Love goes very far beyond the physical person of the beloved. It finds its deepest meaning in his spiritual being, his inner self. Whether or not he is actually present, whether or not he is still alive at all, ceases somehow to be of importance. Frankl illustrates this with a stirring example of how his feelings for his wife — who was eventually killed in the camps — gave him a sense of meaning:. We were at work in a trench.
The dawn was grey around us; grey was the sky above; grey the snow in the pale light of dawn; grey the rags in which my fellow prisoners were clad, and grey their faces. I was again conversing silently with my wife, or perhaps I was struggling to find the reason for my sufferings, my slow dying. In a last violent protest against the hopelessness of imminent death, I sensed my spirit piercing through the enveloping gloom. At that moment a light was lit in a distant farmhouse, which stood on the horizon as if painted there, in the midst of the miserable grey of a dawning morning in Bavaria.
For hours I stood hacking at the icy ground. The guard passed by, insulting me, and once again I communed with my beloved. More and more I felt that she was present, that she was with me; I had the feeling that I was able to touch her, able to stretch out my hand and grasp hers.
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The feeling was very strong: she was there. Then, at that very moment, a bird flew down silently and perched just in front of me, on the heap of soil which I had dug up from the ditch, and looked steadily at me.
It is well known that humor, more than anything else in the human make-up, can afford an aloofness and an ability to rise above any situation, even if only for a few seconds. Yet it is possible to practice the art of living even in a concentration camp, although suffering is omnipresent. After discussing the common psychological patterns that unfold in inmates, Frankl is careful to challenge the assumption that human beings are invariably shaped by their circumstances.
He writes:. But what about human liberty? Is there no spiritual freedom in regard to behavior and reaction to any given surroundings? Does man have no choice of action in the face of such circumstances? We can answer these questions from experience as well as on principle. The experiences of camp life show that man does have a choice of action.
Much like William James did in his treatise on habit , Frankl places this notion of everyday choice at the epicenter of the human experience:. Every day, every hour, offered the opportunity to make a decision, a decision which determined whether you would or would not submit to those powers which threatened to rob you of your very self, your inner freedom; which determined whether or not you would become the plaything of circumstance, renouncing freedom and dignity to become molded into the form of the typical inmate.
Like Henry Miller and Philip K. Dick , Frankl recognizes suffering as an essential piece not only of existence but of the meaningful life:. If there is a meaning in life at all, then there must be a meaning in suffering.
Suffering is an ineradicable part of life, even as fate and death. Without suffering and death human life cannot be complete. The way in which a man accepts his fate and all the suffering it entails, the way in which he takes up his cross, gives him ample opportunity — even under the most difficult circumstances — to add a deeper meaning to his life. It may remain brave, dignified and unselfish. Or in the bitter fight for self-preservation he may forget his human dignity and become no more than an animal. Here lies the chance for a man either to make use of or to forgo the opportunities of attaining the moral values that a difficult situation may afford him.
And this decides whether he is worthy of his sufferings or not. Everywhere man is confronted with fate, with the chance of achieving something through his own suffering.
A casualty of circumstance
Woe to him who saw no more sense in his life, no aim, no purpose, and therefore no point in carrying on. He was soon lost.
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What was really needed was a fundamental change in our attitude toward life. We had to learn ourselves and, furthermore, we had to teach the despairing men, that it did not really matter what we expected from life, but rather what life expected from us.
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We needed to stop asking about the meaning of life, and instead to think of ourselves as those who were being questioned by life — daily and hourly. Our answer must consist, not in talk and meditation, but in right action and in right conduct. Life ultimately means taking the responsibility to find the right answer to its problems and to fulfill the tasks which it constantly sets for each individual.
These tasks, and therefore the meaning of life, differ from man to man, and from moment to moment. But Cassie's had it with being jerked around, and anyone who tries it from now on is going to find out that she makes a very bad enemy. Recently named the world's chief clairvoyant, Cassandra Palmer still has a thorn in her side. As long as Cassie and a certain master vampire—the sizzling-hot Mircea—are magically bound to each other, her life will never be her own The spell that binds them can only be broken with an incantation found in the Codex Merlini, an ancient grimoire.
The Darkest Hour
The Codex's location has been lost in the present day, so Cassie will have to seek it out in the only place it can still be found—the past. But Cassie soon realizes the Codex has been lost for a reason. The book is rumored to contain some seriously dangerous spells, and retrieving it may help Cassie to deal with Mircea, but it could also endanger the world. Cassandra Palmer may be the all-powerful Pythia now, but that doesn't mean people have stopped trying to kill her.
Most of the supernatural power players don't want the independent minded Cassie as chief clairvoyant—and they'll stop at nothing to see her six feet under. The Vampire Senate does support Cassie in her position, but their protection comes with a price: an alliance with the sexy master vampire Mircea, who has claimed Cassie as his own. But even the vampires will have trouble keeping Cassie alive now that the self-styled god Apollo, the source of the Pythia's power, has it in for her in a big way. To save her life—and the world—Cassie's going to have to face down her creator once and for all.
Cassandra Palmer recently defeated a god, which you'd think would buy a girl a little time off. But it doesn't work that way when your job description is Pythia-the world's chief clairvoyant.
rohminixual.tk Cassie is busier than ever, trying to learn about her power, preparing for her upcoming coronation, and figuring out her relationship with the enigmatic sexy master vampire, Mircea. But someone doesn't want Cassie to become Pythia, and is willing to go to any lengths to make sure the coronation ceremony never happens-including attacking her mother before Cassie is even born.
Being a goddess is a lot less fun than you might think. Especially when you're only a half goddess, and you only found out about it recently, and you still don't know what you're doing half the time. And when you've just used your not-so-reliable powers to burglarize the booby-trapped office of a vampire mob boss. But that's just the tip of the iceberg for Cassandra Palmer, aka the Pythia, the freshly minted chief seer of the supernatural world. After all, Cassie still has to save a friend from a fate worse than death, deal with an increasingly possessive master vampire, and prevent a party of her own acolytes from unleashing a storm of fury upon the world.
Totally just your average day at the office, right? You'd think that being Chief Seer for the supernatural world would come with a few perks. But as Cassie Palmer has learned, being Pythia doesn't mean you don't have to do things the hard way. That's why she finds herself on a rescue mission skipping through time—even though she doesn't entirely understand her dimension-bending new power. Rescuing her friend John Pritkin should have been an in and out kind of deal, but with the near-immortal mage's soul lost in time, Cassie has to hunt for it through the ages—with Pritkin's demon dad in tow.
He's the only one who can reverse Pritkin's curse, but with the guardians of the time-line dead set on stopping anyone from mucking about, Cassie will have to figure out how to get her friend back without ruffling too many feathers—or causing a world-ending paradox or two Ever since being stuck with the job of Pythia, the chief seer of the supernatural world, Cassie Palmer has been playing catch up.
Catch up to the lifetime's worth of training she missed being raised by a psychotic vampire instead of at the fabled Pythian court. Catch up to the powerful, and sometimes seductive, forces trying to mold her to their will. It's been a trial by fire that has left her more than a little burned. But now she realizes that all that was the just the warm up for the real race. Ancient forces that once terrorized the world are trying to return, and Cassie is the only one who can stop them Fifteenth century Venice is the only open port where the masterless dregs of the vampire world can live without fear of attack for violating another's territory.