Existential vacuum arises as a result of the loss of instincts that ensure the safety of a living organism in the world around them, and the loss of traditions on which human life was based in former times. If, within the framework of traditional psychotherapy, it was believed that it was stresses that led to the neuroticization of a person, then logotherapy presupposed that the absence of stress (an existential vacuum) leading to emptiness also contributes to the onset of its pathology. Modern man is threatened not so much by sexual frustration as by the sensation of the nonsense of his life, the deepening state of boredom and apathy, the spiritual crisis associated with unemployment, retirement, the realization that life is not rich enough.
Existential frustration, the existential vacuum can lead to a specific neuroticism, called in the logotherapy by a noogenic neurosis, which arises not on psychological grounds (psychogenic neurosis), but in the nologic sphere (Greek p.o5-sense, meaning) of human existence. Unlike a psychogenic nerve, noogenic neurosis is not caused by conflicts between different drives of a person or clashes between mental instances. It arises on the basis of contradictions between different values or from the unsatisfied ability of man to have the meaning of his life. It is not rooted in psychological complexes and mental traumas, but in spiritual problems, moral conflicts, existential crises. Noogenic neurosis is associated with the frustration of a person, with the existential frustration of his will toward meaning.
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The person himself is not always aware of existential frustration, which can take on hidden, veiled forms. The frustrated will to the meaning can be replaced by various compensating forms, acting under the masks of intensification of the will to power or the desire to achieve all sorts of pleasures. Fearing the inner emptiness, a person can escape from it by escaping into a professional activity (workaholic), into a specific muffling of depression (alcohol) or dipsomania associated with various kinds of entertainment, gambling, gossip, numerous sexual contexts. A typical form of manifestation of existential vacuum are the so-called Sunday neuroses.
A traditional clinician considers such a person through signs of a mental disorder. Even the treatment of a person to a meaningful problem is viewed as a pathology. Freud believes that when a person asks a question about the meaning of life, he is unwell. Frankl is not a sign of a mental disorder, but a specific manifestation of a truly human in man. A person's search for meaning is not a pathology, not a disease, but a norm of life, a necessary condition for a true human being.
The existential vacuum itself is not a mental illness, but a spiritual distress. Doubt of a person in the meaningfulness of his existence and even doubt whether he can be found at all does not indicate a certain pathology. This means that the discrepancy between what a person has achieved and what he must do, what a person is and how he should become, is the normal stress necessary for his mental health. It is this internal tension that maintains a person's constant orientation toward the realization of the meaning of his existence.
The understanding of such existential dynamics (noodynamics) was at the basis of logotherapy, aimed at helping a person realize the meaning that he expects from his realization, and his will to the meaning that is waiting for the fulfillment of the corresponding mission.
Frankl's logotherapy sought to lead a person through his existential crisis of growth and development. But it was neither a logical reflection on the meaning of life, nor moral preaching. Logoterapy achieved a person's awareness not so much of something mental, as of something noetic, associated with the "objectification of objective", i.e. Logos as a world of meanings and values. This opened the way to the restoration of the unity and integrity of man in two inextricable aspects-being in his subjectivity, which was the object of comprehending existentialism, and the logos in its objectivity, which was emphasized by logotherapy,
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