Man’s Search for Meaning (English)

All of us in the camps knew and told each other that there was no happiness on earth that could compensate us for our troubles.

…trotzdem Ja zum Leben sagen:Ein Psychologe erlebt das Konzentrationslager
Viktor Emil Frankl

First

Room 18 in the basement of the Auschwitz camp was the prison where Father Kolbe was held. Why is there a small window there? What did the sunshine mean? It was such a space, a mediocre room that a painter could paint rest in a poor hut, if analogy could be made. It smelled like dust and rust on my nose, and I don’t remember what the temperature was that day. Painful seems to rob me of a sense of the four seasons. I continue to listen to the color of my skin floating in the dark space and the description not in my native language, and I only pay attention to the words of my phase. Cruel places where many people have died, in fact, are neither special nor exist in Japan. For example, the station where the sarin gas attack on the underground took place. I passed there many times when I was a student. Sometimes it is hard to describe the weight of the souls that were cruelly taken away from us.

Not only that, but the Auschwitz camp was also a place where God and Jesus Christ did not come to save. Evidence of this can be seen everywhere in the other prisons, where crosses were dug into the ground with nails. They would have begged and pleaded, but salvation never came. It signals the despair of the invisible soul.

Second

In the concentration camps prepared by Nazi-Deutschland, it was not only people who died in gas chambers or from poison. Others died of suicide, starvation and disease. Deaths in the facilities, all of which are lumped together in the death toll of the camps, make concentration camps the root of evil. There were other dictatorships in other countries, but it seems to be a chosen place that has been so clearly narrated and left behind. We cannot easily ask locals about dictatorships in other countries. Comparatively speaking, the camps in Poland, which can be visited like Auschwitz, are an asset.

Why would something that was a democracy produce such a tragedy, I will not go into the details of German history this time. However, the birth of Nazi Germany was also a democracy for its time. In the case of Japan, the first thing that comes to mind is national review. How effective the national review is (Article 79 of the Constitution of Japan) is not clear to most people, although we know how it works, because none of the judges have yet been dismissed from the national review.

Realizations always spring up ‘after the fact’. There is a delusion about ‘democracy’ and democratic politics, but if there is cruelty, it is now hidden in the micro rather than the macro. Emotions from personal experience are not a problem, but the emotions of incidents happening on the other side of the world are just ‘excitement’ when you get right down to it. For example, If a celebrity commits suicide, you have feelings about it as if it were your own family. but Today, that would be a nuisance to the bereaved family.

Even if the bereaved family cries for understanding in a TV broadcast, if viewers sympathies with them and post it on social media, they are sued for defamation. For the victims, they make a fuss about being told by others without their knowledge. Only equivalent celebrities have the right to sympathy for the people on the other side of the television. That has become the modern age. More and more we are being meta and not exposed to the phenomenon.

Thus, in contemporary discourse, the view that it is not the fault of a single building, such as a camp, becomes natural. medical malpractice, or the problems in the schools, about what happened in that one space. It was suicide, so it was self-inflicted – it was starvation, so it had nothing to do with it – the cause of death was illness. ‘They didn’t all die the same way in the same space. So there is no scientific basis for it’ That is the modern world.

The ‘counter-existence’ is formed by what is given by the ‘counter-other’. One, if it is called ‘death without evidence’, its existence is determined. How do we accept the gaze that determines it? Do we take on that gaze honestly, or do we have a subjective self as a ‘counter-self’ in the Sartre sense? The difference between the objective gaze and the subjective self is ‘freedom’. V. E. Frankl in Man’s Search for Meaning also held on to ‘hope’ in Auschwitz, against the positioned decision. This is not a particularly unusual story, as it has been a guiding principle since the time of the Epictetus regarding servitude and freedom.

Third

I was shown the Gulf War on television when I was in primary school. Classes were interrupted and we kept watching the bulletins, which showed people lying under the rubble. Night vision technology was a hot topic at the time, and we were shown how easy it was to hit the target, even in an operation to set fire to an oil field on the Iraqi side to spread smoke. After saying that they would have been killed, the comment was made that it was probably a mother and son. Whether it was a US soldier, my memory is not clear. It was so disheartening that I wondered if people had really died at this moment. The homeroom teacher at the time explained that if there is a war now, it will not be like Grave of the Fireflies, and that weapons have evolved like night vision devices.

