We had talked about why the Army simply fails to satisfy, and what was to be done about it. In other words, we had unearthed the fundamental lack of meaning which is at the heart of our, and millions of other peoples' discontent. It was a step in the right direction, but it left something wanting. What good is it, knowing how hungry you are, if you cannot find food?
For this, I turn to Viktor Frankl again, for he says it much more authentically than I can.
We stumbled on in the darkness, over big stones and through large
puddles, along the one road leading from the camp. The accompanying
guards kept shouting at us and driving us with the butts of their
rifles. Anyone with very sore feet supported himself on his neighbor's
arm. Hardly a word was spoken; the icy wind did not encourage talk.
Hiding his mouth behind his upturned collar, the man marching next to me
whispered suddenly: "If our wives could see us now! I do hope they are
better off in their camps and don't know what is happening to us."
That brought thoughts of my own wife to mind. And as we stumbled on
for miles, slipping on icy spots, supporting each other time and again,
dragging one another up and onward, nothing was said, but we both knew:
each of us was thinking of his wife. Occasionally I looked at the sky,
where the stars were fading and the pink light of the morning was
beginning to spread behind a dark bank of clouds. But my mind clung to
my wife's image, imagining it with an uncanny acuteness. I heard her
answering me, saw her smile, her frank and encouraging look. Real or
not, her look was then more luminous than the sun which was beginning to
A thought transfixed me: for the first time in my life I saw the truth
as it is set into song by so many poets, proclaimed as the final wisdom
by so many thinkers. The truth – that love is the ultimate and the
highest goal to which Man can aspire. Then I grasped the meaning of the
greatest secret that human poetry and human thought and belief have to
impart: The salvation of Man is through love and in love. I
understood how a man who has nothing left in this world still may know
bliss, be it only for a brief moment, in the contemplation of his
beloved. In a position of utter desolation, when Man cannot express
himself in positive action, when his only achievement may consist in
enduring his sufferings in the right way—an honorable way—in such a
position Man can, through loving contemplation of the image he carries
of his beloved, achieve fulfillment. For the first time in my life I was
able to understand the meaning of the words, "The angels are lost in
perpetual contemplation of an infinite glory."
Viktor Frankl, "Man's Search for Meaning.