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Practice English Speaking&Listening with: Jocko Podcast 78 w/ Echo Charles: "A Man's Search For Meaning" Viktor Frankl

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this is Jocko podcast number 78 with echo Charles and me Jocko willing

good evening echo good evening nightmare now that's a word that I use often times

to describe the most horrible things or the most wretched things and in my

hierarchy of adjectives nightmare is right alongside of Hell I'm not sure

which one is worse in my mind that's why I say they're right alongside each other

because hell is beyond the worst thing your mind can imagine and that's

basically what a nightmare is when you're asleep and your mind delves into

the most horrific things beyond what you can consciously and wilfully imagine in

your own head that's what a nightmare is now what if there was a place that was

worse than a nightmare and it was a real place who could create such a place and

the answer to that is we can I shall never forget how I was roused

one night by the groans of a fellow prisoner who threw himself about in his

sleep obviously having a horrible nightmare since I had always been

especially sorry for people who suffer from fearful dreams or deliria I wanted

to wake the poor man suddenly I drew back the hand which was ready to shake

him frightened at the thing I was about to do at that moment I became intensest

intensely conscious of the fact that no dream no matter how horrible could be as

bad as the reality of the camp which surrounded us and to which I was about

to recall him and that's a quote from the book man's search for meaning by

Viktor Frankl which will be appearing in two today and it's a book about the Nazi

concentration camps which are really as he pointed out they're worse than any

nightmare we can imagine here's a holocaust survivor

eddie weinstein on the death and the atrocities in Treblinka by now the

transports were coming every day one was much like the next the same incidence

recurred again and again once as I swept out the interior of a car an SS man

suddenly struck me with his whip and ordered me to help a woman who was

unable to stand and climb out of the car the idea was to show his victims how

well the ill were being treated then he ordered one of the workers to take the

women take the woman through the field the field hospital for care the

newcomers really believed that the alien woman would

be taken to an infirmary none of them realized that the field hospital was in

fact just a giant pit about 30 yards in diameter which was always ablaze they

would place those who were sick or disabled on the ground at the edge of

the pit facing in the SS man and the in-charge circulated among them and shot

them in the back of the neck then the workers cast them into the pit some of

the victims were still breathing when they were tossed in with the other

bodies the pit was separated from the spacious field by a barrier of fresh

pine branches which will replace from time to time to conceal the infirmary

from the newcomers until the last moment 20 minutes after I helped the woman

climb out of the railroad car I was told that some infants were sitting by the

pit and no one else was there because the SS soldier had taken his lunch break

I gathered some trash and went over there I saw the woman who I had removed

from the car still breathing sitting at the edge of the pit and staring and

fright into the burning Inferno and its contents the half cremated bodies of old

people and children mixed with smoldering trash she tried to stand up

but her legs would not hold her she looked at the workers who stirred the

embers remnants of human beings so they would burn better nearby were about a

dozen infants too young to have learned how to walk they were not crying they

certainly did not understand what was happening they looked about almost

certainly in hopes of finding their mother or father later I heard that

right after he returned from his lunch break the SS man shot them all and

ordered the workers to throw the tiny bodies into the flames of all my

memories of that accursed place the vision of these babies is undoubtedly

the worst I see their faces whenever I remember

Treblinka as I write these lines more than 50 years after that day I still

cannot overcome the horror in another report here Martin's pet of tar now

Poland describes the massacre of torn out Jews in an interview

we heard the columns of Jews under German escort at night it was going

constantly they were passing our house because this was already on the

outskirts of the city the cemetery and they were marching them to the woods

behind the city as we found out later they were all shot over there during the

day I looked out through the shingles my father said I shouldn't look but anyway

I was a kid I was curious and the roof was overlooking a cemetery and wagons

with bodies dead bodies were coming in groups they were bringing in groups of

Jewish people that had to dig trenches they had to dig ditches and the bodies

dumped in and after those Jews that dug the ditches they were shot also and

pushed in by another group that came in after them into those ditches and lime

was poured over the bodies and the next group covered up those ditches and dug

other ditches

they brought in pregnant women and they didn't use any bullets

they used bayonets the screams of the mothers that their children they tore

their children out of their arms and the screams of the children I still hear

and Solomon radowski who is the only survivor from the 78 people in his

family described the concentration camp they throw the people in the

crematoriums the children I will never forget alive they throw them in the

crematoriums they grabbed by an arm by a leg by the head and throw them into the

ovens there it was so tragic the cries and people when crying there you know it

was so terrible I can feel it now I can even see the people the other people

were crying the children were hollering mama

daddy help me mama daddy help me it was terrible

and one more report on Treblinka from Henry gold and the worst thing that

happens to a person in that instance he loses self-respect and that's exactly

what happened to the majority of the people some of them even lost their

minds they couldn't take it they couldn't take the hunger they couldn't

take the beatings they couldn't take the cold no clothing and the uncertainty and

the uncertainty I think that was the worst thing that can happen to a person

you didn't know from one moment to the next what was going to happen life was

very cheap a person was alive one minute the next minute he was shot killed

beaten up beaten to death torn apart apart by dogs and so on life was very

very cheap and that's the way the Germans liked it

that particular camp was governed by the Jewish Jewish police and so on the

Germans did not stay in the camp they were on the outside but the life inside

of the camp was just as bad without the Germans being right there than if they

would be the Jewish police was I don't know you take a person in that situation

and you give them a little power and he becomes the same as the oppressor

himself there were some policemen that were not bad but there were a lot of

them that were ruthless there were others that would beat people and do all

kinds of things that would degrade them and so on

especially women they cut their hair off and they look like men they look like

scarecrows and they would get beaten up by the Jewish police just as bad as the

man for no reason at all if they wanted a little more soup where they were

distributing soup and there was some left and they were going to give

everybody a little bit and the Jewish police with their sticks and rubber

hoses would beat them half cents senseless and that's what happens when

the conditions are the way they were then when a person becomes an animal and

loses self-respect that is willing to get a beating and get beaten half

senseless just to get a little bit of soup either you died or if you didn't

die the Germans would come and take you away the filth was just terrible in the

camp in the barracks you had cops I mean bunks where everybody slept on

straw there were no covers was no pillows nothing you slept in your

clothes in the winters in the winter because you're afraid to get cold

the only heating was a pot-bellied stove in the middle of the barrack when

somebody stole some wood in the factory or something then we had a fire

otherwise it was freezing and the only warmth they had if you huddled together

and they kept warm that way but nobody would get undressed the lice were eating

you up alive once a month you allowed to take a shower and we had to walk to camp

a to go to the showers and that means a 10-mile walk 10 miles there and 10 miles

back a lot of people were too weak to walk and those people hardly ever took a

shower there was no hot water in the washroom there was only cold and in the

winter you were afraid to wash up because there was nothing to wipe

yourself with therefore you would walk out in the cold winter and freeze to


and Henry gold brothers and both of his parents were all killed in the gas

chambers and from the Buchenwald report which was translated and edited with an

introduction by David a Hackett I will now describe the crematoriums in the

transports at the station two thousand people got off the trains they had to

throw away all their luggage afterward the men and women were divided into two

groups at which the larger boys were assigned to the group with the men then

that great devourer of Jews Mengele drove buying a car seeking out the

strongest from each transport they numbered around thirty out of two

thousand the remainder were led away by SS technical sergeant mole the officer

of the crematorium the elderly were loaded onto dump trucks and then dumped

into burning trenches while still alive the remainder were led to the gas

chambers meanwhile new transports were arriving in front of the gas chamber was

a dressing room on its walls was written in all languages put shoes into the

cubbyholes and tie them together so you will not lose them after the showers you

will receive hot coffee here poor victims undress themselves and went into

the chamber there were three columns for the ventilators through which the gas

poured in a special work detail with dungeons drove the people into the

chamber when the room was full small children were thrown in through a window

sergeant mole grabbed infants by their legs and smashed their skulls against

the wall then the gas was led into the chamber the lungs of the victim slowly

burst and after three minutes a loud clamoring

could be heard then the chamber was open and those who still showed signs of life

