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Healing Through Meaning: Logotherapy, PTMF, and Cold Therapy (University Lecture)

Uploaded 12/23/2020, approx. 34 minute read

Good afternoon, dear students. This is a half-credit lecture for the CIAPS Outreach Program of SIAS, Centre for International Advanced Professional Studies, those of you who had forgotten during the pandemic.

And another thing you had forgotten is to hand in your assignments. Half of you, or even half of you, haven't done so. I don't know, you're twiddling your thumbs. Or shudder the thought, twiddling some other part of you. So quit twiddling and start handing in, submitting your assignments from the last lecture. Last lectures, actually.

Okay, enough with hectoring and preaching.


Today we are going to discuss meaning, meaning, the role of meaning in therapy.

We are going to use three examples, three treatment modalities, three therapies, which have based themselves explicitly on the meaning of life, on introducing meaning, context, and sense into the client's life, or deriving meaning, context, and sense out of the patient's or client's life and the way he describes his life, also known in clinical terms as personal narrative.

Meaning is a very important thing.

I tend to agree with Viktor Frankl, who had suggested that Freud got it essentially wrong when he said that life revolves around pleasure, that Adler got it wrong when he had suggested that life revolves around power, and that life actually revolves around making sense, making sense, significance, meaning, direction, goal, purpose, structure, and order.

In this sense, Jordan Peterson is right when he posits chaos against order and claims that order is the key to mental health.

And so today we are going to discuss meaning.

How do we introduce meaning into a life that ostensibly is chaotic, is all over the place, discombobulated, disintegrated? How do we impose structure and order on people who decompensate, who defiantly and contumaciously react, reactance, on people who confuse external objects and internal objects?

In short, how do we make sense of mental illness?

And once we make sense of the lives of the mentally ill, do they stop being mentally ill? Is this the key?

Were these people simply anomic? Were people with mental illness simply people who fail to make sense of the world, of their lives, who find no meaning, no purpose, no direction, no structure, no order? Is this why many of them end up in hermeneutic, explanatory, and organizing systems like religion, because they're defined what they're missing? And are these solutions like religion not much worse than the problem?

Swapping one delusion for another, one illusion for another, is this an acceptable mental health strategy?

But we tend to do this a lot in our daily lives.

What is love? What is love, if not a delusional disorder?

By the way, biochemically in the brain, it resembles very much a mental health disorder.

I refer you to my video on this YouTube channel, titled Love is a Pathology, where I summarize the latest findings.

Love is indistinguishable, or more precisely, the stage of limerence, the stage of infatuation, is indistinguishable for mental illness.

And I'm talking about the brain, functional magnetic resonance imaging.

So here we swap one, one intolerable situation, a meaningless life, for a delusion called love, because love structures our lives. Love gives us direction, purpose, goal, etc.

In extreme cases, love deteriorates into stalking.

Similarly, substance abuse, drugs, alcohol, they provide an exoskeleton. They imbue life with meaning, and that's why they are so difficult to eradicate, to reverse. That's why rehab.

Rehab is a spectacular failure, because rehab tackles the psychological and physiological elements of addiction, but does not tackle the nomological, the axiological aspects, the lack of meaning in the addict's life.


So today I would like to discuss three treatment modalities, which leverage meaning, use meaning as a healing tool.

We'll start with the power threat meaning framework, PTMF or PTM framework.

And I want to read to you what these people say about themselves.

The PTMF framework was developed by both psychologists and psychiatrists, this was one group of psychologists and psychiatrists, and they teamed up, they teamed up with social workers, neighborhood activists and so on. So they went down, they went to the grass, grassroots, they went to the neighborhoods, they went to homeless people, they went to mentally ill people, they dirtied their hands, they didn't stay in the lab or in this lecture hall, and just theorize, and you know, they didn't consider themselves public intellectuals. They considered themselves frontline health workers, and they collaborated with everyone who was fighting back, battling against the pandemic of mental illness, because that's by far a pandemic that's larger than COVID or anything else we've known. About one third of the adult population in most Western countries is diagnosed with a major mental illness.

So the power threat meaning framework, and now I'm reading from their own publication, is a new perspective on why people sometimes experience a whole range of forms of distress, confusion, fear, despair, and trouble or troubling behavior. And it is an alternative to the more traditional models based on psychiatric diagnosis. It was co-produced with service users and applies not just to people who have been in contact with the mental health or criminal justice systems, but to all of us.

