On this episode, we discuss how we can create meaning in life and love. To accomplish this task, we explore Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl, Simulacra and Simulation by Jean Baudrillard, and What Love Is by Carrie Jenkins.

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Timestamps:

  • 0:00 - Intro, Camus
  • 5:55 - Life in the concentration camp
  • 14:16 - Three ways to find meaning in hard times
  • 26:16 - Simulacra and Simulation
  • 34:51 - Liberation from the concentration camp
  • 42:55 - The simulacrum of romantic love
  • 56:00 - Creating meaning in our own lives

Recap:

  • We start off with a brief recap of Albert Camus' The Myth of Sisyphus and the main points we covered in Episode #002 of the podcast.
  • We look at Viktor Frankl's experiences of the concentration camp from his book Man's Search for Meaning.
  • From there, we discuss the three ways Frankl says we can find meaning in our lives during hard times: through a future goal or purpose, through love, and through enduring involuntary suffering.
  • We launch into Jean Baudrillard's Simulacra and Simulation and discuss the cognitive dissonance experienced by holocaust survivors when they were liberated from the concentration camps.
  • We discuss the idealization of romantic love as described by Carrie Jenkins' What Love Is, and identify how this ideal of romantic love closely mirrors Baudrillard's theory of the simulacrum.
  • To wrap up, we talk about how we can create meaning in our own lives based on principles that are true to ourselves rather than preconceived ideas we inherit from the world around us.

Further Content:

  • Companion Podcast Episode #006, where we discuss Soulmates and I recount the tale of how I met my wife (this is bonus content for paying members only).

Works Cited:

  1. Viktor Frankl, Man's Search for Meaning. Beacon Press 2006. Originally published in German in 1946; first published in English in 1959.
  2. Jean Baudrillard, Simulacra and Simulation. University of Michigan Press 1994. Originally published in French in 1981.
  3. Carrie Jenkins, What Love Is: And What It Could Be. Basic Books 2017.

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