were beaten to death

the prisoners of the special work details then cold corpses out took their

rings off and cut their hair which was gathered up put in sacks and shipped to

factories then they arranged the corpses in piles of ten each after sergeant mole

had counted them they were taken to the ovens or if the crematoriums

crematoriums were insufficient thrown into fire trenches once it happened that

a victim crawled out of a burning trench he was beaten to death with truncheon

'he's on sergeant mole pull put a naked woman in the trench and shot her in the

genitals another time mold found a ring on a

member of the special work detail he ordered nat naphtha poured over him and

had it lighted he hanged a man by his hands and shot him until his arms were

torn through then he hanged him up by the feet and repeated the process once

sergeant mole took a family of six first and shot the youngest in the presence of

the rest then he shot the older ones and finally their father and mother

and that's the testimony of john de weiss who was 15 years old at Birkenau

so I think it's safe to say that this is a situation that is definitely worse

than a nightmare and what possibly can we take away from that I think the best

thing we can do is try and learn and I think one of the best places to learn

and take lessons away from the Holocaust is from the book that I started out with

today called man's search for meaning by Viktor Frankl let's go to the book

let us take the case of a transport which was officially announced to

transfer a certain number of prisoners to another camp but it was fairly safe

to guess that its final destination would be the gas chambers a selection of

sick or feeble prisoners incapable of work would be sent to one of the big

central camps which were fitted with gas chambers and crematoriums the selection

process was the signal for a free fight among all the prisoners or of group

against group all that mattered was that one's own name and that of one's friends

were crossed off the list of victims though everyone knew that for each man

saved another victim had to be found a definite number of prisoners had to go

with each transport it did not really matter which since each of them was

nothing but a number on their admission to the camp all their documents had been

taken from them together with other possessions each prisoner therefore had

an opportunity to claim a fictitious name a profession and for various

reasons many did this the authorities were interested only in the captain's

numbers these numbers were often tattooed on their skin and also had to

be sewn to a certain spot on their trousers jacket or coat any guard who

wanted to make a charge against a prisoner just glanced at his number and

how he dreaded those glances he never asked for his name to return to the

convoy about the depart there was neither time nor desire to consider

moral or ethical issues every man was controlled by one thought only to keep

himself alive for the family waiting for him at home and to save his friends with

no hesitation therefore he would arrange for another prisoner another number to

take his place in the transport as I have already mentioned the process of

selecting Kapos was a negative one only the most brutal of the prisoners

were chosen for this job

so Kappos or prisoners Jewish prisoners that got selected to help run the prison

camp and and capo I tried to find the etymology of where that came from and

the best or the closest or the thing that made the most sense to me from what

I read was was they had two words combined together

comrade police then the in German does got shortened to capital so some of

these and you already heard one of those earlier testimonies talking about the

Jewish police inside the prisons and how they were just as bad as in many cases

as the Germans themselves back to the book but apart from the selection of

Kapos which is undertaken by the SS there was a sort of self-selecting

process going on the whole time among all the prisoners on the average only

those prisoners could keep alive who after years of trekking from Camp to

camp had lost all scruples in their fight for existence they were prepared

to use every means honest and otherwise even brutal force theft and betrayal of

friends in order to save themselves will you have come back by the aid of many

lucky chances or miracles whatever one may choose to call them we know the best

of us did not return

so there's a dynamic that you don't think of immediately when you think of

the concentration camps number one you don't think about the kapos the Jewish

police that are forced into this situation and then the other thing you

don't think about is this the fact that the people that were going to survive

we're basically making it very broad say but but you know from what Viktor Frankl

saying here it was the people that were willing just to do anything to survive

including betraying their friends and he's saying straight up we know the best

of us did not return and that is something that you don't think about and

we probably don't think about it because we don't want to think about it because

when you start thinking about what would you do to survive what would you do to

survive what would I do to survive and that's a question I don't think a lot of

people want to know the answer to and it's very easy to go through life and

never have to answer that question

talking a little bit now about what life was like in the camp back to the book

somewhere it is said that man cannot exist without sleep for more than a

stated number of hours quite wrong I had been convinced that there were certain

things I just could not do I could not sleep without this or I could not live

without that or the other the first night in Auschwitz

we slept in beds which were constructed in tears on each tear measuring about 6

and 1/2 to 8 feet slept 9 men directly on the boards 2 blankets would be shared

by each 9 men we could of course lie only on our sides crowded and huddled

against each other which had some advantages because the bitter cold

though was forbidden to take shoes up to the bunks

some people did use them secretly as pillows in spite of the fact they were

caked with mud otherwise one's head had to rest on the

crook of an almost dislocated arm and yet sleep came and brought oblivion and

relief from the pain for a few hours

thought a suicide was entertained by nearly everyone if only for a brief time

it was born of hopelessness of the situation the constant danger of death

looming over us daily and hourly and the closeness of deaths suffered by many of

the others from personal convictions which we mentioned later I made a firm

promise on my first evening in the camp that I would not run to the wire this

was a phrase used in camp to describe the most popular method of suicide

touching the electrical electrically charged barbed wire fence it was not

entirely difficult for me to make this decision there was a little point in

committing suicide since for the average inmate life expectation calculating

objectively and Counting all likely chances was very poor he could not

without any a shirt he could not with any assurance expect to be among the

small percentage of men who survived all the selections the prisoner of Auschwitz

in the first phase of shock did not fear death even the gas chambers lost their

horrors for him after the first few days after all they spared him the act of

committing suicide

and Viktor Frankl was a psychiatrist going into this situation so that's the

that's the view that's the perspective that he takes throughout this and he's

now been in for a couple days in Auschwitz and another guy comes in to

talk to him who's another colleague of his and we're going back to book a

colleague of mine who had arrived in Auschwitz several weeks previously

smuggle himself into our hut he wanted to come and comfort us and tell us a few

things he had become so thin that at first we did not recognize him with a

show of good humor and a devil-may-care attitude he gave us a few hurried tips

don't be afraid don't fear the selections dr. M the SS medical chief

has a soft spot for doctors but one thing I beg of you he continued shave

daily if at all possible even if you have to use a piece of glass to do it

even if you have to give your last piece of bread for it you look younger and the

scraping will make your cheeks look routier if you want to stay alive

there's only one way look fit for work if you even limp because let us say you

have a small blister on your heel and an SS man spots this he will wave you aside

