Logos is deeper than logic

Logotherapy is called as such because Frankl uses the word logos in the sense of “meaning.” I will share with you two paragraphs where Frankl discusses that logos is deeper than logic.

The question was asked whether an ape which was being used to develop poliomyelitis serum, and for this reason punctured again and again, would ever be able to grasp the meaning of its suffering. Unanimously, the group replied that of course it would not; with its limited intelligence, it could not enter into the world of man, i.e. the only world in which the meaning of its suffering would be understandable. Then I pushed forward with the following question: “And what about man? Are you sure that the human world is a terminal point in the evolution of the cosmos? Is it not conceivable that there is still another dimension, a world beyond man’s world; a world in which the question of an ultimate meaning of human suffering would find an answer?” The ultimate meaning necessarily exceeds and surpasses the finite intellectual capacities of man; in logotherapy, we speak in this context of a super-meaning. What is demanded of man is not, as some existential philosophers teach, to endure the meaninglessness of life, but rather to bear his incapacity to grasp its unconditional meaningfulness in rational terms. Logos is deeper than logic. (Man’s Search for Meaning, Frankl, p. 141)

Aware now that the meaning of being, or the logos of existence, essentially transcends man’s mere intellectuality, we will understand that “logo”-therapy is as far removed from being a process of “logical” reasoning as from being merely moral exhortation…The therapist should enable the patient to see the world as it is…One can search only for the concrete meaning of personal existence, a meaning which changes from man to man, from day to day, from hour to hour. The awareness of this concrete meaning of one’s existence is not at all an abstract one, but it is, rather, an implicit and immediate dedication and devotion which neither cares for verbalization nor even needs it. In psychotherapy, of course, it can be evoked by the posing of provocative questions in the frame of a maieutic dialogue in the Socratic sense. What comes to light, then, is that the ultimate questions of human existence are on the lips of every man and that these questions are continually confronting the therapist. It is not necessary, however, to enter into sophisticated debates with the patients. “Logos” is deeper than logic.(Logotherapy and Existentialism, pp. 53-58)

What does this mean to you?

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