Hope and Meaning Viktor Frankl

Discussion in 'Family of Origin' started by Copabanana, Sep 27, 2015.

  1. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Viktor E. Frankl quotes
    “When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.”
    Viktor E. Frankl, Man's Search for Meaning

    “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”
    Viktor E. Frankl, Man's Search for Meaning

    “Don't aim at success. The more you aim at it and make it a target, the more you are going to miss it. For success, like happiness, cannot be pursued; it must ensue, and it only does so as the unintended side effect of one's personal dedication to a cause greater than oneself or as the by-product of one's surrender to a person other than oneself. Happiness must happen, and the same holds for success: you have to let it happen by not caring about it. I want you to listen to what your conscience commands you to do and go on to carry it out to the best of your knowledge. Then you will live to see that in the long-run—in the long-run, I say!—success will follow you precisely because you had forgotten to think about it”
    Viktor E. Frankl, Man's Search for Meaning

    “Those who have a 'why' to live, can bear with almost any 'how'.”
    Viktor E. Frankl, Man's Search for Meaning

    “But there was no need to be ashamed of tears, for tears bore witness that a man had the greatest of courage, the courage to suffer.”

    “Love is the only way to grasp another human being in the innermost core of his personality. No one can become fully aware of the very essence of another human being unless he loves him. By his love he is enabled to see the essential traits and features in the beloved person; and even more, he sees that which is potential in him, which is not yet actualized but yet ought to be actualized. Furthermore, by his love, the loving person enables the beloved person to actualize these potentialities. By making him aware of what he can be and of what he should become, he makes these potentialities come true.”
    Viktor E. Frankl, Man's Search for Meaning

    “Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”
    Viktor E. Frankl, Man's Search for Meaning

    “An abnormal reaction to an abnormal situation is normal behavior.”
    Viktor E. Frankl, Man's Search for Meaning

    “What is to give light must endure burning.”
    Viktor E. Frankl

    “The one thing you can’t take away from me is the way I choose to respond to what you do to me. The last of one’s freedoms is to choose one’s attitude in any given circumstance.”
    Viktor E. Frankl

    “Ultimately, man should not ask what the meaning of his life is, but rather must recognize that it is he who is asked. In a word, each man is questioned by life; and he can only answer to life by answering for his own life; to life he can only respond by being responsible.”
    Viktor E. Frankl, Man's Search for Meaning

    “In some ways suffering ceases to be suffering at the moment it finds a meaning, such as the meaning of a sacrifice.”
    Viktor E. Frankl, Man's Search for Meaning

    “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 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.”
    Viktor E. Frankl, Man's Search for Meaning

    “So live as if you were living already for the second time and as if you had acted the first time as wrongly as you are about to act now!”
    Viktor E. Frankl, Man's Search for Meaning

    “Life is never made unbearable by circumstances, but only by lack of meaning and purpose.”
    Viktor E. Frankl

    “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. Our answer must consist, not in talk and meditation, but in right action and in 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.”
    Viktor E. Frankl, Man's Search for Meaning

    “Forces beyond your control can take away everything you possess except one thing, your freedom to choose how you will respond to the situation.”
    Viktor E. Frankl

    “Happiness cannot be pursued; it must ensue.”
    Viktor E. Frankl, Man's Search for Meaning

    “No man should judge unless he asks himself in absolute honesty whether in a similar situation he might not have done the same.”
    Viktor E. Frankl, Man's Search for Meaning

    “We who lived in concentration camps can remember the men who walked through the 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 one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way.”
    Viktor E. Frankl

    “The pessimist resembles a man who observes with fear and sadness that his wall calendar, from which he daily tears a sheet, grows thinner with each passing day. On the other hand, the person who attacks the problems of life actively is like a man who removes each successive leaf from his calendar and files it neatly and carefully away with its predecessors, after first having jotted down a few diary notes on the back. He can reflect with pride and joy on all the richness set down in these notes, on all the life he has already lived to the fullest. What will it matter to him if he notices that he is growing old? Has he any reason to envy the young people whom he sees, or wax nostalgic over his own lost youth? What reasons has he to envy a young person? For the possibilities that a young person has, the future which is in store for him?