and the next day you are sure to be gassed

now his mind and his thoughts he describes what he would think about back

to the book my mind still clung to the image of my wife a thought crossed my

mind I didn't even know if she were still alive

I knew only one thing which I have learned well by now love goes very far

beyond the physical person of the beloved it finds its deepest meaning in

his spiritual being in his inner self whether or not he is actually present

whether or not he is still alive it all ceases somehow to be of importance I did

not know whether my life wife was alive and had no means of finding out during

all my prison life there was no outgoing or incoming mail

but at that moment it ceased to matter there was no need for me to know nothing

could touch the strength of my love my thoughts and the image of my beloved had

I known then that my wife was dead I think that I still would have given

myself undisturbed by that knowledge to the contemplation of her image and that

my mental conversation with her would have been just as vivid and just as

satisfying set me like a seal upon my heart love is as strong as death

they're continuing on dr. Frankel talks about images from inside the camp

standing outside we saw sinister clouds glowing in the West and the whole sky

alive with clouds of ever-changing shapes and colors from steel blue

blood-red the desolate grey mud huts provided a sharp contrast while the

puddles on the muddy ground reflected the glowing sky then after a few minutes

of moving silence one prisoner said to another how beautiful the world could be

and beyond looking for beauty around them they were able to find humor and I

have people ask me about this from time to time about humor in combat situations

and isn't it important and yes it absolutely is and you'd think in a

concentration camp even humor would go away but not true back to the book to

discover that there was any semblance of art in a concentration camp must be

surprise enough for an outsider but he may be even more astonished to hear that

one could find a sense of humor could find a sense of humor there as well of

course only the faint trace of one and then only for a few seconds or minutes

humor was another of the souls weapons in the fight for self-preservation it is

well known that humor more than anything else in the human makeup can afford an

aloofness and an ability to rise above any situation if only for a few seconds

the attempt to develop a sense of humor and to see things in a humorous light is

some kind of trick I learned while mastering the art of living yet it is

impossible to practice the art of living even in a concentration camp although

suffering is omnipresent to draw an analogy a man's suffering is similar to

the behavior of gas if a certain quantity of gas is pumped

into an empty chamber it will fill the chamber completely and evenly no matter

how big the chamber thus suffering completely fills the

human soul and conscious mind no matter whether the suffering is great or little

therefore the size of human suffering is absolutely relative and I think the

point that I took away from that was that chamber that can be filled up with

suffering fill it up with some humor as well otherwise that that suffering will

just fill the whole chamber will fill your whole brain back to the book we

were grateful for the smallest of mercies we were glad when there was time

to deal aus before going to bed although in itself this was no pressure pleasure

as it meant standing naked in an unheated hut where icicles hung from the

ceiling but we were thankful if there was no air raid alarm during this

operation the lights were not switched off if we could not do the job properly

we were kept awake half the night

so you're at a point in life where you're grateful for being able to stand

naked and pick the lice off of your friends before you go to bed so the lice

won't keep you awake at night by chewing at your body and you know I talked about

how or he talks about how you know it was the person that was going to survive

had to be ruthless basically and here he says but it's not for me to pass

judgment on those prisoners who put their own people above everyone else who

can throw a stone at a man who favors his friends under circumstances when

sooner or later it is a question of life or death no man should judge unless he

asks himself in absolute honesty whether in a similar situation he might not have

done the same

but here he says I mentioned earlier how everything that was not connected with

the immediate task of keeping oneself and one closest friends lives lost its

value everything was sacrificed to this end a man's character became involved to

the point that he was caught in mental turmoil which threatened all values he

held and threw them into doubt under the influence of a world which no longer

recognized the value of human life and human dignity which had robbed the man

of his will and made him an object to be exterminated having planned however to

make full use of him first to the last ounce of his physical resources under

this influence the personal ego finally suffered a loss of values if the man in

the concentration camp did not struggle against this in a last effort to save

his self-respect he lost the feeling of being an

individual a being with a mind with inner freedom and personal value he

thought of himself then as only part of an enormous mass of people his existence

descended to the level of animal life

the men were herded sometimes to one place then to another sometimes driven

together than apart like a flock of sheep without a thought or a will of

their own a small but dangerous pack watched them from all sides well-versed

in methods of torture and sadism they drove the herd incessantly backwards and

forwards with shouts kicks and blows and we the sheep thought of two things only

how to evade the bad dogs and how to get a little food

he's going to delve into this deeper this idea of this inner freedom and how

hard you had to fight to maintain that and how easy it was just to roll in and

become one of the pack one of the herd

back to the book it is very difficult for an outsider to grasp how very little

value was placed on human life in camp the camp inmate was hardened but

possibly became more conscious of this complete disregard of human existence

when a convoy of sick men was arranged the emaciated bodies of the sick were

thrown on two-wheeled carts which were drawn by prisoners for many miles often

through snowstorms to the next camp if one of the sick men had died before the

cart left he was thrown on anyways the list had to be correct the list was the

only thing that mattered a man counted only because he had a

prison number one literally became a number dead or alive that was

unimportant the life of a number was completely irrelevant what stood behind

that number and that life mattered even less the fate the history the name of

the man

the camp inmate was frightened of making decisions and of taking any sort of

initiative whatsoever this was the result of a strong feeling that fate was

one's master and that one must not try to influence it in any way but instead

let it take its own course in addition there was a great apathy which

contributed no small part to the feelings of the prisoner at times

lighting lightning decisions had to be made decisions would spell life-or-death

the prisoner would have preferred to let fate make the choice for him and so some

of the examples that he brings up in the book on that are they'd get told we need

people to go to a different camp for rest and they had no idea sometimes it

actually was some kind of rest sometimes it kind of was some kind of actual

medical facility sometimes it was just you're going to the gas chambers at

another camp and they had no idea which one it was and so they got into this

mode of they were just going to externally just whatever was gonna

happen that was gonna happen and they wouldn't they go beyond when they're

trying in the beginning to like get me off that list or I want to be on that

list and they realized that they just were messing with faith that's they got

into motive I'm just going to let things happen then whatever happens happens

they got this this feeling of apathy you can just imagine how that that having no

control externally of what's happening how that leads number one leads to this

apathy of just I don't care what happens but number two how that that can then

sneak in and start to get control of your inner thoughts and your inner

feelings where you just feel like you don't have control over anything in life

and that's it mm-hmm and here he talks about apathy some more the prisoners

apathy was also the result of other factors hunger and lack of sleep

contributed to it as they do in normal life also

and to the general irritability which was another characteristic of the

prisoner's mental state the lack of sleep was partly due to the pestering of

vermin which infested the terribly overcrowded huts because of the general

lack of hygiene and sanitation the fact that we had neither nicotine nor

caffeine also contributed to the state of apathy and irritability besides these

physical causes there were mental ones in the form of certain complexes the

majority of prisoners suffered from a kind of inferiority complex

we all had once been or had fancy ourselves to be somebody now we were

treated like complete non entities the consciousness of one's inner value is

anchored in higher more spiritual things that cannot be shaken by camp life but

how many freemen let alone prisoners possess it without consciously thinking

about it the average prisoner felt himself utterly degraded this became

obvious when one observed the contrasts offered by the singular sociological

structure of the camp the more prominent prisoners the Kappos the cooks the store

keepers and the camp policemen did not as a rule feel degraded at all like the

majority of prisoners but on the contrary they felt promoted some even

developed miniature miniature delusions of grandeur clearly we can all take a

lesson out of that one and that is you know you get put into a promotion

position or you've got authority over people don't let that go to your head

yeah I guess that's a natural thing where they did this that experiment best

in that University whatever and they're all just random student if one played

the prisoner one group played the guards and that happened yeah you know like act

it's just an experiment it's not real life you know and it still happened yeah

and it happened in real life which i think is even more

in st. to you and more and say yeah hey huh

but then again how can we sit here and judge when if you're in that situation

and you need to survive and you need to do the best to get to survive

in your family survive and you have an opportunity Oh are we gonna say nope

nope I'm gonna instead of doing this where I maybe can do something good in

the long run nope I'm not going to go across my

values I'm gonna die in three days and that's it yeah that's a hard decision to

make yeah I mean it seems easy when you're

sitting in the comfort of your home like I wouldn't do that or you know and this

is what I would have done or I wouldn't have done that yeah and you know I I

talk to people about again it's I'm not going to compare anything to what we're

talking about here but in the military for instance a lot of times I had to

make decisions to - you know I got to do something that maybe I didn't fully

agree with but I knew in the long run it was going to get me something that was

going to be beneficial to my team or to my platoon or whatever and so you make

those little adjustments and you got to suck it up and you do something that you

might not want to do but in the long run it's going to be beneficial yeah I mean

this I don't even know if this is even a remotely close comparison but what I am

saying is this you take a human being and you say look you can either step up

and act a different way and be abusive to these people or you're going to be

dead in three days that's it those are your choices yeah and it's not that hard

to figure out that a lot of people are going to step up and say cool I'll abuse

those people because I need to live need to live yeah my choice is either deaf

yeah and by the way maybe the maybe that's the best person in that group is

going to say you know what I'm going to do this and I'm going to step up and

when I abuse these people I'm going to do a little bit less than someone else

might right and therefore I'm doing the best I can

yeah I mean these are decisions how do you even think about these decisions you

know man and you have to think about you have to

understand you have to understand what human nature is that there's a survival

point for humans you have us an ending instinct to survive that very few people

can overcome yeah and I don't even you know again how do you judge whether it's

right to overcome it or not when is it right I mean obviously when is it right

we're sitting here it's easy to say hey don't you know these guys why would you

kill yourself well if you don't do these things you're basically killing yourself

