Today, on how to take the Holocaust and apply it to your current life which is nothing even remotely at all like the Holocaust like how dare you even make the attempt to juxtapose, and yet still: I’ve been reading Viktor Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning because Holocaust books are FUN! and also for work, as the show is very much about why we believe and put faith in certain things. When Frankl (a psychologist, and founder of logotherapy) was in a concentration camp, he observed human beings stripped down to their very souls, and saw the possibility for man to find meaning and purpose through struggle and suffering. Which leads me to, you know, myself. I can finally put my finger on why life in LA can be sort of — unsatisfying, in all of its satisfactions. Frankl says:
‘I consider it a dangerous misconception of mental hygiene to assume that what man needs in the first place is equilibrium or, as it is called in biology, ‘homeostasis,’ i.e., a tensionless state. What man actually needs is not a tensionless state but rather the striving and struggling for a worthwhile goal, a freely chosen task. What he needs is not the discharge or tension at any cost but the call of a potential meaning waiting to be fulfilled by him.’
ie, a balanced, easy life, you know, with a juice bar in walking distance, with air conditioning, with netflix and spotify, with pre-made salads and drinks outside, with cute shoe stores and ice cream cones and the occasional blip of earthquake or current event, is PERHAPS DETRIMENTAL TO OUR SANITY. I don’t quite know what to do with this thought. Do I go stand in oncoming traffic? Or do I just try and set the bar within myself higher, somehow? Is it about just constantly trying to do more? And is this theory proposing that people who are struggling are actually living more meaningful lives? But thinking back, I think I’ve never felt more active and alive then when devastated or heartbroken or afraid, and trying to overcome those feelings. So what now? Do I arbitrarily manufacture struggle? Does that kind of struggle even count?