    No, thank you,' he will think. 'Instead of possibilities, I have realities in my past, not only the reality of work done and of love loved, but of sufferings bravely suffered. These sufferings are even the things of which I am most proud, although these are things which cannot inspire envy.' "

    From "Logotherapy in a Nutshell", an essay”
    Viktor E. Frankl, Man's Search for Meaning

    “If there is meaning in life at all, then there must be meaning in suffering.”
    Viktor E. Frankl

    “I do not forget any good deed done to me & I do not carry a grudge for a bad one.”
    Viktor E. Frankl, Man's Search for Meaning

    “Our greatest freedom is the freedom to choose our attitude.”
    Viktor E. Frankl

    “By declaring that man is responsible and must actualize the potential meaning of his life, I wish to stress that the true meaning of life is to be discovered in the world rather than within man or his own psyche, as though it were a closed system. I have termed this constitutive characteristic "the self-transcendence of human existence." It denotes the fact that being human always points, and is directed, to something or someone, other than oneself--be it a meaning to fulfill or another human being to encounter. The more one forgets himself--by giving himself to a cause to serve or another person to love--the more human he is and the more he actualizes himself. What is called self-actualization is not an attainable aim at all, for the simple reason that the more one would strive for it, the more he would miss it. In other words, self-actualization is possible only as a side-effect of self-transcendence.”
    Viktor E. Frankl, Man's Search for Meaning

    “A man who becomes conscious of the responsibility he bears toward a human being who affectionately waits for him, or to an unfinished work, will never be able to throw away his life. He knows the "why" for his existence, and will be able to bear almost any "how".”
    Viktor E. Frankl, Man's Search for Meaning

    “It is not freedom from conditions, but it is freedom to take a stand toward the conditions.”
    Viktor E. Frankl, Man's Search for Meaning

    “The attempt to develop a sense of humor and to see things in a humorous light is some kind of a trick learned while mastering the art of living.”
    Viktor E. Frankl

    “Love goes very far beyond the physical person of the beloved. It finds its deepest meaning in its spiritual being, his inner self. Whether or not he is actually present, whether or not he is still alive at all, ceases somehow to be of importance.”
    Viktor E. Frankl

    “I recommend that the Statue of Liberty on the East Coast be supplemented by a Statue of Responsiblity on the West Coast.”
    Viktor E. Frankl, Man's Search for Meaning
     
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  2. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    Of those listed, which is your favorite quote, Copa?

    This is mine.

    Thank you, Copa.

    Cedar
     
  3. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Cedar, there are many favorites. But today, right now, it is this one:
    I chose to adopt a child after another dark period in my life. I hesitate to say "similarly dark" because it was like a mole hill compared to Mt. Everest. Following learning from my mother that my father had died 4 or 5 years before, I suffered and withdrew, too. Instead of years, it was months. Out of it, came the realization I could no longer live for my own goals and ambitions only. I needed to love. And I found my son.

    He was my purpose. He was my meaning. My love for him was redemptive.

    I believe that "redemptive" is the apt word because it renewed us both. It satisfied a deep need in me to feel that my love could work in this way, a way that it had not worked with my parents. Especially my father. My father died almost a bum. To me he had been a prince. My kiss had not worked. Instead his presence had come to degrade me. You know the story.

    So with the love of my child, and by loving him, I became worthy.

    And again, now, 25 years later, I no longer work. I cannot find a way for my love of my child to help him or by extension, myself.

    I look to M. Why can I not love him in such a way? I do not know.

    Cedar, I have so many things in my life, or potential things, to give it meaning. I could live happily going to Art school, with my Tango. Through my work. I could find a way to make it highly meaningful for others and for myself. Cornwall. I could marry M and we could go back to Argentina.