you don't step up if you don't say okay I'll work as a capo if you don't do that

you're killing yourself right does that make it okay yeah yeah brutal it's like

you got to figure out whether or not you're better off dead in the B even in

the grand scheme of things like these are these people that they're going to

kind of succumb to these positions or do all these low things to survive so they

can survive and you don't live on and all this stuff so it's either that or am

I better off dead overall you know like that's the decision you got to make tank

who knows what you think especially with all these conditions yeah you know the

opposite of that is dick winters was talking about how he had and I don't

know if I talked about it on the podcast but in it in the book conversations with

dick winters he goes through a big section where he talks about some of the

guys in his company and he called him the killers and he actually went on and

said hey you know I don't want to call them killers because that's going to

give the wrong impression but these guys were my most aggressive guys they were

my best guys and he's and he said they didn't make it past you know he said

most of them didn't make it I forget which which battle but he said most of

them didn't make it past this certain time because they were so aggressive

they were such good guys they were so brave that they didn't make it and and

this is sort of the opposite where you have the people that are brave I guess

no it's the same in that people that are brave and hold to their values they're

going to die right and and if you think about somebody that's cowardly in combat

that says oh you know what you know echo you go first I'm going to sit over here

behind this you know a covered position I'm gonna live longer and it's a micro

example of what we're talking about here yeah yeah that's kit and just just given

the book and over tomorrow just like come off as borderline insulting it's

not full-fledged insulting but you ever watch the show survivor

III was the first one when it was kind of a thing yeah and there was a

interesting psychology happening yeah and that's like I was Rudy Bosch

was on it you know this uh she retired seal mask you know who you know everyone

kind of knew in the SEAL Teams okay yeah so inspecting what you're going to say

is that the the people that are not good human beings are the ones that win a lot

of oil they get far put it that way because they have this weird mechanism

at the end where the last you know few people who get voted off they become

this sort of a jury so it's like if you went through the whole game screwing

people over the jury is going to get you kind of thing so it's a yeah and who's

just how the Cho just sorted itself out over time but the first ones didn't have

any jury right I don't I don't know I did in fact I'm gonna go ahead and say I

I'm almost positive they didn't because Rudy had his hand on some log and they

had to keep it there for like X and for one I still and one person you know he

actually like thought of something else and took his hand off and then he was

out that was it dunker but yeah there's absolute comparison there there's an

absolute comparison to you know if you're willing to be a snake ring you

can and you can you can win the game and I've talked about that too and promotion

people getting promoted and if you're willing to be a snake you can get

promoted but the thing that I will say in a work environment is that that snake

might get one promotion they might get two promotions they're not going to go

the distance and if you hold the line on doing what's correct then you might miss

that first emotion you might even miss that second promotion but eventually if

you're on the right path you will get the recognition and you will win in the

long run you got to be patient though yeah yeah I mean obviously in your job

it's not life or death you know death isn't so close that you know one slip-up

you're dead you're dead you know so that's you know

obviously the dynamic of different in work in that way but otherwise I think

so and survivor there's also that other thing that kind of what they talk about

where or what you're just talking about is if you it's kind of in a matter of

speaking playing it safe where you're just hiding under the wing right

attacker self to someone or you avoid any kind of you know risky for sure

duration and so in Survivor you can make it far like that as well yeah I mean

nowadays everyone knows about those things like all you backstab there one

or you just hid behind this guy cuz he's drunk but at the same time just like how

you're saying if you're brave or you're gonna stick your morals and be honest

with everyone like you'll get voted off real quick even if you're really good at

you know the challenges so in opening over don't even like really good leaders

get vote like if someone just is a dynamically do they get or I think that

me write you a letter too much of it they're actually much of a threat

everybody all right and actually what you're talking about going through SEAL

training I would hear it was sliding here when I went through but I heard it

later this idea of the gray man and I think we might have actually answered a

question on the podcast about that was going through training and just being a

gray man meaning just don't stand out right wrong way or the other

and you'll be good to go and that's that's uh that's that's a strategy why

in the SEAL Teams is that no it's a strategy going through buds so if you

see your training the initial skill training course because the minute you

stand out people start knowing who you are and now you got instructors looking

at you and the more they watch you the more they can see whether you're making

some mistakes or if you're not doing everything right or maybe you're not and

so better just be that guy in the middle I was the guy in the middle not because

I wanted to do it but because I was not you know the fastest runner I wasn't the

best swimmer what you don't want to be is the guy on the tail end right

yeah and it's weird because I put so many guys not through the basic SEAL

training but through the advanced SEAL training and the guys that I remember

there's two types of guys that I remember the guys that were awesome and

the guys that were horrible and the guys in the middle all the gray guys I know

him when I see him but a lot of times I don't hundred percent got know their

name whereas some of the pipe hitters the young piped or some e5 pipe hitter

that was just getting after it I'd always remember those guys names because

they would take control of everything and stand out and then the other guys

you remember guys that are totally jacked up so that idea of being a gray

man it seems like a good policy to have in the concentration camp look I just

don't want to stand out I don't want to have a limp I don't want to you know

come across as I just want to fit in and you're a man unless you're going to go

the distance right which is and that's a horrible way

of saying I'm going to stand out by saying hey I can whip these prisoners

into shape right that's going and just raising your hand and saying I'll be a

capo I'm going to step up and what you're risking there is we don't know

where this war is going to end that where he's going to be at the end of

this thing yeah and you know I read some stories about that

the war did end and they did liberate these camps and it didn't work out good

for the Capo's so there's there's the same thing you've had a bit done alright

getting your promotion the first couple times but eventually it comes around

Camille exactly right yeah you know Harley Flanagan was talking about Karma

and I don't know how much reality there's that but there's there's the

reality of you reap what you sow yeah and if you treat people if you if you

take advantage of your position if you maneuver and screw people over to get

ahead of them they'll remember that yeah so remember that yeah then that makes

sense I mean karma lives and it's never worth it by the way if I have almost

never worth it I mean could you possibly come up with some scenario where we're

you know I did this to get a promotion so I could take care of you and everyone

else so you could come up with it yes but it's very very rare and and my gut

feeling was always like - not worth it not worth it to do those little

maneuvers in trying better your position on other people's backs

yeah or screwing someone over and you got to live with that - I mean unless

you're like a sociopath or something like that you have to live with that and

man yeah and even at the time it seems like all I could live with that because

oh you know what well you're actually you're actually taking a higher road

than me because you're saying you personally have to live with it Annetta

definitely I'm saying beyond that even if you're a person that can live with it

you're still going to pay in the long run even if you hook yourself in the

mirror be like I don't care I got promoted it's good that's that's okay so

you can live with that that's cool but guess what there's something else you're

going to that's going to come that around and that is one of those other

people that you stepped on their back is going to invent something new at work

and you want to take over the division and you're going to pay not to mention

the ten people who watched it happen and you know yeah you're just making enemies

yeah enemies and that's really what karma is for it I mean karma could be

this mystical thing that personally watches you and has this judgment system

and I'm real just real life just like if I walk up to a you know even meaner even

we don't know each other I don't have any bad or good feelings towards you and

I come and I slap you I created a deficit now now you're intentionally

basically a shaker yeah so your intention whether you do it or not

you're what you you're compelled to slap me back if not more usually more yeah

because you know a lot more so that's kind of really what it is I mean really

in a small teeny tiny nutshell you know I go out and start acting mad to

everyone what it they're not going to be like oh I love you I mean they might

because they might be you know intellectual or you know they might be

able to think about it but their natural compulsion would be to be Maddox's that

and and this you know the podcast human nature talking about human nature and I

always say that war reveals human nature more clearly than anything else because

it's so much pressure on the people obviously a concentration camp it's

revealing human nature that's exactly what we're talking about and it reveals

itself in crystal clarity on a massive scale in terms of being able to see it

in a concentration camp and you see it reveal itself on a TV show called

Survivor and you see that reveal itself in in the work environment and what I'm

saying is from all that what you want to do is you want to make sure that when

you get put into a position of authority you don't abuse it that's what I'm

saying yeah you don't want to abuse it you want to treat people with respect no

matter what and you don't want to step on people's backs to get ahead because

ultimately it's not going to pay off it really isn't

you know you're only going to fool like that leader that you that you fooled

into thinking that you are great guys it's only gonna last for so long yeah

and eventually you're going to get found out now all right let's get let's get

back into the book here the experiences of camp life show that man does have a

choice of action and this is we've talked about the kapil is easy to talk

about some of the more heroic people and and some of those actions very briefly

and he says because it's the reason there's very briefly because there

wasn't a lot of them the experiences of camp life show that man does have a

choice of action there were enough examples often of a heroic nature which

proved that apathy could be overcome irritability irritability suppressed man

can preserve a vestige of spiritual freedom of independence of mind even in

such terrible conditions of psychic and physical stress we who lived in

concentration camps can remember the men who walked through huts comforting

others giving away their last piece of bread they may have been few in number

but they offer sufficient proof that everything can be taken from a man but

one thing the last of the human freedoms to choose ones attitude in any given set

