Death in Tehran: a story about fear

I’ll have much more to say about Viktor Frankl’s book Man’s Search for Meaning, which I recently finished reading. But today just one little story that Frankl, a psychotherapist who survived Auschwitz, tells in the book.

He calls it Death in Tehran (Kindle locations 846-51) and uses it to suggest that we are often our own worst enemies, that our very fear of something can make it come about:

A rich and mighty Persian once walked in his garden with one of his servants. The servant cried that he had just encountered Death, who had threatened him. He begged his master to give him his fastest horse so that he could make haste and flee to Teheran, which he could reach that same evening. The master consented and the servant galloped off on the horse. On returning to his house the master himself met Death, and questioned him, “Why did you terrify and threaten my servant?” “I did not threaten him; I only showed surprise in still finding him here when I planned to meet him tonight in Teheran,” said Death.