People, all things mental and moments

Today I felt pass over me

A breath of wind from the wings of madness.

~Charles Baudelaire

 It is stunning today! It is a Monday which is normally quite awful, however I am taking evil pleasure in knowing that I am by no means the only one sitting in an office.

There is nothing more powerful than meeting a three day old baby to acknowledge the significance of being a woman, the frailty of life and the strength of the human spirit. One of the greatest Psychologists I studied at Varsity was Victor Frankl. His study on the search for meaning was greatly influenced by his experiences in concentration camps. He lost both his parents and young wife at the hands of the Nazis. Amidst such horror and atrocities he realized that meaning can be found in the darkest of moments. He also writes about how no one can ever take away the freedom we all have in determining our attitude.

I love this:

“Again and again I therefore admonish my students in Europe and America: Don’t aim at success – the more you aim at it and make it a target, the more you are going to miss it. For success, like happiness, cannot be pursued; it must ensue, and it only does so as the unintended side effect of one’s personal dedication to a cause greater than oneself or as the by-product of one’s surrender to a person other than oneself. Happiness must happen, and the same holds for success: you have to let it happen by not caring about it. I want you to lisaten to what your conscience commands you to do and go on to carry it out to the best of your knowledge. Then you will live to see that in the long-run – in the long-run, I say! – success will follow you precisely because you had forgotten to think about it.”

Frankl also claimed that through his experiences in Auschwitz and the other camps, there are quite simply two types of people: decent ones and non-decent ones. It is the type of simplicity I can only admire and envy.

I really enjoyed studying Psychology and I hope one day I will be able to complete my honours. I don’t think there is anything more provoking and exciting than peeling away the layers of the mind!

 Well I think the madness is slowly coming to an end. I am actually really looking forward to a week of normalcy, hanging up my heels for a couple of days. I have had some moments of “Oh my God what did I just do?” and some moments of “What the hell – life is short.”  Moments of wanting to dance on tables and times I have wanted to crawl under a rock!  They are but moments. For now, a small semblance of normalcy is quite welcomed.

 “What matters, therefore, is not the meaning of life in general, but rather the specific meaning of a person’s life at a given moment.”

Viktor Emil Frankl

March 26, 1905 – September 2, 1997

Man’s Search for Ultimate Meaning


5 thoughts on “People, all things mental and moments

  1. Awesome stuff indeed, this year especially I can really relate to the pursuit (or non pursuit as it were) of happiness… I think that we tend to focus on the end result too much, when it’s the process that really matters the most.

    Part of my new years ‘revolution’ to go with the flow is based on my favourite inspiration by Dan Eldon (incredible photographer and journalist who was killed in Somalia) – his motto was the journey is the destination. After he died, his journals were published in a book with that same motto as its title, very powerful stuff.

    I think embracing the normalcy along with the manic times is where it’s at this year – and with so much opportunity and possibility out there, who knows what’s in store for us in two thousand and fine?!

  2. I do love that Rox – the journey is the destination. I have just been researching his work; damn such talent, to die so young is such a tragedy!

  3. Tragic indeed – he was a very gifted person. My sister got the book for my parents, and something about the journals really moved me… hard to explain, but there is a huge depth and meaning to his work, and I like the medium.

    Ever since then, I’ve always liked that motto. Just hard to remember sometimes, especially when we’re down or frustrated!

  4. I really enjoyed reading these ideas. I find success to be very complicated, sometimes I think I may be afraid of it.

  5. Po – I think I know what you mean, I am more afraid of not being able to recognise a satisfactory level of success. You should read some more of his writings, he has a very positive and interesting way of looking at life.

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