of circumstances to choose one's own way and there it is I mean that is it that

is it this idea and you know captain plumb talked about it as well and

captain plumb had a cold from Stockdale and we got to explore this and I've got

a bunch of Stockdale books and I we will get to some Stockdale books who was the

senior guy in the Hanoi Hilton and he's a fighter pilot philosopher guy

brilliant guy in a hero won but was awarded the Medal of Honor

and one of the things that captain palm was talking to us about is is captain

plum said that they got word from Stockdale and I'm going to misquote it

but I'm going to do my best it was just because we're in a prison camp doesn't

mean we have to be on defense we're going to be on offense in a prison camp

that's just a completely different attitude it's choosing the attitude

we're not going to sit here and be abused

and be put down we're going to step up we're going to we're going to go on

offense and and they did they did hunger strikes they passed word around they

wouldn't stand up when people under they did these things and they went on

offense and that's what he's talking about right here this last human freedom

to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances we always have that

choice no matter what the circumstances are that surround you you always have

that choice

back to the book and there are always choices to make every day every hour

offered the opportunity to make a decision a decision was 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 placing of circumstance renouncing freedom and dignity to become

molded into the form of the typical inmate

again there it is you can you're in a concentration camp doomed doomed and yet

you can hang on to that last that last bastion of freedom in your soul and not

let them win and not let them own that back to the

book seeing from this point of view the mental reactions of the inmates of a

concentration camp must seem more to us than the mere

expression of certain physical and sociological conditions even though

conditions such as lack of sleep insufficient food and various mental

stresses may suggest that the inmates were bound to react in certain ways in

the final analysis it becomes clear that the sort of person the prisoner became

was the result of inner decision and not the result of camp influences alone

think about that the sort of person the prisoner became was the result of an

inner decision not the result of the circumstance here and that doesn't

matter what kind of person you become what matters the decisions that you make

unbelievable back to the book fundamentally therefore any man can even

under such circumstances decide what shall become of him mentally and

spiritually ok physically you can have that one can't control that although -

all the time but mentally and spiritually I get to decide what I'm

going to be he may retain his human dignity even in a concentration camp

Dostoyevsky said once there's only one thing that I dread not to be worthy of

my sufferings these words frequently came to my mind after I

I'm acquainted with those murderers whose behavior in camp who's suffering

and death bore witness to the fact that the last inner freedom cannot be lost it

can be said that they were worthy of their sufferings the way they bore their

suffering was a genuine inner achievement it is this spiritual freedom

which cannot be taken away that makes life meaningful and purposeful 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 forego 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 so think about

that when you get faced with this ultimate challenge brutal challenge when

life is just about to crush you that's when you have the biggest opportunity to

prove who you are you know speaking of of unworthy topics but this is something

I when I was when I first got to see where I was at SEAL team 1 I ran a

communications class and when I ran the class we I was like super hard and sure

I know it comes as a big shocker yeah but we would create tests test

test on all these different subjects you know what radio what frequency you band

with what you know all these different subjects and I would say the guys hey

you know tomorrow we got another test another opportunity for you to prove

yourself and that's the way I looked at it they didn't always look at it simply

but that's exactly exactly what he's saying here when you have these brutal

circumstances that you face that's your opportunity and if you think about all

heroic tales right there's no heroic tales where the hero

doesn't face any challenges and as a matter of fact the worst challenges he

faces the more of a hero he becomes yeah if he rises to the occasion if he

doesn't rise the cajon guess what we don't hear about right not a hero not a

hero yeah in fact let's say you're considered a hero and then this big

chance to prove yourself comes about and you fail or you don't step up you're

kind of like this big failure in a way even though you've been a hero the whole

time yeah I would say that's true although if you do something heroic

enough people are like good with it right I think if they're significant yes

I think that's all it's kind of the same thing yeah I mean the bottom line is you

face these challenges and you get challenged tad to have this attitude of

you know basically good opportunity opportunity to solve the problems yeah

like Oh big challenge cool opportunity yeah yes like those guys who you know

they start a business the businesses like grows and then it just massively

fails because some mistake or I don't know something and somebody kind of I

don't know whatever and then they well they reach rock bottom and they build

themselves back up and then me no it's this massive success you know oh it's an

impressive story yeah you know that's much better than hey I went to this

school I graduated I worked this job I made a

bunch of money yeah everyone goes on cool right cool

yeah oh really yeah they want to hear the struggle they want to see that you

were challenged yep

back to the book everywhere man is confronted with fate with the chance of

achieving of achieving something through his own suffering think about that the

the the suffering that you're going through is in a chance to achieve

something through your suffering that's an incredible thought yeah that's

an incredible thought now this next part is something that I get asked about on a

fairly regular basis back to the book take the fate of the sick especially

those who are incurable I once read a letter written by young invalid in which

he told a friend that he had just found out he would not live for long that even

an operation would be of no help he wrote further that he remembered a

film he had seen in which a man was portrayed who waited for death and incur

Aegeus and dignified way the boy had a thought it agree the boy had fought it a

great accomplishment to meet death so well now he wrote fate was offering him

a similar chance yeah I mean there's there's you know diseases terminal

diseases and that's it and then what do you do

well I think you have to choose the best possible attitude you can and again I've

never been in that situation obviously but that statement seems to be the best

possible attitude to take again that's that's when we see people doing

something heroic that's what we see and you know it's funny some of those when

we were doing a lot of the Native Americans on the podcast they all had

that attitude when you go to face death hold your head high be afraid of it and

that's really it like you guys said it easier sitting here in the you know

according to TV of course yeah easy for me to sit here and say that hmm but

that's a hard one and you know the other day all the Joe Rogan podcast

Everlast was on there yeah and Joe Rogan he you know Everlast was saying hey you

know I'm not in good shape right now I wish I could better shape I have for you

know that I think he's got a back injury and he's got this and he's got a

daughter that's got some kind of illness bad illness and Joe put on the good

video that you made and you know Everlast when he got done

Everlast was like hey that's cool that's inspirational but how does that help me

with my sick daughter yeah what's good about that you know and I

wish I could have jumped through and and talked to him because this much I will

say when you got a bad situation like that I'm telling you right now it could

be worse absolutely a hundred percent and the fact that he's talking about his

daughter how she's sick and how he has to spend so much time with her to take

care of her whoa well that's what I'm saying yeah

be thankful that you're in a position in life where you can spend time with her

be thankful that she's in a condition where she can spend time with you yeah

and it you know yours she's still here if nothing else that's good if nothing

else and so what are you going to do I mean your your your other option is to

say my daughter's sick this is horrible I got cursed it's it's not fair and what

does that do for you where does that get you it doesn't get you anywhere a matter

