Posts Tagged ‘Victor Frankl’

Another Quote Worth Pondering

October 21, 2016

This is from Chapter 12, “All in the Mind” in “The Epigenetics Revolution” by Nessa Carey. The quote is from John Milton.
“The mind is its own place, and in itself can make a Heaven of Hell, a Hell of Heaven.”
We should use this quote as a reminder to ourselves substituting “My” for “The”.
We are the ones who determine our own happiness.  This is one of the reasons that HM recommends meditation.

A similar quote comes from Victor Frankl; a survivor of Auschwitz (and a neurologist and psychologist):  “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing:  the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given circumstance, to choose one’s own way.”

What makes Dr. Frankl’s statement so remarkable is that it was made under the most adverse of circumstances.

Siddhartha, who became the first Buddha was a wealthy man who left his wealth in his quest to remove misery from the world.  His solution was found in the mind in mindfulness and meditation.
Should you want to see the first healthymemory blog post worth pondering enter  “A Quote Worth Pondering” into the healthy memory search block.  It will be worth your while.

Healthy Memory, Healthy Mind, and a Sense of Coherence

October 25, 2015

The research of Dr. Martin Seligman has  documented the benefits of optimism on health.  Unfortunately, I am a congenital pessimist, but I am using mindfulness to change.  Fortunately, Dr. Seligman has started a positive psychology movement.  I have often wondered how can people in extremely adverse circumstances maintain a positive outlook.  How do they cope?

Dr. Aaron Antonovsky has researched people who have survived extreme, almost unthinkable stress, such as prisoners in Nazi extermination camps.  I’ve thought that if I ever found myself in a similar circumstance I would thrown myself on an electrified fence (which is what Stalin’s son did when he was captured by Nazis).

Dr. Antonovsky also wondered what allowed some people to resist these very high levels of stress even as their resources for coping with stress and tension are constantly being disrupted during their imprisonment in these concentration camps.  He found that these people have an inherent sense of coherence about the world and themselves.  It is characterized by three components: comprehensibility, manageability, and meaningfulness.  People with a high sense of coherence have a strong feeling of confidence that they can make sense of their internal and external experience, and that they have the resources available to meet and manage the demands they encounter.  These demands are challenges  in which they can find meaning and to which they can commit themselves.

These attitudes are summarized in a famous statement of Victor Frankl; a survivor of Auschwitz (and a neurologist and psychologist):  “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing:  the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given circumstance, to choose one’s own way.”  This is a statement worthy of committing to memory.