Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Why The Rebbe Encouraged Victor Frankl

“The Rebbe acknowledged the fact that beneath the surface of people’s outward personalities, there often lies a much less flattering psychic reality.”
“However, the Rebbe further stressed that beneath all the “dirt and mud” there is something deeper, something beautiful and holy: There is a soul.”
“This is precisely why the Rebbe took such a strong interest in Dr. Frankl and his work. Frankl’s view of the human psyche corresponded quite closely with that of Chasidic understanding: We have a soul beneath the surface of the self.”
 “This soul forms the very core of our being and connects us to other souls and to a Higher power. Activation of this core point within is what allows us to transcend our baser nature and become a force for good in the world.”
 “Freud taught that at our core...the psyche that operates based on the ‘pleasure principle’”

“Dr. Frankl disagreed. He felt that Freud and his colleagues reduced the human being to a mere mechanical creature, depriving him of his true essence.”
 “If Freud were in the concentration camps,’ Frankl wrote, ‘he would have changed his position. Beyond the basic natural drives and instincts of people, he would have encountered the human capacity for self-transcendence.’”
 “We who lived in concentration camps can remember the men who walked through the huts comforting others, giving away their last piece of bread.”
“They may have been few in number, but they offer sufficient proof that everything can be taken from a man but one thing: The last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances; to choose one’s own way.”
“It was thus within the crucible of that horrific concentration camp that Frankl came to refine and crystallize his earlier intuitions concerning the underlying realities of human psychology.”
 “Once the war was over, Dr. Frankl could not avoid the inevitable collision with the founding principles and devoted followers of his former teacher.”
Freud was able to ridicule Victor Frankl out of town because “society” welcomed a therapeutic model that placed self (selfishness) above all. Frankl believed that the self is inherently Godly. 
Freudian psychotherapy has justified so much immorality in the name of “finding myself” “being myself” “myself myself myself.”
Victor Frankl almost gave up because he couldn’t take the constant ridicule from Freud and his gang anymore.

Until the Rebbe stepped in to encourage him.
By Dr. Dannielle Blumenthal. All opinions are the author's own. Public domain.