of fact it takes you backwards yeah so you really truly do have to look at

these horrible situations I remember I got a call back from from overseas that

a guy was a seal was really badly wounded and and a couple my friends were

kind of distraught and I talked to one of the guys overseas and I you know and

and a man I at this point you know lost mark lost my key I don't think Ryan had

died yet but like I was familiar with guys dying yeah and I talked to one

of the guys that was overseas and they said hey you know this guy is really

really messed up and I'm like is he gonna live and they're like yeah he's

stable can I go then don't worry about a thing

be happy he's alive and it doesn't matter if he's missing a leg or two legs

or whatever he's gonna be coming home and he's gonna carry on with his life

and it's gonna be hard and it's gonna be hell and it's gonna be a challenge but

guess what he's gonna be here yeah and that you know again it's like man what's

the alternative the alternative is he's dead

the alternative is we never talk to him again that's the alternative yeah versus

he's gonna come back right and this guy the guy that got wonder he wasn't like a

great friend of mine but I knew I was talking to people that were very close

to him and so you know I had to make sure I wasn't coming across like hey

it's no big deal I you know look he's gonna be fine it wasn't like that but

look look what the alternative is you know let's be thankful that he's alive

yeah and he's gonna come home and we know he's going to carry on with his

life yeah and that's what that's what's

important so it's really when you do look at these situations when things are

going bad and then you say okay well what good can come of that and then the

one step further is then what happens when someone does die then what good

comes with that and and my thought is always the same thing I'm thankful that

I got to know that person I'm thankful that I got to understand their

personality I'm thankful that I got to spend a day with them laughing and

having that memory that's what's good what's good is I got to experience them

in my life and they got to experience other people's in their lives and that's

what's good about it but just to say hey you know my friend my family member is

dead this is horrible and I can't escape from this wrong attitude and of course

you're going to go through that it's the there's the whatever those things are

that you go through it's shock and then denial and then

anger and then acceptance and all that that's I get it and it's not going to be

easy but I'll tell you what will make it easier is to look at the situation and

say what here is good you know and you know one of the worst things is parents

will have young children that are terminally ill it's awful it's awful and

the best you can think of is they hold them while you can

yeah right again get what you can and grow the memories that you can right now

because just to focus on the fact that life isn't fair isn't going to help you

and guess what you're right life isn't fair yeah life isn't fair

it's it's it's a random horrible thing and if you want to focus on the

randomness and the horribleness of it that's where you're going to end up yeah

but if you can focus on the good that comes out of those situations try to it

again I haven't been through that I haven't been through that thank God you

know not that level for sure but the best I can do the best I can assess is

say man at least try and look at what positive is coming out of this and and

and focus on that instead of focusing on what is negative q it's going back to

what Frankel said it's choose what your attitude is going to be yeah don't

become a victim of the randomness yeah and that's so and that goes on like all

levels you know how even if like something isn't horrible it's just kind

of junk you know all the way down to just something that's pretty horrible oh

there's still a lot of good going on in the situation but and just like are you

saying like your attitude or another way to put it is what you're looking for to

internalise you know a lot of times then it's natural and I've been there where

it's like everything just seems bad even the smile like if something real

bad happens that you think is real bad and then the same day or the next day or

whatever something small bad happens it'll just add big-time to the badness

like nothing's going right kind of force trying to attitude meanwhile all the

good things are going on all around we're not the clear with all those

layers yeah so in a lot of times with like real bad situations especially fish

with kids because that's like the week you can ever feel really like your

kid like when my daughter had she had a big staph infection in her linked note

so every negotiation hospital for week and we're there that's like the most

weekend that that you'll feel and of course there's way worse situations yeah

you know then that that's nothing compared to situations I know that but

there are good things that a are still going on in your situation your life

let's say B there's good situations that can come of it and a lot of them a lot

of them is just our strength related you know like if you let something beat you

down and you don't get the strength like that's a loss you'll lose like you'll

while you're getting some kind of conditioning from it in a way no matter

speaking yes so like if you have a quote-unquote good attitude when you

emerge from the situation you will have strength now if you don't you won't

you'll have weakness you'll be you know gun-shy everything happens bad my life

sucks and you know you'll continue down kind of that road so the good part like

if you said like I you said if you keep that good attitude and when you make it

out you will have this among the other good things that can come from it you

will have the strength yeah you're right and I mean just look at captain plum and

