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Having been mentored by Viktor E. Frankl, the founder of logotherapy, Emeritus Professor David Guttmann authored this book so general readers may understand this approach to finding meaning in life at the point when most of us begin deeply wondering over that question, at midlife and beyond. Especially in this day and age of multiple demands on our time and seemingly non-stop obligations, we too often find that it is only when the dust settles, after a work day or work week, or even after retirement, when we begin to wonder: What is the meaning of life? The purpose? This book is a new millennium venture into those questions and their answers using logotherapy, written by a sage understudy who recalls Frankl, with his logotherapy, as the epitome of his theory even at 80 years old, wise and witty, exuding an energy, enthusiasm and youthful spirit that belied his years by decades. Aging does not diminish our power, our energy, and our quest for life, but reshapes it with new understandings, goals, and needs. But, says Guttmann, we live in a technical and machine-based world now, in which there is a danger of losing our souls. Here, readers find a new, creative perspective on aging and a fresh spiritual outlook.
This book will be of interest not only to general readers, especially those at midlife and beyond, but also to their families, friends, and students or professionals in the helping professions. This unique work provides knowledge to find meaning in life derived from the fields of philosophy, psychology, religion and gerontology, with case illustrations and vignettes to give readers both intellectual pleasure and practical guidance.
- Table of Contents
First Part Philosophical Approaches to Aging and
Meaning in Life
Chapter one: "On old age that steals on us fast"
Chapter two: Spiritual development in the second half of life
Chapter three: The search for happiness
Chapter four: Meaningful living according to logotherapy
Chapter five: Guiding principles for meaningful living
Chapter six: The courage to be authentic
Chapter seven: The concept of meaning
Chapter eight: Life as a task
Chapter nine: On fate and on meaningful living
Chapter ten: Despair as "mortal illness"
Second Part Applied Aspects to Meaningful Living
Chapter eleven: "The gifts of the gods"
Chapter twelve: The importance of laughter and humor
Chapter thirteen: Dealing with guilt and remorse
Chapter fourteen: Coping with loneliness
Chapter fifteen: A logotherapeutic perspective on death
"Using a unique mix of serious socio-psychological theories, along with real life stories and experiences with treating older persons, Professor Guttmann's book is a tour-de-force of humanistic thought, which provides an approach to a meaningful and optimistic future to every aging person, and every aging society."
"Guttmann has created a unique work that will endure. Guttmann shows that this insight is supported by past and present philosophers, novelists, and social scientists. The result is a timeless, comprehensive and eminently interesting readable book. At the same time there is much wisdom and practical suggestions for handling what aging brings to all people."
"Finding Meaning in Life, at Midlife and Beyond introduces the reader to the theory of logo-therapy as applicable to both professionals and the general public. Professor Guttmann offers an important perspective in this book for persons willing to learn how to find meaning in later years of life. Aging does not diminish one's quest and interest in life-but provides it with new designs and challenges accumulated over the years."
- Look Inside