S1 E13: Lesson from Viktor Frankl & Eckhart Tolle

Join Rebecca and Sarah as they discuss Viktor Frankl’s book,”Yes to Life,” and Eckhart Tolle’s, “The Power of Now.”  We would love to hear your thoughts on how these two men have impacted your life.  Do you live in the now?  Do you find meaning in suffering?  Your ideas and experiences are valued.  

“Pleasure in itself cannot give our existence meaning; thus the lack of pleasure cannot take away meaning from life,”  Viktor E. Frankl

“Realize deeply that the present moment is all you have. Make the NOW the primary focus of your life.” Eckhart Tolle

Lessons from Viktor Frankl and Eckhart Tolle The Book Dialogue

  1. Lessons from Viktor Frankl and Eckhart Tolle
  2. How Women Rise
  3. Creativity – Are you born with it or can it be cultivated?
  4. The Witcher
  5. The Secrets We Kept

13 Comments Add yours

  1. Mary Jo Malo says:

    You two are such delightful interlocutors, I can’t wait to hear what you discuss next time 🙂

    I enjoyed Sarah’s very articulate analysis of these two writers, and I agree with her critique of the more spiritual aspects of the book. Tolle does indeed focus on the individual, because at a very basic level struggle and suffering are personal. His focus is on denying pain its amplification because of its similarity with the past or with future fear of its never ending. But he also writes that suffering becomes enhanced by trying to avoid it. He recommends that whatever suffering we experience, we must face it head on, feel it, and let it pass (I may be conflating two of his books here.) On the other hand, it’s natural to want to avoid and to end pain. One certainly wouldn’t fault concentration camp victims of wanting their agony to end or in needing the strength of a community for mutual comfort. The power of presence is necessary but it doesn’t provide meaning. I’ve unfortunately not read Frankl himself. Gabriel Marcel, another existentialist writer, believed that without hope the soul withers, and Tolle seems to not address this. Hope doesn’t rob us of the present; it’s a light shining in the darkness.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Clanmother says:

      I agree wholeheartedly about “hope” Mary Jo. When I have hope, my patience expands, prompting me to wait and see how life evolves instead of conjuring up the worst case scenario. This conversation was meaningful to me and I appreciated Sarah’s thought that both books have helped many people. I have the Power of Now, and have only read a few chapters. I have not read Victor Frankl – Frances and Sarah recommend that I do. Both books are transformative. I especially appreciated this thought: “The one thing you can’t take away from me is the way I choose to respond to what you do to me. The last of one’s freedoms is to choose one’s attitude in any given circumstance.” Viktor E. Frankl. It mirrors the ancient stoic, Marcus Aurelius: “If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself, but to your estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment.” Some ideas are universal. But I have always found it easier to read a quote rather than live the quote. What was that old saying, “the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Hugs coming your way along with my thanks for adding depth and breadth to his conversation.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. Mary Jo Malo says:

        The Frankl quote is beautiful, Rebecca.

        Liked by 4 people

      2. Rebecca, the Frankl quote reminds me of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, that it is possible to retrain our neural pathways to respond in new, less harmful ways to suffering and trauma.

        Liked by 3 people

      3. Clanmother says:

        What a great thought. I have been very interested in CBT and started reading Norman Doidge’s book “The Brain’s Way of Healing: Remarkable Discoveries and Recoveries from the Frontiers of Neuroplasticity. Sarah recommended this book, which she has read. I have just read the first chapters and still have a long way to go to finish the book. (Sarah is a voracious reader) But it was enough for me to understand that the we have much to learn about the body/brain connection. It seems that this is something that has been known since ancient time. As Marcus Aurelius noted, “You have power over your mind – not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.

        Liked by 2 people

      4. I hope you and Sarah will discuss Doidge’s book on the podcast. Your comment about Marcus Auerelius has me wondering about the relationship between philosophical knowledge of the human mind and research-based knowledge of the human mind.

        Liked by 3 people

      5. Clanmother says:

        I’ll be meeting up with Sarah today! I think this is an excellent idea.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Ms Frances says:

    Thank you for this conversation about Frankl and Tolle. These writers are worth reading and I am encouraged by your discussion and reviews. There is so much that is worthwhile to read, it seems there is so little time. We must find precious time in our busy days! ! !!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Clanmother says:

      Sarah has always been a voracious reader. She continues to inspire me with her dedication to knowledge acquisition. As you know, I have to run to keep up with her, which is always a good thing. Keeps my mind agile and “in shape.” I agree – we must find precious time in our busy days to read. Hugs!!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Rebecca, I appreciate your comment that the past is embedded in our lives, and we must honor and protect it. While living in the past and refusing to accept the present doesn’t allow us to grow, take away my ability to access the past, and you take away a large part of who I am.

    I understand the need to set our thinking selves aside and just “be,” but at the same time, I find living in the now a troubling concept, leading to irresponsible “eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die” behavior.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Clanmother says:

      I have only started “The Power of Now” but it seems that the discussion centers around our inability to move on. Like you, I have difficulty with the concept that past experiences should be avoided or discounted. The past is part of who we are, which suggests that we must chose wisely in the present for what we are doing or thinking today, soon becomes our past. When I look back, I find that there are times that I need to forgive myself. We show compassion to others, but sometimes have difficulty in showing compassion to ourselves. The word I chose for 2020 was “reconciliation” which turned out to be fortuitous given all that is happening in the world around us. But the most difficult reconciliation is with ourselves. For me, it is a journey in progress. Always enjoy our conversations.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re right about your fortuitous choice of “reconciliation” for 2020. There is so much to be reconciled now.

        Liked by 1 person

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