Logotherapy is solidly based on the human capacity to think. We are capable of putting a distance between ourselves and our symptoms, saying I am not my symptoms. We can exercise the defiant power and act contrary to what circumstances or instincts dictate. We can laugh at our fears. We can get in touch with our will to meaning and ask ourselves “What do I really want?”
Today Rivkah and I learned about what it means to strengthen your ability to think and to evaluate advantages and disadvantages of your behavior. When you’re boss over your own inclinations you think carefully about things. The opposite of thinking carefully is superficial thinking and saying what comes off the top of your head.
Since people who talk a lot often talk superficially Rivkah mentioned the phenomena of being in a group where one person takes up a lot of “space.” There are certain types of people who do this because they are natural attention-grabbers. It can happen that someone in a group with an attention-grabber present expresses something, and before anyone has a chance to respond the “monopolizer” takes the conversation off in a completely different direction, without the group even being aware that they have just ignored the first person’s remarks.
This reminded me of what I had written in yesterday’s post. If the group decides from the start that “every comment is commented on and woven into the discussion” this policy would serve to counteract the tendency for comments to get lost, along with the people who made the comments.
The book (Alei Shur) explained that the internal part of a person is good and that goodness doesn’t need light. However we need to access our inner light and we do this by thinking. Thinking is like lighting a candle so that the inner goodness can shine.
Training yourself to hold an idea in your mind without getting distracted makes you into a stronger person who is able to withstand temptations because in any situation you will be focused and aware of what you think and why.
If you’re busy thinking about the deeper meanings of things your eyes won’t see the world around you superficially whereas if you’re not present in your own mind, your mind can be taken over without any resistance.
In logotherapeutic terms, there is a way to enhance your capacity to access the defiant power and decide what you really want rather than letting the wind blow you one way or another. You strengthen the defiant power by strengthening and stretching your capacity to hold a thought in your head in a relaxed but focused way.