look at Colonel reader there for those guys to go through what they went

through and and maintain a positive attitude and then they come out and you

talk to us and it's like yeah I don't you can't think of more positive people

yeah in the world yeah you know I mean not the whole world but you there just

have so much positivity because they've been through something and they had to

maintain that attitude so you're right when they come out it's like how I'm

gonna make and I think that's what happens with a lot of times with guys

that have been to war is they come back and they're like happy to see the Sun

Rise I know I am right I'm happy to see the Sun Rise I'm happier than a lot of

people to see the Sun Rise I appreciate that thing yeah and I think when people

go through some kind of devastating disease in their family or themselves

same thing once they get through it right they at least come out the other

side and they can appreciate it and yet if they let it beat them down it's gonna

it's gonna everything is going to look down if you're looking down you're going

to look down if you're came up you're gonna look up yeah it's

got to be a it's hard I mean it's so hard for people very hard yeah and again

I'm over here talking you know yeah for sure both of us are yeah when I was on

Joe Rogan we started off talking about Chris Cornell it killed himself we kind

of cursory kind of talked about depression and neither water I mean I

definitely am NOT claiming claiming to be any kind of expert at all about it

and I even said on there I was like look I've never felt this way and I it's a

couple people hit me up on social media like you know you should you should read

this or you should do this or and and you know or you're not right I'm like no

I wasn't even trying to say anything that I'm right I'm just tell I was

saying I don't actually even know yeah and and so yeah I'm not you know

certainly an expert on how to overcome you know horrible situations but I've

been in some pretty horrible situations and this is what my thoughts tried to be

yeah and it's not always easy you know at all yeah Jordan Peterson has some

good good um you know good content on that where he basically in that gel he

says get yourself together we're in his example one of the men was you know a

family member dies or whatever get yourself together so you know what

are you going to do are you going to wallow with the rest of the people so no

one can get a hold of anything in the funerals a mess or whatever are you

gonna get yourself together grief for sure game but get yourself together so

you can kind of lead and get the funeral together and take care of the business

or whatever it's such a cold-blooded thing to say right it's the complete and

that's what I think is hard about it is you know think about this oh if someone

in your family died Mel's like I'll go get yourself together right you know to

me like I who says that yeah but that's probably the best thing I could possibly

say to you know I might need to say the more tactful way three I made to say hey

echo man I feel for you hey man what we need to do is breathe but we also need

to focus on moving for you know what I mean is that kind of thing but the

reality is what am I really saying I'm really saying hey get yourself together

you got to move on we got to move on we got to move forward you got to move

forward in your life and that's like such a hard thing to say to somebody

yeah but that's probably the right attitude the cake is okay like this is

horrible and I need to keep it together yeah yeah yeah man especially when

there's no majorly prevalent things that are at risk at that moment as well like

you know like your situation at situation I think uh

btf Tony was talking about this one it's like you're in a firefight or something

like that and some gets hit you don't just quit

no exit the firefight of you oh my gosh my guys hit use it it's like okay he

said boom let's continue the firefight but let's say there was no firefight

then the guy who gets hit it's it seems like a harder thing to to just move on

in so what are you fighting means you need to like you need to have a

firefight going on also that you like it you can say okay I'm gonna deal with

this but I need to also think about the rest of life yeah so hard and you know

again it's it's I you know what I'm feeling like right now I got I get some

social media sometimes for someone will say hey I'm not a vet but like a friend

of mine is going through problems and I don't know how to talk to him because

I'm not a vet and that's kind of like what I feel like right now like I

haven't been through those kind of suffering so I'm throwing darts but I'm

throwing them based on what I know so it's the best like you know yeah best I

could do right yeah you like you're at risk with someone say hey you you simply

don't understand why the fact is there right yeah and my statement that we yes

I don't understand you know it's like in the in when I was talking to veterans

saying look people you feel like people don't understand they don't and that's

okay and so definitely not sitting here saying oh you know I know this is what

you do in a situation like that no I don't know yeah I don't know what you do

when your family members suffer something egregious like that like a

terminal disease or death I don't know haven't been through it what I have been

through is losing guys in combat that I have been through this is this is

darkness it's a different kind of darkness but this is what I did yeah in

those situations and that's what I would think would help you in these

other situations hard the question right what do you what'd he do hearted we are

we are sitting here reading a book by a guy that was in a concentration camp and

he's saying this thing to do you know so that's that's another sort of

reinforcement of this thought pattern yeah alright he talks a little bit about

the passage of time here in camp a small unit of time a day for example filled

with hourly tortures and fatigue appeared endless a larger time unit

perhaps a week seemed to pass very quickly

my comrades agreed when I said that in the camp a day lasted longer than a week

how paradoxical was our time experience and that's something this actually

reminded me I was talking to our Sara Armstrong and she and when I was

actually around the conversation when Lafe was talking about he'd come out

here and seen all my kids my kids are all grown up now basically he's there

for my littlest one but you know my oldest daughter's graduating high school

in a couple of weeks and she's gonna go to college and you know when Lafe met

her she was what was that twelve years ago so she was you know life

no five six six something like that so you know younger than when he came out

here you know he just come left his apartment in New York City where he's

got his wife and kids now and you know it's chaos and the little kids and

they're crying and screaming and spilling stuff and throwing up milk and

pissing everywhere and it's just you know it's that's what life is we're

there and you know he came out here and saw how my kids were now grown up know

that time had gone by the way gone I get it back and and he you know he talked

about it on the podcast just day and make sure you appreciate those and Sarah

Armstrong you know said something along the lines of the days are long but the

years are short yeah that's a very true statement and you can

you can see that cure the same thing you know all of a sudden this time is just

going by so quickly this is starting to talk again back to the attitude we could

say that most men in a concentration camp believe that the the real

opportunities of life had passed yet in reality there was an opportunity and a

challenge one could make a victory of those experiences turning life into an

inner triumph or one could ignore the challenges and simply vegetate as did a

majority the prisoners saying the same thing same topic

I know it's interesting I told you this before we started this book you know is

a great book but I I kind of wanted to talk about how bad concentration camps

were and I went and found some other sources for that because Viktor Frankl

doesn't highlight it that much I mean his ad I mean he was in Auschwitz for

crying out loud it doesn't get any worse and you know can really give the impact

of how bad it was I went and found some other sources that were a little bit a

little bit more directly written and a little bit more horrifying to be lack of

a better work because in his accounts he doesn't go into those some of those

graphic details which I feel like you should know and you should understand

what before you talk about hey he's keeping a good attitude but no no it's

not he's keeping a good attitude because he was in a concentration camp but I

wasn't that bad no it was freaking hell yeah and that's what he's dealing with

and in his mind you could make a triumph or a victory out of those experiences

which is incredible attitude to have yeah

going back to the book the prisoner who had lost faith in the future his future

was doomed with his loss of belief in the future he also lost his spiritual

hold he let himself decline and became subject to mental and physical decay

usually this happened quite suddenly in the form of a crisis the symptoms of

which were familiar to the experienced camp inmate we all feared this moment

not for ourselves which would have been pointless but for our friends usually it

began with the prisoner refusing one morning to get dressed and wash or to go

out on the parade grounds no entreaties no blows no threats had any effect he

just laid there hardly moving if this crisis was brought about by an illness

he refused to be taken to the sickbay or do anything to help himself he simply

gave up there he remained lying in his own extra-extra de and nothing bothered

him anymore and that's similar to what Colonel reader said how if you didn't

actively stay alive you would die you couldn't just passively exist you

weren't going to make it if you want to die all you had to do is stop trying

then you were going to die back to book as we said before any attempt to restore

a man's inner strength in the camp had to first succeed in showing him some

future goal in these words he who has a why to live for can bear with almost any

how that could be the guiding motto for all psychotherapeutic and psycho

hygienic efforts regarding prisoners whenever there was an opportunity for it

one had to give them a why an aim for their lives in order to strengthen them

to bear the terrible howl of their existence woe to him who saw no more

sense in his life no aim no purpose and therefore no point to

carrying on he was soon lost got to know why you're doing what you're doing and

that's all there is to it he who has a why to live for can bear

with almost any how and obviously that translates right into

leadership perspective making sure people understand why they're doing what

they're doing he just don't bark orders at him but from an individual

perspective why are you doing this find that and I actually I actually made a

post on social media the other day it was something along the lines of finding

your inner Y or something like that and I was I was uh you know mocking that

attitude right and I was saying you know sometimes my inner voice is trying to

find out why I'm doing what I'm doing I'm like my when I'm doing something

hard my inner voice doesn't allow to talk be quiet I'm over here working you

know but there is obviously just like a leadership perspective and from a

personal perspective why are you doing what you're doing and that should be the

driving force yeah and if you don't have that it's hard to overcome these

challenges you can't just overcome challenges

because you know they're there you need some greater reason yeah and

when that gets lost you get lost you I don't know why I thought those I think

the when y-you were mocking that this is my why and my interview was it wasn't it

wasn't now that I think about it wasn't really the Y thing great yeah it was

more about the inner the inner inner voice but ya know I definitely said why

on earth because keep I think people you like it's like a lot of good expressions

or sayings or whatever or people just all I like then they'll just start

throwing it out there and abusing it and it dumbs it down and then now everyone's

saying it now it just sorta sounds cheesy because no one's actually doing

it no one's actually understanding like the real what what it really means you

know like the person who's like hey I'm gonna lose weight and you know they've

basically spent their life being their health or whatever then

they're like okay I'm gonna you know I'm gonna get in shape and then they go on

this you know program they quit you know but when they're doing good on the

program let's say the first or second date I'll be like this is my why and

they'll show their I don't know their their dog or something like that my why

where my kids or whatever you know but then the next day they quit the program

like it's such a weak thing you're like whoa whoa whoa you can't just do that

you know like that the whole thing my why whatever that's way too powerful for

people to just be located my why and then just yeah it should know just like

a little thing yeah just throw together a 38 second inter Instagram post yeah

yeah are you why yeah that you need to dig yeah you got to do that stuff so

that's why it's funny because like just people just throw that out now not means

like nothing and it's almost like they see it seems like it seems like it's

totally my interpretation on it but it seems like they're saying it and

thinking that they sound so profound and deep and new and inspirational you know

but everyone had an end to counter your point I've had plenty of people that

have talked to me about you know I was in bad shape I wasn't taking care of

myself I wasn't healthy and I had my first kid and I said to myself I need to

I need to be there for my kid or or I was doing bad at work and I don't really

care and I wasn't focused on that career it wasn't focused on being squared away

and I was wasting all my money on dumb stuff and I had my first kid yeah and

then I said I gotta you know this this is me taking care of my kid and I need

to do a damn good job and that's exactly the point right there is that it's a

real thing and if that's really your your why conceptually now I'm saying the

expression you know like you for sure there's a difference between G well

there's a big difference between the contemplation that goes into I'm doing

this for my kid it's cool I'm gonna go on Weight Watchers right it's like umm

no like think about this they thought your relationship with your children and

where you're going to end up and now you want to see them live and what guidance

you can give them as human beings and the example that you're setting for them

and you've line all those things up then maybe you can put down the donuts

and yeah that's right in other words you gotta do it yeah actually you know so

yeah that's why it just sounds cheesy cuz everyone doesn't says it this is a

great section going back to the book 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 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 one answer must consist not

in talk and meditation but in right action and 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 again you're