Grave of the Fireflies

As well as not doubting that all human beings are equal, we vaguely believed (as a certainty) that we had peace with Article 9 of the Constitution. Nevertheless, having children write about their thoughts on peace was as if to say that they can only write about it when they are children. Why do adults make children write, and why do adults stop saying it? Why do parents and homeroom teachers end up ‘teaching’ children? Why are people who talk about peace guests? Teachers and people close to them do not talk about what they know. People whose personal lives are not affected go home talking about their war experiences.

Eventually, as they grow up, some of their friends wake up and realis that what they have received was a left-wing education. Why is Article 9 supposedly admired around the world, but the world does not emulate it? Other countries have armies as normal. When ‘we’ raise questions about it, the world accuses us of leaning to the right. Yet the world calls that awakening ‘evil’. But that is only a fragment of the world. We don’t know the essence of the world. Article 9 of the Constitution is only a corner of it. The country of Japan is not as ‘known’ as it should be. But this is just another world I have walked through. The world is a wide place. The right answer is probably just as complex and wide.

It is not certain that even the Gulf War images seen at that time were real. The only reliable fact that can be traced back is “Stock price”. Stock price records seem to be the universal language. Analysis is subject to interpretation, but the figures do not lie: after Iraq invaded Kuwait on 2 August 1990, stock prices fell vertically. This is followed by a slump in October and November, but a slight rebound in December.17 January 1991, the Gulf War begins with the bombing of Iraq by Multinational Force Iraq.

Afterwards, it recovers to the same level as before the invasion of Kuwait. What was the tragedy we saw in the classroom then, and did the parents and children really die then? As an adult, I look at stock prices and other prices as if to overcome my childhood fears. When the contingency of war is also a certainty, the market raises expectations. Stocks recover as if the feeling of fear is ignorance.

Fourth

I had a strong sense of existentialism when I went back to my memory. Probably the generation that saw the Gulf War as children tended towards existential philosophy. (Strictly, with the ideal that existentialism could change the frustration that builds up) And those who educated us were inclined towards structuralism. Even John Paul II praised the structuralist Lévi-Strauss as a good philosopher.

Sartre and Husserl phenomenology were overshadowed, but the more they were hidden, the more I followed my ‘uncertain certainties’, because there was no being close at hand to answer the experiences I felt. Is what you see reflected in my mind something that is connected to the world? Yet it exists, even outside of consciousness. Even while we are asleep, the real world is stirring outside our consciousness. News of war is only part of reality. Of course, it is difficult to make a clear distinction between structure or existence as to why I felt the way I did about what is handed to me by the world. In all of them there is something to sympathies with and feel. 

Our generation was educated by those who did not benefit from the bursting of the Economic bubble, so the world was seen as ironic. At the same time, we were given a lot of dreams that never existed, such as ‘people are equal’. And even after a crisis like 911 in 2001, the economy always recovered: a 10% fall followed by a quick rebound. In fact, it was the Enron collapse in December 2001 and the WorldCom accounting fraud in June 2001 that caused the big drop. War would end the world, and it was only natural that this perception would fade.

Fifth

What do you think of Auschwitz? When asked that question, existence itself is a wall away for those of us who don’t think of everyday life in terms of war. What mattered was the world of peacetime. Man’s Search for Meaning were reinterpreted for 911 in a new translation in 2003. While the brutal images from the camps in the old translation have been erased, we have seen only the fireworks of peace slogans in the reality of the Iraq war. We bemoan the youth who don’t know human pain, but when we were children, we compensated for it with our imagination. But it didn’t mean anything when we understood it. The metadata personality of ‘not knowing human pain’ was formed that way even after the war. That would be an undeniable fact. 

Hannah Arendt warned that people imprisoned at Auschwitz would be forgotten over time. She referred to the tortured deaths of those held at Auschwitz, and the deaths forgotten with the passage of time, as a double death. This would be the Auschwitz camp I visited. The records as historical are not imbued with the space. In Room 18, where Father Kolbe was, there was just an empty space inside. He lived his life without thinking in terms of contingencies, and that is a testimony. What would this place look like if you came here with no prior information and an English translation for tourists? Events do not speak beyond information. Existence precedes essence “We mean that man first of all exists” It is an endlessly silent, somehow felt suppression. The meaning of the building’s existence continues to be expressed by human beings. The marks of the cross engraved with nails do not name the scribe. The proof that God did not come is still only despair. They say that it was futile to pray, or that Sartre was an atheist, but Frankl, who was imprisoned in Auschwitz, as a psychologist, left ‘hope’ behind.

