I am preparing to visit Uruguay and Brazil next month to attend Logotherapy Conferences in both countries and I am very much looking forward to the trip. From the 1950's, my Grandfather's work was published in many countries but perhaps the biggest impact was in North America and Latin America.
For his first trip to lecture about Logotherapy outside of Europe, he traveled to Argentina in 1954. More than 50 years later, Logotherapy is being applied by the third generation of psychotherapists and the numbers continue to grow. 50 years ago, North America and Latin America were markedly different. In most North American countries, one could see economic stability, wealth and freedom while in Latin America there were apparent instabilities and economic hardship. At first glance, there were not many commonalities yet both extremes seemed to have one effect living in both environments:-the conditions in both seemed to provoke the existential question - why?
Questions of why understandably arise when one struggles to make a living or just to survive but life in an affluent society, where most needs are met, surprisingly can have the same effect. As Viktor often said, "once we have all we need to live by, we still haven't addressed the question of what we are living for". If we do not set out to answer this question for our own lives, this lack of meaning may lead to a constant and serious state of suffering--suffering from an "existential frustration". To fill the "existential vacuum" with meaning is a continuing challenge to people living all over the world, in different environments and societies, then and now.
Viktor and Elly visited both "Americas" many times and made many good friends. When the film is released next Spring, you will see many of those interviewed and for all the others, thank you. I will keep you all posted during the trip. -----Alexander Vesely
Posted on Wed, October 27, 2010
by Mary Cimiluca filed under