If Frankl Danced Salsa.

14 May

The following references are from:
Man's Search for Meaning:  An Introduction to Logotherapy
by Viktor E. Frankl ».

Part One, Pages 48-49:
… “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.” …

Part One, Pages 48-49

Frankl’s presentation of this insight is the most compelling that I’ve ever read. His insight comes from having lived through one of the limits of human experiences. Like a mathematical proof, the truth of his insight seems elegant and perfect. I have been measuring » my salsa life in love, to some extent, but I think I’ve been waiting for a proof like this, before fully committing myself to this goal.

If, “… love is the ultimate and highest goal to which man can aspire …,” then love is the ultimate and highest goal to which a salsa gigolo can aspire. My goal », as a salsa gigolo, I thought was to give pleasure to salseras. Pleasure may simply be a by-product of love. My CLOSE » salsa emotional checklist consists of: connection, love, openness, sincerity, energy. Connection, openness, sincerity, energy … these may simply be elemental components of love.

Part One, Page 76:
… “An active life serves the purpose of giving man the opportunity to realize values in creative work, while a passive life of enjoyment affords him the opportunity to obtain fulfillment in experiencing beauty, art, or nature. But there is also purpose in that life which is almost barren of both creation and enjoyment and which admits of but one possibility of high moral behavior: namely, in man’s attitude to his existence, an existence restricted by external forces. A creative life and a life of enjoyment are banned to him. But not only creativeness and enjoyment are meaningful. 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.” …

Part One, Page 76

What values » can a salsa gigolo realize through dancing salsa, and thus find meaning in his salsa life?

Ethical »/ Moral »:
Right conduct and good living, on and off the dancefloor. Is there an unethical or immoral way of dancing salsa? I suppose there is danger in flirting with forbidden salsera ».

Religious »/ Political »:
There are the seven deadly salsa sins ». And then there are the common debates: On1/On2, linear/circular, dura/monga. But I’m not sure if these debates offer any real opportunity to add meaning to one’s salsa life, except for how one conducts oneself in these debates.

Social »:
Is there an El Dorado » of salsa? Is there a city of golden salsera where no salsa gigolo teaches on the dancefloor, where salseras always say ‘yes’, and where there are no salsa cliques?

Aesthetic »:
There comes a time when salsa becomes personal ». Beyond musicality and styling, there comes a time when you feel like you’re really expressing » yourself, when you’re really dancing.

And then there are the many and minor sufferings of salsa: when a salsera says ‘no’, dancing non-CLOSE salsa (FAR salsa? = Fear, Aggression, Reticence … actually, I’m reading something now that makes me think that the opposite of CLOSE salsa is salsa with defensiveness, stonewalling, criticism, and contempt »), beginner’s hell, etc. These minor sufferings are an ineradicable part of salsa, and the way a salsa gigolo accepts his salsa fate and all the minor sufferings it entails, gives him an opportunity to be brave, dignified and unselfish.


One Response to “If Frankl Danced Salsa.”


  1. What Happy Salsa Gigolos Know. « Salsa Gigolo in TO - July 12, 2009

    […] Six: Power Over Feelings, Power Over Fate, Page 154I’ve only briefly mentioned salsa values ». Whenever a salsa gigolo asks himself, “How do I want to dance salsa?”, he is getting […]

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