In Auschwitz, a place where there is no creative freedom, he remained strong that only his inner life would not be taken away from him. There would naturally be a hidden escape. Those who believed they would be liberated by Christmas committed suicide on Christmas Day with the current of the iron bars. That is why Frankl feared easy hope. In the camps, some people gave alms to others even though they were suffering, while others became mad demons. In the absence of any soul-operating experience, he said that only the value of attitude would not be taken away, even in a place where it was not known whether God would come or not. It includes ‘prayer’.

When Man’s Search for Meaning was published(new translation)in 2003, it was introduced that those of us who had not experienced anything as bad as Auschwitz should naturally have ‘hope’. I thought at the time that was a little different. I thought about the meaning of why Frankl wrote about ‘hope’, which he portrayed in the midst of cruelty, rather than the ‘cruelty’ of Auschwitz.

The historical fact of Auschwitz comes in different forms. That is because human misery is inevitable. I think, even in retrospect, that I was a Sartre ‘condemned to be free’. We have always been forced to feel happy because we are at peace. But in fact, this is not the case. Only those who have known misery can realis this. Even if there is no war, everyone has misfortune, like Hisako Nakamura, who lost both arms. Hisako, who lost both arms due to illness, was brought up strictly by her mother. Like her, everyone falls into a situation where the ‘home’ itself is like a prison camp. Hisako, who was missing both arms, was given a sewing kit by her mother. Without arms, sewing means using the mouth. Naturally, saliva would get on it, but her mother did not allow it. When Hisako learned to sew, she showed the audience how she sewed as the ‘Daruma Maiden’ at a freak show, still holding a grudge against her mother.

Hisako Nakamura

Nevertheless, Hisako forgave her mother and was grateful. While this was based on her Jodo Shinshu teachings, she did not take what she was taught for granted. She realized that it was because of her mother’s strictness that she was able to become independent. But even today in Japan, although this idea is a beautiful story, the mother’s position is that of ‘abuse’. Society must provide ‘comprehensive’ support through welfare and other means to prevent this from happening. Frankl quoted Nietzsche on the most painful human suffering. ‘Suffering itself is not the problem. It is the lack of an answer to the cry ‘what is the cause of suffering’ that is the problem.”

This idea is a ‘freedom’ held by subjectivity, objecting to a given ‘being’. Frankl was also given the ‘fate’ of a dying Jew. But he held out hope. It is freedom but suffering. How freedom is a responsibility, and how heavy it is. Hisako is no different. From her position of being without both arms, she achieved a feat that was almost impossible. It is suffering, and it is ‘freedom’ that tried to overcome her position. All they are integrated into life as untold history. Auschwitz has become a metonymized entity: in Room 18, Father Kolbe took over the dying fate of other Jews. The world does not speak of them. It is ‘man’ who records them to the world. And yet, how many years can one leave behind? Why is it that the faces of anguish in paintings from centuries ago are still recognizable today? For example, Will Shakespeare still be around a hundred years from now? Why is it that what Father Kolbe did is still great today? It is man who makes sure that records are kept, but who creates the destiny that allows them to be kept?

Last

Sartre, who was a genius, missed his prediction before the Second World War when he said that Germany would not go to war. How did a dictatorship arise in Germany, which was supposed to be a democracy? The question can still be asked today. However, there is inevitably no end to speech and violence. This is because there is a ‘will’ in people. The will cannot be unified: the Covid19 epidemic has not subsided, the war between Russia and Ukraine, and in Japan the controversy continues after the assassination of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on 8 July 2022. I cannot recall a word from my childhood when I could so easily reject these conflicts. Children today may be cleverer, but a child’s words are not allowed to cross the world. Maybe that is why it is children who can go to the Kingdom of Heaven. (Matthew 19:13-15) 

Our pursuit of human goodness is not always beautiful. We move away from heaven little by little as we defile our souls, as we defile ourselves, as we struggle. We cannot abandon it because we must live with ‘will’. Even if we put an end to today’s challenges, is it something that will dissolve into history and be forgotten, or is it something that will be imprinted on individual souls?

