Three, five, and seven
3 5 7
“Live as if you are living for the second time and had acted as wrongly the first time as you are about to act now.” –Viktor Frankl
What Is The Meaning Of YOUR Existence?
Viktor Frankl, who was a psychoanalyst and a great thinker, was born in Germany. His wisdom came from experience during WWII when he was interred in a concentration camp and was suffering as he was treated worse than an animal and physically and mentally abused. In his book Man’s Search For Meaning, he described what he believed is a process each of us can use to determine the meaning of our existence. The meaning of life differs for each one of us and can vary from time to time. He wrote that our responsibilities are the essence of our human existence. Frankl believed we can discover the meaning of our life in three different ways: “by creating work or doing a deed; by experiencing something or encountering someone; and by the attitude we take toward suffering.”
Our Masonic obligations include each of those ways and can help you discover the meaning of your life: being responsible, being industrious, doing good deeds, treating each other with brotherly love, and confronting a brother’s and/or your own suffering. Brotherly love helps us to become more fully aware of our own existence as well as the essence of another brother. Love enables us to see the features and essential traits of another brother and his potential which he has not yet achieved. Our brotherly love may even help him to achieve that potential.
Frankl believed we can find meaning to life even when confronted with a hopeless situation. When it seems the situation cannot be changed, sometimes we are able to turn our predicament into human achievement. When we can no longer change a situation, such as when we are confronted with an incurable illness, we are challenged to change ourselves. Instead of rebelling or giving up we can find new meaning in life. We can rise above our suffering and grow. For example Stephen Hawking was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis at age 21. Despite his debilitating illness, he continued to do ground-breaking work in physics and cosmology, and published several books which have helped to make science accessible to everyone.
Words to Live By: “When the clouds are full of water, it rains. When the wind blows down a tree, it lies where it falls. Don’t sit there watching the wind. Do your own work. Don’t stare at the clouds. Get on with your life.”-Ecclesiastes 11:3-4, MSG
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Harold E “Phil” Phillips, Jr, PM
Aurora 43, Newburg, WV