The framework summarizes and integrates a great deal of evidence about the role of various kinds of power in people's lives, the kinds of threat that misuses of power posed to us and the ways we have learned as human beings to respond to threat.

In traditional mental health practice, these threat responses are sometimes called symptoms.

The framework also looks at how we make sense of these difficult experiences and how messages from wider society can increase our feelings of shame, self-blame, isolation, fear, and guilt.

That's a bit, I'm just cutting off right here to interject and say that it's very reminiscent of Pete Walker's rendition of flight, fight, fawn, and freeze responses.

And I encourage you to have a look at that part of his work. He got it completely wrong on emotional flashbacks and many other things, but he expostulates very wisely and deeply and profoundly on these four types of responses.

Continue with the text.

The main aspects of the framework are summarized in these questions, which can apply to individuals, families, or social groups.

Number one, what has happened to you? How is power operating in your life?

Number two, how did it affect you? What kind of threats does this pose?

Number three, what sense did you make of it? What is the meaning of these situations and experiences to you?

Number four, what did you have to do to survive? What kinds of threat response are you using?

In addition, the two questions below help us to think about what skills and resources people might have and how we might pull all these ideas and responses together into a personal narrative or a story. And this story comprises a few other questions or answers, a few other questions.

For example, what are your strengths? What access to power resources do you have? What is your story? How does it all fit together?

So you see, this framework relies heavily on narrative construction. And there's a firm underlying assumption that by constructing a reasonable, internally consistent, and externally consistent narrative, one can derive meaning. And that meaning empowers and that empowerment is the first step towards healing and the disappearance of what we call today in traditional psychiatry symptoms.

I'm continuing from the text of the PTM framework, possible uses of the PTM framework framework.

The power threat meaning framework can be used as a way of helping people to create more hopeful narratives or stories about their lives and the difficulties they may have faced or are still facing instead of seeing themselves as blameworthy, weak, deficient, or quote unquote mentally ill.

The power threat meaning framework highlights the links between wider social factors such as poverty, discrimination and inequality. Inequality along with traumas such as abuse and violence and the resulting emotional distress or troubled behavior.

The framework also shows why those of us who do not have an obvious history of trauma or adversity can still struggle to find a sense of self worth, meaning and identity.

The framework describes the many different strategies people use from automatic bodily reactions, somatization, to deliberately chosen ways of coping with overwhelming emotions in regulating emotions in order to survive and protect themselves and meet their core needs.

The framework suggests a wide range of ways that may help people to move forward.

For some people this may be therapy or other standard interventions including if they help someone to cope.

But for other people the main needs will be for practical help, for resources, perhaps along with peer support, art, music, exercise, nutrition, community activism and so on.

Underpinning all of this, the framework offers a new perspective on distress which takes us beyond the individual and shows that we are all part of a wider struggle for a fairer society.

One of the most important aspects of the framework is the attempt to outline common or typical patterns in the ways people respond to the negative impacts of power.

In other words, patterns of meaning-based responses to threat.

When we are confronted with threat we seek meaning.

This part of the framework, like all of it, is still a process in development.

However, the evidence summarizing the framework does suggest that there are common ways in which people in a particular culture are likely to respond to certain kinds of threat such as being excluded, rejected, trapped, coerced or shamed.

It may be useful to draw on these patterns to help develop people's personal stories.

These general patterns can help to give people a message of acceptance and validation.

The patterns can also assist us in designing services that meet people's real needs as well as suggesting ways of accessing support, benefits and so on that are not dependent on having a diagnosis.

In addition, the framework offers a way of thinking about culturally specific understandings of distress without seeing them through a Western diagnostic model.

So in other words, the framework is not culture bound. It doesn't crucially, critically depend on a cultural context, a societal context or a context of the period in history in which it operates.

The framework encourages, and continuing from the text, the framework encourages respect for the many creative and non-medical ways of supporting people around the world and the varied forms of narrative and healing practices that are used across cultures.

And in concluding remarks, they say, taking the PTM framework further, it is important to note that power threat meaning is an overarching framework which is not intended to replace all the ways we currently think about and work with distress. Instead, the aim is to support and strengthen the many examples of good practice which already exist while also suggesting new ways forward.

The framework has wider implications than therapeutic or clinical work.

The main document, and they're referring to a specific foundation document, suggests how it can offer constructive alternatives in the areas of service design and commissioning, professional training, research, service user involvement and public information.

