Viktor Frankl Quotes 2

Discussion in 'Family of Origin' started by Copabanana, Sep 28, 2015.

  1. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    [​IMG]Viktor E. Frankl > Quotes


    “A human being is not one thing among others; things determine each other, but man is ultimately self-determining. What he 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.”
    Viktor E. Frankl, Man's Search for Meaning

    “We cannot, after all, judge a biography by its length, by the number of pages in it; we must judge by the richness of the contents...Sometimes the 'unfinisheds' are among the most beautiful symphonies.”
    Viktor E. Frankl, The Doctor and the Soul

    “To draw an analogy: a man's suffering is similar to the behavior of a 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.”
    Viktor E. Frankl, Man's Search for Meaning

    “Man does not simply exist but always decides what his existence will be, what he will become the next moment. By the same token, every human being has the freedom to change at any instant.”
    Viktor E. Frankl, Man's Search for Meaning

    “What is demanded of man is not, as some existential philosophers teach, to endure the meaninglessness of life, but rather to bear his incapacity to grasp its unconditional meaningfulness in rational terms.”
    Viktor E. Frankl, Man's Search for Meaning

    “But today’s society is characterized by achievement orientation, and consequently it adores people who are successful and happy and, in particular, it adores the young. It virtually ignores the value of all those who are otherwise, and in so doing blurs the decisive difference between being valuable in the sense of dignity and being valuable in the sense of usefulness. If one is not cognizant of this difference and holds that an individual’s value stems only from his present usefulness, then, believe me, one owes it only to personal inconsistency not to plead for euthanasia along the lines of Hitler’s program, that is to say, ‘mercy’ killing of all those who have lost their social usefulness, be it because of old age, incurable illness, mental deterioration, or whatever handicap they may suffer. Confounding the dignity of man with mere usefulness arises from conceptual confusion that in turn may be traced back to the contemporary nihilism transmitted on many an academic campus and many an analytical couch.”
    Viktor E. Frankl, Man's Search for Meaning

    “For the world is in a bad state, but everything will become still worse unless each of us does his best.”
    Viktor E. Frankl, Man's Search for Meaning

    “Everyone has his own specific vocation or mission in life; everyone must carry out a concrete assignment that demands fulfillment. Therein he cannot be replaced, nor can his life be repeated. Thus, everyone's task is unique as is his specific opportunity to implement it.”
    Viktor E. Frankl, Man's Search for Meaning

    “A man's concern, even his despair, over the worthwhileness of life is an existential distress but by no means a mental disease.”
    Viktor E. Frankl, Man's Search for Meaning

    “What man actually needs is not a tensionless state but rather the striving and struggling for some goal worthy of him. What he needs is not the discharge of tension at any cost, but the call of a potential meaning waiting to be fulfilled by him.”
    Viktor E. Frankl

    “Ironically enough, in the same way that fear brings to pass what one is afraid of, likewise a forced intention makes impossible what one forcibly wishes... Pleasure is, and must remain, a side-effect or by-product, and is destroyed and spoiled to the degree to which it is made a goal in itself.”
    Viktor E. Frankl, Man's Search for Meaning

    “Man is originally characterized by his "search for meaning" rather than his "search for himself." The more he forgets himself—giving himself to a cause or another person—the more human he is. And the more he is immersed and absorbed in something or someone other than himself the more he really becomeshimself.”
    Viktor E. Frankl, Man's Search for Ultimate Meaning

    “To suffer unecessarily is masochistic rather than heroic.”
    Viktor E. Frankl

    “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 an inner decision, and not the result of camp influences alone.”
    Viktor E. Frankl, Man's Search for Meaning

    “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.”
    Viktor E. Frankl

    Dostoevski said once, "There is only one thing I dread: not to be worthy of my sufferings." These words frequently came to my mind after I became acquainted with those martyrs whose behavior in camp, whose 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 the 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.”
    Viktor E. Frankl, Man's Search for Meaning

    “The crowning experience of all, for the homecoming man, is the wonderful feeling that, after all he has suffered, there is nothing he need fear anymore—except his God.”
    Viktor E. Frankl, Man's Search for Meaning