    As long as I feel that my son is me, represents me, and my potential. My hope. My future. I will be tied to this despair. That it is "I" who no longer works. It is "I" who has no hope. Because I can no longer redeem him. Only he can do that. And it is as it should be.

    There is a basic corruption in my identity, whereby I am tied to others, in order to feel enough. No matter how strong or certain I am at my core.

    I know I have not lost my son. I know he needs me. What is no longer working is "me." I love no longer work to effect him so that he will keep himself alive. I understand this is as it should be. He is another adult.

    Bereft. There is something in me that feels bereft. Let me now go look up the precise meaning.

    Bereft: Deprived or lacking something, especially a non-material asset. What am I deprived of? I may have things that could give me meaning, which I have listed.

    Am I on strike? Am I purposely living in the space between "stimulus and response" to which Frankl refers in another quote? Have I been living in that breath, between the two, without acting. Is that to which M is referring and you, too? The willful holding of my breath, like that child's fit, on the floor? Hoping beyond hope that the decision to as if self-destruct, to give up everything, will work, when nothing else has, to effect some response, by others? Perhaps.

    So going back to the chosen quote. There are other quotes that would have better addressed this sense I have described, gaining meaning through love.

    But the chosen one deals with my inability thus far to find an answer to my life. And now I am closer to seeing it is a choice.

    Thank you, Cedar.
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2015
  4. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    Thank you Copa, I just read a short biography on Frankl remarkable life, remarkable man. I will look for one of his books. Thanks so much for sharing.
     
  5. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Thank you, New Leaf, and Cedar.
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2015
  6. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    Awesome. It is an omen. A sign. You shall overcome.
     
  7. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    In meditation, the essence is as much the space between breaths, as the breaths.

    It is more, that space between breaths, than the breath.

    It is the space between them that enables us to see the stars, the space between words that enables speech.

    Pema Chodron writes about this time, about the pain and confusion and loss of it, Copa. Thich Nhat Hanh, Viktor Frankel; every mystic tradition, Copa, comes from this place.

    http://www.lionsroar.com/pema-chodrons-three-methods-for-working-with-chaos/

    http://www.lionsroar.com/waking-up-to-your-world/

    Copa, M was very wise when he made the observation about fighting outside the ring. Given that you are not in the ring, Copa...knowing you would fight with every fiery ounce of courage in you if you were, but...you are not in the ring, Copa. Here is a secret: No one else is, either. That is how this will evolve; that is where you will go, next.

    Think of Pope Francis, Copa. Think of his body language. Think of the body language of Thich Nhat Hanh.

    Think of the eyes of The Mary.

    Pema Chodron will help you now, I think, Copa. She describes this place as: no frame of reference. No way to make sense of things. Nothing to believe in, nowhere to stand, nothing to hold on to. No way to define ourselves because everything that held meaning has somehow shifted and there is only us and everyone else, reflected and reflecting to ourselves and one another...but we are so essentially alone.

    And yet, surely something can be done.

    How to know? They say we must learn to listen. That is way harder than we know, to do that. To listen and mean it. To listen, and hear, and not turn away.

    But here, on FOO Chronicles, we know the utter absolute relief of hearing, and of being heard.

    We are mothers. We feel every blow; the spilled blood is blood more precious to us than our own.

    But...we are not in the ring. How to encompass that, and ourselves and our children and our lives?

    A very hard thing, Copa.

    Cedar

    kd lang, Copa. Halleluiah, for you and for me, too. And for you too, New Leaf.

     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2015
  8. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    That was absolutely breath taking, thank you Cedar!
     
  9. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Thank you Cedar.
     
  10. Nomad

    Nomad Well-Known Member

    I am profoundly touched by his quotes. They have helped me get out of my own depression years ago and contributed to my decision to get an advanced degree. Some of the best and most profound truths anywhere. Thank you for taking the time to post them.
     
  11. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    Hi, Nomad.

    :hugs:

    Cedar
     
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