There are also important implications for social policy and the wider role of equality and social justice.

It is a work in progress offered as a resource for any individuals, groups or organizations interested in developing it further.

And I add that this framework is proving its value and its relevance, especially now during the pandemic, when traditional tools have been taken away from us, when we have been isolated and alienated from the familiar, when everything, including loved ones, can be perceived as a threat and where whatever happens outside makes no sense whatsoever.

And so our lives are rendered increasingly more meaningless.

So the framework can help you restore meaning, create a new narrative which will empower you in different ways and allow you to reintegrate with people, familiar people and new people.

I strongly encourage you to delve into this. Everything is available online.

They welcome contributors and contributions. Contributions are not mean money, intellectual contributions, ideas, observations, shared experiences, they welcome all of you.

So I strongly encourage.


Now, the second treatment modality I would like to discuss typically immodestly is my own.

I have developed a treatment modality, Cold Therapy, Cold Therapy, and nothingnessnarrative construction, Cold Therapy and nothingness narrative construction, is all about meaning.

I actually started my work on cold therapy by rereading Freud's writings and we will come to Viktor Frankl a bit later. But cold therapy is about me.

A cold therapy is a therapy that eliminates grandiosity. It eliminates grandiosity in narcissistic disorders of the self, including narcissistic personality disorder, and it eliminates grandiosity in depressive narratives.

A big source, perhaps the biggest source of depression, dysphoria, anhedonia in people is the discrepancy between their expectations, their self-image, their self-perception, which is often inflated, illusory, delusional, grandiose and reality.

And I call this the grandiosity gap.

Cold therapy works well with narcissists and with people with depressive people, people with depressive illnesses, precisely because both narcissism and depression share a common etiology, the grandiosity gap, the gap between reality and how you would have liked to see yourself, what Freud called the ego ideal.

Now here's the thing.

Grandiosity is a cognitive deficit. It impairs reality testing.

Of course, it distorts input from the outside to fit into the grandiose narrative.

So in this sense, grandiosity and its agent, the false self, they provide the narcissist and the depressive with meaning.

The false self is a narrative. It's a piece of fiction. It's a story. It's a movie. And it provides meaning, context, purpose, direction, goal. It has explanatory power and organizing structure, organizing power to generate structure and order in the narcissist's life.

So when we take away the grandiosity, when we take away the false self, we actually dismantle the false self.

Cold therapy is about dismantling the false self in narcissism and to some extent in depressive patients.

So when you take away this, you take away the main engine of meaning in the narcissist's life.

The narcissist is left with a life that appears to be arbitrary, capricious, threatening, hostile, meaningless, no context, no sense, no direction, no purpose, no nothing, no structure, no order.

The narcissist drifts like a feather in a hurricane. He loses his bearings. He has no inner compass.

The false self is an exoskeleton. It's an external skeleton, very similar to an addiction. It is the same psychodynamic function, functions of an addiction. It provides a narcissist with an external skeleton, something that holds him together.

We take away this skeleton, take away this scaffolding and the whole edifice of the narcissist crumbles because it's a house of cards.

So when we take away the false self in cold therapy, we take away meaning.

Now this meaning is delusional. It's pathological. It's based on a severe cognitive deficit. It has little to do with reality. So it impairs reality testing. It's not healthy. It's not good.

The precondition for healing is to take away this distorted meaning and the generator of this meaning, which is the false self.

So when you take away the false self, by dismantling it, the narcissist re-experiences, lives through.

You remember the video about flashbacks? Revividness relives his traumas.

But this time he's an adult. I take away his false self. He re-experiences his traumas because he has no protection left.

It's like taking away the shell from a turtle. He becomes a turtle without a shell.

And so he re-experiences the harshness of reality, the injuries, the mortifications, the mortifications, the narrative, the disparaging narratives, the sadistic hateful introjects.

He experiences suddenly all this and he has zero protection because he has no grandiosity and no false self.

But this time he's an adult. And so this time he can try to make sense out of his harrowing, horrible life experiences. He can construct a new narrative that is not delusional, that is reality-based, that makes sense and gives his life structure, order, direction, meaning and purpose.

This is the core of cold therapy. It's forcing the narcissist, forcing the depressive patient to let go, to let go of a dysfunctional, delusional, sick, constricting, crippling, meaning-generating narrative, get rid of it, crush it and then bravely and courageously face the pain, the fountain, the tsunami of pain and hurt and damage and shame and guilt to some extent. Have to face it and have to integrate it in a new story, in a new narrative that makes sense and would continue to make sense.