Keeping silent, like the adults of the past, certainly seems like a bad thing. But what if we cannot protect our precious beings if we do not answer the demands of fate? If adults fight, children lose their place in the world. If teachers have made deviant statements, children feel insecure. Maybe that’s why they kept quiet back then. Was it adult self-deception? Or was  ‘consideration’? It is not possible in heaven to know the complexity of human beings. Is that not the will to struggle to live? If the dead sleep-in peace, the living must awaken. It will come, even in silence. 

We must have experienced hardships and cruelty in each of our growing up years. We should not compare our misfortunes with others. Invariably, there is some trivial love left in people. The driving force behind Frankl’s books can be said to be Agape. Faith in human goodness would be to remember that. Even if, in any future situation.

Weeds were beautiful in Auschwitz.

――Like Mary at the feet of Jesus.

Simone Weil-For laborer English

Simone Weil in Marseilles, early 1940s
・People who are considered 'invisible' need beauty and poetry.

・Laborers need beauty and poetry more than bread.

・Poets create beauty by giving attention to the real. Love acts the same way.

・It is only by chance that the most precious things in the world start to be called progress, or 'the genius that makes a statement through the ages'. It is unbearable to imagine that even the most precious things in this world are left to chance.

・Unbearably absent God. In this sense the world is God itself.

Simone Weil.



First

Simone Weil went to Germany in 1932-1933, a year before she entered the factory, to understand the foundations of fascism. She reported that the Nazis were not only taking advantage of the petty bourgeoisie, but also many unemployed and other vulnerable groups.

Weil wrote a letter to Father Perrin during her stay of a little more than two months. The contents of the letter were: She wrote to Father Perrin without hiding her own over-influence on collectivity, “If everyone sings Nazis songs, then I’ll sing them too, which is my weakness, but this is the way I exist.” and it did not hide the fact that it could be influenced by the negative impacts of negative influence. She was saving German exiles and raising her own questions about labor, unemployment and collectivity. At the end of 1934, Simone Weil left her teaching job to work in a factory as a pressman and decided to face the ‘monde réel’(Real)Before she joined the factory, she was obsessed with writing to ‘masterpieces’ and ‘posthumous works’. However, the idea was feel some delicacy about the real world. ‘I began to think that the interchangeable parts were laborer. Parts have more civil rights than people’, she said as she walked through the gate, showing her ID card with the number on her chest,

Simone Weil wrote a core called ‘Beauty and Poetry for laborer’.

I have long remained unsure of this vital nucleus. She quoted a poem by Homerosu at the beginning of her ‘Factory Diary’ (Reflections on Labor and Life). She had many reflections on classical literature, but at the same time she knew that poetry was meaningless to the laborer. She had experienced first-hand the mental and physical exhaustion of hard laborer and was thus troubled by the pointlessness of trying to be philosophical through the Bible. This is reflected in her own record of almost jumping into the Seine in disgust with factory life.

