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  • Writer's picturekyle Hailey

Adversity Paradox: Joy and Woe are Woven Fine

Updated: Oct 27, 2023

As above so below

It is right it should be so; Man was made for joy and woe; And when this we rightly know, Thro' the world we safely go. Joy and woe are woven fine, A clothing for the soul divine. Under every grief and pine Runs a joy with silken twine. - "Auguries of Innocence”

William Blake, The Complete Poems

Adversity Paradox

Astoundingly or synchronistically this came from

Victor Frankl "A Man's Search for Meaning" - It's not sex that brings up meaning. It's not power that brings us meaning. Suffering brings us meaning The idea that we get stronger from stresses in our lives.

Viktor Frankl was a psychiatrist and Holocaust survivor, best known for his book "Man's Search for Meaning" where he described his experiences in Nazi concentration camps and developed his psychotherapeutic method of finding a reason to live.

In his book, Frankl did posit that life's meaning does not stem from pleasure or power, but rather from our responses to life's challenges. He emphasized the idea of logotherapy, where meaning in life is found through our pursuits and our suffering. However, he didn't explicitly say that "It's not sex that brings us meaning. It's not power that brings us meaning. Suffering brings us meaning."

Frankl wrote, "In some ways suffering ceases to be suffering at the moment it finds a meaning, such as the meaning of a sacrifice." He also stressed that we can find meaning in life in three different ways: by creating a work or doing a deed; by experiencing something or encountering someone; and by the attitude we take toward unavoidable suffering. So while suffering can bring meaning according to Frankl, it's not the only source of life's meaning.

However, it's important to note that Frankl did not glorify or romanticize suffering. He acknowledged that suffering is an unfortunate part of life and suggested that when we cannot avoid it, we can still choose how we respond to it, and in that choice, we can find meaning.

In terms of getting stronger from stresses in our lives, this aligns with Frankl's views on resilience and the potential for personal growth even in the face of adversity.


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