Now in AA, alcoholic synonymous, they more or less force you to do the same, to go through the same path of letting go of your grandiosity and then having to face the people you've hurt during your alcoholic bouts, the damage you have caused and then to integrate all this into a narrative of healing and recovery.

It all boils down to the same effectively.

Get rid of dysfunctional pathological defenses, deficits, biases, get rid, stop renouncing reality, stop as Cleckley called it rejecting life, embrace life, embrace who you are, flawed and invalid as you are, accept yourself, nurture and parent yourself or reparent yourself, extricate yourself this time with your own power out of the trauma of your early child and heal, heal via meaning which leads us to the last treatment modality and by far the most dominant and important and that's cold therapy.

Cold therapy was invented by Viktor Frankl.

Viktor Frankl had the most amazing story. He survived in Auschwitz, the indescribable hell on earth, an inferno reified and embodied in Poland a concentration and extermination camp.

Most people were lucky or unfortunate to survive six months in Auschwitz.

This guy Viktor Frankl survived for three and a half years, three and a half years in hell with devils and demons in human form, SS guards and so on and he has emerged with lessons.

He has emerged with his mental health largely intact, a bit of grandiosity there but largely intact and he leveraged his experiences to help humanity and he invented logotherapy.

Logotherapy I'm quoting now from the website of the Logotherapy Institute.

Viktor Frankl's logotherapy is based on the premise that the human person is motivated by a will to meaning, an inner pool to find a meaning in life.

The following list of tenets represents basic principles of logotherapy.

One, life as meaning under all circumstances, even the most miserable ones, even in Auschwitz.

Number two, our main motivation for living is our will to find meaning in life.

Number three, we have freedom. We have freedom to find meaning in what we do and what we experience or at least in the stand that we take when we are faced with the situation of unchangeable suffering.

How we react to suffering is in itself meaning or generates meaning. The human spirit referred to in logotherapy is defined as that which is uniquely human.

Though in no way opposed to religion, the term is not used in a religious sense.

So how do we discover meaning?

According to Frankl, we can discover this meaning in life in three different ways.

Number one, by creating a work or doing a deed. Creativity.

Number two, by experiencing something or encountering someone.

And number three, by the attitude we take toward unavoidable suffering.

Everything can be taken from a man, but one thing, the last of human freedoms, to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances.

On the meaning of suffering, Frankl gives the following example.

Once an elderly, old general practitioner consulted me, an old medical doctor consulted me because of his severe depression. He could not overcome the loss of his wife who had died two years before and whom he had loved above all else.

Now how could I help him? What should I tell him?

I refrained from telling him anything, but instead I confronted him with a question. What would have happened, doctor, if you had died first and your wife would have had to survive you?

Oh, he said, for her, this would have been terrible. How she would have suffered. Whereupon I replied, you see, doctor, such a suffering has been spared her and it is you who have spared her this suffering, but now you have to pay for it by surviving, by mourning her.

He said no word, but he shook my hand, calmly left the office.

Victor Frankl, vignette.

All psychotherapies make a basis, of course, on implicit or explicit assumptions, usually implicit, philosophical, even metaphysical assumptions. We make assumptions when we create a new psychotherapy, when I created my treatment modality, we make assumptions about what it is to be human and more importantly, what it is to be a person. In other words, what it is to have a personality, to be distinguished, to be an individual.

Is there such a thing?

Some treatment modalities dispute it. They say individuals are not atoms, they are not divorced from their environment. There's no such thing as individual. That's a Western invention.

So there's a lot of debate and psychotherapies clash in their description of their subject matter, the patient or the client.

None of these assumptions can be proven with certainty. It's not a science. It's literature at best and bad metaphysics at worst.

The assumptions of logotherapy include the following.

The human being is an entity consisting of body, mind and spirit. So that excludes logotherapy for me, for example, because I'm a scientist by training. My original academic degrees are in physics.

I cannot accept the concept of spirit. Things I cannot define don't exist for me.

But it may apply to the vast majority of humanity who do believe in soul, spirits, ghosts, demons and I don't know what else.

So this is one assumption of logotherapy, assumption number two, life is meaning under all circumstances, even the most miserable, even if when millions of people are exterminated in front of your eyes in a horrible wintry camp in the middle of nowhere in Poland, Auschwitz.