Her writings are characterized by a large number of disconnected chapters, as they were not formally prepared for publication in book form. It seems to be an inclusion structure, a structure in which statements implying contradictions make sense inclusively and mutually, as in the words of Qohelet(Ecclesiastes) in the Old Testament. For example, she knew that art meant nothing in labor. At the same time, she talks about clocks and artists. She held that a made clock can work without love, but created art cannot work without love. Why did she define such a thing as ‘what the laborer needs more than bread is beauty and poetry’?  Even if we were to write out an outgrowth of this as a logic as a definition, it would be difficult to delve into the labor of the time and write it out. One commentary on ‘labor’ explained it in Hayao Miyazaki’s ‘Spirited Away’, but if that is to be used as an analogy, it fails to convey the suffering and weight of labor. Indeed, even if the protagonist who lost his name in that worldview, the dragon god having lost his memory, and the otherworldly beings who follow him obediently represent the structure of labor, nevertheless, labor is completely meaningless in allegory and structural understanding. You cannot catch up with Weil’s philosophy unless you are actually exhausted by labor and conscious of death by labor. The cartoon analogy is a poor outgrowth for the students who are the target of this lecture because they cannot understand the suffering of labor, so they have little outgrowth to formulate logic. As a result, students try to end up with a ‘mind set‘ about labor. Most believe that happiness as a laborer is poetry and beauty, depending on how you ‘mind set’. As a result, It is just an empty theory on the table and something else entirely. To know Weil is to know that hard labor means that poetry, beauty or even faith becomes utterly meaningless. One must strike this reality into one’s heart and suffer that one is wasting one’s time. In modern times, these still seem to make sense through ‘peace of mind’. That would be the explanation of this animation. The students are satisfied with the idea that labor makes sense if they change the way they look at the outside world and the other world and use philosophical terms to describe them. If you can live well enough to go to university in modern Japan, it is unlikely that you will experience the labor Weil describes. As barriers to understanding Simone Weil, one is the suffering of labor, the second is suffering with limitations, and the third is suffering through faith, is important. Without knowing these three things, one may perceive something in Weil’s poetic sentiment and follow it later with logic. I was one of them, and that may be what she calls an overlap of coincidences. That is why, by the time I was over the age of Weil’s death, I left for a time because it even seemed to me that these philosophies were only heading towards death, just as she was heading towards guest death.

Second

Even if one decides that “it is beautiful”, poetry and beauty ask for emotion and heart, and it is difficult to express them and to appeal to them with logic. The same applies to pain and unhappiness. Unhappiness is a great mystery in life. One cannot accept the idea of this misfortune, of abandoning the imagination that you are at the center of the world, of acknowledging that the real center is outside the world, that we are a ‘point’. Descartes’ ‘I think, therefore I am’ should not be left behind in everyday life. Sartre refuted it, but it is still incomplete. So much so that the I and consciousness must not be separated. Clerics such as Father Perrin, with whom she interacted, make sense of such misfortunes. Because that is their job, They seldom look back on whether or not Jesus really felt unhappy. Jesus was the Son of God, but as a man he studied the Old Testament. Before his execution, the Son of God cried out “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”, Psalm 22. If Jesus was God, he would not have originally suffered. Jesus suffered as a human being. Suffering and misery are enigmatic for people, just as Jesus’ suffering is a beautiful story. Even today, people’s unhappiness is swelling day by day, although the world is full of measures and words that could solve their misery.

Many people still think today that Weil is not a philosopher, but for those who understand theology and faith, it was philosophical. Why is that, because she phenomenologically Epoché what people of faith cannot always erase or stop, ‘pray thinking there is no God‘ She did not flirt with religious people in the Caillet.

Religious people admonish Jesus to bear the suffering of labor, but Weil did not. Keeping philosophical questions and answers to religious understandings impoverishes the human mind to the extreme. From a religious perspective, there is even a saying, “Be a fisherman rather than a philosopher”. Wisdom is a condition for becoming poor. 【Proverbs28:11】If the saint’s condition is to perform miracles, the philosopher expects miracles but excludes them himself. That is the purification of knowledge. That purification may be the only way to realize one’s true nature. However, we do not know if that essence is something that can cross over into the world. In fact, she died because she refused treatment. Although contemporary ethics cannot touch on it, Weil’s focus on the ‘labor’ can be said to be neighborly love. She was in the same position as the poor, as was Jesus. She did not ridicule the poor laborer.

In 1937, Simone Weil, who had also become a poet enough to have Paul Valéry write a review of her books, also wrote about art. She loved Jesus so much that she was never unaware that he had descended into Hades. She descended as in ‘Gravity and Grace’.

Simone Weil used the example of Andromaque to show that tragedy is what people will not listen to unless it is represented by a creation, but she did leave a written record of her labor. If she had not died at the young age of 34, I don’t know if this fact would have been created, but that ‘Coincidence’ record of her labor is something that has to be experienced to be understood, just as there are deaths from overwork and suicides even today. Few students or professors are aware of the cruelty of her record. I was one of them. We can only be vaguely aware of the toil. I immediately play it on the basis of my own faith and experience. Not so much that it is a ‘sin’, but while I am unaware of labor, even that seems like beautiful poetry. For the sick, there were nightingales, but for the laborer, every artist makes a beautiful story. That is just raising people who can read books, but only such people try to be the voice of people’s labor.