turning you're flipping this idea around not about what I want from life

it's what what is life want from me and it's put me challenges and these

hurdles in front of me and I got to go and jump over them and then I gotta

smash them and then I gotta set fire to them and then I had to use that fire to

fuel the domination of everything that's in my path is that kind of like hey

these weights aren't going to lift them and it's the exact same thing it's the

exact same thing yeah and again going back to this idea that war reveals human

nature and and this is dr. Frankel's way of putting this exact same thing that I

say back to the book life in a concentration camp tore open the human

soul and exposed its depths it is is it surprising that in those depths we again

found only human qualities which in their very nature or a mixture of good

and evil the rift dividing good from which goes through all human beings

reaches into the lowest depths and becomes apparent even on the bottom of

the abyss which is laid open by the concentration camp so we've got this

ideal once again that there's a dichotomy in people in people this

dichotomy that you're capable of doing extreme good and you're capable of doing

extreme evil and we've seen it a bunch we've seen it a bunch on this podcast do

you look at the me I massacre those guys were normal guys that committed extreme

evil straight up evil normal guys that were you know four days earlier probably

would have done something heroic to save someone and here they are the other end

of the spectrum and I think that you have to we have to face that not only

individually do you have that but then obviously as a group you have that as a

group of human beings we have that capability we've seen it over and over

again and if you want to know what that good part is you got to know what that

darkness is too yeah the group thing is interesting you know you know how you

always see it not always but you hear sometimes about these riots on college

campuses whether it be after game there's something like that but at a

glance you think dang is this college filled full of just hooligans like if

this bit like you'd riot you know but it's that it's like as an

individual or you know under quote/unquote normal circumstances

they're just they're just normal people you know guys girls whatever there's

normal people but then you put them in this particular situation in some way

extreme or whatever you know it's a spectrum but and they just act different

and the whole group dynamic to act different the group dynamic is a

is it can be a very very scary thing there's no doubt it can be a very very

scary thing and that's that's why you know even when he's talking about and I

mentioned this on when I was on Joe Rogan's last podcast but this the idea

of individual freedom and acting as an individual is so important as to

structure your life around to say look I'm not part of this group yeah hope is

not me yeah this group is not me they don't

represent me I represent me it took and I'm I have my

own individual choices and that's what he's saying here the minute you give

away to the herd yeah that's when you start going you know you no longer

control it yeah and when you give up that control that's a scary scary thing

and that's when these evil things take place yeah and then that but once again

that it's like it's easy to say now because grouping yourself is actually a

survival mechanism true so you you know it's not going to be just that you're

not going to naturally just be an individual and act like an individual

and conduct yourself in all these extreme situations as an individual not

just going to naturally do that true so I guess it just helps to know these well

and that's your you're a hundred percent right on both facets number one yes

grouping and fitting in is a survival instinct that people have and that's why

trends happen and that's why nations happen and that's why that's why groups

occur and people and politics yeah new politics and everything right to get

into these groups and I mean it's weird now because with the internet you can

have groups you can be part of these groups yes really

yeah again whatever group you connect with all these different people but it's

also important to make sure that you you do remember they who you are an

individual then candidate that you don't want to give up that last shred of human

will you know could decide what your attitude is going to be yeah dang and

today you know in our luxurious society if you can

consciously navigate your waist clear that of falling into the group trap is

what it is the trap because your mother is if you can do that successfully don't

fall for the tricks man like that's the thing you get air we all get trip all

the way down to just something is is seemingly benign as marketing just man

you'll just fall for way less tricks you're like those tricks out there and

I'll do you know I don't put itself or too many of them missing this is a wrap

this book is this book is not long it's a very fast read and actually he goes

into sort of goes into the more of this psychological the psychiatrist the

actual academic of it then I covered but this is a fast read I mean it's only a

hundred and fifty pages or so and you definitely get a raw look at human

nature but this closing I think is very very powerful going back to the book a

human being is not one thing among others things determine each other but

man is ultimately self determining what becomes within the limits of endowment

and environment he has made out of himself in the concentration camps for

example in this living laboratory and on this testing ground

we watched and witnessed some of our comrades behave like swine while others

behaved like Saints man has both potentialities within himself which one

is actualized depends on decisions but not on conditions our generation is

realistic for we have come to know man as he really is after all man is that

being who invented the gas chambers of Auschwitz however he

is also that being who entered those gas chambers upright with the Lord's Prayer

or the shema yisrael on his lips

and I think that's thought that man has both potentialities within himself and

we've seen them over and over again these grand expanded potentialities in

extreme display and we've talked about these situations in the podcast over and

over again and the the Burma railway that was built by the prisoners of war

and the prisoners of war were tortured and killed by the Japanese in the

genocide in Rwanda and The Rape of Nanking and we've also seen the other

potentiality and we've seen that over and over again that that potentiality of

goodness and of sacrifice those men that we've seen over and over again that lay

down their lives are for their brothers and in doing so protect our freedom but

it's important to note that again that whether the good or the evil is

actualized in the minds of men that is not based on conditions but on decisions

and this doesn't only apply to good and evil of course that's the that's the

most expansive thought that we can apply this to but it also applies to

everything we choose to do or choose not to do and everything we choose to become

or not to become it's us it's our choice and we are responsible

we are responsible to be good instead of evil to be strong instead of weak to

become what we want to become not what we let ourselves become we own the

course and with every decision that we make we actualize ourselves we become

what we choose swine or Saints

so when you make decisions every decision think think about where that

decision leads and what that decision will make you become and then

self-determine self-determined choose

what will make you a better person and even in situations where you feel you

have no choice at all you still have one last freedom and that is to choose your

own attitude in any given set of circumstances

keep that choice keep that freedom that hard choice

the disciplined choice and with the discipline to make the right choice

maintain your freedom

I think that's all I've got for tonight

powerful book yeah isn't it crazy how I can't help but

think of this like where how they talk about the SS officers what are the Nazis

the guys there who are just savages obviously but are they really savages as

people though or is it a circumstantial thing I mean I know they're trained to

kind of regard this you know the Jews are these groups of people as you know

beneath them and all this stuff but like are these savages just as in because it

takes a savage to do some of this stuff you know especially having a baby and

smash eNOS as the book said skull against the wall like that's like

subhuman behavior you know well when he goes home you know he has kids you know

is he like I don't care if these kid alternately if their heads get the you

know I'm sure it's not like that injury is just a normal person would just be

just as weak as all of us if your kid stubs its toe and starts crying you know

yeah well we're going to explore I got some books in the queue to explore the

other side of this and they're very revealing about some of that but again

it's it's you're right that some of these guys you know were we're normal

right some of these Nazis were normal and they were doing their job and that's

one of the worst you know there's a whole there's a whole argument on

whether that even is allowable like I said if you're doing your job and and

I'll tell you what in the US military yeah that doesn't that doesn't work

that's an excuse that we don't have you can't say hey I got ordered to do this

thing that was against the law or against ethical values doesn't matter

yeah I still can't do it that's not an excuse and that came

directly from this attitude that nopsi said hey I was just following orders

don't hey wasn't my father's fallen orders no actually you can't you can't

pay it you're not allowed to say that yeah so as far as the normality sure

they might have been no normal when they went home but that

doesn't remove their guilt at all yeah absolutely and you can't take a baby and

smash its head against the wall you don't get a pass on that one whether you

order to do it or not there's certain moral standards that exist and you can't

violate them and if you do you're guilty it doesn't matter what else you did back

then who's kind of the you know the authority on that like where the moral

was it like a global thing you know or is it because obviously Hitler would

feel it would be like and whatever well there's different societies that had

different viewpoints obviously in not war yeah yeah hence the war the Nazis

and the Japanese both felt okay we can do what we need to do to dominate yeah

and whether that's the Rape of Nanking or whether that's the concentration

camps and the final solution both those things were in their societies now there

was of course there was people inside those societies I don't know I haven't I

haven't I don't know of any Japanese I'm sure there were some Japanese that that

were against him and even when we read The Rape of Nanking there was a Nazi in

Nanking remember that sheltered people so there's an example here's a guy now

he didn't know what was going on with the final solution back in Germany but

at least it doesn't appear that way but yeah this is what makes morality and

ethical decision-making so challenging yeah but there is in my opinion you know

a certain standard moral code that human beings live by yeah and that is a

universal relatively in analysis now I should actually say it's universal great

there's the way that I believe that there's morals and standards that human

beings should live by yeah and when you start stepping outside those bounds yeah

you're going on the wrong side yeah and like anything men it's like obviously a

spectrum and then what you're talking about that universal line that you cross

it's like actually when you really look at the line it's like it's a universal

gray area of yeah and then you really look closer but I think that the

circumstances don't really fall within the confines of that gray area very

often so it's easy to be like that's obviously

right that's obviously wrong well yeah and everyone's in all these great areas

of emergent and it's like this big debate and it depends on who you are