Number three, people have a will to meaning. They want meaning like Adler's will to power and Freud's will to pleasure.

Indeed, Frank has suggested that this is the third school of psychoanalysis, this will to meaning.

And number four, people have freedom under all circumstances to activate the will to find meaning.

Number five, life has a demand quality to which people must respond if decisions are to be meaningful.

And number six, the individual is unique, which of course reflects its biases, of Western thinking of the Enlightenment, biases that started in the 17th and 18th century and rich their apex in the 19th and 20th century, the concept of the individual, which is alien, alien to cultures and societies, for example, in Asia and in some parts of Africa.

So this is highly Western, Western centered.

The first assumption deals with the body, soma, the mind psyche, the spirit news news.

According to Frankl, the body and the mind are what we have. The spirit is what we are.

Assumption number two is ultimate meaning. This is difficult to grasp, but it is something everyone experiences and it represents an order in a world with laws that go beyond human laws. It's not the laws of nature. These are metaphysical laws, sometimes translated, sometimes they appear in the form of religion. But even when you're not religious, even when you're agnostic like me, or you have the religion of atheism, you're a non-deistic religious person, or your religion is science, even then there are these unspoken, unspoken laws, kind of ambient, ambient canon, codex of how, how the world behaves. The etiquette of existence, if you wish. The third assumption is seen as our main motivation for living and acting.

When we see meaning, we are ready for any type of suffering.

This is considered to be different than our will to achieve power and pleasure.

Assumption four is that we are free to activate our will to find meaning, and this can be done under any circumstances.

This deals with change of attitudes about unavoidable fate.

Frankl was able to test the first four assumptions when he was confined in the concentration camps and successfully so.

Let me tell you this, any psychotherapy that helped someone survive Auschwitz is worth considering.

The fifth assumption, the meaning of the moment, is more practical in daily living than ultimate meaning.

Unlike ultimate meaning, the meaning of the moment can be found and fulfilled. This can be done by following the values of society or by following the voice of our conscience.

Not much of a difference, by the way. Our conscience is internalized society. It's interjected by the process of socialization.

The sixth assumption deals with one's sense of meaning. This is enhanced by the realization that we are irreplaceable, unique.

In essence, all humans are unique with an entity of body-minded spirit.

We all go through unique situations. We are constantly looking to find meaning. We are free to do this at all times in response to certain demands.

Viktor Frankl, like Sigmund Freud, was a neurologist, but unlike Sigmund Freud, he was also a psychiatrist. He believed that the primary motivational force is meaning in life. He believes that if you're motivated by money, if you're motivated by sex or power, your motivation will not last long and it will not sustain you as a functional, integrated entity.

Meaning does this. Meaning is the glue that holds everything together.

And when you look at models, models of the psyche, when parts in these models interact, and I'm not only talking about Freud's tripartite model, I'm talking about Hume's model. I'm not only talking about psychoanalytic or psychodynamic models or object relations models, any model, including behaviorist models.

They necessitate meaning. A leads to B. The teleology is to some extent embedded. A leads to B because A needs to do something to B or with B in order to achieve C.

If I were religious, I would say that there's a mind, a designer, but of course evolution gives a sufficient answer for this and God is, as Pascal said, an unnecessary assumption.

So logotherapy is in many respects existential. I mean, belongs to the school of existentialism. And it is open to him, and Franklin admits that he derived it from Kierkegaard's will to meaning. And Alfred Adler was influenced by Nietzsche.

Nietzsche's will to power, while Franklin was influenced by Kierkegaard and his will to meaning.

Freud was influenced by Bloiler and others, and he came with a will to pleasure.

Logotherapies says that you must, you always strive to find meaning in life. This is the most primary, most foundational, most powerful motivating and driving force.

And I advise you to read the book Men's Search for Meaning, which is the accessible, because Franklin has many technical, highly obtuse and complicated books which are also recommend to read. I mean, they're very important.

But if you want to get the gist of it, and how shall I say the spirit of it, then Men's Search for Meaning.

In this book he outlines how his theories helped him to survive the Holocaust, and how his experience, how he developed his experience, and how he generated his theories.

Logotherapy, of course, is based, I mean, these are two words, logos and therapy. So logos is reason, logos is also word. So logos is language, logos is reason. Logos is the mind of God in action, if you read the New Testament, the first sentences about the logos.