Yet, she was still waiting for a miracle for the weak. As a seeker, she would read the Bible into her mind.She wrote like a philosophical thinker, organizing the mysteries in philosophical reflections and thinkers. about it I often asked myself what she kept doing it for.  She also became ill and poor again in her later years. Despairing too, she understood her gifts. She was estranged from her destiny and was constantly fighting against it. Maybe she waited for a miracle to figure out what she could write. For example, as manifested in her interpretation of Prometheus and Grimm’s fairy tales, she did not touch the deus ex machina – the mechanical god. That is not the same as Aristotle, who was in denial. She was choosing a god or destiny to reach out to suffering. She was informing despair so that miracles would happen to the laborer and so that the artist would invoke the god of mechanical contraptions. Despair is the stripping away of all hope. Despair is not something that comes. Sometimes others feel differently from you. Hopelessness is the stripping away of expectations in order to fall into despair yourself. St Cassilda was carrying food for the Christians, who were heretics at the time, when she was stopped by her vassals and the king and told to show them the food she had hidden. If the food was found, the death penalty awaited her, but God turned the food into roses. Simone Weil’s miracle for the laborer in waiting, in my opinion, is this. She epokayed(epokhế) God as a philosophy, but she assumed the world was God.

Like Casilda’s stripped cloak, after all hopes and expectations were stripped away, the prayer was indeed pure.

Last

Jesus was the closest to the Father, and misfortune came to him. Those who understand know that to be close to the Mystery is most unfortunate. Whether it is just inorganic unhappiness or unhappiness due to the Mystery. When I was a seeker, I believed that the unhappiness at the time was due to the mystery. Not by hope. My faith began with misfortune. I had a desire to believe and a doubt whether souls are really equal. Unspeakable and difficult-to-surface thoughts were stirring me. The objections of the world were constant: the feeble believe in mysteries.

Light enters the eye with a single blink of an eye. Nevertheless, there are days when it does not illuminate the heart. Those who write with words begin by struggling with words they cannot communicate to express the light that transcends wisdom. Just as a musician cannot separate himself from sound, what he expresses in words cannot separate himself from words. Just as music is said to be incomprehensible, words cannot be understood, they need to be understood in the heart. How to call upon the heart is always a struggle as well. From such despair we must write down real miracles, so that light may shine on the mysteries of misery.

I think she has managed to turn it into a teaching guide so that we can get there.

Will she be a philosopher, a thinker or a seeker? She is treated as rootless by an undefined reputation. So, We have forgotten. That she was a teacher.

She was the ‘teacher’.

I could find her as a real person, a ‘teacher’. As an‟poètes”

Jesus’ Gospel walk is full of unnamed poor people. The labor she experienced is the embodiment of these unnamed people. Jesus stands in suffering outside the church.

Jesus was a laborer.

____________________

The overview will be updated in due course.→ 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simone_Weil

Next Work Ⅰ (English)

Nagi Tukika

The doctor said to me, “Gradually it will become possible to see. The light moved without being able to decide where to stay, and tried to create space, but the shapes were dreaming too much in my heart, and I was afraid of waking up. Outside is a nightmare, or is it possible to wake up?

 The emotional conflict inside of the shadows and the light seemed to overwhelm me.

Outline

I am left with the memory that I was blind. When I say, ” touching the world,” it’ s not a metaphor. It is a recurring memory of the day I was blind and could see for the first time. And yet, the emotion of “that day” when I could see has faded, and this memory is like a stranger.

I wonder if I’ve come back to life or am I a stranger.

On a summer’s day the painter contemplated death, and on a winter’s day the writer found the body of a musician. Fleeing footprints were burst shot by the photographer.

By the way, where you were “that day”?

From the Author.

As for my own experience, there was a six-year period when I couldn’t write since my last publication (2016). Then I structured the novel in seven chapters based on the seven days of Creation in Genesis.

Publication schedule: Winter 2022 – Spring 2023

Language: Japanese and English

English version may be requested from a translator.

I adapted this photograph to show the protagonist, who experienced a past of blindness, repeating his/her memories. “The emotional conflict inside of the shadows and the light seemed to overwhelm me“

Photo by

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