Sunday, August 1, 2010

asking Dr. Frankl

dear Doctor Frankl,

i read your book, Man's Search for Meaning.
you are a very good writer, sir.
i am glad you wrote that book.

i am sad it had to be written.

you marched my half-willing imagination straight into a concentration camp.

there, in the cold and dim, huddled on wooden bunks,
we feared and dreamed
and struck out fear and clung to reality
and shared our search for meaning.

you said, quoting Nietzsche,
"he who has a why to live can bear with almost any how."

you spoke of our evolution as a species,
contending that those who find purpose in life
are the strong, the survivors.
you shared your fight to survive.

your observation on page 19, though, so stark and deadly-true,
is what haunts me:

"...there was a sort of self-selecting process going on the whole time among all of the prisoners. On the average, only those prisoners could keep alive who, after years of trekking from camp to camp, had lost all scruples in their fight for existence; they were prepared to use every means, honest and otherwise, even brutal force, theft, and betrayal of their friends, in order to save themselves. We who have come back, by the aid of many lucky chances or miracles -- whatever one may choose to call them -- we know: the best of us did not return."

how, sir, can you crown such men --
the meek, the humble, the self-sacrificing --
the dead --
"the best"?

such morality is not consistent with your worldview
of Natural Selection.

you have borrowed from Another:

"And He opened His mouth and taught them, saying:
'Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
'Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
'Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
'Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
'Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.
'Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
'Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
'Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
'Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on My account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.'"
Matthew 5:2-11

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