So he says that people are motivated by the logos. When they look at the world, when they look at the universe, there are two ways to look at your environment.

Either you look at it and it's totally chaotic, totally random, totally meaningless, has no direction, purpose.

And you say to yourself, when I see meaning, when I see direction, when I see purpose, I'm imposing myself on the universe. The universe is not like that. It's a delusion.

These narratives are, you know, BS, because it's me, I'm inventing them. And if I'm the source of these narratives, you know, they don't really, they don't give real meaning.

These narratives reflect more about my inner state, about my inner landscape, about my mental structures, constructs, introductions, than about reality. They say nothing about reality.

And if I force reality, shoehorn reality to conform into these narratives, I'm just lying to myself.

So that's one way of looking at the universe.

And another way of looking at the universe is the way Frankl does, saying that, yeah, humans are the source of meaning, but that doesn't mean that meaning is meaningless. The fact that we are the source of doesn't vitiate, negate or undermine the power of meaning, the importance of meaning, and above all, the validity of meaning.

We can come up with narratives which are meaningful, and these meanings will be sustained by reality.

Science. What is science? Science is a set of narratives. Who creates science? We do. Only we do.

I have yet to come across a giraffe who creates relativity theory.

Humans create science, and yet science resonates with the universe. The universe agrees, complies, obeys, follows science. Of course, it's a way of looking at it. The science makes sense of the universe, imbues it with some form of operational meaning, charts it, maps it, creates maps of meaning, to borrow from Jordan Peterson.

So science is an example of a meaningful narrative which is essentially human-only, human-exclusively human, but still has its own standalone validity, independent of the source.

And so if we can do it with science, why can't we do it with metaphysics or philosophy?

Oh, you know what? Perish a thought, religion. The human spirit imbues the work of Franco, but his use of the word spirit is not spiritual. It's not religious. Spirit is the will, what Kierkegaard called the will. That's the spirit. It's the search for meaning. It's not a search for God. It's not a search for any supernatural being. It's not a search for the paranormal.

The central meaning on the contrary is very pedestrian. It's very quotidian. It's very detail-oriented. You search for meaning in your routine, in your daily life, in the people that surround you day in and day out, or zoom with you day in and day out. You search for meaning in the virus. You search for meaning in the sick wards, in hospitals. You search for meaning in the trenches where millions of people die. You search for meaning in hunger. You search for meaning in love. You search for meaning in your children and your spouse and your boring and dull work. You don't search for meaning in heavens. You don't search for meaning in the kingdom of heaven that is about to come or in the second coming or in any guru or prophet or public intellectual. You don't search for meaning in these places.

You search for meaning within yourself, within yourself.

Franklin warned against affluence, hedonism, materialism. In the search for meaning, he said that these are gods with feet of clay. They are idols in the biblical sense and their prophets are false prophets, all these coaches and so on.

Franklin observed that it's actually psychologically damaging when our search for meaning is thwarted, blocked, frustrated, deformed, manipulated, Althusser, Louis Althusser with his interpolation.

So positive life purpose, positive meaning could be associated with strong religious belief or membership in some group or dedication to a cause or upholding certain life values and reifying them in your behavior, having clear goals.

Purpose of life, developing into an adult, maturing into an adult implies having a purpose, having a structure, channeling, having a direction and yes in many respects it implies narrowing your life.

Channeling means being limited to a channel and this is what Clackley describes in his book Mask of Sanity.

Psychopaths, even gifted one, even geniuses and he dedicates a whole chapter to gifted psychopaths.

Their problem is not that they're stupid or even that they are insane, although he claims that they are functionally insane. Their problem is that they reject life, they reject life in the sense that they refuse to adhere to any purpose and any meaning in any direction, in any order, they are defined.

In psychopathy we call it reactants. Psychopaths are reactant, they have defiance and they sacrifice their own, they would rather die than succumb, than accept the mores and edicts and expectations of society, of peers, of family, of institutions. They'd rather die and they often die.

So psychopathy is the rejection of meaning, the rejection of meaning, the rejection of maturation and the rejection of life because to do this you must comprehend life's purpose, you must direct it, you must have intention. Life is intentionality. Intentionality creates the feeling that life is meaningful and there were many other scholars like Crumble, Moholek and they designed even something called the purpose in life test, the PIL test.

It measures individual's meaning and purpose in life and they found that in various studies that meaning in life mediated relationship between religiosity and well-being for example, between stress uncontrollable stress and substance abuse, depression and self-derogation etc.

