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I'm starting to think, Jeff, that while on one level you are questioning your worthiness to teach Frankl, and on another you are asking whether you can actualize Frankl's principles in your life, on an even deeper level you are going through a process of transcending Frankl himself and coming to your own philosophy of life, that incorporates elements of Frankl, but also of CK, Dangerfield, and numerous other influences into a gestalt uniquely your own. Forgive my forthrightness, but it is almost like you are asking (yourself) for permission to move beyond Frankl, who seems to be your spiritual-philosophical father figure.

I mean, its almost like you have three choices: 1) You can stay as you are, and live in the pain of not living up to the ideals of Frankl, your spiritual-philosophical father figure; 2) You can actualize Frankl's ideals in your life, and be a "baby Frankl"; 3) You can forge your own path. Its probably clear where my bias is.

I'm with Freud in that I believe we all must "kill our father." Not literally, of course, and not even necessarily (or only) our actual biological father, but our FATHERS. This, I think, is what Frankl would want of you: find your own path. Don't seek to actualize his ideals, but find what is real for you and actualize that. In the end it isn't a negation of Frankl, but it is a transformation of what he is saying into something that is living and real for you.

Certainly not all of us can be great philosophers, but we can all actualize ourselves, we can accept and engage our uniqueness. This is something I occasionally tell my students: the universe doesn't want you (the student) to be the fellow classmate you're jealous of, or your parent that wants you to be a better version of them, or your older sibling, or your hero; the universe wants you to be you, as the unique expression that you are.

This is my personal philosophy of life, so I realize it is subjective - but it is one that serves everyone, that is embracing of any and all variants in that it asks us to actualize who we are, rather than who think we should be. It isn't the easy path, but it is the most fulfilling, I think. Be who you are! It sounds trite, but it is deeply powerful, I think - one of those core truths that we all overlook, and in so doing miss the main course.


The way I see it, I'm trying to synthesize Frankl, Louis C.K. Dangerfield and others to make my own philosophy that makes me whole. To be fair to Frankl, his logotherapy has a humor component: The Paradox of Intent in which we take our fears and exaggerate them, to a grotesque and humorous level, to de-fang them. But I agree with a lot of your points.

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