchas Lapide respects the manner how Frankl consumed the concentration camp experiences, because he brought them into an interesting context with the question about God:
"Since Frankl had to drain the cup of suffering and yet was able to survive it without hatred and with love for mankind he must be a living prove on two feet for the existence of God... then also Dorothee Sölle and the so called "God-is-dead-theology" are wrong." This would mean that concentration camps and their abominations are a chance to see God rather than to deny his existence! Which makes sense since only a living God can help.
Frankl perceives the crises of meaning of the many singular people also as a society problem. In the existential vacuum which arises where the human existence does not find any sense and does not realize any values something else starts to pore in: frustration, desperation, hatred, violence. Frankl is concerned: "Will spiritual poverty be the poverty of the 21st century?" I will be not the only one to be affirmative.