They discovered that meaning is super critical. The seeking of neonic goals test song, it's another measure that they had designs and song measures the orientation towards meaning.

So PIL measures the existence of meaning, song measures orientation to find meaning, the drive to find meaning.

So when you have a low score on pill, you have low meaning in your life or low meaning in your life and you have a high score on song, that predicts a better outcome in treatment than the opposite.

Franklin himself suggested various ways of obtaining meaning and I quoted, I referred you to this and I described the case of the general practitioner, the medical doctor and so on and so forth.

But like Jordan Peterson much later, Franklin emphasizes suffering and of course Jordan Peterson continues a very long tradition of debate about suffering.

Buddhism is one way of considering suffering. Christianity of course is founded on suffering. Christianity is suffering reified. It's institutionalized suffering especially in its more original thoughts which is Catholicism.

Strangely orthodox Christianity is centered around life and meaning while Catholicism chose suffering and the negation of life, the denial of life.

One could argue that perhaps Catholicism is far more psychopathic than other variants of Christianity. But let's not go into this, it's another video.

But Franklin similarly realized the value of suffering and he said that suffering is meaningful only, and here he's distinct from Peterson, he disagrees with Peterson. He said suffering is valuable but only when first two creative possibilities are not available.

In other words when nothing else is available, when you can't create, when you can't be with people, when you can't socialize, when you can't do anything, when you're in a concentration camp in other words, when your locus of control is totally external, your life is not your own, only then your suffering becomes meaningful.

When Roman legionnaires march you through Jerusalem and then crucify you, you are utterly powerless, you're utterly helpless, you're utterly impotent. At that point your suffering becomes meaningful but only at that point because prior to that point you have alternatives and all alternatives are preferable to suffering.

Franklin said that suffering is not meaningless if it can be avoided. Only when suffering is inevitable, it becomes meaningful.

So he was very, he was dead set against suffering and in this sense he was a Buddhist. Of course we'll talk about it in one of our next videos.

He wrote another book which I recommend to you, it's a bit more complex and it's called The Will to Meaning, Foundations and Applications of Logotherapy. That's the philosophy and metaphysics of logotherapy.

He makes some amazingly basic observations in this book that have eluded and evaded the greatest minds in psychology.

For example, his opening sentence is essentially, there's no psychotherapy if we don't have a theory of the individual.

He was, remember he was an existentialist and he disagreed with behaviorism. He disagreed that people are machines or that they are evolved rats.

Like if you experiment on rats in a laboratory, you learn everything you have, you learn everything you need to know about humans.

He disagreed.

He said that difference between rats and humans is not a question of quantity, it's a question of quality. And he said that behaviorism is anti-human, it undermines the human quality of humans.

He was a neurologist and he was a psychiatrist and so on.

When you couple these essentially mechanistic disciplines, because neurology is mechanistic, it's a machine, it's studying the machine, the machinery, the hardware of the brain.

So when you couple this with existentialism, you come up with the equivalent of determinism.

But how do you reconcile determinism with freedom of will or the will to freedom or the will to meaning?

So there is an inherent time bomb in logotherapy.

Franklin admits that a person can never be free from every condition.

People are subjected to start with physiological, biological, medical conditions. And then they're subjected to sociological, cultural conditions. And then they are subjected to psychological determinants.

I mean, people are under so many constraints and that it's very difficult to assert yourself, to exert yourself separately from these constraints with many, many people.

The constraints and the limitations and the rules become their identity. Their identity is comprised of what they cannot do, not what they can do.

So he says that people are capable of resisting and braving even the worst conditions.

He said you must rebel against these constraints. You must detach from the situation. You must choose an attitude. You must determine your own determinants. You must shape your own character. You must become responsible for yourself. You must fight back.

Ekehomo is a method used in logotherapy and it requires the therapist to note the innate strengths that people have and how they have dealt with adversity and suffering in life.

Despite everything a person may have gone through, they made the best of their suffering.

And this is the Ekehomo.

Behold the man, the man and his story. Behold the meaning that each and every one of us generates to a lesser or greater degree.

Okay, assignments. I remind you all your studies are meaningless without assignments and what's even much worse. I'm meaningless without your assignments. So don't make me lose my job in this pandemic because, you know, see what the one I have? It's the thing that gives my life and tells my life with meaning.

You wouldn't want to take this away from me.

Thank you for listening.

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