    “It is well known that humor, more than anything else in the human make-up, can afford an aloofness and an ability to rise above any situation, even if only for a few seconds.”
    Viktor E. Frankl, Man's Search for Meaning


    “As a professor in two fields, neurology and psychiatry, I am fully aware of the extent to which man is subject to biological, psychological and sociological conditions. But in addition to being a professor in two fields I am a survivor of four camps - concentration camps, that is - and as such I also bear witness to the unexpected extent to which man is capable of defying and braving even the worst conditions conceivable.”
    Viktor E. Frankl, Man's Search for Meaning

    “I understood how a man who has nothing left in this world still may know bliss, be it only for a brief moment, in the contemplation of his beloved.”
    Viktor E. Frankl, Man's Search for Meaning

    “For what then matters is to bear witness to the uniquely human potential at its best, which is to transform a personal tragedy into a triumph, to turn one’s predicament into a human achievement.”
    Viktor E. Frankl

    “To be sure, man's search for meaning may arouse inner tension rather than inner equilibrium. However, precisely such tension is an indispensable prerequisite of mental health. There is nothing in the world, I venture to say, that would so effectively help one to survive even the worst conditions as the knowledge that there is a meaning in one's life. There is much wisdom in the words of Nietzsche: "He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how”
    Viktor E. Frankl, Man's Search for Meaning

    “At the beginning of human history, man lost some of the basic animal instincts in which an animal's behavior is embedded and by which it is secured. Such security, like paradise, is closed to man forever; man has to make choices. In addition to this, however, man has suffered another loss in his more recent development inasmuch as the traditions which buttressed his behavior are now rapidly diminishing. No instinct tells him what he has to do, and no tradition tells him what he ought to do; sometimes he does not even know what he wishes to do. Instead, he either wishes to do what other people do (conformism) or he does what other people tell him to do (totalitarianism).”
    Viktor E. Frankl, Man's Search for Meaning

    “To the European, it is a characteristic of the American culture that, again and again, one is commanded and ordered to 'be happy.' But happiness cannot be pursued; it must ensue. One must have a reason to 'be happy.' Once the reason is found, however, one becomes happy automatically. As we see, a human being is not one in pursuit of happiness but rather in search of a reason to become happy, last but not least, through actualizing the potential meaning inherent and dormant in a given situation.”
    Viktor E. Frankl, Man's Search for Meaning

    “Love is the only way to grasp another human being in the innermost core of his personality”
    Viktor E. Frankl

    “Human kindness can be found in all groups, even those which as a whole it would be easy to condemn.”
    Viktor E. Frankl, Man's Search for Meaning

    “There are things which must cause you to lose your reason or you have none to lose”
    Viktor E. Frankl, Man's Search for Meaning

    “Man is not fully conditioned and determined but rather determines himself whether he gives in to conditions or stands up to them.”
    Viktor E. Frankl
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2015
  2. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Thanks for posting these Copa. Man's search for meaning has been a driving force in my life since I was 20 years old and read it for the first time. It is probably the one book which helped me the most when I was in the darkest place with my daughter. His story is a remarkable tribute to the human spirit and certainly a guidepost for those of us dealing with struggle and devastation. He was and is an inspiration......
     
  3. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    I enjoy this one very much. This is beautifully true. "Unconditional meaningfulness". Isn't that a beautiful thing. I love this quote best.

    Yes. Which brings us back to Neitzsche: Love is the default.

    We've forgotten that.

    True.

    Yes.

    Thank you, Copa.

    I read that Frankl was to speak to an auditorium full of people. He felt the velvet seat beneath him, sensed the air of hushed expectation. Sitting there on that velvet seat with so many, many beautifully dressed people waiting, he contrasted how he was now seen with who he knew, or had known, himself to be ~ with who he had been identified and labeled and taught he was, in the camps, and with who he had learned himself to be, and with all he had seen.

    Elie Wiesel writes so beautifully of these issues too, Copa.

    Cedar
     
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